Know Your Ideal Client and Your Brand Before Your Photoshoot
Before we get into the wonderful technicalities of a photoshoot lets talk about knowing your ideal client and brand and how knowing this can influence and guide the decisions you make about the types of photos you will take. It is easier to get creative with your photoshoot ideas once you have done this. After all, the whole point is for you to attract your ideal client.
It's easier to get creative with your photoshoot ideas once you have a good grasp on who your ideal client is and what your brand is all about - knowing this influences and guides the decisions you make about the types of photos you will take. After all, the whole point is for you to attract your ideal client. (I promise to get creative after helping you build the foundation - stay with me!)
Your ideal client is a person with likes and dislikes, they have a place where they are now and a place that they would like to be in the future. (This is where the transformation through your services will come in!) They have wants, needs and desires. They might be attracted to certain colours and images and they are looking for those things that show how you can serve them and that you value making them feel special.
Capture the energy your ideal client wants to feel by creating a brand story that encompasses all the feelings that speak to your dream client.
For example, if your ideal client wants to live a life of ease, then taking photos that mimic this can attract them to you. Lounging in a comfy chair, reading at your local coffee shop or taking an easy stroll by the lake are images that could draw this client in.
If your ideal client is into travel, then images featuring a flowing dress, a travel bag and a pair of sun glasses on your head would be perfect to evoke that whimsical feeling.
If they want to be able to spend more time doing the things that they love, then showcasing images of you out with friends at a restaurant drinking, eating and laughing can help make that story feel real for them.
See how knowing your ideal client can help you to create many creative and intentional shots for your website images?
As an entrepreneur you can use your brand story to inspire you to get creative with your photoshoot ideas. Your brand blueprint is the unique way in which you connect with your audience. Beyond your colours and logo, your distinct personality is what your ideal client wants to see.
Aligning your images to your identity as an entrepreneur during your photoshoot shows who you are and why you, your services and your content are the perfect fit for them. so this is what will make you stand out from the crowd and all those other stock photos out there. The more recognizable you are, the likelier you are to stay top of mind for your ideal clients when they are considering your services.
If you're still on the fence about having a photoshoot done for your site, remember that when you get creative with your photos and create that greater visual impact, you will feel more proud of your website. This will make you feel more legit as a business owner, meaning you'll be more confident to show people your website, which will help you attract your ideal client. I'm going to show you how to create the visual impact you want with these four creative ideas.
Get Creative by Placing the Subject Off-Centre
When taking photos with your website in mind, frame the subject (that's you!) off-centre so you have more flexibility. You or your web designer will want to create some sections with text, your logo, graphics and buttons on top of images, and you'll need this specific type of photo to create this effect. Most websites include banner images, which are full width sections with image backgrounds - these are a perfect example of photos that are best shot in landscape. I recommend my clients aim for a ratio of 80% landscape orientation and 20% portrait orientation so that we have enough images to create at least one full-width banner across the top of every unique page on your site. In fact, you'll want to take a few photos with you featured on the left and a few with you featured on the right so that you have options. These wide left/right angle photos form the basis for most of the photography featured throughout your site, and should be one of the primary goals of your entrepreneur photoshoot - read on for more creative ideas.
During Your Photoshoot, Take Action Shots
If we really break it down, your website doesn't contain much more than visuals and text. That means photos are half of the means in which to tell your story. Boring photos = a sense of boring story, and that's not the impression you want to give your ideal clients. If your website visitors are not drawn into your world, they won't emotionally connect or care enough about what you do to believe that you have the solution or that they even want the solution you have to offer.
Taking action shots is a good way to capture the feeling of your brand because these shots reflect who you are and what your brand stands for. These are the kinds of photos that will really speak to your ideal client. For entrepreneurs who see clients in person (acupuncturist, photographer, massage therapist, chiropractor, wardrobe stylist, yoga teacher) you'll want to get images of you "in action" whatever that means for your particular niche.
Think images like: you setting up your equipment, you preparing for a client's arrival, you performing your service - actually doing bodywork with your client, adjusting their yoga pose, etc. You can also stage images of your client arriving and you greeting them, performing any rituals you have every time you see a client, and how you finish the appointment.
