As a home baker, you are the face of your business, and it’s essential to show yourself as the owner. When you show up in your marketing, customers see the person behind the business, which builds a connection. It sounds cliche, but “people buy from people.”
One of the things I hear from home bakers often is their business is seen as less than legitimate because of not having a storefront. I do agree that perception can be limiting for home bakers. (And, I should say that is a misperception!) But, having professional photos of you can help project the business you truly are.
If you want to know more about building connections by showing up for your business, read my blog post: Show Your Face on Instagram to Get More Sales.
Now, if you are anything like me, an introvert who HATES having their photo taken, you have to push through and decide how important your business is to you.
Don’t wait and do a brand shoot when you look “perfect.” That is an excuse to postpone, not a real reason. There is no better time than now!
I had a brand shoot a few months ago, and I am still using those photos. These are the steps I went through to prepare to make the most of my time and money investment.
Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional photographer can make all the difference in the world. It can take your pictures from looking good to elevating the perception of your business. I know that sounds highfalutin, but it is true.
They know precisely what lighting to use to get the best shots and how the right angle makes you look good. Looking through the lens, they can direct you to make slight variations that make a significant difference on camera.
If you get a referral and don’t know the photographer, be sure to speak with them on the phone or on Zoom to outline what you are looking for and make you get a good vibe from them.
Here’s the thing, photo shoots can be awkward. An experienced professional will make it easier when you are feeling ridiculous. A good sense of humor is vital.
So, If you can afford the investment, hire a professional photographer.
Create an Inspiration Board
If you are stuck or unsure about what your shots should look like, use Pinterest to create a secret inspiration board with images you see around that you like to share with your photographer. Only you (and anyone you invite) can see your Pinterest secret boards. This will help build the bridge between you and your photographer being on the same page.
Once they have a feeling for your style, it will be easier for them to give you precisely what you want. You can also ask them to show you examples from their previous photo shoots.
Dress for the Occasion and Don’t Forget Your Props
Rule number one, wear something that makes you look and feel fabulous. How you feel will impact the photos. Find an outfit or two that compliments your style but also makes you feel a million bucks.
Here are some ideas around what to wear:
- If you have a brand color, wear something that highlights it.
- Have several pieces of clothing available. Think about jackets, sweaters, different color shirts, scarves.
- Choose a few pieces of jewelry you can easily switch out.
- Bring various eyewear, whether glasses or sunglasses.
Add some creativity with colorful props and showcase some products with your brand’s color scheme.
Here are some prop ideas:
- Bright colored baking accessories (muffin pans, measuring cups, spatulas, etc.)
- Colorful apron and towels that coordinate
- Different shaped sized bowls
- Cool looking oversized coffee mugs
- Your stand mixer or some other piece of equipment
Use your imagination and allow your creative juices to flow when bringing all your favorite props to life in your photo shoot. Don’t go crazy trying to fit every prop into every shot. The idea is to use one or two in each photo to provide a range of options.
Make a Plan
Your photo shoot will run much smoother if you have a plan in place before you get started with taking any pictures. Think about what types of shots you want, which items you will focus on, and how you will use them.
If you don’t make a plan upfront, you might miss out on some of the best opportunities for great photos, or you may even forget some of the ones you were thinking about earlier.
You can always check out some other baker’s websites or Pinterest and see if you find anything that inspires you.
Take the time to do the research and make a plan. Write down your shot list and share that with your photographer in advance.
Go Horizontal and Vertical
The idea behind a photo shoot to get multiple photos to use all over the place: social media, your website, email, and press opportunities. Seriously, photos strategically taken horizontally and vertically are a must if you want your pictures to be versatile.
You should think about all the different poses and shots you can get of your creations and yourself, even if it’s just your hands. Btw ladies, make sure your manicure looks good!
Consider taking some photos that include you:
- Holding your baked goods
- In your kitchen
- With your mixer
- At your computer
- Reading a book
- On your phone
- With headphones or an earphone while listening to music
- With your kid(s) or pet(s)
You won’t be using all these photos simultaneously, but when the perfect moment presents itself, you will have plenty of pictures to choose from. These photos can be used for months on your social media and other marketing vehicles.
You can get creative and set multiple items out on your tabletop or counter space that will add value. Maybe it’s your grandmother tattered recipe book. Try to incorporate pictures of your ingredients that will complement your shots.
Start Preparing for Your Photo Shoot
Here’s what I recommend, start planning your photo shoot as an investment in your home bakery business. Don’t let the fear of showing your face deter you. Maybe you have to save money to hire a photographer. At the same time, you can start collecting photos of other home bakers or business owners for inspiration.
Gather your inspiration shots, hire a photographer, plan your wardrobe and props and write down a shot list. When it is all said and done, you will have lots of terrific, on-brand shots to use to support your business and marketing efforts. And, best of all, your customers will feel a connection to you.