How to Prep For a Photoshoot

How to Prep for a Brand Photoshoot

When clients approach us at IDCO we often hear “I want my Instagram feed to look like yours,” or “I want my website to look like this one.” When we ask for a little more detail and specific examples of what they like most about those things, we’re usually able to pin point it to one thing: professional photography.

At IDCO, we’re good at what we do. But no matter how well we build a website, or how beautifully we design a logo, the final result will fall short with poorly lit, low-quality photos. Quality photography is an element we require from our clients. We ask that they provide their own professional photography, or select photos from our awesome stock photo account.


Because professional quality photos will help justify higher price points for your services or products, drive more traffic to your site, and will likely be the deciding factor for a potential client to hire you or not when they land on your Instagram page.

Your Brand Photos will make your audience feel the soul of your brand. Quality photos are non-negotiable.

We’ve been helping clients prep for a photoshoot for a while now – and it seems like we’ve had a shoot every week lately! For today’s Pep Talk, we’re walking you through how to best prepare for your Brand Photo Shoot – no matter what industry you’re in, to ensure you have the best images for your website, social media and marketing materials.

Brand Photo Shoot Checklist

  • Schedule Photographer

  • Schedule Hair + Makeup

  • Create Your Shot List (see below for how-to)

  • Send Photographer Brand Mood Board

  • Create a Story for Photographer (see next page for breakdown)

  • Create Prop List

  • Shop for Props

  • Purchase Any Perishables Day Before

What Is A Shot List?

Your Brand Photo Shoot will be most efficient if you put in a little homework before. By researching exactly what type of photos you think you’ll need, your photographer will be able to deliver better photo options. If you’re working with a web designer, check with them before hand to see what orientation photos they’d like to incorporate. Typically, we’d recommend horizontal photos for your website, and vertical shots for your social media. Below, we’ve got a breakdown of what you should plan for.

  • 60% vertical photos / 40% horizontal photos

  • Vertical for Instagram + Pinterest

  • Horizontal for Website + Blog Posts

  • Headshots in at least 3 different scenes

  • Flatlay style environment shots

  • Product Shots (if applicable)


Setting the Scene

BEGIN WITH SCENES: Where is this taking place? (in an office, bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc.) What is going on in the scene? (Are you sipping something, browsing online, packing a bag, drawing etc?) What vibe do you want the scene to have? (casual vs. formal, organized vs. disheveled)

THEN ASSIGN PROPS: Based on the answers to the questions above, assign a variety of props that work with your defined scene and stick to your brand mood board. Look for a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. We really recommend selecting props that compliment your brand colors, and just adding POPS of color pulled directly from your branding in each shot. It keeps it cohesive, subtle, and adds longevity to your images.

DETERMINE THE PURPOSE OF THE IMAGE: Do you need particular mockup images? (screens, paper, stationery, lists) Do you need specific dimensions of images? (banners, headers, buttons) Think about the online and print platforms on which you are hoping to use the images.

Have any questions? We’d love to help! Leave them in the comments below + we’ll help with any styling, scheduling, or planning questions you may have. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!


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  1. Harshita Dhankani says:

    Just discovered the blog. Sometimes you find correct things at the correct time. You were just that for me. Great blog read a few posts. Very useful.
    So, with me I am an fresher interior designer generally doing renovations or rebuilding spaces. I haven’t documented my designs now I choose to photograph them. What can be done now,since the spaces are set up according to the user?







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