Branded Photo Shoot Tips and Tricks
We are gonna get into some branded photo shoot tips and tricks. So yesterday, just to bring everybody up to speed for people who were not watching yesterday, is Caitlyn of Indigo Tide Market is a service-based business. She empowers Amazon resellers to market their business and make more money telling stories. So she teaches people how to market their business on Amazon. What's gonna happen is we wanted to make sure as a service-based business, 'cause I hear this a lot from service-based business owners, if you're like, Jasmine, I don't know how to sell what I do. I'm a service provider. And I thought to myself, is there a way that we can create dynamic images on a budget? What could we do to create fun, scroll-stopping images? 'Cause it's not enough just to have 800 portraits of yourself. That gets old real quick. (snaps fingers) How do we create dynamic stuff? Well, what could we do with a $1.75 doughnut to create scroll-stopping images? Let's take a little bit of a four minute view ...
of what y'all can do at home with something as simple as a doughnut. Let's go into that now. Now, what we're gonna do, Caitlyn, is Caitlyn brought a doughnut, and I didn't shoot the donut but she feels like it's strongly on brand, so I'm gonna talk about how we can incorporate a piece of the doughnut. Could you grab that white shirt that you wore this morning?
We're gonna bring that back and we're gonna put it on over this.
So we have that white look and then we have this look, and then we're gonna combine the two.
So if you can grab that.
And then I'm gonna talk to the camera about what we're gonna do. Oftentimes, if we have the ability to incorporate something that feels on-brand in a really fun and light way, we will. So what I'm gonna try to do, (chuckles) let's see if it works, is use a doughnut almost like, what are those called? Monocle.
We're gonna have a donut monocle. We're gonna see if it's gonna work. We have a white background. I'm gonna move some of the bright colors because I'm not sure if a dream client would work, but we do have a beige sofa, and a white throw blanket, and then we will take it from there. So, a couple things to consider is that we have a tendril of hair, and that if we had the doughnut on this side of Caitlyn's face, it would be in competition with the tendril, so I'm gonna focus on having the doughnut on the opposite side of her face to balance the tendril. The doughnut is now currently facing you. I want the pink side toward me. Oh, got it, perfect! And then if I can have your hand over this area, so we're just gonna twist the doughnut. Yeah, right about there, okay. And what I'm gonna be focusing on, let me just get the light right. (camera shuttering) Great! So I am at F20, 250 ISO and 400th of a second. I'm gonna have you put the doughnut up. So I want you to keep that eye open.
The eye that I am focusing on is going to be the eye that's open. I'm moving the tendril away from her eye because the tendril would add a shadow to it. And so, we're just covering the doughnut, and we're gonna have you. (camera shutter clicks) Good. Now, because you have a doughnut over your eye, I'm changing to 640th of a second 'cause the light is changing, and we have almost campfire coming up from the ground. I'm going with 500th of a second. Okay, so now what I need you to do is be like you have a monocle, and like--
Okay. Three, two, one. (camera shutter clicks) (women laughing)
Look, I like both of them! (photographer laughing)
Okay, now what I want you to do is do the same thing but I'm gonna shoot horizontally. So it's gonna feel a little bit silly.
Got it. (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
Down. Up. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) Okay. Now, what I want you to do is same thing again, but that eye, you're gonna be squinting. I'm sorry, not squinting.
Winking, yeah! (laughs) Okay. Okay, three, two, one. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) Okay. Oh, down again, down again. Three, two, one, wink. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) Okay, so I need that to come up a little bit higher so I can see your eye. (laughs) Okay, three, two, one. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) (photographer laughing) Okay, and then, with your other hand, let's try bringing it to the side of your head.
Okay, and three, two, one. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) Okay, but we gotta sell it. We had a gap between the head.
Oh, like, push it?
Okay, okay okay.
