Create A Content Checklist for your Photoshoot!
What’s a content checklist, and how can it help you?
usiness owners sometimes don’t think about creating a content checklist because they’re not behind the camera.
However, if you, as a business owner, get involved in making a content checklist for your photoshoot, you’ll have much more control over your photoshoot outcome and make sure you hit all of the touch points for your business.
But before we go further, let’s talk about what a content checklist is and how it interacts with your shot list. If you’ve bought the Create Your Content Kit that I put together with Natalie of Beau & Arrow Media, you know I shared a lot of details in there on how to build a shot list that will keep you progressing through the various setups during a photoshoot. In contrast, a content checklist goes over the different types of content that you’re going to be using for your business during a set period of time, like the next few months. This includes activity on your website, blog, and social media and in printed materials. And when you have this upcoming content planned, you’re then able to make sure your shot list includes the right photos you’ll need for your content. For example, if you’re going to need a specialized photo that you might not otherwise remember to take, like a picture with your dog, comparing your content checklist with your shot list will save the day! I believe that for business owners I work with who make a content checklist, we hit the nail on the head 90% of the time with their photoshoots, meaning that they’ve got EVERYTHING they need to be comfortably prepared until their next scheduled photoshoot.
And so you can hit the nail on the head with your upcoming photoshoot, here are the top four things you should consider adding to your photo shoot to fill out that content calendar and make sure you have enough images to color cover your bases.
1. Intentionally Styled Setups
I LOVE styling. I could talk to you about it all day, and I’m listing this as my #1 tip because I’ve had a lot of success with these types of images. To create intentionally styled setups, channel your inner interior designer as you think about how your images will look. This standpoint will help you realize how you want things set up and what kinds of prop elements need to be present. Often times, you’ll be working with a brand photographer who will assist you in creating this internal picture you have in an actual image, and having at least a few key ideas can give them understanding of what you’re trying to do and what direction you want to go.
Let’s look at some examples. You might be a crafter wanting to stage a work table for a product shoot. Thinking like an interior designer would help you realize what stuff is around you when you work and what’s important to show off in the process of making your product. You might end up bringing in items like your fun crafting scissors, an X-Acto knife, cutting mats, actual cut materials, paper, and maybe even your sewing machine for the setup. If you’re a service-based business owner needing a lifestyle shoot, you could think about an office setup or a seating area like you’d find in a coffee shop where you might chat with a client. And again, that inner interior designer would allow you to have the right props to make an authentic-looking environment for your pictures.
If you’d like to dive a little deeping into channeling your inner interior designer, make sure to check out my free intentional styling mini-guide.
Flatlays are top-down, bird’s eye views of objects that are fantastic for filling out your social media calendar. They’re especially good for those filler things that aren’t necessarily about your services or products but are still engaging, like tips, quotes, or announcements about being out of the office. And if you did what I talked about before with intentional style planning, you’ll have good props on hand for flatlays, like books, keyboards, an iPad, a cell phone, printable items, and cute desk accessories. I’ve even done some photoshoots for actual interior designers in the past few months, and they brought in tile pieces and fabric swatches that looked amazing in their flatlays.
It’s also easy to create some mockup photos with the blank screens of those iPads, cell phones, and other electronic devices you already have with you for an intentionally styled photoshoot. Then you can simply go grab a screenshot of your website’s new service page or a picture of your soon-to-be released product and slap it onto the blank screen for an eye-catching, cost-effective visual. I use mockups all the time, and I recently created some to get the word out about my new business resources page, where I put together info about my classes, new blog posts, and freebies in one convenient place. And make sure to think beyond electronic devices, too. A setup with a blank coffee mug, picture frame, or canvas bag can also be perfect for mockups.
4. Fun, Unposed Images
One of my favorite things to do in photoshoots is to find a way to get people laughing and then snap some pictures. l love the way these unplanned images turn out, and they are the ones that everyone always tells me they are so glad I took a moment to capture when they see their photo gallery after a shoot. If you have been following me for a while now, you know I use these types of pictures a lot. I laugh. I cry. I do weird things with my hands. I make funny faces. Just like everyone else, I don’t really love seeing these pictures of myself. But these kinds of candid shots really do resonate with people. Being yourself is one of the best things you can do for your brand and business, and ensuring you have some photos that radiate your personality will be valuable for your content.
Do you have a photoshoot coming up? If so, I can promise you that taking the time to create your content checklist beforehand will be VERY worth the effort. A single photoshoot can provide an extensive amount of material for your content when you know what that content is going to be ahead of time and have your shot list planned out accordingly. If you have any questions about personal brand photoshoots or content planning, please leave them in the content area below or email me so I can help!
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