How to: Plan your Brand Photoshoot

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So, you’ve got a business that’s ready to become a brand huh?

Maybe you’re tired of reposting photos from other IG accounts, using stock photos, or taking mirror selfies. We hear you! The best way to elevate your online marketing is to create proprietary content… and that starts with planning your first brand photoshoot.

This might sound like an intimidating task, but trust us—it doesn’t have to be. With the right mindset, and just a few actionable steps, you’ll be on your way to having a seriously kickass photoshoot. You will be amazed at how much quality content you really can get out of just one photoshoot, with the right preparations.


Before you start the physical preparations, you need to pump the breaks a little, and focus on your mindset.

Take a minute to be honest with yourself. Is there any negative self talk creeping in? If there is, that’s because you’re human! recognize it and move on, babe! We are pros at talking our clients of the self-doubt “ledge” when they talk about how posting photos of themselves feels vain. Or when they start down the path of comparison which never leads anywhere fun.

Here’s the thing. Even that girl with 1.2M followers, a bangin’ bod, perfect hair, and the seemingly dope life full of vaycays feels this way every day. And, if you’re worried about being judged… here’s how we feel about that one: Let em! At least they’re talking about you. The more they get to know you, the more in love they’ll fall. And if they’re not your people, then byeeeeeee!

If you’re not about all this self-love, mindset talk, how about a good old fashioned FACT for you? Posts of faces (specifically YOUR face) on your brand’s feed performs over 60% better than other posts online. So, set aside your need for the perfect selfie and make it about business. You know… if you like making money and stuff.

You might not think this whole mindset thing is detectable, but the truth is, it totally is. Your confidence (or lack thereof) will shine through in your photos. Plus, your photoshoot will be much more enjoyable if you go into it in the right state of mind.


Our good friend Seth Godin says, “Every interaction, in any form, is branding.” So remember this when you create the visuals for your brand as well. Make sure that the overall vibes are on-brand for you. You’ll want to think about where these photos will be used. Your website, Instagram, printed materials, sales pages, etc.?

If you have clear brand guidelines for what types of photos you want to take then it will ensure that all of your photos can always be used in any application.

Most big brands will define the style of photography down to exactly how they’re taken. Figuring this out ahead of time will make it easy to send your brand guidelines to your photographer before hand to make sure they shoot properly.

If you haven’t done this already, we believe it’s a vital first step before you create any visual content. Head over and grab our free Branding Guide Template and PDF that can help you set some rules for your brand. Or check out our blog post, “How to define your brand’s visual aesthetic” to get started.

Once you your branding guide dialed in, send it to your designer, photographer, team, and anyone who is helping you create content for your brand.


Yep, you read that right! Our signature system that we work through with our 1:1 clients goes just like this. They hire us to take photos, and then we coerce out of them hundreds of ideas of just what they want to talk about BEFORE we ever pick up a camera.

Say “NO MORE” to the following things:

  • Scrolling your photos to see what could be relevant to post today.

  • Leaving a photoshoot feeling like you go 30 variations of basically the same photo that you can’t really use because you don’t want a social feed of photos of you in the same outfit and setting.

  • Posting photos that don’t have anything to do with your caption.

It’s much more productive, and effective to go into the photoshoot knowing exactly what photos you need to get in order to go along with specific content. So we challenge you to try to create at least 30 days of content in 1 photoshoot. Instagram posts, emails, blogs, etc. already written BEFORE the shoot even happens.

You can totally do this on your own- but if you think you need a little extra help, contact us about scheduling a brandstorming session, or join the wait-list for our next “VOICE FIRST” group coaching program.

You can use an excel spreadsheet to list an outline of ideas, or even make placeholder images in Planoly, and actually write all of your captions before your shoot. Then, all you’ll have to do is pop those images into the right spots and the hardest part is already done!


There’s a few things you should think about here. Mostly the who/what/when/where/why type of stuff.

Take that list of content that you put together from tip #3 and then break down what you need to gather in order to create those images. How many lifestyle photos of yourself and your team do you need to fulfill these needs? That’s how many different outfits you should think about gathering.

What props do you need to get? Write out a props list and then start gathering items from around your house that go with your brand guidelines. Go shopping! Do you need any fresh flowers, fruit, etc.? Plan out what you can get now and what you need to gather on the day of the shoot.

Then make a list of all the locations you need to shoot in. Specifically which rooms in your home? The park, your favorite coffee shop, your gym? Whatever it is, create a schedule for the shoot down to the minute if possible. How can you be most efficient and knock out the most shots possible in one day?

If you’re hiring a photographer, ask them how much time they’ll need to setup in a new location if you’re moving around a lot. With our clients, we like to try our best to make one location look like as many different locations as possible by taking some super close-up shots, and some zoomed out/environmental shots to help mix up the scenes. A simple change of angles can do wonders! But we like to buzz through a shots list as quickly as possible leaving you with tons of fresh content that looks different, yet cohesive.

You may need to call ahead and find out rules about photographing in public places, or get model releases signed if you are using other people in your photos.

Just plan ahead as much as possible, and you won’t regret it! A well planned photoshoot is so much less stressful, and gets you the best bang for your buck at the end of the day.

Depending on the photographer that you choose to do this work for you, you’ll want to make sure to do much of the planning yourself. Especially if you’re hiring a portrait photographer because you love the style of their photography. Most likely, they are an excellent artist, but perhaps don’t specialize in this type of work. They’re used to delivering a set of photos that all go nicely together on a wall gallery- different variations of the same portrait. So you want to make sure and send them your plan ahead of time. Let them know that once you’ve got the shot, to “call it” and move on to the next one on the list. This isn’t about having the most artistic, perfect shot of you like if it were your wedding day or senior portrait session. It’s about marketing your business. So you’re therefor letting go of perfectionism, and going full boar on efficiency is where the magic happens!

Print off your list, get a highlighter handy, and start checking off content images like it’s your Christmas list on black Friday!