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  • Writer's picturePerla Diaz

Photoshoots for Small Business & Start Ups

Updated: Jun 18

Your Ultimate Guide for small businesses looking to book a photographer

Are you looking to book a photographer for your brand and are unsure of the steps? By asking yourself a few questions about your brand, you'll be better prepared of when, what to ask, when you want to hire one.

As a photographer with experience in everything from portraits to brand work, for start-ups to large corporations, I've encountered a wide range of needs for each photoshoot. Whether it's for Instagram, product pages, with a $500 budget, or a $10k budget, starting with a clear vision is crucial. It saves you time, money, and, most importantly, improves productivity.

corner of pool showing girls legs and friend reading book
Lifestyle Photos by Perla Diaz

Common Mistakes to Avoid Planning a Photoshoot in Small Business

One of the biggest mistakes I see when people book a photographer is knowing they want one but not knowing why, leading to less successful shoots.

Did you accidentally hire a general photographer when you needed a product photographer? Are you trying to squeeze out every possible use from your last photoshoot? These are indicators that you might have produced a photoshoot without the proper research necessary.



THE WHY: Booking a fashion photographer for your small business

The first question to ask yourself help answer the objective a photoshoot. Here are the most common objectives:

  1. Branding Imagery - Imagery created to showcase a brand's principles, mission statement, differences, etc. These look great as banners, home page, on your "About" page, etc.

  2. Product Photos (E-commerce/PDP) - Images created to showcase up-close and multiple angles of your brand's product.

  3. Lifestyle Imagery - Natural feeling imagery showing your product being used in a real life setting.

  4. Editorial Imagery - Images used to tell a story or for publication/press.

E-commerce/PDP photos by Perla Diaz.

Other Considerations:

Consider how you want the viewer to feel from these images. Neutral? Moody? Joyful? What stage of the customer journey do you want to attract? Do you want these images to evoke a certain action or make a particular point?

If you’re unfamiliar with this process, you might want to say yes to all the objectives with one photoshoot. However, without proper planning, it’s challenging to check off all the boxes. The intention of the shoot dictates everything: model, team, production, location, and lighting. For example, if you want product page images, shooting moody images during sunset isn’t ideal. Conversely, repurposing e-commerce photos for editorial or lifestyle content may not be successful.

THE HOW: Booking a fashion photographer for your small business

Now that you know the needs of your shoot, it’s time to make that idea a reality through production! By narrowing down the intention of the shoot, the creative process should be easier and more defined.

Fashion Photography by Perla Diaz.

Things to plan for:

  1. Budget/logistics- What is your budget for the shoot? This will guide your production. Consider costs like parking, equipment, transportation, food, and permits. The best-case scenario is a relaxed and organized day with maximum output.

  2. Shot list- A list of desired photos to fulfill the shoot’s objective. It typically includes details on the setting and the talent’s actions. For example, Shot 1: Talent drinking from a water bottle while sitting on a curb.

  3. Team & Talent- Ensure everyone from the talent to the makeup artist and stylist can fulfill the objective. Hire the correct photographer for the job. For example, if the brief is to create lay flats for website content, find a product photographer rather than a portrait photographer.

  4. Shoot & Post Production- Be prepared but flexible on the big day. Leave room for serendipitous shots—they’re often the best ones! Also, a good tip is to schedule your shoot 2 weeks to one month before you need the final product.

  5. Final Product- It's time to disperse the beautiful imagery you made to the appropriate channels. Don't forget to track it's progress, too!

Sample Fashion Photography Photoshoot

The Why:

A small jewelry business wants to create imagery to support "awareness" aspect of the customer journey stages with upcoming press, so we decide to plan a photoshoot that support their business principles: sustainability and ocean inspired designs.

The How:

I produce an editorial photoshoot to be shot on the beaches of Malibu. Because we're going for a slightly moody vibe, we decide to start the photoshoot in the late afternoon giving us a variety of lighting to play with, from late afternoon rays, into golden hour, and into dusk/night fall. The story captures a woman (who's always wearing her jewelry of course) who "gets ready" at the beach. We start off with the first shots of her being restored by the sun and sand, second, showing her being restored in the ocean, and the last shots of her leaving restored by the elements in a night time look. After spending all day in solitude and restoration, she's ready for a night out. This shows the transition of jewelry pieces from daytime to night time, all while promoting the business principles of sustainability and ocean inspired designs.


As a startup, discerning between all the information about photoshoots for your brand can be confusing. However, photoshoots are vital for communicating your brand to customers. Small brands can have limited resources, but with organized planning, you can check off the boxes of the imagery you’ll need for your business! Creating appropriate imagery will allow your hard work to continue working for you. It’s much easier to scale up this way.

Hopefully, this guide helps structure your thoughts and ultimately helps you choose the best photographer for your business needs! With every single photoshoot, you'll improve. Reminder, you don't need to be perfect, you just need to start!

Xoxo, Perla

If you’re looking for a Los Angeles based fashion and editorial photographer, send a message through my contact page.

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