A Branded shoot vs. Stock photos for your details

It’s so tempting to purchase a collection of stock photos for your social media that kinda fit your brand and just call it a day. I’ve been there, trust me, you don’t have enough time in the day to create all of your own social media content. But is there a big difference between doing a branded shoot and buying stock photos when it comes to the detail photos on your social media?


Why you should plan your own shoot.

Your users will be able to tell if you’re using stock and your social media engagement will go down. There are lots of sites that sell social media content, and I think that when you’re low on content, it’s better than not showing up. However, taking the time to create a branded shoot for your company will take your social media engagement so much further. Your clients will be able to tell if you’re using photos that are catered to your brand. They are going to have the same mood, and vibe as the other photos in your feed. Stock photos cannot do this.

brand shoot props

Have I used stock photo before?

Of course! There are busy days, and busy weeks and it takes time to setup, shoot and curate a branded shoot. However I could tell that my followers weren’t going to fall for it. My content was good and clear, but the photo just didn’t match 100%, and they could tell.

Will I use stock photos in the future?

Yes, probably. There are times where I have done a branded shoot and I just wasn’t able to get all of the photos I needed for my content. That’s what stock photos are for. However, I will not be relying soley on stock photos for the content I share with my followers on social media.

How do you prepare for a Branded Shoot?

  • Start with a brand board. If you don’t have one created yet, contact a designer, or create one on your own. There are lots of examples on Creative market and Pinterest.
    • Your brand board will have your brand colours, fonts, and inspiration photos.
  • Make a list of your 5 core instagram topics. These topics are going to be the 5 scenes of your brand shoot.
  • Once you have your brand board, create a Pinterest board with a collection of inspiration photos for each of your core instagram topics.
    • Include photos your’d like with you and just detail photos
  • Now that you have your Pin-board, it’s time to go find your props. I don’t recommend too many props for your shoot because then it can get overwhelming
    • Some of my favourite things to work with at a branded shoot are:
      • laptop, mug, pens, notebooks, flowers, desk, blankets. These are easily incorporated for any creative business.
  • Don’t forget to add your brand recognition items.
    • For example:
      • Amy & Jordan love Cookie Butter, Jenna Kutcher loves Mac n Cheese, Katelyn James loves teal anything.
  • If you’re just doing detail photos (and you’re a photographer), you’re set. I like to create a few backdrops, so I can do my branded shoot at home.
    • You can get a cheap foam board from the dollar store and add some sticker wall paper to it to create a beautiful new wall.
  • If you’re not a photographer, contact one and get your shoot all setup.
  • Make sure your photos are all edited the same way.
    • If you have a photographer doing your shoot for you, ask them for a Lightroom preset. This way you’ll be able to edit your future photos the same way.

You’re all set. You have all the tools to create a branded shoot for all of your social media content.

If you have any questions about putting together your own brand shoot. Or if you are in the Vancouver area and want to setup a brand shoot with me. Please contact me anytime.

bedroom brand photos flowers in brand colours using a kitchen in your brand shoot

Shop Tonic Website Templates

Tonic has my absolutely favorite templates in the game – their websites somehow combine killer strategy AND stunning, standout design. You're going to feel so confident in your new site!