March 19, 2019
One of the toughest tasks when photographing any brand is making sure you’re on the same page as your client. If you’re speaking different languages, then the images won’t be useful. Communication is key.
When Meredith and I started developing a plan for her brand photography, the first thing I did was ask a ton of questions. I really try to have an open mind when working with my clients because while I’m the guy behind the lens, it’s my client’s vision I’m bringing to life. I’ve developed a series of questions for my brand clients that I find really helps get us on the same page during the first consultations. Here they are below along with Meredith’s responses:
Next, I’ll ask them to provide a series of images they absolutely want to get from their session as well as upload some inspirational shots to work from. Attached is a screenshot of the form I provide.
You’ll notice I’m somewhat quirky with my forms. I like having fun with my clients, and if I don’t get a comment about how they chuckled at their form, it gives me a pretty good insight into our potential working relationship!
Once Meredith and I reviewed her responses, I asked a few more clarifying questions to make sure we were set. Once we were comfortable with the session, we started figuring out a location.
Without missing a beat, Meredith suggested White Wall Studio in Woodstock, and I’m so glad she did. The space is a gorgeous all white, natural light studio located right inside Downtown Woodstock. Allie runs the place, and she’s absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend checking it out if you need studio time!
I like starting off my brand photography sessions with a couple of headshots. I do this because most people are in their heads and are worried about posing initially. By starting with the headshot, we eliminate the need to worry about hands, feet, clothing, and 80% of my subject; therefore we can start slow and get everyone comfortable. Headshots are easy: it’s a simple light set up and a conversation to bring out my client’s personality. Meredith was pretty relaxed to start, so it was super easy to get rocking right away.
“I loved how collaborative you were with me. I felt that I really knew what I wanted and you helped me bring it to life rather than try to push me into a style or shot that wasn’t aligned with my vision. I was nervous about certain body parts, and I could tell throughout the shoot you were attentive to making sure I was in flattering poses.” – Meredith
After that, it was a matter of going down the list of images and using the studio space to our advantage to make that happen. While Meredith would change outfits, I would get set up for the next series of images. Honestly, we’d shoot a bunch, one of us would say something regarding business or gear, and I’d have a flash of inspiration for the next set of images. I love working like this because it’s creative in the moment and fun. Having a loose structure for an image set allows you to play around and try different things within that framework. It’s constrained enough to give you a destination but open enough to make the journey fun and spontaneous.
While we were shooting, I made sure to keep asking Meredith questions about her business and her life. Anything that would spark her personality, provide an idea for the next image, or genuinely influence how I set up and shot a series of pictures so that they would better reflect her brand and vision as best as possible. I think one of the most important traits in a photographer is the ability to ask good questions that lead them to get the most out of their clients and the images.
It was a whirlwind session, and we had a blast working it. Arguably the best compliment I received was after I delivered Meredith’s images and she had shared them, one of her friends said, “When I think of Meredith in my head, this is what I see.” Nailed it!
As per Meredith’s feedback- “Mike is a fantastic photographer. Not only does he know the technical stuff, but he made the process collaborative and fun. I had a very specific vision in mind for my brand photos and was worried that another person wouldn’t be able to understand it. Mike listened to what I wanted, asked questions and made suggestions that helped me articulate it, and then made it come to life! I am over the moon about my brand photos because they are EXACTLY what I wanted, and more! I can’t wait to see how they impact and improve my business and brand.”
Meredith is a brilliant entrepreneur and has a couple of great platforms. Be sure to check each of them out!
Website – Merrily Creative Co
Instagram – @merrilycreativeco
And if you’re in need of a fantastic studio space in the Woodstock/Atlanta area- make sure you give Allie from White Wall Studio a call!
Website – White Wall Studio Woodstock
Instagram – @whitewallwoodstock
If you need some new portraits and think my style of goofy matches yours, then check out my Portraits page for more information.
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