- Sue Monhait - https://giftbizunwrapped.com -

6 Steps to Prep for a Professional Photo Shoot

6 Steps to Prep for a Professional Photo Shoot [1]

Until I did my first professional photo shoot, I didn’t truly understand its value. I mean, I have friends who can take great pictures. And with an iphone, the photo quality can be fabulous. So why spend the money on a professional photographer?

Because having a professional business photographer take photos for your business matters. 

Yes, hiring a photographer is an investment, but one that will make a huge difference in the quality of your images and in the way you show up online [2].

After doing my first professional photo shoot, I now see how having the right photos can be a game changer for a business. Your overall presence and credibility are instantly heightened. Your products are visually enhanced and your services are elevated in quality. This is the message that comes across to your potential customers when you have professional photos representing you and what you do.

But not all photographers are created equal. Some have an expertise in branding photos that you can use on social media and on your website. Others are product photographers and can make your products look four dimensional – like your prospective customers could just reach out and grab them. And others? Well, they may be better suited to your personal family photographs – not necessarily your business.

Here are the steps you should take to make the most of your investment in a professional photographer. Keep in mind, the overall goal is to drive more business (dollars) into your company. Here’s where you begin. 

Before You Start

Before you get started, determine in advance how you will use the photos. Here are some options:

This is a big list and I’m not suggesting you cover all of this in one session. What I am saying is to think of the one or two areas you’ll want to focus on for a specific goal.

Ok you’re in … so what’s next? Follow these six steps so you get the most out of this investment as possible.

1. Choose your photographer

2. Determine your photo shoot sites

Figure out in advance where you should take photos to best represent your message. This may be at your office, a customer’s location, or even the local coffee shop (if that’s a place where you conduct business.) Wherever you go, it should truly represent what you do. Being authentic is key.

Often, a local photographer will have recommendations based on lighting and timing and sometimes they may even have relationships with specific locations.

3. Put together outfits

This is part of the fun of having a professional photo shoot. Look to your brand colors and the overall vibe and tone that you want to help guide you through your wardrobe selections. Also consider how each outfit will look in the actual shoot location.

4. Create a timeline for the day of the shoot.

As you’re planning out the day of your shoot, remember that your photographer is an expert at this. She likely will have a list of shots, a schedule and other tips for you so reach out to her for support and guidance.

5. Decide in advance what shots you need at each location

Again, if your photographer knows what types of shots you’re looking for, she will be able to guide and support you through this. A good photographer will meet with you well in advance and plan this out for you.

6. Photo shoot day – time to pretty up!

Show off your true and most professional self. Keep in mind that you will look different through the camera lens, so enhance and make sure you look your best. Get your hair and makeup professionally done, get a manicure, do what you need to do to feel and look your best (while still being you. Go ahead – I give you permission to be self-indulgent!

Rookie Mistakes

Newer business owners or those who work with photographers who don’t have a lot of branding and professional photo experience tend to make very similar mistakes. Avoid these to have the best experience possible and so you’ll be wildly happy with your end result.

My Take

A professional photo shoot can be a lot of fun but it is also exhausting! If you follow these steps you’ll have a much smoother time and your day will result in photos that you’ll be able to use for at least a year…and many much longer.

Bonus Tip!

My photographer is Cyrissa Carlson of Immerse Photography. I was fortunate to get her on my podcast where she explains tricks you can use to ensure you look great in your photos. Take a listen here [3].

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that a professional business photo shoot would make sense for your business. Now is the time to go do it! You know how to prepare. You know the photos you need. And you know the mistakes not to make.

Smile … it’s your turn on camera!

I’ve made you a Professional Business Photo Shoot Guide Sheet so you can keep track as you plan and move forward with your own photo shoot. It goes through all the steps and is a much nicer version of exactly what I use. Pick up yours here.


For more free business support consider listening to my podcast Gift Biz Unwrapped [5] where I interview gifters-bakers-crafters-makers who share how they started and built their businesses. Want to talk with me directly? I’m only an email away. I’d love to hear about you, your business and what you’re working on right now. sue@suemonhait.com

About the author, Sue

With over 30 years of business development and marketing experience, I've been fortunate to work with hundreds of companies of all sizes. Their needs range from start-up guidelines to advanced business building strategies. As current founder and owner of The Ribbon Print Company, we continue to recognize the need for these services ... not just for our customers but for the gifting industry as a whole. That's where the inspiration began for the Gift Biz Unwrapped Podcast and Blog.