Ep126 Getting the most from your brand photoshoot
The latest episode of Her Empire Builder is now out and it's all about how to optimise and maximise your photoshoot to get photos not only to help you do better in a live launch, but for the next three to six months of social media content and great website imagery.
Brand photography is so important. You use those photos throughout your social media, you use them on your website, which is why it's so important to have them up to date. There is one thing that can make or break your live launch, and that is your marketing. It's how you show up and how you connect which depends on your imagery and how much consistency you have with your brand and communicate that to your ideal customer.
I have a full checklist of everything that I am talking about today for you. Go to tinatower.com/photo where you can see some examples of brand photography and also a whole packing list for your next photo shoot.
In this episode, you will learn:
- The importance of having great imagery;
- How to communicate your brand through imagery;
- And what you need for your next photoshoot.
Photoshoot checklist: tinatower.com/photo
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You guys know, I love me a limited live launch. I go by the limited launch formula that eight days of live launching your programme connecting doors open, doors close, done. It's one of my favourite things to do and best ways to build online business. But there is one thing that can make or break your live launch. And that is your marketing. It's how you show up. It's how you connect. And it depends on your imagery and how much consistency you can have with your brand and communicate that to your ideal customer. And so much of that is made so much easier with high quality, great brand photography. But always, I'll talk to people and they'll go, you know, your photos look great, but I get this photoshoot, and I just get this whole roll of photos of me posing in different ways. How do I do it?
So today's episode is all about how to optimise and maximise your photoshoot to get photos not only to help you do better in a live launch, but for the next like three to six months of social media content and great website imagery.
I still remember the first time I ever got like headshots, like brand photography. And for me, that was when I was about two years into business. So 2006 and brand photography then was not what it is now. I remember, I've still got them. Actually, I will put one up with this episode on Instagram stories because it is hilarious. And I look like such a baby, but they're all on a white wall, which you know, I'm a big fan of a white background. But they're all kind of cropped at those headshot sizes. And it's just me smiling, like just smiling, not doing any facial expressions, any variations, not any different body language and head tilts and no props. And I mean, anyone would have thought I was a fool at that stage for using props. But I laugh at that because now my brand is so recognisable because of the way that I do photoshoots. And you could do a photoshoot that is so different to how I do it. But the way that you actually get the benefit from it is that consistency and being able to articulate your brand message through those images, which can be done so simply.
So brand photography is so important. You use those photos throughout your social media, you use them on your website, and you want to have them up to date. I mean, I know that when I came back from my round the world trip, I've been using the same brand photos for about three years and I had adrenal fatigue at the end of my journey when I sold my last company and I gained a stack of weight. And you know, it's it's something that was polarising at the time, because all of my brand photos and all of the photos that I sent when I was a speaker or when I was applying for different things or being on someone's podcast and do different stuff was all with those old photos. And it looked like you know, I would show up to do the speaking engagement. And I'd see people like do a bit of a look up and down and be like, ah, it looks like Tina ate Tina. Like what happened here! And so I had to get all new photos done. And I remember doing that photoshoot and going I hated it. Because I was so much heavier than I was before. But to me it was more important to look like how for my photos to look like how I looked then. And so I got that all done. And the photos were absolutely fantastic. It's just you know, other people don't know what's going on inside our own heads. And the biggest reason that I say people put off really great brand photoshoots is because they go, you know what, I'll just lose five kilos, and then I'll get it done. Or I think I might cut my hair first, or I might do like, there's always some reason to put it off. But what I would implore you to do is get one done, I get mine done, like every three to six months now.
Now, in our business with online courses, I am the product and it's highly likely if you're listening to this, you may be the product of your business as well. Even if you're not even like a girlfriend of mine that does such incredible brand photography is Skye Anderton who runs a company called Ruby Olive, which is a jewellery company. Look it up her brand photography, this will show you what good photography does for your business. And Skye will say she had a massive turning point in her business when she embraced the power of a good photoshoot. And she really embraced that silliness, and that colour, and that fun and just let herself and her team, so it's not just her, but let that shine through in the photos. And that is the key to a good photoshoot is to just be you. Whether you are feeling like you're having a fat year or skinny year, or trendy year or whatever it is that's going on, be You. You know, for me, I was chatting with one of my clients. And she's like, you know, I can't do the brand photography like you do it. I don't want to wave pom poms. I don't want to throw confetti. And this is the thing you don't have to. You have to do you. And that is the key to how it permeates throughout all of the other areas is figuring out okay, what do you want it to look like and then go from there.
