website photoshoot basics

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Website Photoshoot 101: What To Get and How To Get It

Ohhhhhhhhh, one of my favorite topics. As someone who both designs websites for a living and has also done her fair share of lifestyle and branding photoshoots (I’m an actor — it makes sense!), I have learned a thing or two about what goes into a great website photoshoot.

Here’s everything you need to know.

1.) Perhaps the most important when booking a website photoshoot: pick the right photographer for you.

The most important advice I could give seems (perhaps) the most obvious, but it’s one that many folks don’t think about beforehand.

Just as you have your own style, values, and brand, so does your photographer. The important question to ask yourself before booking is: do they align?

By visiting my site, you might notice that my style is edgy, very “downtown”, and that I value progress, innovation, and pushing the envelope. I’ve never said this outright, but you can tell because of the high contrast editing, the locations, and the styling. (Thanks, Viveca Chow!)

So, first of all, what do you value? Who is your target customer base? And how can you find a photographer that will help you tell that story?

If your website/brand designer offers consultations about this topic or even a shot list specifically (I do!), definitely take them up on it. Not only does it make everyone’s life easier, but it makes your brand more aligned!

2.) Get intentional about the colors.

Especially in the world of personal branding or service based businesses, what I’ll often do is take brand colors directly from the website photoshoot. So if you’re picking out outfits solely because you feel cute in them that day, just know that you might be seeing those colors for a long time.

Get intentional (and maybe a little bit spiritual, if that doesn’t turn you off too much)! What color is your aura? What colors do people think of when they think of you? Is your business or brand more earthy, more vibrant, more subdued, neon, pastel, black & white? If your brand was a person, what would they wear?

And it’s not just your outfit. This goes for locations too! What colors and vibes do your locations give off? This is something you can talk about with your photographer. It’s perfectly normal to say something like “I’m a unique kind of wellness coach for millennials, so I want this photoshoot to be a lot of whites and pastels, maybe some minimalistic office or coffee shop vibes?”

Photographers always have great ideas.

3.) Get lots of variety!

Whenever I get a client that has a ton of different photos — horizontal, vertical, far away, close up, different outfits, different hair… I SQUEAL with excitement.

I’m not kidding!

But it’s those far-away and mid-shots that folks really underestimate, and here’s why (without getting too much into the nitty gritty about responsive web design).

Most website building platforms will stretch, zoom in, or zoom out on your photos based on the screen size of the device that’s viewing it. This is a good thing, because it optimizes the experience of the visitor, no matter what kind of computer, tablet or phone they have.

So if all your photos are close up, your web designer’s options will be limited. And, thus, by getting a lot of variety, you’ll make it way easier for your web designer to get a lot more creative with how your visitors experience your site. (Which is a good thing– we want people to have a unique experience!)

So whether you’re a photoshoot newbie or a seasoned pro, I hope these ideas help you on your next website photoshoot. And if you’re looking for a web/brand designer who will help you in this step of the process, look no further! You can contact me here.

Hey, I'm Sarah Kleist.

Brand builder, website designer, and performing artist on a mission to help creatives and business owners step into their digital spotlight.


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