When it comes to planning a shoot for your brand, one of the most crucial decisions you have to make is the WHERE.
The location sets the stage for your entire brand shoot. It puts you in the place where we can literally bring your brand to life and honestly, determines how believable your brand photos will be for your audience.
Consider shying away from the popular and trending spots in your area. Do some digging to find that diamond in the rough spot that just feels like your brand could set up camp and literally live there!
Remember, over here at Rachael Leigh we’re in the business of creating photos that don’t get lost in the scroll. Ones that stand out from a myriad of other imagery that already floods your client’s feed. Brand portraits are the vehicle for telling your brand’s story – thus they should be the embodiment of all that you know your brand to be. And all this? It starts with the right canvas – the location.
Use the menu of options below to guide your search. Don’t be afraid to mix and match or completely divert from what you see here! The magic in brand photos is found in the things that only make sense for your brand.
So, with this in mind. Here are 3 different places to consider using for your next brand shoot.
1. Your home – This one is typically the most obvious, but you’d be surprised how many don’t even consider using their home. If you have a variety of well lit rooms + your home decor is up to par with the overall look and feel of your brand as a whole, then USE IT!
2. Airbnb/Home Studio List/Peerspace – these services provide ample access to a variety of different homes styled in various aesthetics, one of which might just match your brand. Keep in mind they do come with an added fee, so plan for that in your overall shoot budget. But know, the investment is worth it if that location sets the perfect stage for your brand portraits!
3. A local venue, hotel or coffee shop – if your brand isn’t only central to a home office or lifestyle feel, take it outside (maybe literally, maybe not). Consider boutique hotels, venues and coffee shops in your area. One of those might be the best backdrop to relate to your client’s on-the-go lifestyle. Illustrate your refined taste or be a way to showcase a literal part of your process (hello, wedding vendors!). Get creative here and don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t seen before!
Bonus – A friend’s or family member’s home – your house may not be up to par with your brand’s aesthetic or may not have the right kind of light for a shoot. However, someone you know might just have the right spot! Consider the homes of your family and friends, if one of them has a home that would be perfect for your shoot, don’t be afraid to ask if you could use it!
And because I’m an example type of gal, here’s a collection of photos from various shoots to show those ideas on display!
My client Joey used her home for her shoot because this hallway is iconic to her brand! You’ll regularly find her walking through with a mug of coffee or rolling out her yoga mat in the morning.
For Katie, of Abundant Collab Co., we selected this upscale Airbnb in Cincinnati, Ohio to welcome a more elevated and refined feel to contrast her warm and welcoming brand’s personality. – the blank walls, high ceilings and industrial design mimic the type of space she’d choose for her business would live in if she didn’t work from home (it also had the best blank wall to feature that killer mosaic of her client framework).
For my own brand shoot, I selected this Home Studio List listing in Northern Ohio. It’s felt like a place where my brand came to life and set up a home, so it created the perfect canvas! (also, can we just stop and appreciate those french doors! gah.)
Getting out of a house and on location at either a local café or venue was the perfect addition to these two shoots! The first shows my client, Debbie, in a cafe that she frequents in her on-the-go lifestyle. And the second is at a wedding venue that my client, Amber, photographs often here in Cincinnati! Both of these locations provided variety and allowed us to exhibit bits of my clients’ brands that they would’ve been hard to show in a home.
Kindly Grown is a flower farmer as well as a florist and the field can actually be found at her parent’s farm! So, it only made sense for us to split the shoot between her home where she creates and their farm where the flowers are actually grown!
The location you select could be the very thing that makes your shoot a success or it could be the breaking of it. Trust me, I’ve been in many a situation where the location stumped our vision and caused some of our plans to go off the rails. We still walked away with solid imagery, but not as many iconic and remarkable images as we’d envisioned.
It’s time to say no to your brand photos fading into the myriad of other imagery that floods the internet. Your business and your brand are worth more than that.