Have you paid attention to your IG lately? The season comes time and again when a producer gives their socials a facelift, developing an aesthetic and visual brand that communicates what they’re about. Perhaps you’ve already done a few rounds of rebranding!
Today we’re not talking specifically about what types of visuals you should use. Today we’re talking about photoshoots.
In case you’ve never taken photographs seriously, consider the following: showing your face (or at least your body, ahem...Daft Punk, Marshmallow, Deadmau5, etc) can help solidify your personal brand and strengthen the human connection between yourself and your audience.
Think of all the artists and producers you personally follow. Is your brand loyalty strong with those who hide behind a logo? Unless it’s an uber-intentional mystery brand like Zhu, probably not so much.
Granted, it takes practice becoming comfortable showing your face on camera, but this practice will help you as a producer connect with your audience better.
And no one said you need to be pretty for this to work...
1. Choose 3 Different Outfits
If you’re going to bother lining up a photographer and setting aside an afternoon to get some photos done, you may as well get some traction out of it.
Select at least three different outfits, mixing and matching throughout the shoot. You’re creating content that should at least last you for a few weeks.
You don’t want to be that guy showing up to work wearing the same shirt three days in a row. 🤣
Nah people are more forgiving than that. But it remains true that you want to engage your audience by showing off different elements of your style.
Take the opportunity to showcase your style. Throw on your three favorite shirts. Match it with a hoodie or jacket. Take a couple pairs of pants. Socks and sandals
You get it. If you’re feeling extra fancy, bring someone to mess your hair a few ways.
Now here’s a tip 💎:
Select one article of clothing or accent-piece to wear consistently throughout the shoot. Doing this can leave a memorable branding image on your audience.
Think a unique hat, pair of glasses, or a hairstyle. Take time to study icons like Chance the Rapper with his #3 hat, or Anderson .Paak and his shades + beanie combo.
2. Strategically Choose A Location
You always have the option of a longer photoshoot with multiple locations. If you’re on a financial or time budget, be strategic with the single location you’ll be shooting at.
Choose a location that has variety in the environment.
Different landmarks and backdrops. Different altitudes so that the photographer can play with some interesting angles.
Obviously, keep the weather in mind if choosing an outdoor location.
You’ll want a slightly overcast day. Most photographers will tell you that direct sunlight is never ideal. Choose a location with a mix of shade if it is completely sunny.
Consider what environment you feel the most natural, be this a park, street, the studio, etc.
**If you do select a studio, make sure to clear it with the owner first!
3. Capture Various Angles & Shots
It’s important that your photos have variety beyond backgrounds and outfits, but also in the angles and shots taken.
This is something your photographer should be well familiar with, but it doesn’t hurt for you to have a base knowledge of as well.
A full shot will showcase the entire drip of the outfit, from the shoes to the very top. Full shots are also good for displaying your location.
A 3/4 shot (knees up) might be the most natural shot to display your overall look, without the shot looking overly setup. Your facial expression is also more app
A close shot is great for presenting your face. Flash that winning smile of yours, or pull off a moody gaze. The human face is the biggest tool in your arsenal to communicate emotion.
Group and prop shots can be helpful for adding energy to your visuals. Bring a buddy or two with you to the shoot, or take along some props. These types of elements (human or otherwise) are great ways of putting your brand into context.
A lofi artist may benefit from close shots of textures, coffee mugs, vinyl players, or action figures.
A festival artist will benefit from a group shot of rowdy partiers.
Your photoshoot can be as big or as simple as you need it to be. The biggest thing is to simply plan ahead.
4. Show Your Face
It’s a well known fact that pictures showing an individual's face are one of the most high-performing post types on Instagram.
Perhaps it’s a human psychology thing, but photographs of a smiling face receive great engagement.
Despite this, plenty of producers don’t bother putting a face to their name. Maybe it’s because many producers are behind-the-scenes kind of people, and they're simply not comfortable showcasing themselves as people.
Try it out. Put your fears aside and try it out. What’s the worst that could happen?
As with everything in this hustle; those who put themselves out there and take risks will come out on top.
5. Make IG Posts In Vertical 4:5 Portrait Format
It’s always best to consider your final medium when creating content.
In our context, we need to remember that our photoshoot is largely going to end up on Instagram.
Instagram prefers Portrait images over Landscape images. Of course, Square 1:1 images work splendidly, but 4:5 Portrait images take up more screen real estate. This means that followers are less likely to miss a 4:5 image, since it’s larger.
All this to say, be sure to capture enough photographs in portrait mode during your photoshoot. You can always crop your images to 4:5 after the fact, but a keen eye can set up the shot during the session.
6. Take Advantage Of Instagram’s Carousel Posts
IG’s Carousel Post allows up to ten slides for photos and videos (60 seconds or less).
Carousel Posts have a higher chance of receiving engagement, as there are multiple pieces of content that may trigger a reaction from the audience.
It’s just stats.
You post one photo, and a viewer might say “meh” and keep scrolling down their feed.
You post ten photos in a Carousel, and a viewer might say “meh” to the first photo, swipe right to the next two or three photos, and react or comment on the fourth photo.
Now that you might be posting up to ten images in a single post, that photoshoot is starting to sound like a better and better idea now right?
Gotta get that content!
Spread out these photos to post on Instagram 2-3 times a week. You only need 8-12 pieces of good content a month. Can you get that much in one photoshoot? Definitely.
The process of collecting all these images is called Batch Content.
Take a day to plan and prepare all your default content for the month. Schedule it out, and you can always shift posts around as special or spontaneous things come about.
Hear from LaynoProd himself as he hypes you up for preparing for your next photoshoot. 👇👇