Planning a brand photoshoot with Anna Considine

Posted on February 15, 2024 by Sarah Robertson

Many of my clients are curious about the benefits of brand photography, as well as planning a brand photoshoot, so I asked Edinburgh-based brand photographer Anna Considine to share her wisdom for this late winter instalment of This Creative Life.


I love the time and ease it brings to your business when you have a gallery of shots ready to go, but planning a brand photoshoot can feel daunting! I’ve been a brand photographer for almost ten years and want to share my top tips for planning a shoot as a client. Done right, it can be such a fun and rewarding process that offers so much value to your work. Let’s dive in.

Start with a moodboard

If you use Pinterest regularly, you will be familiar with the concept of moodboards! These are a collection of images that convey the style of photography you’d like to achieve for your brand shoot. I recommend starting here because they serve as a stepping stone for every other part of your planning process.

I love to begin with a secret board on Pinterest so that I can Pin to my heart’s content without anybody seeing what I’m drawn to. You could start by searching for “brand photography” and adding your industry (e.g. “brand photography yoga instructor”). You could also try “photography” and adding your location (e.g. “beach photography” or “Edinburgh portraits”).

When you’ve curated a selection of photos you love, you get an idea of the style of photographer you need. Maybe the photos are moody and dark, or very bright and minimalist? It’s much better to have an idea of what you love in a photo before approaching a photographer so that you don’t end up with a gallery of images that aren’t truly you.

Equally, you might have Pinned lots of images taken in a forest, or on a beach. This will let you know that a particular location is important to you and worth mentioning to your photographer!

Client quotes

The number one mistake I see people make in planning a brand shoot is underestimating how long it takes.

Find your brand photographer

Now you have an idea of what photography you are drawn to, you are ready to find a brand photographer.

Every brand photographer works differently, so it’s worth thinking about:

  • How many photos you need. Would you like a full gallery with lots of choices or a smaller headshot session?
  • Whether you want your brand photographer to be local to you, or if you would prefer to work with a brand photographer further away whose approach appeals to you.

Once you have answers to these questions, here are some ways to start your search:

  • Ask for recommendations. If there is somebody in your network whose brand photography you love, see if they link their photographer on their website or send them a DM to find out who took their brand photos. Ask your network who they’ve worked with and loved.
  • It’s worth checking if there are links to who took your favourite photos from your Pinterest board. Pinterest pulls photos from all over the world so this might not work out, but you can check just in case.
  • Almost all photographers are very active on Instagram, and its algorithm and curation means that you are more likely to get photographers that resonate with you than a straight Google search. Try searching “UK brand photographer” or your location + brand photographer to begin.

Make sure you have enough time for a shoot

The number one mistake I see people make in planning a brand shoot is underestimating how long it takes. For a shoot that involves finding a great location and a shoot plan, less than a month will be challenging (my shoots take around 6 weeks, to give you an idea!) Photos will also need to be edited afterwards, and timespans vary from 2 weeks to 6 weeks or more… larger galleries will be the ones that take longer.

Just as importantly, certain times of the year are much busier for a photographer and it will vary depending on who you work with. My busiest time is the autumn, so if somebody approaches me in September for an October shoot, it might be unlikely I can fit them in.

Don’t wait too long if you have a website launch deadline or a goal in mind! It’s better to get in touch too soon than wait and be disappointed.

Planning a brand photoshoot

Think about your location

In my experience, it’s quite rare for clients to live in a home that’s perfect for an indoor shoot! Hiring a location is an additional expense to bear in mind, but if you want brand photography with the wow factor, I promise that it will be worth every penny. The key criteria for a location are good natural light and a variety of beautiful settings. Here are some of my favourite indoor location options in order of preference (and coincidentally, price!)

  1. Styled studio homes – these are my absolute favourite as you know these locations are approved for photography use. They are also stunning by definition! It’s possible to find breathtaking spaces with lots of variety, and great lighting. They cost around £100 – £250 an hour, depending on the styled home.
  2. Airbnbs – I love finding clients incredible Airbnbs! There are some truly fantastic ones out there. Not every Airbnb will be a great fit as some might not want to be used for photography, but I’ve found the vast majority say yes in return for a few thank-you photos of the space.
  3. The home of a loved one or client – I did this recently for an interior designer and it worked amazingly! I suggest giving the host a gift to say thank you and offering to pay for a cleaner as well.
  4. A beautiful café – if you don’t mind being photographed in public, cafés are a free and handy option. I always ask permission beforehand, but most cafés are more than happy to help and suggest quiet times to pop in.

For outdoor locations, I nudge clients towards ones that have some impact. Beaches, hillsides, and nature walks are all amazing options, and I love shooting both indoors and outdoors to ensure variety in a client’s gallery. A location scores points in my book when it has some tree coverage in case of rain, and when it holds a sentimental place in a client’s heart.

Client quotes

It’s great to have some non-work images that showcase the human behind the brand, so don’t hold back.

Consider what props tell your brand story

I am forever telling clients not to go out shopping just because they have a brand shoot, but I know it can be helpful to have some pointers!

I would start by thinking about which items in your home or workspace help communicate your industry. For copywriters, that will be your laptop and all the beautiful stationery I know you love to hoard! For potters, it will be your wheel, your clay, your partially made and finished pieces, and all the tools that go into your process.

From there, I would think about props that showcase the interests you would love to talk about online. Lots of my clients bring their favourite Tarot deck, their crafting tools, and anything else they use for their hobbies. It’s great to have some non-work images that showcase the human behind the brand, so don’t hold back.

Lastly, some props that translate well for any business are:

  • Branded printables, like your business cards, any leaflets you’ve designed, or digital products you sell in your shop
    A clean laptop and smartphone, or a tablet if you prefer
    Earphones, headphones, and a microphone if you run a podcast
    Plants, fresh or dried flowers, and inspirational books, prints, and photos

Use your photoshoot as an excuse to pamper yourself

I am forever encouraging clients to see their brand shoot as a treat for themselves and their businesses! With that in mind, please go ahead and do all the rituals that make you feel good ahead of your brand shoot. Some suggestions from me are:

  • get plenty of sleep the night before
  • go for a run/do a workout in the morning to get endorphins going
  • have your hair styled
  • hire a makeup artist or do your favourite makeup look if you wear it
  • get your nails professionally done
  • meditate first thing in the day
  • journal just before the session to ease any worries
  • drink plenty of water (ideally including during the week running up to the shoot)
  • have your favourite dinner the night before

I hope you found this helpful! If you have any questions for me, feel free to drop me a line at – and you can find more about brand photography here on my website.


Anna is an Edinburgh-based brand photographer working with creative kin across the UK. She loves helping even the shyest clients feel comfortable on camera, and when she’s not shooting, you’ll probably find her cosied up under a blanket with a fave magazine.