May 4, 2022
If you offer products or services that change or get updated based on the season/time of year, it’s crucial to have new imagery to promote what your brand is offering. Images can be used on various marketing channels including your website, blog, social media, email newsletters, printed marketing materials, mailers, your email signature…the list goes on. While we recommend that most brands do a new brand shoot yearly, there are some that may need new imagery on a more regular basis.
Before we get into how to plan for your seasonal brand photography, here are a few ways to know if you need new images. Does this sound familiar?
- You offer new products throughout the year in your retail/online shop.
- You need to promote your seasonal product/service but you don’t have any images to use for your marketing.
- Your images are outdated and need a refresh and/or don’t reflect your current offerings/products.
- You are a restaurant or hospitality based business that has a menu of food and drink that changes often.
- Your business is seasonal (only open in the summer, etc.) and you need a fresh collection of images to market your re-opening.
- If you are a blogger or maintain a blog for your brand and need new content and imagery for new post topics.
- You have shifted to offer new services and need imagery that reflects the new offerings.
HAVE A MARKETING PLAN
The first crucial step is to have a bigger plan for what you are going to market, when you will market it and how you will market it. Knowing what you need to promote and when is imperative to being able to plan for your shoot accordingly. Also be sure to think about where you’ll be posting these images. Are they to update your website? Use on your online ecommerce shop? For a social media campaign? Depending upon where you’re using the images, they will need to be created in specific formats suitable for each channel. We encourage our clients to have their marketing plan prepared before they hire us for their shoot.
PLAN AHEAD | PLAN AHEAD | PLAN AHEAD
We cannot stress enough the need to plan ahead. In addition to having a marketing plan prepared, you need to think about when you need the final images and then work backwards. Often our clients are surprised at how early they need to plan/book a shoot in order to receive images by a certain date. As an example, let’s say you need imagery for a holiday marketing campaign to begin on November 1st. Working backwards, you need the images 3-4 weeks ahead of the launch in order for your marketing team/graphic designer/web designer/social media consultant to review and select images as well as incorporate them into all the launch designs. Then, there’s the post production and editing time needed by your photographer post-shoot – estimate 2-4 weeks depending on their process and how many images are being delivered. Even before the shoot happens, we spend up to 4 weeks in pre-production for the shoot which includes getting to know your brand, brainstorming image ideas, creating mood boards, a shot list and shoot plan/timeline. Also during pre-production we will decide on a shoot location, book that location, hire models, hair & makeup, select wardrobe, props and work with a stylist so that everything we need for the shoot is decided and organized. So if your photographer needs to deliver images by October 1st, you need to book and begin planning your shoot by August 1st. Note that not all shoots are the same and depending upon what is being photographed and how involved it is, this timeline can vary a bit. Plan ahead of time to not only make your shoot successful and get the right images that you need, but also to allow us and your creative team time to properly prepare and execute your shoot.
BOOK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
As mentioned in the last paragraph, we encourage our clients to hire us no less than 2 months prior to needing their final images. We could create a post just on how to book a photographer for your brand shoot, but for now we will keep it simple. You should look for a photographer whose style of shooting and final images you like and fits with your brand. There are many different photography styles to choose from, but know that not all photographers shoot in all the different styles. You should also spend time talking to potential photographers about your brand and your project needs so that they get to know you and you get to know them. Personality often plays a role in finding the right match so we encourage all our potential leads and clients to take advantage of booking one of our complimentary consultations to get started.
PLAN THE SHOOT DETAILS
Next it’s time to plan the details for your shoot – this is the fun part! Going to speak to our particular process, but note that all photographers are different and their pre-production may vary. Once you have booked us for your project, we will send you a brand questionnaire to get to know your brand and what you are looking for. This helps us start to pull inspiration images, create a mood board and propose image concepts to the client. We really want our clients to be able to envision the final images that we will create so this step is very important. Without knowing who you are, what you do, what you sell, who you’re trying to reach and what your goals are, it is hard to create in a vacuum. From here we put everything into one master document to present to our client and then have a call to go over everything, get feedback and then adjust as necessary. After finalizing the shoot plan and content, we will help select and secure a location for the shoot and assist with sourcing other creatives to help like hair & makeup, stylists, models, etc. Another note is that many clients think they need to come to us with ideas and everything planned, but you don’t. That is what we are here for and one of our main selling points – and it’s actually one of our favorite parts of the entire process.
KEEP THE SEASONS IN MIND
If your business offers different products/services each season, it’s important to stay on top of creating new imagery and plan/book your shoots in advance. Sometimes this may mean doing a winter shoot in the fall or a summer shoot in the early spring. This can get tricky if you need an outdoor location with fall leaves or spring blooms, which is another reason to plan ahead. Also related to seasonality, if you are selling products be sure that they are available to be sourced for the shoot ahead of time. Wardrobe also plays a big factor. Brands that offer a service may not want to post images during the summer from their winter shoot where they were dressed in sweaters, boots and coats. So if you are in front of the camera know that we need to plan your wardrobe for the season in which the images will be posted – especially on social media.
We offer Photography Subscription Packages for brands that need new imagery on a monthly, quarterly or bi-annual basis. This package offers the delivery of regularly updated content throughout the year to refresh your website and social media, and to create everything from new blog posts to email or print marketing & newsletters. Packages are discounted on a sliding scale depending upon how often you need shoots, so for example monthly shoots are discounted at a higher percentage than bi-annual shoots. These packages are perfect for brands that need images often so if that is you, click HERE to receive more information and pricing for this best-selling package.