If you are the DIY type, this DIY Brand Photography steps are for you. That being said, before you dive into this quick read, keep in mind 2 things:
- This is a tips & tricks 5 steps for overall photography, from which I hope you will absorb the main idea and apply to your next photoshoot;
- This is more not a branding style development or branding strategy photography post. This is a photography how-to/tips post. For brand photography tips, watch my IG Live with the fantastic Allison Darling and catch the podcast episode about it (also with Allison)!
Although we should learn some of the technical part of photography, as well as work with a brand photography professional as soon as can, there are always tricks we can use to help us achieve that look we’re going for, DIY style.
Let’s start with our 5 Steps to Improve your DIY Brand Photography!
1. Use Golden Hours
Try shooting when the sun is offering its most soft light: during the Golden Hours -usually around the sunrise and the sunset hours. You can check your sunrise and sunset hours here. Some of my best photos are taken during the Golden Hours, specially for personal branding, where a person is the main focus in the image (looks just perfect!).
2. Shoot From Different Angles
Sometimes that great shot won’t be taken unless you shoot from top, bottom, left, right and all possible angles. The trick is: try to show the photo from an angle we usually don’t see through human eyes. For example, we usually see flowers from above, so shooting them from a lower angle would probably make it look more interesting.
3. Work With Contrast
Color or light contrast can add life to your photos. A great example of color contrast is when a red lipstick pops out beautiful on close-up portraits. And an example of light contrast would be a white flower with a very dark background. Using the power of contrast on your DIY Brand Photography can truly help you, as the focus of the photo becomes the contrast (and minor mistakes may pass by unnoticed!).
4. Isolate Your Subject
Have you noticed that sometimes photos look great when there isn’t a cluttered background or tons of other things fighting for attention? Yes, it looks good! So, try isolating your subject and make a nice and clean setup for it. Like in many areas of visual identity, less IS more. More impact and, most of the time, more quality!
5. Perfect Photos Don’t Just Happen
Chances are that you will not get your breathtaking photo within 2 clicks. When I’m shooting self-portraits, I usually change clothes 3-5 times and take at least 30 photos with each outfit. From all that, I choose between 1 and 5 photos, usually. It’s like this with most type of photo sessions. When we are in a studio, shooting models, it’s about 2+ hours of work to get that one perfect, magazine-ready shot. So move things around, move yourself around, try different outfits, hairstyles, face expressions, background colors, etc.
I once worked with a fashion photographer that said “Perfect photos don’t ‘just happen’, they are made.” Oh, boy, was he right!
I suggest you read my post about Branding vs Visual Identity, as it will be a huge help on your path to having a solid foundation in that area. And visit the free Branding Resources page, to see the upcoming events, as well as the free Brand Strategy Webinar!
START DEVELOPING YOUR UNIQUE BRAND STYLE!
While I’m working on a photography mini-guide, I strongly recommend you start developing your authentic branding style asap! This way, when it comes the time for you to DIY brand photos, you won’t have to guess the style!