Choosing your brand shoot location
I’m going to try and keep this blog post relatively manageable as I realised when going through images just how many locations I’ve shot at, the different vibes and the feels, all carefully considered for each client. But I know from talking to several people, choosing a location can be a difficult thing for their shoot, so I’m here to shed a bit of light around how to choose your brand photoshoot location.
Firstly, before I go into the hows and whys for different location types, some things to consider:
- Know your ideal client / target audience – I can’t stress this enough! Whilst you may be the focus of the image, the environment and styling of the imagery has to relate to who you are presenting that message to. It provides the context as to who your business is for and who you are
- If shooting outside, have a bad weather plan – after a decade in crisis and contingency planning, always consider what your wet weather plan is, either that you need to have an indoor location, need to embrace the weather (to an extent!) or choose wisely when you have your shoot to avoid the risk of bad weather
- Permissions – not all locations are free to use and if you have somewhere in mind, you need to make sure that you have the correct permissions to shoot there
City brand shoot locations
So, as I’m a London brand photographer, I’m going to start with city vibes, and believe it or not, London is more than just the steps and streets of Notting Hill! There are so many amazing areas, so depending on your desired vibe and personality, my little black book of areas is open for us to explore.
Timings wise, generally it’s best anywhere to be avoiding midday harsh sunlight, but in a city environment, it’s also best to shoot outside of “peak periods” so rush hour times, lunchtimes, etc. Think about having a shoot earlier in the morning for real quietness, or if you want a bit of a hustle but not heaving, into the evenings in the summer can have a really lovely feel to it.
Now with a city location there are so many choices, this is generally more about showing your lifestyle, you out and about doing the things you love. Although of course we will capture some killer “headshots” of you for those about page or PR images, but it’s a great way to appeal to your clients and show what you get up to away from the business. However, if you meet with clients in a city setting, then this too can be incorporated into your city brand shoot.
At home / studio
Many entrepreneurs I know work from home, or have a home office, so this may seem like a great location for your shoot, and often it is… However, there are some things to consider – the lighting and style, if your office is actually a dark corner of the house under the stairs, it may not actually have the aesthetic your brand needs. But fear not, there are amazing shoot houses that can be hired for this very reason, these have been chosen and designed with shoots in mind – think gorgeous lighting and beautiful interiors.
Now, for some people they may think that this is a bit artificial, but with props and styling, they are very much like being in your real home, but with the added bonus that you don’t need to be the one to frantically run around cleaning before the shoot! Also, for some of my clients, the idea of having their actual home out there on the internet is nervy, so this is a great solution.
If you meet clients in your home, it may be a bit confusing to use a shoot house, so in that scenario, your home or studio is probably better placed to conduct the shoot.
Rural shoot locations
Being positioned as a London brand photographer (well, live in Essex, but in London most weeks!) I don’t actually get to do many rural shoots, however the practicalities still apply – if shooting in places, make sure you have any required permissions and have a bad weather plan!
There are so many gorgeous places throughout the UK that provide that rural countryside feel, so even if you live in London but your brand is aligned with a more rural aesthetic, travelling out of the city is absolutely something you can do. Although, there are definitely some gems in London that give that countryside feel if leaving the confines of the TFL network puts you on edge.
Destination brand photography
If you’ve been following a while, you’ll know that I love a destination brand shoot and this year have had the pleasure of working in Malta and Spain, with Paris coming up next month.
Whether it’s because you are travelling for business and therefore it makes sense to combine with a shoot to show the worldwide nature of your business, or travel is a big part of your life more generally, a destination brand shoot can add that extra dimension to your imagery.
Often when people think destination brand photography, they think beaches (which by the way can also be done in the UK!) but just like here in the sunny UK, you have so much choice, it all comes down to the destination you choose or are visiting at the time.
And another thing you may well have noticed (probably mostly if you saw my stories whilst in Malta) – I have this thing with doors… Beautiful doors and doorways seem to be aplenty in the destinations I’ve been to this year!
So there we have it, some thoughts on the different types of locations you can use for your brand shoot. Lots to choose from, but that doesn’t have to be overwhelming, that’s where your brand photographer comes in, they can guide and advise you on where would be a great location for your business and your brand – you don’t have to be on the same street as everyone else (although if that works best for your brand and you, then definitely embrace it).
Until next time,