'Cause it was like, it's unreal, I have a sale, I'm taking on new clients, we're having a celebration! Doughnut agree! Get it? Hey, hey, hey! Okay, three, two, one. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) One more time. Three, two, one. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) Cool. What just happened here is I'm not just thinking of Caitlyn doing stuff that's like, (screams) that's cheesy, I get it. But sometimes in social to actually convey a message, you have to stop somebody, and if you're gonna stop somebody and have the ability to sell them something, you can kinda create a fun little twist on it. So, if somebody's stopping, she's super excited, she has this doughnut over her eye, and it's just like she has this ability to do something marketing-wise. So I don't just do things for fun. I think about how I'm going to use it at the end, and then work backwards. So, J.D. had suggested taking a bite out of it, and then we're gonna use that as a smile.
Okay? So when you bite, just bite with your teeth marks as much as possible, and I'm gonna show you because who knows?
Do you want a big bite or a little bite?
A big bite.
Yeah, we want a big smile, right? (laughs) Okay. (laughs) Go ahead, doll. (laughs) You don't have to look at me. You can look down. (both women laughing) (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
Okay. (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
I hope you're not doing it free everyday.
Okay. (laughs) This is J.D.'s idea, okay? It might not be so good! (laughs) No, this is super. Okay, down again! You don't have to be so serious. (laughs)
I think we're right along 10, okay?
I have traumatized you. Okay, bring it up and then lean forward and look out to the sun. Three, two, one. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) Lean forward and look out to the left, lean forward and look out to the left. Oh, oh, she got it, folks! She got it! (laughs) She got it. Okay! Great! Great, great, great. While we were watching that, I can't help but feel that people can't easily find something as silly as a doughnut because what has happened is that that worked so well that Caitlyn felt like that was such a good depiction is that when we reveal the gallery, that one of those photos then became her bio photo on Instagram. And I can't help but think, we have no excuse not to take the little that we have to create something around conversations that aren't just like, I'm your Amazon retail specialist. What does doughnuts have to do with her business? We dough-not know, but she will find a way to combine all of it. Like this week, I mean, you guys, I got dad jokes for days! Okay, so we can use stuff to incorporate, copy into, even if it had nothing to do with the doughnut, like what if she had a really sweet deal? Hey! (audience laughing) I know, I know, I know! Are you missing something like the center of a doughnut hole in your business? I got your back. Right? So, I don't care! You can literally throw me any something that's fun and cool and find a way to do a workaround in your business. So that then becomes where we are going to. So, what we're gonna talk about now is product-based business owners. Now, sometimes, there's the temptation to think, well, product-based business owners, they got it a little bit easier 'cause they have their product. But we talked about this yesterday, aint nobody just wants to see a product. So it's up to the business owner and up to the lifestyle branding photographer to come up with ways to incorporate this. Now, we're gonna do a lifestyle product photography shoot, and I should probably let everybody know a word to the wise: I've never shot children before, and I never shot dogs before, and all in a single shoot, and I'm not a product photographer. 'Kay. So all in one day, I get an avalanche of kids, I get a puppy, I get product, I get business owners, and what do I have to do? (laughs) A walk in the park. And I'm like, walking Central Park, 10 degrees below zero barefoot 'cause I had never done it before, but what do you do? You show up, and be like, I got this, yeah! Let's go in to a sneak peak. Now, y'all, we were shooting hours. We're just giving you a little sneak peak of what product-based business owners could and should be doing to create lifestyle, scroll-stopping photos on social media. We're gonna get into that now. So, not only is this my first time shooting product photography, I'm also gonna be working with a dog. The dog we were lucky enough to work with. Many thanks to Chelsea at creativeLIVE. His name is Buksnort, and Buksnort has his own customized blanket from Highway 3. So I talked to our business owners, and said, "How would you guys like this shot?" And they said, "Well, it's gonna be important "for us to be able to see our product with the dog in it. "The best way we can do that is from an aerial perspective." So once we get this styled, shot number one will be aerially. We're gonna be getting the text on the blanket and Buksnort on it. Shot number two: Buksnort will still be on the blanket, but we're gonna be incorporating this prop that they found, says Good Dog, and then what we'll be doing is we'll be removing the blanket, the prop, and giving Buksnort, he's gonna have to be an actor in addition to a model, we're gonna be giving him a customized dog bandana. So, three shots. Hopefully, we can get it done in about seven minutes, depending on how well the dog is trained. I think we're off to a good start. So I'm having everything I need prepared for me here. J.D., can you pull that out there? We'll bring the dog in. (people chattering) And then let's see. (Buksnort barks) Oh my God, just stop right now, I'm dead.
