Every successful brand photographer knows how to tell a story using four simple setups. Here’s what you need to know before your next shoot! (Photographs: MEG MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY)
Unlike straightforward headshots or pretty portraits, brand photography is all about story – your client’s story, that is. As a brand photographer, your job is to impart your client’s unique brand message through photographs of their product, services, and customer experience.
Are you ready to learn the four pose setups every successful brand photographer uses?
Once you have these down, you’ll create fantastic images your clients love – every time.
#1: At-Work Images (the starting point for every brand photographer)
Clients get nervous. Even when they really shouldn’t be. For the best results, start with a setup that requires very little of your subject: pictures of them doing what they do best.
Take your client’s mind off your lens, and refocus them on their craft! Whether they paint, cook, surf, or have succeeded at professional napping, they need images of them hard at work. Begin with these fun photos, and set the tone for a terrific brand session.
It’s okay if you’ll take some of the action images later in the day. Find a way to start with on-location photographs that communicate what your client does – and how much they love doing it!
The only time you may need to give your client some guidance is if they look unhappy at their work. But instead of telling them to smile (like a mom giving her toddler the come-to-Jesus talk), engage them with light banter and fun conversation. For a smiling-with-laptop photo like the one above, key up a hilarious video or tell them about the time your former co-worker accidentally broadcast their “private video” on all of the company televisions.
#2: Practical Portraits (keep it short and sweet)
Every business owner needs a collection of simple, straightforward portraits. They’ll use these with press releases, in blog articles, for magazine features, and on their social media. Quickly make these portraits in a relevant location that imparts some aspect of your client’s personality or profession.
If your client seems at-ease, invite them to look this way or that way, to lean forward, to put their weight on one hip or the other, and generally to relax. This is an excellent segue into more informal, innovative portrait-making.
#3: Get Close (abstracts are awesome)
Showcase your client’s creativity with a series of close-up images. These might be portraits, or they could be abstract images of the work they create. Images like these are stunning as a website background, on social media, or as part of a larger article about their work experience.
If you can photograph your client and their product or craft in the same close-up frame, you’ll score extra points! A personal brand is all about the person behind the brand, so include your client in as many product images as possible (unless they’ve requested otherwise.)
#4: Move It, Move It (you can’t be a brand photographer if you don’t keep things going)
From at-work images to practical portraits to close-ups, the obvious next step is to capture some movement. Jump shots are cute if the brand is right, but there are many ways to incorporate movement into your work as a brand photographer.
Wide angles make for beautiful storytelling, with the environment taking center stage. Encourage your client to move through that environment, and you have a story on your hands!
Complex movements aren’t necessary. Focus on motion that looks and feels natural in a photograph. A dedicated brand photographer will get their client relaxed to the point that it won’t seem far-fetched when you ask them to spin, lean, walk, run, or attempt flight. (Though we don’t recommend that last one.)
What are your go-to pose setups as a brand photographer?
Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by MEG MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY