Tips for Shooting Your Work


Sorry guys, this isn’t going to be a DIY post! This is more of a post about why it’s so worth it to hire a photographer, and I’ll be sharing tips for shooting your work.

In December of 2019, I worked with my incredibly talented photographer to photograph my work. It’s something I had long been looking forward to, and felt like a big milestone. For years, I’ve tried to photograph my work. For a while, my own photography skills were enough. But soon enough, the work I was doing quickly outpaced my own skills. So, I reverted to showing my work through mockups. As many mockups as there are out there, it’s hard to differentiate yourself in that medium or fully convey the unique tone and mood of the project.

How to prepare for your photo shoot:

In preparation for the shoot, Kayley and I met to discuss what I was looking for. Her style is unique — very warm and creamy tones. While that style works for some of the projects I was getting photographed, it didn’t work for all of them. It was important that I convey that to her, so I created a moodboard for each of the projects. For example, her usual style worked perfectly for Stamped & Finch, but not for Izzy + Co. Izzy’s brand is much brighter, so the editing for this project needed to reflect that.

During that meeting, we discussed specific shots I wanted for each project and started putting together a set list. I didn’t want to dish out a ton of money on props for this project (believe me, I could have!), so for the most part I tried to use what I had, and I bought just a few things from Target and Hobby Lobby. When I have enough work for another shoot, I may have to purchase a few more items so I don’t reuse props from around my own home again.

To recap, here are some tips for shooting your work:

  • Communicate with your photographer on the style of each project.
  • Set a full day aside for this — it can take a lot of time!
  • Make a set list of all the photos and product pairings you want.
  • Prop sourcing can be time consuming, even for just a few items! Make sure to leave enough time for this without getting overwhelmed.
  • You will have to rearrange your whole apartment to get that good light. It’s worth it, I promise.
  • Have fun!

The pros and cons of photos:

A downside of this medium is that it takes a little longer to coordinate and share the work. But, in my opinion it’s far worth it to take a little longer to share the work that to share less than stellar mockups or photographs I took myself.

While I’m proud of the work I do no matter how or if it’s shown, I’m immensely proud to show off my work now. The work is the same, but the way it’s presented changes everything. There’s something about seeing tangible images of the product in use that displays the design solution, which is what branding is all about.

I knew the power that photography could hold from working with Kayley on some amazing brand photos (talk about feeling empowered!). But, I had no idea that same power applied to my work. Using photography to show my work was just the mindset boost I needed going into 2020.

In conclusion, I’ll say that all together I spent under $500. The confidence boost and level up this has given me has definitely returned that investment. To check out the amazing photographs Kayley took for me, head on over to my work page. If you’d like to see more of her work, you can do that here!