3 Things You Didn’t Know That Go Into A Commercial Shoot

February 1, 2020

Telling a story is a craft. One that has been passed on through our ancestors for thousands of years. It’s the power of stories that connect us and help us understand where we fit in this world. The story of your brand is no different. When creating a photoshoot it’s not about just showing up to any old location and taking some photos. There is so much more thought and intention that goes into it. Who is your customer (the character)? What are their struggles, hopes, and dreams (The plot)? And how do you make this the ending that all your customers want to have? This right here is the very first step to creating a commercial shoot. We write the story.

Choosing the Backdrop

Any backdrop to your story won’t work. Finding the right one is what makes a story believable. Should your products be in a cabin in the woods or an apartment in the city? Does your brand follow people on camping trips? Do they hike with your products? Would they travel with your products?

The scene of the story is what makes it real. This is why scouting for a location is the 2nd step to creating a shoot that tells your brand’s story. Mission Impossible would have been a whole different story if it all took place in a toy store and the same is true for the story we’re telling about your brand and products.

Scouting isn’t just limited to location though, it also applies to the people in your photos. The models.

Your Customer in Your Commercial Shoot

If your budget can afford it, having professional models is always a bonus. They know how to move their body and pose in ways that are natural but will make the clothes stand out. They’ve been trained to control poses and facial expressions so that you can get the exact look you want in your photos. However, friends of yours or mine who are more than willing to be a part of a shoot for trade and sometimes even free can work too.

It’s important to make sure that these models look like your ideal customers, it’s the customer that has to be able to see themselves in your marketing in order to buy from you.

Finally the 3 Ps. Props, Permits, and photos.

The 3 P’s

Photoshoots require having props that make the story feel real. If we’re portraying a campsite without a tent, the story is lagging. If you are hiking without a backpack, snacks, and water, no one is going to believe that it’s real. Without props, your shoot feels staged and not thought through. It’s important to see all the details and really make use of them in photos. While we might not notice them when they are there, we miss them when they are not. And that’s the power of having someone who knows how to tell a story, creating yours.

The 2nd P, Permits, aren’t always necessary but depending on where we are shooting they might be required. National parks, some city parks, and private lands all require a permit. Permits can take a couple of days to a couple of weeks to obtain depending on the location and therefore if you have a specific place in mind for your story, it’s key to leave room in your timeline and extra budget to pay for permits.

Last but not least are the photos.

This one you did expect to be in a photoshoot but what you might not always presume is what goes through the head of a photographer. Years of studying light, technology, and settings go into creating a photo. Then there is understanding posing and how to put enough details into a single image that tells you everything you need to know at once.

While I’m in a shoot I look for photos that will tell the full story by capturing wide shots and then getting closer and closer to get the details. I then think of composition for how you’ll use these photos, leaving a lot of negative space to use in print ads or magazine layouts, and then centering others for social media or the website. I think about all this while I adjust camera settings and play with lighting as I think about how the sun will be changing in 10 minutes when we move 100 yards to a new location.

All this is to say, that when you are getting commercial photos your investing in visuals that tell the story of your brand with such detail and thought that your customers can see what their future holds. You are getting a well-thought-out product that you can use over and over again and most importantly that you’ll be proud to share in your marketing.

Have Confidence In Your Brand Photos

I want to give you that confidence.

Commercial photography isn’t just about having photos with your product in it, it’s about creating emotion, telling a story and above all connecting with your customers.

Now that you can see all the thought and care that goes into a commercial shoot are you ready to make the investment in your business? Are you ready to stand out in a saturated market with images you’re proud of? Are you ready to connect with your customers and grow your business?

I thought so! Don’t waste any more time, book your shoot right now.

I can’t wait to see the story we come up with for your brand.