The Benefits of Having A Photo Style Guide

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We're professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry and empower other photographers to build their biz.



If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you’ve most likely heard our famous (or at least it should be!) catch phrase. It’s something that became really important to us when we initially pivoted towards brand photography and has been our key to consistently delivering a good client experience. It’s not just something we say, it’s something we live by:

“We will never just show up and shoot.”

This phrase is a promise to our clients that we will walk with them through the process of planning their brand photoshoot. We know just how overwhelming it can be for clients when it’s time to start putting all of the pieces together for their shoot. After all, they are hiring us because they need help and we have the experience! 

We fully believe that a successful brand photoshoot is 50% planning and prep, and 50% execution. If we don’t plan and prepare well, it will absolutely impact our ability to execute well the day of the shoot. That’s why we created a template that allows us to take all of that planning and prep and roll it up into one helpful document that gives our clients a “blueprint” for their shoot! Today, we’re taking you through all of the benefits of having a Photo Style Guide!

Opportunity to Collaborate

A couple of weeks before our shoot, we gather all of the location info, think through all of the props needed, and pull all of the info we’ve gotten from our client on specific shots and the “feel” they’re looking for in their images. We also include what the images will be used for. Add in some photo inspo we pull from various sources and ta-da! You have all of the necessary info for our style guide! We plug all of that info into our template and send it out to the client a few weeks in advance of the shoot. We do this in advance so that our clients have the opportunity to provide feedback on what we’ve put together and have final input on whether our thoughts are in line with their vision for the shoot. At this point in the process, we’re going off of what we’ve gathered from the client. Now, this is their chance to see a visual representation of that and collaborate with us to “tweak” it to perfection!

Alleviate the Stress

The worst thing we can think of is a client laying in bed the night before a shoot, eyes wide open, wondering “Did I remember everything?” “Am I forgetting that one prop?” “Do I have the right address for the locations?”…we want to put a stop to that before it begins! The second biggest purpose behind our photo style guide is that it offers all of the information laid out in an easy-to-reference format so that the client can flip through it while they’re preparing and walk away confident that they have everything they need! No more pre-shoot stress!

Day-Of Roadmap

Finally, we always bring a copy of the photo style guide on the day of the shoot. It literally becomes our roadmap! We reference it throughout the shoot whenever needed. It helps us stay in line with the specifics we discussed with the client and make sure we capture all of the specific images they need!

This method has been tried and true for us. From personal brands to household name brands alike, this way of putting together a shoot plan has served us and our clients again and again. We’re super passionate about this, if you can’t tell, and we’re encouraging you to adopt a similar method that works for your business! You’ll be amazed at how the consistency of a process like this elevates your client experience!

In fact, wanna get your hands on the exact planning guide we deliver to every one of our clients? Well you’re in luck! Our Photoshoot Planning Template is available HERE, and for the first time ever, it’s available as a Canva template as well as InDesign! We can’t wait to see you level up your business with this resource. 

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