The 2 Things Holding You Back from a Successful Product Photoshoot!
Things come up. Whether it’s waiting on rebranded labels, shipping problems, or damaged products, there are lots of random issues that can cause problems with your photoshoot.
However, as a product photographer, I’ve noticed there are 2 specific things that seem to come up pretty regularly to keep small business owners from getting the results they were hoping for from their product photoshoot.
So here’s what they are and how you can combat them to have the best product shoot possible.
1. Clear Vision
The first recurring problem I see is business owners not communicating a clear vision, both of their brand and their marketing objectives.
Before you start planning your photoshoot with your photographer, you need to be very clear about your brand so you have the ability to describe it well and make good decisions about key elements like backgrounds, props, etc. It’s like the old saying about if you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know what you need to get there. If you’re fuzzy about your brand, your communication and choices won’t represent it well and your photographer won’t know how to capture it visually.
One way to deal with the need for clear brand communication is to establish an ongoing relationship with a trusted photographer. Once you’ve worked on really sharing your brand ideas with this person, they can carry over the vision you have around your brand from photoshoot to photoshoot. And in this way you can establish a productive image creation rhythm instead of attempting to communicate your brand over and over again with different photographers.
You’ll also want to spell out your marketing goals for the photoshoot, because understanding how you intend to use your images will help your photographer know how to set things up. If you’re going to have your pictures on Instagram Stories and Pinterest as well as Facebook and an Instagram feed, then your photographer will know you’re going to need both vertical and horizontal layouts. If you’re wanting to add text to an image, your photographer can leave space for that. Clearly articulating what will happen with the photos lets your photographer shoot images you can successfully use.
2. Creative Direction
The second thing I’ve noticed that can often hold business owners back from a successful product shoot is not allowing creative direction from the photographer. Sometimes people will come into a photoshoot wanting to control all the details and with a very specific idea of what they want. The problem with this approach is that it can feel very suffocating to a creative individual like your photographer, and you lose out on all the helpful input they would have. You don’t want your photographer to just snap photos. You want them to help you make images that are beautiful and unique to your brand and show off all of the detail, time, and hard work you put into making your products.
So how do you avoid negatively micromanaging and move toward co-creating with your photographer? Instead of having a set shot list already definitively outlined for your photographer, you could try using photo concepts instead. For example, you could have some suggestions on groupings of products that you might like to have in an image together. It’s also great to have ideas about props and backgrounds you think might look good. If there are things that you feel passionately about showing up in your images, make sure to to tell your photographer. Then leave some space for their creative expertise to assist you in bringing those ideas to life.
I get people coming to me all the time because they didn’t get what they needed from another photographer, and no one wants to spend money on an unsuccessful product shoot. So remember that clarifying your brand and marketing goals to your trusted photographer and communicating your image concepts and priorities without being married to all the specifics will go a LONG way toward happy image outcomes. You probably won’t end up with images that are perfectly, 100% aligned with everything last thing you were envisioning, but you can get very close and have awesome images by doing these simple things.
And speaking of marketing goals, my friend, Kayla from Ivory Mix Stock Photography, and I have set up an amazing Facebook group for our 90-day goal challenge. Whether your goals are in marketing or other areas of your business, we want to support you in setting and reaching those goals. We even have a 90-day challenge workbook to help you plan everything out. And because OUR goal is to give you the opportunity to further your business and learn from the mistakes we’ve made, all of this is ABSOLUTELY FREE. You can start at any time, so we hope you’ll hop into the group and let us know what we can do to help you and your business!
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