Starter Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Photo Shoots
Updated: Jun 5
This guide is the result of four photo shoots I had for Freedom2Sparkle over five years. I knew nothing about photo shoots back in 2017 with limited budget when I first started my jewellery business. I went in with soul on fire, courage in my heart and fearlessness in my belly.
I share with you what I learnt so that you can save time on trial and error and jump right in the productive mode.
Research and Write a Photo Shoot Creative Brief
Success is reserved for those who prepare. Research the hell out of the topic or the industry you are interested in and add your own unique element. When you first start off, there is no shame in adapting what your competitors are doing and make it your own. Stay up-to-date with current trends AND also stay loyal to what your vision is. So what do you need to include in the creative brief:
A Creative Brief should include the following:
Overview - to state the intention of the shoot - is it for a website, printed material, advertising etc - what message you want to communicate
Subject of the photo shoot - what are you going to shoot - engagement and wedding jewellery - diamond, ready to wear collection - pearls (different type of gemstones requires different kind of lighting for example)
Define the deliverables - how many photos, videos etc
Include reference photos - photos you see on magazines or online that wow you
Mood and Style - sassy and sexy, fresh and young, studio or outdoor shoot
Describe target audience - make full use of the expertise of the professionals that you are working with - see what they suggest and come up with
Find the Right People Who Complement You
There are a lot of excellent models, photographers and makeup artists out there but it does not mean all of them will work well with you. So how to find them?
Get yourself a marketing/advertising agent to find THE ONE for you
This marketing/advertising agent would have worked with tens and hundreds of models, photographers and makeup artists already and they will be able to recommend who is suitable to work with you based on your style and vision. And there is the importance of having a photo shoot creative brief comes in because you know what you want in your head and you also need to articulate your wants to the agent too.
Ask to see the samples/portfolio of the models, photographers and makeup artists' work
You think it is easy with Instagram and Facebook nowadays with samples and portfolio, right? WRONG. Ask to see what has been published recently. Then you know how up to date they are and what they are known for in the industry. No point of appointing a photographer for sassy and sexy pictures while he is known for shooting fresh and young projects.
At the end of the day, you know you got the right team when you see chemistry and sparks oozing out of the photos.
Embrace Ideas that Are Out of Your Comfort Zone
You don't know how far you can go until you step out of your comfort zone. Having your own business is to challenge your self limiting beliefs. Do not confuse gut feel and intuitions with risk adverse attitude. If simply repeating the same old things will bring people success then everyone will be doing it and will be successful. With easy and readily access to information, every market and every industry is flooded with newcomers who can see what the others are doing so go find your niche. Bring your personality into it. Because you can create the most unique designs, I can guarantee you a copy will appear in the next couple of weeks, if not couple of days. For most industries, the barrier to entry is not that high. The only unique thing is YOU. So BE THE BEST OF YOU.
So What Are You Waiting For?
It’s time for your readers to start applying what they have begun to master. Leave your reader feeling like they learned a lot. In this last section, you can write one or two paragraphs that remind your audience what they have learned; what are the first steps they can take to apply all your advice and coaching (i.e. make reservations to the perfect restaurants in Paris for an upcoming holiday; purchase vitamin supplements or make an appointment with a nutritionist; or check their SEO search engine rankings and keywords). Provide them the needed links (can be an affiliate) to get going and encourage them to soar.
If you have any questions after reading this, leave your comments below the post so that we can stay connected!