Why get so detailed in the actions and stories? Taking a bunch of photos of you facing forward with a smile on your face can give your website a generic and plastic look, making your photos feel flat when what you really should be creating is dimension and layers that inspire engagement. For this reason, having a "pretend client" or "client model" join you at your session will help to show the interaction you have with your client and to showcase the emotional connection, which will help website visitors connect emotionally with your website.
For entrepreneurs who see clients online (astrologer, online business manager, video strategist, habit coach, podcast VA) it's of course a little more difficult to create action photos as your client isn't present. However, great action photos could be of you doing your work at a desk or a photo of you and client interacting on a Zoom call. You'll also want to get images of you preparing for your calls and any of the pre-work that is done on your end, as well as show any items that you would use in a session as props. Images like these give your audience an insight as to how you operate in your everyday setting.
For candid photos, authenticity looks better than perfection. Images taken while you naturally move capture the soul essence of you whereas posed images (pretending to type rather than actually typing) can come across looking fake and stock-image like. Remember, the more natural you feel during your photoshoot, the more that emotion will be conveyed to your website visitors and future clients.
Take Photos from Different Angles to show New Ideas
The more compelling the photography, the longer visitors will stay on your website and the more pages they will visit. Adding images from different angles definitely makes your website more compelling! This means that your potential clients have more exposure to what you do and a better understanding of what you offer, and increases the likelihood that they will purchase or take your desired action on your website.
By playing around with different angles, you can create photos that appear more interesting and that convey movement and drama. I've seen entrepreneurs get their images back and feel disappointed that most, if not all, of their images feature them facing the camera head on. Even if they changed outfits and props a few times, their images wind up looking like exact copies. (Okay, this has also happened to me!) When you are investing time and energy in a photoshoot, you want to do the most you can to ensure you're happy with the results.
I encourage you to set an intention to get images that are taken from the top/down/behind/side so you are able to create a sense of interest. As the photographer focuses in on the subject (which could be you or your product) it magnifies its intensity. The more variety you get in your creative ideas for your photoshoot, the more looking through your website will be more fun, interesting and encouraging of engagement.
During Your Photoshoot, Try Taking Flat-Lays
Another angle that can be very useful for your website photos has been popularized as a "flat-lay". Flat lay images are photos taken from a bird's eye view. It is a simple but effective way to showcase your brand items/props, and the eventual images can be great for graphics advertising your services and offerings. The strategy behind flat-lays is more than just a collection of items on a table - it's meant to tell a story.
When creating your flat lay images, follow your visual brand story, mood and colour palette in selecting items that relate to what you do and who you help. This is a great place to bring in items that represent your ideal client profile to give you a point of connection or just encourage a smile of recognition when they see you have something in common.
The background of your flat lay is important as it goes towards setting the mood. While a white background looks clean and allows your items to really stand out, a darker background can also create a more dramatic setting. You could even place a piece of fabric down as your background to add texture to your flat lay image. Art supply stores have wallpaper samples, canvases, and art boards in multiple colours that also serve quite well as backdrops.
It takes time to play around with how you would like your objects organized on the background. Try turning your camera rather than re-arranging and you might find a visual perspective that you prefer. Grouping sets of items in uneven groups tends to work better than even groups. For example, using five crystals rather than four or three paper clips rather than six tends to be more visually appealing.
You can create shapes by putting the props into different configurations or scatter the objects so that you have a more organic feel. You can also create height by layering items. Starting with the flat lay surface of your choice place your laptop on first, then add a couple of books and finish with your phone, a candle or small plant or flower to add dimension and visual interest.
Don't be reluctant to add you to your flat lay image. This can be your hand using one of items, your legs crossed on the floor with all your items spread about. The options are limitless when it comes to flay lay images. Be patient as you experiment with these if you are taking your photos yourself, and if you are having a photographer take them, bring a multitude of items for them to choose from so they can truly express their creativity and provide you with the best quality images.
By varying how you place your subject, using action shots, different angles, and flat-lays, you and your photographer will be able to create stunning photos for your website. When you finally add photos you're happy with, you're going to feel so great about what you've accomplished - and you'll be getting compliments from ideal clients who've noticed!