When I was shopping for a brand photographer for my own business, I inquired with someone who pulled out all the stops. From a brand strategy phone call to a fully planned shoot including hair and makeup and even an in-person reveal of my images. 
Her packages started at $1,200 for 10 images and went up from there. While it all sounded super luxury and appealing, I finally admitted, "I really just need some cute photos for my Instagram." 
This is who my packages were designed for. And while I don't offer a brand strategy phone call, I also don't want to leave you hanging with zero information from me. So below I'm sharing all my expertise on how to plan for a perfect shoot! From what to wear to what to expect to hair and make-up and everything in between!

BRANDING EDUCATION

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Identifying the style you're drawn to

A photographer's worst nightmare is to deliver a gallery and hear back that their client isn't happy. So before you even book a photographer, you should know what style you're drawn to and why. There are three main elements you should be on the lookout for when you're dreaming up your perfectly styled shoot! 

HOW TO SET YOURself UP FOR SUCCESS

The one thing I don't love that I hear over and over again is this:
"A good photographer can make anything look good!"
While it's true that a good photographer can make everything look better, they can only do so much. Also, you actually want your photographer focused on creativity and shooting rather than giving them extra tasks like working around a bad wardrobe or location. So take a page out of Shital's book and set you (and your photographer) up for some photo shoot success!

Follow Shital on Instagram @RespectYourGut

What time of day should you schedule your shoot?

When I show up to a shoot, the first thing I'm looking for is great light. Light is so important to me that if it comes down to a great background with bad light or a so-so background with great light, I will choose the so-so background every time. Why? Because I live by flattering light! (Seriously, scroll through my Insta, it's all soft, even lighting!) So if you have your heart set on a mural wall downtown or a kitchen with a West facing window, here's what you need to know to schedule your shoot around that gorgeous light!

What is a video background?

I've always loved seeing animated website backgrounds. Animated backgrounds aren't new but they're still seen as a unique wow factor on websites. Now you can add 4-6 second video clips to your session so you can further elevate your online presence! In this video I'll show several examples of what you can do with a video background on your own site!

How to make the most out of your session

As a photographer, it can be tempting to change your style to fit your client. While every photographer wants to please their client, shooting with a different eye can make the end product look manufactured and forced. It's important to me that my style of photography compliments your brand. That's where all that branding photography magic happens!  So in this 5th and final episode, we're going to talk about my style of shooting, working in interactive props to your session, and how to prepare for the best shoot ever!

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