So I have a full checklist of everything that I am talking about today for you, you can go to tinatower.com/photo, so no “s”, tinatower.com/photo. And then you can see some examples of brand photography. And I also have for you there a whole packing list for your next photo shoot, and all of the photos that you should get when you are on your next photo shoot. That's going to make it nice and easy for you as a reference sheet. But let me talk about what we're going to be doing now.
So one of the biggest things when you get to your photoshoot is getting over that discomfort. Now that took me, I think my last photo shoot was the first time that I had done that, usually, I will spend a good 30 to 40 minutes acting like a pork chop, just going, you know, like not being relaxed and feeling like a fool and not giving my best and it takes me a little bit of time to relax. But what that means is that I've wasted that time that we could have got like another 50 great shots. But instead I'm there going, I feel silly, Oh, like you know. Get yourself in the right state beforehand and usually that's done with good music, you might bounce on a trampoline for a bit, whatever it is like psych up and get ready, because it comes across that energy comes across in those photos as well. So see what you can do to get over discomfort to kind of get over your own self judgement and mind and just go you know what, I'm just going to do this, and I'm going to do it the best I can. And I'm just going to twirl. And I'm going to do all the things that I want to do. And let's go for it. Because that your your photos will thank you for when you get your photos back and you're like, Oh, you know they were really good is usually if you were relaxed, and you could like really feel into it and do all of the different things when you get them back and you're like oh, not really sure about that it might have been because you're a bit stiff. And you couldn't really relax into the different things. So don't underestimate your discomfort will come through those photos. So it's really important to be able to breathe, and take that deep breath and let it go feel that music, get that vibe going. And just and same with the clothes.
So clothes are really important. I will oscillate between two different things. I go either really light clothes like white and grey, so that I can put it on coloured background. Or I go like the crazy loud colourful clothes, which I'm obsessed with on white backgrounds. And so you want to think about your brand colours that you know sometimes I'll see people wear a leopard print top for a photoshoot that doesn't go with their branding at all. So if you've got your brand board done, and you know what your key colours are, get some clothes that are in some of those key colours so that when you're putting those photos on social media and when you're putting those photos on your website, it all comes across together. It all looks like it's nice and succinct, all in the one.
So first thing you want to do though, is pick a good photographer. So I always, you know, I don't use the same photographer all of the time. Because when you're really clear about what you want, most photographers can get that, but you want to look for a photographer that has a couple of things. The first thing is that they're good to work with. It doesn't matter how good their photos are, if they don't make you feel comfortable, then it's never going to work. So you want someone that's going to be nice to work with, that's going to encourage you that you're going to want to vibe with throughout that. And then you want to look at their packages. So what I mean by that is back in the day, I mean, even a lot of photographers is still doing it now. And this is why I include it to make sure that you get the right package that's going to work for you and your business is photographers will say well, I'll give you you know, 10 photos, or 30 photos, or whatever it is. Now if you're putting in all of the effort for a photoshoot, and you're three hours of photo shoot time, as well as all the preparation and getting your hair done, and your makeup done, and your clothes and all of the things. You want all those photos, every single one that is clicked, you want that. And so that is something that I always make sure that I get in my photography packages. These, yes, like choose your top 10, 20, 30, whatever it is to get retouched, that are going to be like your hero photos for your website or for your launch and different things that you're doing. But you also want that dump from the card of every photo. Because what that does, is it gives you all of the different variations so that when you're mapping out your social media, which you do. I'm a big fan of batching content. So we'll sit down and do like the whole month or the whole 90 days worth of social media content. You can pick out those photos and you've got a heap of things in your library that you can use for different things. It also means if you're like me, and you're running your own podcast every week, you're going to need a different photo for that podcast cover. So you need lots and lots and lots of photos. So just getting that small amount for your website isn't going to cut it, you need to have all the photos because we do need to put so many in so many different places. And you can edit them yourself. So you can get an app, I use Lightroom on my phone. So it's an Adobe programme that you can get presets with. So presets are just like the colour filters. So I kind of lighten and brighten all of mine. So I kind of like you know, you know the look, you know the look, if you follow me on social media, you know the look. Everything's light, everything's bright. But you can do, you know, a lot of people have the beautiful romantic like candlelight-y filter over it, or the really cool like instagrammy look. So whatever your look is, I mean, one of my clients is just just black, white and gold and man, her photos look amazing, couldn't be more polar opposite to mine. But they look amazing because she's true to her brand. And so everything that seamlessly works perfectly together. So you want to get that photographer, you want to make sure that they're going to because how you feel about them will come across in the photos. Like you want someone behind that lens going, Oh my gosh, you look amazing. Okay, laugh this way, laugh that way, like give you some direction and not feel like you're putting them out. That's the worst when you're there and you're like, oh, sorry, can I just get another couple or sorry to bother you can we go at this angle and they make you feel like, you know, you're putting them out the whole time. That's not going to get the best photos from you. So you want to be able to get a good vibe with the photographer, have someone who's willing to dump all their imperfect shots. And this is the thing, photographers are creative and love their art and as they should. So sometimes they'll be really reluctant to give you the photos unpolished because they're like, Oh, I don't want them to look bad. So you got to be able to, you know, reassure them and tell them how much you love the photo. And that you're going to make them look good in there as well. So you want to do that. Get your photographer have them define your goals of the photo shoot. So what are you getting the photoshoot done for? Is it so that you've got them for launch? If you've got a launch coming up? Is it all new website photography? What sort of photos do you need? And then who do you need this? So are you going to have some of your team? Are you going to have your pets? You know how, who do you need this so that you can get that all organised. You're gonna have the kids there, have that all sorted out so that you can start really going okay, this is who I need, this is where, this is when. Then you can book in your hair and makeup and booking a location.
