What is photo content creation?
Creating photo content for social media involves using images to capture users’ attention in their feeds. Images (photos, illustrations, GIFs, etc.) should always have a link to the brand, the campaign and the subject matter, and they should always be relevant and engaging. Photo content creation is essential to achieving the objectives of any social media strategy. But the most important factor to stand out from the crowd is to create content of high quality.
Why do you need it?
To anchor your brand on social platforms. Visuals are the star of most social networks. Think Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and even LinkedIn and Twitter.
To stand out in your subscribers’ feeds. As users scroll through their feeds, they look at the images first and the accompanying text second—if you’ve managed to grab their attention. Users need to understand your message at first glance.
Because a picture is worth a thousand words. You can have the best copy in the world but the first thing users look at it is the image. If the visual catches their eye, they’ll read the copy that supports it. The trick is to post images that stop users in their tracks. If not, your content will get lost. Beautiful images not only engage followers they also contribute to your marketing objectives.
What if you don’t have a bank of images?
Not all brands have an image bank to fall back on. If that’s the case for you, one solution is to leverage stock photos or videos that are aligned with your brand colours.
The benefits of a photo bank
- Less expensive than video production
- Reusable content
- Internal sharing tool
- Quick (less searching)
- Less expensive overall since you own the rights
The pros of shooting your own photos
- Build notoriety
- Add a human touch to your brand
- Inspire your community
- Establish credibility
- Boost engagement
- Promote products
- Increase sales
- Generate traffic from Google Images
The image you present on your social platforms becomes your brand image in the eyes of the user. It’s an essential way to establish and solidify your reputation.
Quality comes first. Steer clear of poor quality images at all costs. It may be tempting to cut corners but poor quality pictures can damage your brand image fast. Even one bad image can have a major impact on the reach and engagement of your posts. Cheap is expensive, comme on dit en anglais. Even one bad image can have a major impact on the reach and engagement of your posts.
How does it work?
Creating photo content for social media is a complex process and requires a lot more than simply taking a few shots with an iPhone.
The 3 key ingredients to producing quality photos for your brand
→ Strategic thinking
→ Rigorous planning
→ Impeccable execution
Step 1: Define your needs, objectives and budget
Creating photo content is a work of art, but it still takes into account the brand’s needs, marketing objectives and budget.
The elements needed to create a good photoshoot:
- The product
- The brand
- The objectives
- The target audiences
- The key messages
- The resources available (team and budget)
Step 2: Choose the theme and create moodboards
For this step, we put down onto paper the key message you want to convey in a relevant and creative way.
The elements needed to create strong themes
- Product launch dates
- News and exclusives
- The existing brand image
- The desired brand image
- The brand colours
- Other creative elements
The moodboard. Once the client has approved the themes, it’s time to create the inspiration board (the moodboard)which includes everything from colours to materials and the overall look & feel you’re going for.
Step 3: Select the team and location(s)
The team. Depending on the budget and available resources, the dream team is usually made up of a photographer, art director, stylist (fashion or food), make-up artist, extras and production assistants, among others.
The location. Should you shoot in a studio, outside, in a house or in a store? The possibilities are endless. Based on the themes and moodboards, we’ll help you choose the best location(s). The photographer can also offer their ideas on where to hold the shoot.
Step 4: Brief the team and plan the shoot
Briefing the team. Once all the other details are in place, it’s time to hold the first team meeting to brief everyone involved. This meeting is a must to make sure everyone on the team has a clear understanding of the strategy, objectives, roles and responsibilities to deliver the highest quality photos.
Planning the shoot. It takes a lot of coordination and hard work to organize a photoshoot. For every picture, we tell our clients what our vision is and then plan all the elements to bring it to life.
What you need for a successful shoot
- Make a list of the accessories and equipment needed.
- Make all the purchases.
- Plan the sequence of shots.
- Organize the schedule for extras.
- Reserve the location(s).
- Figure out the client approval process.
Lack of organization always leads to failure. You can never go too far when it comes to preparation. The success of your shoot is at stake so we don’t cut any corners!
Common mistakes made on photoshoots
- Relying solely on the photographer’s inspiration.
- Not having a moodboard.
- Not having all the necessary accessories and equipment
- Failing to organize the sequence of shots.
- Not setting aside enough time.
- Forgetting rechargeable batteries (for all equipment).
- Failing to give your team clear instructions.
- Failing to give the photographer clear instructions.
- Not taking enough pictures.
Step 5: The day of the shoot
D-Day has arrived. You’ve got your moodboards in hand and your team in place… time for the fun to begin
Should the client be on site? In an ideal world, yes. There’s a lot going on during a photoshoot. Decisions often have to be made on the spot, and if the client is there, it makes the work a lot easier! A bit like an assembly line in a factory, you want to take the shots one after the other so you don’t lose time. It’s a well-oiled sequence that’s been practiced dozens of times. If there’s a delay in getting the shots approved, it slows the whole photoshoot down.
The magic of a photoshoot. Even when you’re well prepared, sometimes shots don’t live up to expectations. When the client is on site, changes can be made in a few minutes. ut if we move on to the next shot without having the previous photo approved, it’s hard to go back. Communication is key to an efficient work day and top-quality photos.
How much time should you set aside? Depending on the complexity of the pictures, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for each shot. Setting up the shot can go quickly or it can take a long time. If you’re using props, and especially if you’re taking food shots, you can easily allow for an hour of time. And the same applies if you have to wait until a certain time of day to capture the best natural light.
Depending on the complexity of the photos, you can expect to take between eight and 15 shots per photoshoot.
Where will the pictures live?
It’s essential to know ahead of time where the pictures will be posted. f they’re intended for social media, you may need the shots in different formats. Make sure that the format of the photos taken is appropriate (e.g. horizontal or square for a Facebook post, vertical for Instagram stories and square for the Insagramfeed to minimize adjustments in post-production. Photos can be adapted for all platforms, but you need to plan ahead!
Step 6: Photo selection and retouching (post-production)
Mission accomplished! After the photoshoot, the selected and approved photos need to be retouched to add the right filters, to ensure consistency with the brand image and to crop to fit the right formats where necessary.
And there you have it! You’ve now got a bank of inspiring photos to help you stand out on social media.
Just the thought of a photoshoot has you in a panic? It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Between all the back and forths to casting and purchasing, photoshoots take a lot of work and coordination with everyone involved. There are so many details to manage, and most of them can’t be accomplished with just a few emails or meetings. It takes time and energy to capture the quality photos you want.
So how about we take it off your hands and serve you quality photo content?