5 Takeaways from our First Brand Shoot

When you’re by the pool, do you jump right in? Or do you test the water’s temperature first?

The coolest–and nerve-racking–moments of owning a business are all the “firsts”.

The first client. The first big event. That rush of emotions when you send off your first gallery and then mentally panic-scream at your computer. 😄

And while all the business “firsts” can be daunting, they’re great learning experiences. (Although I must admit, I test the temperatures first before jumping into the water. 😉)

This is why I loved when we booked our first Airbnb to conduct a low-key brand shoot!

Y’all, I was such a mix of emotions the entire time. But the process went so smoothly and the hosts we worked with were the sweetest people ever!

In so many ways, I’m grateful our first brand shoot was low-key. It allowed me to walk through my processes, learn what worked and what didn’t, and grab some amazing shots, all while lessening the level of pressure.

I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. The experience was a gift, and I can’t wait until we book our next one!

What I learned from our first brand shoot in an Airbnb

No.1 – Lights are essential!

Even though the tiny home we’d booked had an amazing high ceiling with natural light flooding in, my flash remained close at hand when we shot indoors.

I was thankful for all that time spent learning and getting familiar with my flash. It–and my reflectors–never left my side.

There are so many creative ways to use off-camera flash, and I’m extra excited to scale up my equipment soon!

No. 2 – Take pics of everything before moving anything

My daughter was my assistant during the shoot, and I can’t tell you how many times we moved pillows or items off shelves only to say, “how did they have this?” when it came time to put everything back.

It didn’t take long before I snapped shots of each living space with my phone to ensure we put everything back in the order they had it.

A big priority for me on shoot day was to be respectful of the property and the owners. I didn’t want to create any headaches for them. So it was important to me to have everything in the order as when we’d arrived.

No. 3 – A plan is key!

Any shoot requires a well-thought-out plan. Anything less would be a waste of time and money. And I love that we have resources to maximize the use of the time and space we have available.

From the pre-shoot planning to the storyline shot list to the props checklist, one thing stacks upon the other to build a powerhouse of a session.

I’m a planner by nature and checklists are my jam! It’s crazy how much having a well-formed plan lessens shoot-day nerves.

No. 4 – Block out extra time for “warming up”

This surprised me. I knew going in that I’d need plenty of buffer time in the schedule for setup and tear down. But I hadn’t expected the time I’d need to warm up to the space.

Not to say it took me hours, LOL. However, I did have to rotate what content we shot first to ensure we stayed on schedule. Then once I’d warmed up to the space, I was golden. 😃

No. 5 – Go to bed early!

Definitely a must! 😂 I had no idea how much energy a full brand session would take out of me.

After we headed home and got everything unpacked, I crashed hard. Thankfully we’d already planned to grab something to eat while we’d been out, so I wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner (or washing dishes!).

Making sure I block in that added rest time is a valuable takeaway I don’t want to ignore. Not only because I want to take good care of my health, but it also makes sure I’m giving accurate timelines to my clients on when they can expect sneak peeks.

A zombie Desiree wouldn’t polish up photos as well as a freshly rested Desiree would. 😉

Ready for the photos?!

I’d love to share some highlights of what we captured that day! All in all, the experience was wonderful and I can’t wait until we’re able to conduct our next brand shoot. I couldn’t love my job more!

personal brand shoot in williamstown kentucky, small creative business brand shoot
brand session flatlay with notebook, pens, candle, and office supplies

February 2, 2023

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