Now let's talk about location for a moment. So for most of my photoshoots I have traditionally booked an Airbnb for that. Because I love, well, I never have any photos inside of my own house. I am having my next photoshoot inside my office. So for my office I have, don’t know if anyone's seen it on instagram but I have a three bedroom cottage that we've painted pink. And so it's a pretty good photo location. So I'm going to have my next photo shoot there. But I've always kept the inside of my house private. And so I'll rent an Airbnb. So you can have like those shots at the kitchen bench sipping on a coffee or at the dining table or on the lounge chair or whatever it is. And you make yourself a little like pseudo set. So you don't need a big area to take photos in. So even if you've got, you know, a room in your house, and you can push everything, like all the furniture, all the personal stuff all to the side, and you've got a bit of a white wall behind you, you can put like a little coffee table and a couple of things on it, like make your own set for that. And you may want a combination of inside and outside shots. Or you may have some at the beach, or you may have some grungy ones like in the streets of Melbourne in the laneways. Like think about what sort of vibe you want to have that's going to match with them. One of my clients, Alyssa Scott just did this amazing photoshoot. She's really like embracing her rock star roots. And she did it in this really dark place with like guitars and it just looked so cool and she's so cool. So like, it's got to reflect who you are, and illuminate those parts that you want to project to the world as your brand. So that works really well. So really set the mood. I love Pinterest for that. So I love to go into Pinterest and go through and just save photos from people that I'm like, you know what, I want to replicate this photo because I'm not natural. I have like one face naturally. And that's like that. You can't see my face right now. But it's like, you know, the big laugh kind of face big laugh eyes up, that is my like, go-to for photoshoots. But I don’t have, if I was an actor, they'd say you don't have very much range. I cannot ,you guys oh my gosh, I cannot do a straight face. I have tried. And I look like a queen bitch. I have like the worst resting bitch face. And you look at it. And I'm like trying to do like this serene, straight face. And then you look at the photo, you're like, Oh my god, I look so mad.
So he wouldn't be able to go, you know, what are the shots that are going to work for you and the mood? And the reason that I saved them on Pinterest is I'll see different people do things with their arms or with their legs or like different poses. And because I don't naturally do that, because hello, were business women not models, it's easy to look at the Pinterest board and look at those photos, and then just emulate that. So go, Okay, so my hands here, my head's going this way, my eyes are going that way. Or I can do that. So that will make it way easier for you if you spend that bit of preparation time, so that you can have a guide to help you through and not waste some time.
Then pick the outfits. So I would choose at least three outfits for your shoot, don't choose too many. You don't want to be you know, changing all day. Three outfits usually works really, really well. And it's why I like to have either white or black in there too is because when if you wear those plain clothes as well, you can use them for different things. So like when you're making social media tiles, and you're putting them on Canva, you can remove the background, and you can make the backgrounds whatever colour you want, or put an image another image in the background. So there's a lot of versatility that you can use. So don't go, don't go too nuts with the outfits because you won't get through them all three outfits in three hours is quite a lot. So yeah, three outfits, pick the ones that you're going to want to represent your brand. So thinking of the colours, thinking at the vibe, thinking of the mood, same with the jewellery, as well, all of that will come across in your photoshoot.
