How to Conduct Your Own Marketing Campaign Photoshoot

Photography is very important in branding, marketing, and advertising. It’s extremely important for retail or wholesale businesses that sell products or offer services. It may be the deciding factor of a buyer who discovers your website, social media account, or store location. This post will help you understand the elements that go into planning, prepping, and executing a photoshoot so your photo galleries, portfolios, and marketing materials are visually appealing to your target market.  

How to Conduct Your Own Marketing Campaign Photoshoot

We’ll cover the following:

  • The Vision
  • The Plan
    • Creating a Budget
    • Creating the Looks
    • Possible Locations
    • Creating Your Team
    • Prepping for the Photoshoots
    • The Day of the Photoshoot
    • After the Photoshoot

This post will also explain what to do after you have completed your photoshoots.


The Vision

Our visions of how we want to capture our business helps us decide how we will execute our photoshoots, when to have our photoshoots, and where to position the final photos once we receive them. Photoshoots can be on-location at a place that has dynamic scenery. For example, if you are selling winter scarfs, hats, and gloves, you may envision a snowy scene or a fall setting. Or, if you are offering car repair services, you may envision your photoshoot inside or in front of a garage. [Psst! Lifestyle photos are more appealing than simply capturing the product that you are selling and promoting the photo. Remember, you have to tap into the buyer imagination so lifestyle photos help them envision easier. Be sure to create a scenic photo.]

However you envision the photoshoot, it is important to make a plan before preparing, scheduling, or recruiting your team. Consider these questions when envisioning your photoshoots:

  • How many products, pieces, services, or items do you want to capture?
  • Where would you like to shoot these photos?
  • Do you need professional models? If so, how many?
  • Do you need accessories?
  • Do you need props? (This can be anything that would make your photo seem real such as luggage, picture frames, mirror, decorations, etc.)
  • Do you need a hairstylist, makeup artist, or wardrobe stylist?
  • How are you going to use these photos? Are they generic portfolio photos that show what you have to offer in your shop or store, marketing photos, etc.?
  • Are these photos specifically geared towards a celebration, season, or theme?

Create a vision board for the photoshoot(s) you would like to have. Use magazines to provide pictures for your board. You can also create a Pinterest board to capture what appeals to you. Any picture that has a great concept that can contribute to your vision should be cut out and posted to your board with a caption of why the photo inspires you. Pictures can be retrieved for its colors, location, styling, model poses, lighting, decorations or anything that you like.

Creative ideas for photoshoots can be birthed by using popular celebration, holidays, or themes such as:

  • Anniversaries & Birthdays (Birthday of the company)
  • Back to School
  • Date Night
  • Halloween
  • National Holidays
  • Seasons
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Weddings

Remember, you can use this process to create individual photoshoots. Planning photoshoots for marketing and advertising can become overwhelming if you don’t stay organized. Creating a plan and a vision board helps bring your vision to life!


The Plan

Create a Budget

Create a budget that is feasible for your business. Your budget will consist of preparation for the photoshoot and paying the team to bring your vision to life. Be reasonable with your budget and consider all things that you can do yourself to avoid unnecessary costs. Cut costs only when necessary. There are two types of photoshoots that you can choose from which are trade for print (TFP) or paid photoshoots.

A TFP photoshoot is great for all parties involved. Each team member brings their product or service to the table, for free, to make the photoshoot a success. Once the photoshoot is completed, every team member can use the picture(s) for their business. A disadvantage of TFP photoshoots is the lack of cooperation of team members such as disagreements on the vision, team members not showing up to the photoshoot or not performing at their full potential. A great resource for TFP shoots is Modelmayhem. You can find new artists that are looking to build their portfolios or established artists who are looking to update their portfolio.

A paid photoshoot is when all parties involved are paid by the person or company that hires the team members to perform a specific duty. Once the photoshoot is completed, permissions have to be released to use the photo outside of its intended use. For example, if a photographer put together a photoshoot to expand his portfolio, the hair or makeup artist should get permission to use the photos in their marketing materials. Sometimes it’s agreed upon for all the team members to have access to and use the photos for their non-financial benefit. This means that members of the team can use the photos to show their creations or work, but cannot sell the photo for profit without the consent of the other team members. If this ever happened, all contributors would expect payment for their contribution. Paid photoshoots are more important because of possible legal issues if protocols aren’t followed. [Note: If you are hired for a photoshoot as an artist and would like to use the photos, please always ask for permission before doing so.]


