17 tips
how to prepare for a branded business photoshoot

1. Get to know with the photographer. If that is your first cooperation, have a meeting first over a cup of tea and some cake. It’s time to discuss your expectations and ideas. You definitely need to let him/her know what the photos will be used for. Good relation with the photographer will allow lowering the stress level significantly on the day of the session. If the photographer visits the place of photoshoot before, he will be able to think about the concept and prepare the equipment.

2. Order a mobile makeup artist – unfortunately, not everything may be mastered with a Photoshop. Unfortunately, photographic lamps highlight everything: scars, acne, skin blemishes, etc. That is why it is worth to minimize or totally eliminate that type of imperfections. A nice makeup will hide the flaws and will give you (the models) the confidence. You shall definitely warn the makeup artist that it is a business session so that she/he could prepare proper cosmetics. Apply an expressive makeup (it always fades a little in the photos), yet a natural one, not exaggerated. Two days before the photo session make a delicate face peeling, and a moisturising face mask the day before. If your hands are visible in the picture, it is worth to have a nice manicure.

3. A hairdresser is also a good idea, however, that is an extra expense. As far as a makeup artist is a must-have, the hairdresser is someone to be thought over.

4. Prepare an inspiration board for the photographer and makeup artist with some photos in the style that you like. Personally I like bright frames, elegant, yet not official stylisation, moments as if they were “caught” at work, girl boss type. Such neutral colours are also easy to place in various marketing materials – from the webpage to a leaflet – as basically everything matches with them.

5. Think the garment over, you may get inspired by the photos from Instagram or Pinterest.

6. Determine where the session will be organised and manage the place for that day. I assume that it will be your office, so the “management” will include hiding the papers, de-dust the laptops and tables of small dirt and put the cups and glasses away, place a vase with some fresh flowers. Generally, the less of everything, the better. We do not want messy frames, in this case, the minimalism is the advantage.

7. Think the garment over and prepare 2-3 outfits (the photographer will surely advise you on that). First of all, you will get differentiated photos because of that. In the second place, simply in one outfit, you may look better than in the other. I wouldn’t choose very official outfits like a white blouse + pencil skirt, so as not to get the effect of “an accountant from stock photos”. A simple, classic cut and good, non-shimmering fabrics. Avoid big, black pieces of clothing. Choose the clothes which are fitted (not too tight and not too big), and in which you feel confident and beautiful. You may take the selected clothes to the laundry to be sure they are 100% clean and carefully ironed, or take care of that at home. Put the clothes on right before taking photos.

Do not forget about classic, clean, elegant shoes with a covered heel and toes. Jewellery needs to be discreet unless one of your team members wears the “statement jewellery” on a daily basis. Then one, an expressive element which reflects his/her character shall be put in the photo. Pendant earrings are certainly out.

8. Prepare the gadgets: a laptop, a mobile, a calendar, a pen, a leather briefcase, a nice cup, fresh flowers, books, a clock, an armchair or a desk. Everything should harmonise with the image you want to present. A splash of colour looks well too: e.g. pink high-heeled shoes, red (or distinguishing) glasses frames, a yellow scarf.

9. Take some time –  do not plan any other tasks for the session day. Time pressure does not encourage either creativity nor good pics.

10. Get some good sleep the night before.

11. Have a hairbrush/ a comb, hairspray, mattifying powder with a brush and a lint roller.

12. Try to keep the details in mind, pay attention to each other: something in your teeth (a lipstick or food), sticking out hair, folds, stains, a ragged heel. These are small things, yet they are extremely striking in the photos and sometimes really good shots go to the trash can because of details.

13. Probably there is no good answer to the question of how many pics are necessary. I usually provide the Clients with 20-25 photos when making the session of a single person. I think that with three people that would be about 40-50 photos. Although I know that some photographers’ pay is based on the number of shoots, so such a big number of photos may be quite expensive. Ask your photographer if she/he allows you to have an insight into “raw” photos to select favourite frames yourself and if it is possible to buy some more in the future. The thing is that the photographers often price not the session, yet the number of delivered, processed photos. In such a case you may take, for instance, 20 photos now and order some more after a few months for example. That needs to be determined at the very beginning though, so as the photographer does not remove the unused material.

14. The photographer will help you with posing on the spot. Nevertheless, you should remember about universal principles: smile, be straight, head up.

15. Prepare a list of shoots that you want to take, e.g. with the photos from the Internet, Instagram, Pinterest. It will enable you to control the session and the work.

16. Ask questions if you feel insecure or need guidance, etc. during the session. Behave naturally, being “a stiff” does not look well in the photos.

17. Do not forget to simply have fun, and make a toast of champagne at the end!