So then you want to think where are you going to put the photos? What do you actually need them for? So for a lot of people, it's going to be social media. And for that, I like to have lots and lots of different photos. But for the website, you're going to want to think about, so when I go into a photo shoot, and this is on the checklist as well so if you haven't got that tinatower.com/photo, you're going to want to have that checklist there so that you can go Okay, what do I want this to look like? So it's something like the homepage, when someone first goes onto your website? What do you want that to look like? So do you want it to be colourful? Do you want it to be light, do you want to be serious? Do you want to have your eyes or your arms crossed? Do you want to be having fun? How do you want that to look? And then if you think about that, take the photo purposefully for that page. And that's the way I usually do all of my hero banners on my website pages if the photo has been taken purposefully for that part of the website. So like your “About you” part on your homepage, you're going to have a little block there that's a little bit of an about you abbreviation before they click into the full about page. What do you want that photo to be remembering that that's going to be a lot of people's first impression of you. What do you want that to represent? Then you're going to have your about page, your contact page, each of your courses is going to have a hero one at the top of the sales page. So that's super important. You're going to have a welcome page. So when you, when someone makes a purchase from you always is the most nerve wracking part. They're thinking, have I done the right thing? I've just given this person my money, can they deliver on the transformation promise, they're taken over to that welcome page. And that's where traditionally I will have my photo, throwing confetti in the air or popping champagne and being like “Woohoo!” because you want people to get excited. So you know, you want to think about that and have those props there for that. Your podcast, if you're going to podcast, you know, are you having one, do you go like me, like me, I can dork everything up, I go full dork, I just embrace it. And I've got my podcast, headphones on and my mic there. And I'm just like, Oh, yeah, we're ready. And then video cover images, too. So if you're using kajabi, like me, every time you put a video up, it's gonna want a photo for the still of that. And so sometimes I'll grab a screen grab of that video, but often, I will put a photo on the top just for the aesthetics of the page in there as well.
And then on our checklist, we also have a full list of handy shots for socials. Because you want to have like a photo bank that you can use that is going to have all sorts of random photos in it, that you can take and use for all of the different promotions that you've got going on. So you know, you need your traditional headshots. Definitely, of course. But then you also want some like pointing in different directions. And you may be like, you know what, Tina, I don't do the whole pointy, pointy thing. But when you are doing Canva image tiles, and I'm a massive Canva lover. When you're doing that, and you've got like an announcement to make, if you've got a shot that just pointing at the side, it's gonna draw so much attention to it. So it's worth having them at just in case they don't take long to just click, click, click, click, as you point in each direction. You know, typing on the laptop, the computer smiling and pulled back now, so pulled back at each side of the frame. Now, why I do that is you want to have some close up photos. But you also want to have pulled back photos with a lot of whitespace around them so that it can give you the freedom to do different things. So for example, say you're doing a website banner or like a webinar, slide or something like that, you're going to want you at the side. And so if you've got something in the frame where you pull back and you're at the side, then you don't have to do the Remove background thing, you can just have the whole photo in the back with you at each side of the frame. So you want to get different ones there. So you want to have a boss looking formal photo, you get some typing on your phone or holding your phone, and then embrace the props. I know, depending on, you know what sort of branding you are, the props aren't always a good thing. But if you've got other things in the cat in the frame, it can relax you but it can also show the elements of your personal brand as well. So things like having your your headphones having having like a signboard that you can write things on your pets, flowers, your workbooks, different products that you've got, if you've written books, like all of that sort of stuff, even your favourite books, having your things in the background of the photos, gives it more of that personal vibe in there as well. So, yeah, you want to make sure you've got all of that in all of the different ways. And then you've got purposeful images that are taken for your launch.
And then it comes down to storing them all. So when we make our photo bank, we've got a photo bank with just all of the photos that are in there. And then we store and burn. So we keep them all in that photo bank. And then once they're used on social media, they're deleted. Because we can't use them again, they kind of like, you know, they're really and this is why photoshoots is so important. It's so that you can get that volume of photos, and then keep them there and then they're gone, they're gone, they're gone, they're gone. So when you use them, and people will do it in opposite ways, some people find it easy to get all the photos and then write a caption for social media based on that photo. Other people find it easier to write the captions, and then take the photo to match the caption. I am the first way so when I do my photo shoot, I will take all different types of photos like you know, I'm sitting there with my journal dreaming into the sky or I'm there staring into my cup of coffee lovingly, like we all do for coffee, you know all of the different poses. And then when I go to write my social media captions, I'll look at the photos and something will like draw out to me something will go, Yeah, I want to write about that. And so it'll trigger something and then I can write the caption or the story from that photo.So you want to be able to get them put them all in one spot.
So to wrap up, grab the checklist to Tina tower.com forward slash photo and book in your next photo shoot and try and let loose. And I promise you, you will see the massive benefit of really embracing who you are letting your beautiful inner light shine through. And just making it all look spectacular and all consistent in there. Your future self will thank you, I promise, have the best day and go and say cheese. That was so cheesy.