Creating the Looks

Once you’ve created your vision for the photoshoot(s), you’ve completed your vision board, and created a budget, you’ll begin to create the look of what you will include in each photo.

  • How many looks or photos will you need? Will these photos be paired with other items?
  • Are these beauty photos that capture a focal point of hair design, color, or makeup?
  • Will your photoshoot exclude models but need props to compliment what you are selling?

You need to create the look for your specific item that you want to capture for each photo by gathering all the things you need to make the photoshoot a success.


Planning Location & Times

Location is very important for photoshoots. Location can be either inside a specific place such as a photography studio, at a store, or wherever you’d like it to be. You can also hold a photoshoot outside which has the benefit of being cheaper and can give a photoshoot more life! For example, shooting time can start when the sun rises or sets to give photos amazing scenery! Be sure to check weather reports when deciding days and times if you plan to shoot outside.

You’ll need to ask the photographer what time should the photo shoot start based on the number of models or items you want to shoot. If you hire other team members such as a hairstylist or makeup artist, you’ll need time for them to perform duties on the models before the stated start time the photographer suggests. The longer the preparation times are, the earlier the team should arrive to start preparation. If preparation is in a different location other than the shooting location, be sure to include travel time to the shooting location.

These are photos from back in the day. These pictures are the reason why I recommend your own professional photo shoots. You don’t need permission from the owners when you have paid to put your own team and photoshoot together or have chosen to do TFP. If you chose to shoot your own products here are my recommendations:




Preparation “prepping” for the photoshoots

Photoshoots can become very expensive when it comes to time. Prepping for a photoshoot means that items are ordered, prepared, or created days or even weeks before the day of the shoot. To stay organized, make a to-do list and a timeline based on what you’ll need to prepare up until the day of the actual shoot. Do you need to get clothes steamed? Do you have to lighten a model’s hair? Do you have to perform a facial two days before the shoot? Does your location need to be cleaned, dusted, and polished? Anything that you need to do before the photoshoot takes place. Write those things down and get them done.


Creating Your Team

Your team will depend on your role in your industry. There are basics needs that each photoshoot should have such as:

  • Photographer (Obviously!)
  • Hair Stylist
  • Makeup Artist
  • Wardrobe Stylist
  • Models (if applicable)

Finding the right team with cohesive personalities is key. Search for the team member that you need. You can search online through websites, social media accounts, or by word-of-mouth in your area. Pick the artist that can execute your vision. Review all of their portfolios, galleries, reviews and websites. Versatility is key!

If you need a photographer:

Make sure the photographer has work to show that your vision can be executed. There are several kinds of photographers such as portrait photographers, wedding photographers, fashion/beauty photographers, food photographers, or sports photographers and much more! Pick the right one for your brand!

If you need a hairstylist:

Make sure the hairstylist is versatile with different hair textures, lengths, and styles.

If you need a makeup artist:

Make sure the artist is versatile with different skin tones and textures.

If you need a wardrobe stylist:

Make sure the stylist has several styles or looks in their portfolio showing versatility.

If you need models:

This search can be a little tricky. Models must be photogenic, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all models have to look like Victoria's Secret models. This means that the models must be the right fit for your vision and look great in photos. I have worked with beautiful models who didn't look their best behind a lens. I have also worked with models who were not professional and they nailed the look I was going for! You must choose the best model for your photos and brand.

Once you have a few prospective artists, contact them for pricing and availability. This process could take a while because of scheduling conflicts or an artist’s pricing doesn’t fit your budget. If you have a large budget, consider hiring a beauty agency. They will do most of the hiring work for you. If your budget is minimal, take your time to search for quality work and quality team members.


Make sure you confirm all the details prior to arriving at the set location.


The Day of the Shoot

Be sure to arrive early to set up your things and to direct the other team members.

During the photoshoot, be vocal about what you like and don’t like, but don’t over direct the team members so much that it affects the energy of the photoshoots. Some of the greatest shots come from allowing other team members to freestyle their talents without taking away from your vision.


After the Photoshoot

After you’ve chosen the photos that you like and have received your files from the photographer, it’s time to consider which pictures are best for marketing materials, social media accounts, and events. How will you use these photos? Choose a photo for a campaign and use it for a particular promotional period. You may be able to use several photos during different advertising campaigns. Use your photos to position and promote your brand. The best part of a successful photoshoot is using the pictures for many promotions for your business! Because you own all your photos, you can recycle photos and reuse them for different purposes going forward.

Have you ever done a photoshoot before? What was your experience like? I'd love to hear!