As a brand photographer, the best way I can serve my clients is to fully understand their business, vision for their photoshoot, marketing needs and why they’re hiring a brand photographer. I do this through a brand photography planning questionnaire that I send my clients after they book a photoshoot with me.
In episode 6 of the Become A Brand Photographer podcast, I share 6 of those questions from the brand photography planning questionnaire to ask your brand photography clients before their photoshoot. Tune in to the 10 minute episode, or find the readable version below!
Listen to the episode now
6 Questions To Add To Your Brand Photography Planning Questionnaire
Brand Photography Planning Question One
How do you want to use your personal brand photos to grow your business?
This might seem really, but I’ve seen many clients excitedly book a photographer and plan their brand photoshoot and then fail to use their pictures once they receive them. And it’s usually not the fault of the photographer… it’s just that the client didn’t truly take stock of what they needed photos for.
By asking this question, you’re having your clients think through their current online presence, think through their current marketing needs, and really write down on paper how they want to use their photos. If their main goal is going to be for their website, then you might consider doing more wide banner images and just a few vertical images. Whereas if they plan on using their gallery of custom brand photos all for Pinterest, you’re going to focus on creating vertical imagery. Or based on the client’s marketing needs, you’re going to have different ideas for a shot list depending on how those images are going to be used.
Always ask how your brand photography clients want to use their pictures to grow their personal brand and to continue growing their business, and that will help you really understand their vision and what they’re hoping to achieve through the photos.
Brand Photography Planning Question Two
Do you have any upcoming products or service launches planned for your business?
Of course I want to know how I can serve my brand photography clients right now in this current version of their business and get them the imagery that they need for their websites and their socials. But I also want my clients to think longer term and have a bigger vision for their marketing. If they know that they plan on launching something new in 6 months time or in an upcoming quarter, we can go ahead and start being proactive and think of ways to showcase that new branch of their business now. Their brand photos and content can preemptively build trust with this new audience prior to launching a product or service.
I also like to ask this question because otherwise we might end up with more generic brand photos, like sitting with a laptop or drinking out of a coffee mug. Those are still usable and work great, but I would rather create imagery that tells their story and pushes a promotion forward. Those generic shot list ideas are great for lifestyle images, but they’re not great when it comes to promoting something that’s important in the business.
This question also helps me understand the trajectory of their business and if they are needing to attract a different clientele and different demographic long term. If you attract a more casual and carefree client right now, but your future offer is more classy and professional, then your images will need to reflect those changes in your business.
Brand Photography Planning Question Three
What kinds of pictures do you need for your website and marketing efforts?
I actually ask what kinds of pictures my clients need for every aspect of their marketing, but I specifically ask about image placement on their website because that is going to determine how I shoot during the brand photo shoot.
When I hear a client say they need images for their website, my gears start turning and I’m thinking of wide banner images, verticals for about me pages… There’s typically a similar wire frame across website platforms. I focus on negative space and taking pictures that clients can then overlay with text.
I ask specifically about the website because I want to know if the client has a wire frame that we can keep in mind during their brand photoshoot. Then once they get their photos back, it’s as easy as plug and play!
Brand Photography Planning Question Four
What is the overall message you want to portray with your brand and content?
This question from the brand photography planning questionnaire feels important to ask because it’s going to dictate the entire aesthetic of the photo shoot. Knowing what message the client wants to portray and what kind of feeling they want to give off to their ideal client is going to help me know the following:
- What type of location we need to scout for
- What type of props they need to source and bring for the photoshoot
- What kind of outfits they need to wear
- What photo opportunities need to be on their brand photography shot list
Every brand that you work with is going to have a story and a message to share. And I want to do my best to share that message visually through the photos that we capture. So this is where we get into the details of not just trying to create lifestyle imagery for them or not just trying to take another headshot.
Knowing what their brand’s message is helps me figure out how to do my part of the job with a camera. For example, if I have a real estate agent that wants to break into the luxury real estate market and attract higher-end clients, then we need a completely different type of home than a realtor who attracts first -time home buyers.
That overall message and aesthetic that the client wants to have is going to dictate a lot about the planning process for their photos.
Brand Photography Planning Question Five
What kind of content do you post on Instagram and where do you seek inspiration for your brand photos?
I like this question because a lot of my clients do Instagram marketing. We want to make sure that we’re taking a unique approach to their visual content and not just taking pictures that are going to get lost in the feed and not have an impact.
Knowing what type of content they already post on Instagram helps us see if it’s actually effective for them. Essentially we want to make sure that we’re taking pictures that match their content that has performed the best. If their current strategy doesn’t work, we need to try something different. If their Instagram content does work, then we want to keep replicating that through professional photography or on a different scale.
So I like asking what type of content they post, and a lot of times I ask this by asking about content themes or content pillars or content buckets… just what is that repetitive type of content that they post on social media.
Brand Photography Planning Question Six
What is your biggest pain point right now when it comes to showcasing your brand and your business online?
As a brand photographer, I love asking this question because it helps me see the gaps in their current marketing plan and it helps me nail down where they’re missing professional imagery (or where they’re feeling the pain of missing professional imagery). By asking this question, it’s causing the client to slow down and take note of what their pain point is and take note of what the problem is and then you’ll be able to turn around and offer a solution and solve that problem for them.
If you’re booking clients but you feel a lack of direction when it comes to planning their brand photoshoot or you’re not connecting with them and their needs, these six questions could be a really good starting point to understand your ideal client a little bit better and to understand how you can serve them better. You can buy my full brand photography planning questionnaire here.
Want more content and resources about pivoting into brand photography?
Check this out next!
- Visit The Brand Photography Shop and find templates and digital downloads to grow your brand photography business. You can even purchase The Brand Photography Starter Kit, which has all the resources and tools I use to run my own 6-figure brand photography business! If you need brand photography email templates, a brand photography client workflow or planning questionnaire, you’ll find all the downloads in the shop!
- Listen to the Become A Brand Photography podcast to learn how to pivot into brand photography. On the podcast I share everything I’ve learned the last 5+ years (and 200 brand photoshoots later) about running an in-demand brand photography business!