How to know exactly how many photos your brand needs
You’re about to plan a photo shoot, and are ready to call a photographer o get your first brand photos. Or maybe you’ve set your eyes on a premium stock collection.
But will the photos you have asked be enough?
What should you ask your photographer to photograph?
How many photos will you need before you need a new shoot or a new purchase?
How can you make sure you’re maximizing your investment, and won’t end up wishing you had asked for something different a month from now?
In today’s video I’ll show you the system I use with my photography clients to make sure all their image needs are met- for at least a year.
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Images follow words, my friends. And they follow your projects, your goals and your business objectives.
In order to determine which photos you will need, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:
- Will I change my website? Re-brand? Upgrade my design? Create a video intro?
You need to know this in order to make sure that all your design needs are met. If you will be doing a major re-brand or re design, it’s a good idea to work with designer, brand stylist and photographer as a team, so each has the same vibe and feel.
Your design and branding, including branding collaterals and other printable material will also determine the size and resolution you will need, as well as the type of photos you require. As a minimum, you will need:
- A great photo for your Header.
- A great portrait for your about page
- A variation of photos that you could use in your blog and to further illustrate other pages.
2. Am I at the center or my brand, or are my products? Do I want to shift this?
Personal Brands are all the rage these days, but they’re not everybody’s piece of cake, or great for every business.
It is up to you to make your business based on YOU, to be the face of your business, or to make it more product/service based. I recently had a client, for example, who hired me because she was tired of having her face plastered everywhere on her site. She wanted to put the accent on her clients and what she could do for them instead. So we created a series of images with lifestyle scenes and flat lays showing her products and representing her services, and how her clients could use them. We photographed the printable worksheets of her lead magnet and those of her main offering, and created images with electronics where she could overlay blog posts, videos and other material, to keep her images up to date.
3. What content will I create this year?
What topics will you write about? Where will you focus? How many blog posts, videos, social media posts are you planning to put out into the world?
The most effective photos speak the same language as your copy. So plan what you will be speaking about, so that you can find or commission photos that show the same topics and elicit the same feelings.
4. What free lead magnets will I create this year?
Again, think about topics, feelings and lifestyle, as well as practical issues such as design, and layout.
5. Which services do I want to promote? Has anything changed about my services that I want reflected in my photos?
Do you want to promote one to one services? Group programs? Live seminars? A conference? The type of photos you’ll need for each of these are different. If we want to convey personalized, one to one services, a photo of you leaning towards the viewer would be great, as would photos of hands in front of the computer, or working on your worksheets…whereas for group programs, seminars and conferences we would also need to convey the idea of community.
Same with your services. A change in the type and range of services you offer may require a re-evaluation of the photos used to represent the lifestyle and convey the feelings you want to elicit in your potential customers.
6. Which products will I be launching this year? With which frequency? Do these products have photos or do I need to take new updated ones? Are there new products? What is important for people to know at first glance about my products that I want the photos to reflect?
Knowing what you will be launching and when will allow you to make sure that you always have photos for your sales pages, social media and ads and that these images match the feeling of the products you’ll be launching.
And don’t worry if you haven’t finished creating those products. If you have an idea of what they will be about, and who they will target, I can photos photos for them.
Here’s how I did it with one of my clients, Andrea Hiltbrunner. We took a look at Andrea’s huge range of products, and her brand colors, and grouped them according to the chakra they helped activate. For example, some products helped her clients access their intuition, so we chose the colors of the third eye chakra, some products helped her customers feel empowered and make money, so we used to colors of the first and third chakra (red and gold). We divided products in the same way, using archetypal symbols.
For some core online products that were ready to be launched, we printed their worksheets, but for those that were still in development, we focused on the feeling we wanted to portray, where they landed in our chakra color chart, and used electronics and blank pages where Andrea’s designer could later overlay the worksheets and video snapshots of her course.
If you are planning to create a different range of products, talk to your photographer about them so she can shoot images you can later use to illustrate them, and don’t need to run around stock sites looking for extra images.
7. Where do I promote my business? Will I be adding new channels?
Which social media platform do you use? Which one gets you the most and best clients? Are you planning to add a new social media platform or simply deepen and grow your presence in the one you’re already mastering. How many times a day do I post on each?