You want him just laying down asleep?
Let me get the light right first. (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
It's okay, right? Oh, he's adorable.
And then, what I need, is--
What do you need to take?
I need anybody. Caitlyn, to hold a whiteboard here. I know Buksnort, I'm the worst! I'm making you wait, babes! I'm making you wait! Okay, I'm shooting with the 35 millimeter, I'm shooting at 2.8, 400 ISO, 125th of a second. (Buksnort barks)
It's okay. Up! Yeah. (Buksnort barks) (Buksnort growls)
Can you back up a tiny bit, babe? Okay, great. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) (Jasmine laughs) Oh, my, God, I'm dead! I'm dying. You have to get me one right now. I feel like sitting down! (women laughing) And then, Tan, Can you pull the Buksnort? I mean, pull the Buksnort, pull the blanket! (laughing)
I'ma have to go and lay down there, I think so.
Is that good?
Mm. That's good right here. (Buksnort barking)
Yes, I know!
Buksnort, do it!
Oh sweet God, I'm so happy! I'm the happiest person right now. (laughs)
Get down, get down. Wait, no.
Oh, that's okay. That's okay.
Buks, wait, wait.
Oh, wow! (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
Jay, you getting that shot, right?
Yeah, I am.
Okay. Right this way. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) (Jasmine laughs)
I'm good. Oh my God. Okay, I have the over-the-head shot. I know that these amazing people got the side shot, so can I get Buksnort as close as possible here, and then Chelsea, you over my--
Wait. (Jasmine chuckles) Wait. Is this out of the shot?
Yes, it is.
Wait. (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
Oh, sweet God. A little bit over my head, Chels. Over my right shoulder.
Oh, there it is. Sweet God!
He's being neurotic right now.
You are such a good dog! Do you wanna come hang out with my dog and teach it a few lessons?
Oh, he's now looking at you now.
He is! What a good boy! What a good boy! You are!
You can take it. Stay.
Oh yeah, that one's great.
Stay, wait. (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
Right over my head, Chels. Yup. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) Okay, we're good. Oh my God, I'm dead. Okay. So now, what we're gonna do is we're gonna remove the blanket, we're gonna get him on the bandana, and then we're good. (people chattering) I just feel like such a bad dog owner. I just feel like, wow, is this how dogs behave in public? (Jasmine laughs) Oh!
I think we'll move him a little to Jay.
See, but, yeah. Oh God, have mercy. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) That's okay! That's okay! (camera shutter clicks and beeps) (Jasmine laughs) I'm so good right now, I'm so good. Oh, my God! My wrapping thoughts were that Buksnort is the best-behaved dog I have ever encountered, that Chelsea is a fantastic dog owner, and it was really great to get feedback both from the business owner and the pet owner of how she would style a product around the dog. It's different for every owner. This felt true, it felt real, and I feel pretty proud that it was a nice balance between capturing a dog in his element, and capturing product to match with that. Do I think it's gonna blend really well? Their product and animal on a white background to create a seamless appearance on their grid, on their Instagram grid? Yeah, I do. So, so far, so good. Now, it's off to shoot some children.
Can you remove the elephant? Yeah, yep, yep.
There we go.
Okay, look at Ethan and smile!
Look, he's taking your picture!
The children are very much a little--
That's great, this is good!
Turn this way.
Right there, okay. Now, look at your brother! Don't turn, just look at your face. Right there! Perfect! Smile!
