As xMimiMakes has steadily started to grow, I look to more prominent small shops for inspiration and had seen branding photoshoots popping up on my Instagram feed. Feeling like I wanted one but not really sure I was ‘big’ enough to warrant one and actually (in hindsight) not completely understanding the true point and impact they can have on your brand, I just admired them from afar, thinking it may be something to reconsider in a few years. So when the lovely Clare from Austhorpe Photography contacted me about doing one I couldn’t believe my luck! I will admit I was a little overwhelmed and found the whole thing daunting when she first messaged me. My first reaction was to say “Thanks, but I’m not really sure I’m worth it (or needing it for that matter)”, but Clare followed up my desperate reply with a call to run through what the shoot entailed and why I should rethink my reasoning for not wanting it. This really gave me the confidence to say yes and know that I was in safe and experienced hands.
So what’s in a branding photoshoot?
I don’t know about you but whenever I buy from a small shop, particularly on Instagram or even if I don’t buy but I follow the shop I always want to know two things
- Who is the person behind these squares?
- How are these beautiful products being made?
It could be that I am just nosey or maybe that’s what makes small shops online so special, you can put a face to the product as well as see something grow from its infancy. So I thought it was really important that I got some pictures of me and my craft. I had said I would like relaxed pictures of me drinking tea looking happy. But Clare suggested that a picture of me drinking tea is pointless and asked me to think about what I really want to let my followers and customers know about me? what story do I want to tell?
With Clare’s direction, I quickly was able to establish exactly what I wanted to get from the photos. I wanted lots of great content for my Instagram as this is mainly where I get a lot of my business from, as well as pictures for my blog, emails and my very own WEBSITE! As the old saying goes “a picture speaks a thousand words” and the words that I wanted to be spoken about me were that I am just a normal (ish) person, I work from home around my family and I wanted to really show just what goes into running a small business like this. Showing the ‘behind the scenes’ components of what keeps Mimi Makes going, as well as getting a few promotional shots and teasers of future product launches.
How did I prepare for my branding shoot?
Write a list of shots/pictures you want to get – When Clare rang me prior to the shoot we had a lengthy discussion where we brainstormed scenes/setups we would like to capture prior to her coming round, so I had a list of those shots we had discussed plus some others I had thought of in between to try.
Colour Palette – I have already established a colour palette and way of presenting my work online through my Instagram. So sticking with this I wanted to keep the pictures light and airy with lots of pastel colours. You don’t want to start adding pictures into your Instagram feed and them be completely different to anything else you’ve ever posted. I did this by making sure I had a good selection of fabrics and various materials that would fit my colour palette around to shoot.
Outfit choice – I stuck to casual pastel (for the reasons mentioned above) cosy knits and my slippers, which is typical attire for a day at Mimi Makes HQ (makeup and brushed hair may have been for show…). I wanted to be a true reflection, relaxed and comfortable. I also had an outfit change to help with the longevity and create some different interest with the pictures so as when I post them its not just the same thing every time.
Clare made me feel so comfortable and relaxed that I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier photographer, she was just so knowledgable and she took the time to really get a feel for me and my brand. As well as all of this (as if this wasn’t good enough!) Clare also gave me some insider photographer tips and tricks for making my own flat lays and product images a bit nicer on the eye. Now I just can’t wait to start sharing all the fab new pics with you.
I couldn’t be happier with the way these pictures turned out and would really urge anyone with a small business to contact Clare about a branding photoshoot!
If you’d like to read all about when Clare met me you can read her blog here.