Do you also advertise? Where? Facebook ads? Google ads? Blogs? Print media?
This is important for three reasons:
a- First, because you will need photos that can look great in the sizes and resolutions of each medium,
b- Second, because each social media platform has different audiences and what works in one, may not work in the other. Instagram audiences, for example, prefer more curated feeds, whereas “realness” and humor work very well on facebook.
c- Third, because the number of posts and the sizes you require will determine how many times you can repurpose a photo with crops, and color overlays. One of my flat lays can be cropped into 30 different square images. With color blocks in two different brand colors and two different shapes,each image can shield 150 instagram posts. If you consider that with my Grow Plan, you get 15 high resolution images and 30 tutorials on how to repurpose your images, what you are actually getting are 2250 social media posts, which allows you to post 6 times a day for a full year on social media, and not repeat visuals. Or 3 times a day for two years. Without counting photos you make take with your phone, or portraits or even graphics.
15 photos, then, are not 15 photos. Well planned, they’re two years of peace of mind.
8- What do I want my clients to know about me?
The answer to this question will determine the type of photos we take. Whether we focus more on lifestyle images, corporate style ones, or on your products.
Here’s what you need to do: Choose 5 qualities you want to convey with your photos. The ones that make you different from others in your same field. Give these words to your photographer or use them as keywords during stock photography search.
9- What feelings do I want to convey with my photos?
What do you want your future customers and your fans to FEEL when they see your images? What do you want them to think?
Peace and Calm?
Choose 3 core desired feelings that you want your brand to convey and list them down.
Now let’s put all this together.
Let’s say in the next year you will:
Redesign your website
Launch, twice, 2 existing products which have outdated photos (one is coaching/mentorship, the other is a group program at a medium price range)
Create a new product (a high end retreat or a conference/ a high priced group program)
You have 5 different lead magnets that use a combination of printables and video.
You will publish 52 blog posts, of which half will be video.
You want to show: leadership, excellence, approachability, spirituality, warmth
You want people to feel relaxed, empowered, and joyful when they see your photos.
You will post on instagram and facebook 3 times a day. You will also start using linkedin and need images for your youtube video thumbnails. You will promote using facebook and linkedin ads, and want photos that are printable because you are looking to get featured in the printed press.
Here’s how this translates into images:
You will need,at a minimum:
- 3 o 5 different portraits. You will want a portrait for your about page and social media profile photos (make it the same), and a variety of other photos for other parts of your website (eg, contact page), and for media publications, as well as social media. These should include a photo of you leaning forward to represent listening to a coaching client, and a photo of you speaking on stage (to promote a retreat, or conference)
- 5 different portrait orientation product/lifestyle photos that you can use for your lead magnets, social media and website illustration.
- 10 flat lays that you can use for your website, and that you can crop for social media and to promote your content. 10×150=1150 /365= 4 photos a day. The Flat Lays will show your different products (2 with the style of each of your products, and 4 in the general style of your brand, more towards the higher end style, with electronics, . They can also act as Header and floating backgrounds for your website.
- Ideally, you would also add 3 to 10 lifestyle photos showing groups of people working together, listening (to you speaking) and detail shots of beautiful objects included in your brand (such as brand collaterals, gift packages etc, if you have a fully designed brand. If you don’t, you don’t need this).
- GRAND TOTAL: 15 -25 product, flat lay & lifestyle images, + 5 portraits. 20 to 30 high quality, personalized, high resolution images can solve all your photography needs for a full year.
You can always add more images, and I would absolutely recommend getting professional retreat or conference photos, as well as professional book photos, if you’re a published author. You can also, depending on your budget, shoot individual collections for each product. But with 20 to 30 great images, you are set. All the rest is the cherry on top.
If you liked this video and want more like it, subscribe to my channel and share it with your friends. Remember to download the checklist of questions that comes with this post on the link below, so you can go through all this before your next photoshoot.
If you’d like to work with me, book a free call over at marcelamacias.com/book-now so we discuss what all your needs.
Have a lovely day and I’ll see you soon with more videos to help you grow your business beyond your wildest dreams