Cheese! (people laughing)
Good job! That's so cute!
That is so cute!
Right now, I'm gonna be shooting some behind-the-scenes photos of the girls working with them, so that we have content for behind-the-scenes, what goes into making their business work. (kids babbling) (people chattering)
Okay, so here.
Okay, Auburn, can you sit down? We're gonna give you a bag of toys here. Let's see, I bet you're gonna want these toys here.
There we go.
So this, working with this one.
What do you have, Oliver? Eli?
I have a little guy.
Yeah, Eli, that's nice!
It's good, it's good!
Can you do that again, Eric? And just get that from there.
A really white guy.
Who do you have?
Exactly, just like that. Just like tat.
What is in there?
What are you building? Oh, you're building Legos?
Yeah. (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
There you go! Then you go broom-broom those cars!
Oh, Oliver, is that cool? What is that? Is that a car, Oliver? Yeah, that's a good one, Oliver.
Good job, guys!
You are so good.
That was cool!
Can you show me the toy? Can you hold it up towards the camera? Hold your toy! Yeah, just like that, bud! A little bit lower, put it down! Good job! Good job! Great, great, great, I feel good. I feel good.
I don't think this should've been your first children experience, Jasmine. (laughs)
You guys, I just have good mojo! I don't even know what you're talking about!
Your first dog is you didn't even know what's-- (Jasmine laughs)
You guys, this is called karma. It's called just attracting good stuff. (laughs)
Because, yeah, we've seen a lot worse, I'll say that.
So my first children product shoot is complete. They were fantastic. It went so quickly and rapidly and very fortunate to be working with a few other photographers, but I would still approach it the exact same way if I was just shooting it myself. I would shoot overhead, I would shoot direct, and I would shoot to the side. So, for brand new photographers who are looking about how we execute it, it would take me a little bit longer, but the idea is to make sure that the product itself is being used as a prop but also as a functionality as a point of marketing for the business. We're now gonna do a different setup. We're gonna be doing beach towels, and the boys are changing into trunks. One thing I wanna note that as a photographer what I didn't expect coming in here was to shoot everything against a white background. This is a decision that I'm making from my artistic perspective because I know that I have to play to my strengths, and the way that I can do that is to have manageable light, to create a feed that is really directive towards the product itself. If I were to take them against anywhere else in the studio, it's darker colors, it's not on brand, and it's gonna be a mismatch. Do I wish that I could shoot with a variety of backgrounds? Yeah, I do, but from an aesthetic perspective, as I create marketing collateral across the board, it's gonna be important for me to think about beginning, middle, and end, and that is what we're doing now, and I firmly believe that these types of photos incorporated with their branding photos, their product photos, and then a lot of the inspirational quotes they like to use, I think it's gonna be good. We'll execute on that. Good job, boys! Can I have you guys sit behind the orange bucket? Yeah!
Right. You sit up there. There you go!
That's great. That's great, that's great!
Yeah, that's okay.
Perfect. You guys are really gonna pretend--
You guys are gonna be pretend that there's sand in there!
Okay, pretend to make a sandcastle.
And you dig in the bucket.
There you go!
Dig in the sand.
Wow, there you go!
There you go, perfect!
Wow, that looks good. Wow! They took the cue. (women laughing) Yes!
Jamilla, I don't know. You wanna create another human for me and J.D.? I'm like, gladly! We'll gladly do this?
Come get in here! I've never asked--
Shoot! Shoot! Can I give this seat off? Can I give this to you?
The kids were obviously, wherever they wanna go after this, you're gonna be like, yup.
What did you bribe them with? Whatever you bribed them with. (camera shutter clicks and beeps) (people chattering) Cool.
Can I bring that? (people chattering)
So what I want to do is Ethan, could I have you put those toys on this black towel, and can I have you stand up? And I wanna show you how tall you are. Can you stand up right here? And then what I want you to do is could you stand up, hold it like this, come up from behind, and I wanna show your muscles, okay? Yes! Yes! Yes. Okay! (laughs) Okay! Can you hold the towel?
