Professional photography can get expensive. If you’ve bitten the bullet make sure you get your money’s worth. While a good professional photographer will take care of you, asking questions to ensure you’re happy, it’s never a bad idea to prepare yourself as well.

Company shirts are always a good choice when taking company photos.

Company shirts are always a good choice when taking company photos.

The creative aspect of the photographs doesn’t rest on your shoulders, but there are a few things you, as the subject, can keep in mind to capture the perfect commercial photographs of your business.

As a photographer, I want to provide the client with exactly what they want. I have my own checklist of what to do at photo shoots. What if clients could prepare themselves, as well? That’s like….”Two heads are better than one!” Here are my suggestions and tips for you, the client, to consider before your photo shoot.

1. Marketing Uses

First things first, what are your pictures going to be used for? The horizontal slider on your homepage, a vertical rack card, a brochure cover, etc.? Let your photographer know your plans for the pictures allowing them to get ample vertical and horizontal photographs perfect for a variety of marketing purposes.

2. Let Your Personality Shine

Every business is different, each has their own character and personality. With your photographer, discuss the feel of your company; what are the people like, what’s your advertising like? Is your business super professional or are you silly and quirky? Helping your photographer understand the personality of your business will allow him, or her, to let that show through in the photographs.

3. Alert Your Staff

Let your staff know, days in advance, when your photographer is coming and how you feel they should dress. As a lady, I know there’s not much worse than arriving at work to find you’re in a surprise photo shoot. Uh, what? Give everyone ample time to prepare.

4. Clothing Options

Letting everyone in on the photo shoot also provides an opportunity to talk clothing. You may discuss clothing options with your photographer, but in case that doesn’t come up consider these tips:

  • Accurately represent your business. If you’re a suit and tie company, wear a suit and tie. MayeCreate, for example, is business casual but for pictures we dress it up a little…as if we were going out to a fancy dinner. But we’re still us.
  • Solids are better. (I’m talking to you, fish shirt guy!)
  • Request everyone dress in similar color families. Blues, greys and muted colors photograph best and provide unity. If you’re going for color, try and stay in the same color group. MayeCreate is green, so on photo shoot days, we all wear green shirts! They may not all be the SAME green, but they compliment each other.
  • If you have clothing with your company’s logo on them, consider wearing those.
Tidying your space pre-shoot allows your photographer to spend more time taking pictures instead of neatening your office.

Tidying your space pre-shoot allows your photographer to spend more time taking pictures instead of neatening your office.

5. Utilize the YOUR Environment

Having your photos taken actually in your office space is one way of illustrating your company’s personality. Personally, I like to see people in their own environment, I like to see business’ spaces. (Don’t forget to tidy up!)

  • Remove clutter from rooms that may be photographed: reception area, waiting area, conference room, library, main offices
  • Discard unnecessary papers, or file them away.
  • Tidy up books on shelves.
  • Put away dishes.

Consider moving the photo shoot outside for a couple photographs. Even if your building has simple landscaping your photographer can find a nice outdoor setting.

6. Get a Little Creative

This photo shoot is about you and your company. Don’t be shy, share your ideas! Honestly, I love to know ideas a client already has in their head that way I can better provide them with the product they’re hoping for.

  • Perhaps suggest getting some non-traditional photo angles.
  • Journalistic style photography creates emotion, provides that human element your market can relate to.
  • Get some silly shots! You never know when you might want to take a light approach to your marketing.

7. Relax

Most importantly, just relax. Photo shoots should be fun and easy. Many people dislike having their pictures taken, I’m one of them! (That’s why I live BEHIND the camera.) Before your photographer arrives, just take a moment and a few deep breaths. And prepare for your close-up.

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