I’ve coordinated, styled and modeled for some photoshoots in the past, but I knew that I needed more polished, professional “working” pictures.
Before leaving for France, I had an amazing photoshoot in Connecticut for the blog. It took some careful planning and preparation to think of the different shots I needed, so here are the steps I followed to plan an effective (and fun!) photoshoot.
Identify the specific purposes of the photos
It’s an obvious first step, but it helps to think of how you will be using the images.
Are you refreshing your website with a new look? Do you want new profile pictures? Need “stock photos” to use across all of your social platforms? Do you plan on printing these images or are they will be used in a digital presence only?
In order to meet whatever your needs are, will you need more portrait-style photos? Horizontal? Both?
… You want to think about these questions before shooting instead of after.
Find inspiration from influencers
To give the photoshoot more direction, it’s best to do some quick research to figure out the style you want for your photos and the types of angles you would like to capture.
I looked through the “Photos I’ve Liked” on Instagram, then flipped through some of the profiles I consistently liked to find some shots.
For the most part, I build my Instagram like an archive for tips on fashionable travel, visual styling, blogging, etc., interspersed with rose, champagne cocktails and plenty of Millennial humor memes—I don’t care that I follow more Instagram accounts than the number of followers.
The Rising Tide Society, Jess Ann Kirby, Drunk on Shoes, Bourbon & Honey Co., Paris in Four Months, The Frye Company
Select the right venues
I chose two places that I spent a lot of time in Wilton— my favorite local coffee shop and the library across the street. Tusk & Cup was an obvious choice for its natural light and relaxed “freelancer at work” vibe. As for the library, white brick wall exterior offered a versatile, yet clean backdrop.
Always double check where you shoot to make sure that it’s okay! When the photos are posted, be sure to tag the venues on social media in the image caption as a polite thank-you.
Choose a photographer through a trusted network
I connected with Donna Cheung Photography through a creative entrepreneur network called The Rising Tide Society. I posted on the RTS Facebook group wall by introducing myself, my brand, the purpose for my photoshoot and included a link of a past photoshoot on Ocean Drive in Newport, Rhode Island with Maaike Bernstrom Photography.
I wanted to work with Donna because her portfolio (and Instagram account) showcased her talent; her photography style complemented my brand aesthetic; and her very quick response to my query! Once Donna and I began communicating via email, I sent her the inspiration photos I collected so she knew the specific types of shots that I needed.
If you want to collaborate with others and expect to have positive communication, set the example for being polite, clear and open!
I brought my laptop and some of my favorite Parisian books, then bought a bouquet of flowers and a mint mocha to accessorize. I also used my iPhone and Fair Trade leather bag by FASHIONABLE.
When I worked on styling fashion photoshoots at Laura Jean Denim and Maaike Bernstrom, I learned how thoughtful props can tie the vision together. Props can also help your images stand out from the rest by creating personal snapshots of you and your brand.
Layer for simple outfit changes
It’s nice to have a slight variation in your photos, especially if you plan on posting the photos over time. Neutrals are always a safe option, but make sure you pick pieces that are a more elevated basic and slightly more interesting than a basic white button down shirt.
I wore a black bomber jacket over a white eyelet shirt at Tusk & Cup, then also brought a second outfit change for the library after getting shots of the white eyelet shirt against the white brick.
I think the last outfit was probably my favorite—I only wish that I took off the vest for a few photos!
Thanks to Donna, Tusk & Cup and the Wilton Library!