Hold it tight! There you go!
Yeah, and so then, what we're gonna do is hold it right there real quick! Hold it right there. Oh, that's cute bud! Good job, buddy. Can you hold it even higher? Higher, higher, higher, higher, higher! Down, drop it down a little bit, yeah! (laughs) (people chattering)
Can you see if it fits you?
I thought they were a little--
Down a little bit, let me see your sunglasses!
Smile! (ladies laughing) (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
Let me see a little bit of your shirt.
Yeah, can you hold it down a bit?
There, right there!
Let me see the sharks!
Do we have sharks on your shirt?
Yeah! (camera shutter clicks and beeps)
Look at the camera.
Oh my gosh.
Oh, and your muscles are showing. All right, you got muscles!
This is really cute, I'm good.
Good job, guys. Okay, so, that was a little bit of an extended version, but how important it is to incorporate, it's so crazy that the reactions that we got from the audience when we knew a photo hit, even if many of you guys are not photographers, you knew implicitly, oh! I heard, oh, oh! Those are what you're gonna see in the gallery. A lot of them won't make it. But it's so crazy how you might not even be in the market for a customized towel, and you're like, oh! You might not even have a dog or like dogs, but you know a cute dog when you see one on the internet, right? Anything that's gonna (snaps) pop and make you slow your roll is all the type of stuff that we wanna start producing when we start doing our branded photo shoot. So, on that note, on the inside of Social Curator, we have a mix of business owners, and we got onto the topic of branding photo shoots, and this one random thread totally took off! And I wanted to make sure to showcase because people always come at me and be like, "I don't sell towels." "I'm not an Amazon retail specialist. "Therefore, I can't do what you say." And I'm like, okay, let's take Taylor as an example. She says, "Photos of you in your environment. "I'm a podcaster, so I made sure "to have my headphones and microphone. "I'm also a strategist "so I made sure I had my laptop and my notebook, "you interacting things that help best show off "what you do." This ended up getting liked 11 times because little light bulbs went off with people understanding, saying, I'm not hiring a photographer for a portrait session. I'm hiring a photographer to convey visually to show, and not sell what I do. Now, on the other side, Angie McPherson is a branding photographer based in Virginia, and she's like a queen. She goes in and she starts nailing these down for people who are not photographers. Head shots, a variety of half-body and full-body, lifestyle, showing off your personality. Look at how simple this is. Walking, laughing, smiling, sipping coffee, reading, hanging out on the couch. Honestly, we have to learn how to reprogram our brain to say what is going to stop and show somebody on Instagram. And then she goes behind the scenes, what tools, what props, seasonal photos are always good. And I loved this idea because as we prepared for Social Curator, when we wanna promote something in the summer, we're shooting it in January. And so we gotta start conveying and building out seasonal stuff that makes us pertinent to where we are seasonally. Now, Kamla came in, and once she saw that people were having questions and being like, I can't do it, because I'm not x, Kamla's a professional model and she teaches other models how to build their modeling portfolios. And she's like, "Jasmine, can I create a post "with posing tips for people who aren't models?" And I was like, "Yeah, of course!" So, homegirl comes in, puts a couple of her pieces based on a posing guide that we had posted as part of Social Curator, and then she makes a video, showing her ah-ah-ah, and I was like, "This is amazing!" So on the inside, what we have is people explaining to their peers, hey, we're not all models. Then, we have photographers saying, "This is what we need." and we have your professional models saying, "Let me teach you how to model." Okay, it all came together. So Holly says, "A helpful place to start "is the categories of nine to 12 things "you wanna talk about in your business. "Then create images of those things. "These categories are themes "that will run through your business "and give you things to talk about "that relate to your business without saying, "'Buy, buy, buy from me! "J-Star has a video all about this. "If you search the video section, "look at how to create content in 30 days."