Thank you so much for being part of WYNTK blog series! Everyone knows that you are the very talented lady that has taken my branding images over the past year…
Before we jump in to all the wonderful support you provide, could you firstly share a little about yourself, your business and how you got to this point?
Hi, I’m Jade! I specialise in product and personal branding photography for female creatives/entrepreneurs, helping them to showcase the heart and soul of their business, through unique story-telling imagery. I currently shoot at my home studio where clients post out products to me or I shoot out on location for my Personal Branding shoots.
I studied photography at university and soon after went straight into the world of wedding photography - which I pursued part-time for 10 years. During this season, I had 3 children and loved the fact that I could build my business around my family life. But as the years went on and my children all started school, I realised that working weekends wasn’t going to be suited to me anymore. I needed a change in direction. I shot less and less weddings, and made my main focus Family Photography. I started to do the odd job here and there for businesses, which I loved, but it wasn’t until Covid hit in 2020 that all my other jobs completely ground to a halt over night and all my income completely dried up.
Businesses suddenly saw how crucial it was to market themselves online, and in doing so, opened up a whole new need in terms of photography. Brands started to get in touch to see if they could post their products to me, and I instantly knew that was how I wanted to pivot my business. Taking someone’s product and creating unique imagery for them, through the use of light, composition, props and styling was something I instantly fell in love with. Drawing on years of experience from working at weddings and working alongside different stylists, I love how product and branding photography can take customers on a journey and ultimately, lead to higher sales!
What would you say are the biggest benefits to professional branding photography?
Showing up online consistently, is crucial to building a trust-worthy brand. When you incorporate images of you and your products, you help to connect with your audience in a deeper way. We’re all intrigued about the ‘who’ behind the brand and the process that’s involved, so sharing that with your audience is an amazing way to engage with your customers on a deeper level.
What things do business owners need to consider before working with a branding photographer?
There are so many practical things that need to be considered, for example; timescales, budget, location, props, models, styling, what needs to be communicated through the images…
But the first thing I would say if you’ve never invested in professional photography before, is to really consider how you want your customers to ‘feel’ when they come into contact with you/ your brand. Your brand photography is another ‘touch point’ to your business. It’s the first experience someone has with you, before they even consider buying from you. So in order for it to draw your audience in, it has to have an emotional connection with them on some level.
Not every aspect of your life needs to be documented and shared on social media. I get how that sometimes holds people back from showing the more personal aspect of their brand. There needs to be a clear strategy to the types of content you want to share and what’s right for your business - there is no right or wrong, it’s completely individual. Once you have the clear idea of how you want your audience feel, and what impression/vibe you want to make from the start, it’ll help so much when it comes to planning your visual image strategy.
What can you expect from working with Jade Alana Photography?
I offer 2 different services, Product photography and Personal Branding photography - and whilst they are very different, I truly believe they compliment each other perfectly.
Here is a quick breakdown of my process:
Choose a package and we talk over your expectations and requirements. Tip: Work backwards. Decide on the date you need the images by and start the process about 6 weeks before.
After we agree a date, all the official documents are sent over to you (contract, deposit and booking forms).
You receive a questionnaire to dig deep into your brand.
We create mood boards and a shot list together to ensure we’re on the same page. This part is pretty crucial!
Props are sourced, set ups (lifestyle or studio) and styling is all confirmed along with lighting preferences.
Products are posted to me ready for your shoot.
Shoot day. Your Product shoot takes place at my home studio or Personal Branding shoot at your chosen location.
Editing. A great amount of time goes into individually editing your images and 2 weeks after the shoot you can expect to receive a beautifully curated gallery of images, completely bespoke to your brand!
Due to Covid, the majority of indie business now have an online space to sell their products - how important are great quality images on your website? And why?
Showing high quality photography is the only way you’re really going to stand out in a saturated market. You want to show imagery that’s going to stop people in their mindless scrolls and capture their attention. Customers can’t touch or feel your products, so beautiful photography is the only way to encourage them to shop. If you show high quality photos, it’s going to instantly elevate your product, show value and that you’re serious about what you’re doing! Good quality photography is an investment - I completely understand that, but if you aren’t willing to make that investment in your own business, why would your customers make that investment in you?
If you could offer just 3 tips for at-home photography, what would they be?
Light is everything! Good lighting can make or break an image, so this should never be over looked. Get to know the light in your house, study it in different rooms and make note of the best times of day for shooting.
Use a reflector. The easiest trick to brightening images and reflecting back some light to help with harsh shadows. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy - a white sheet or piece of big white card can instantly bounce back some light onto your scene, helping to create beautiful light and airy images.
Have a tool box close. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing your time is limited, you have products to shoot and the light is changing quickly. Products rolling around? Have some white tac close by. Scissors, fishing wire, spray bottle, kitchen roll, clamps are all things that I find extremely useful during shoots! So gather them all together beforehand, and this will help to make the shoot go a lot more smoothly.
What else can we except to see from you and Jade Alana Photography in the future?
There is a greater need for lifestyle imagery - customers want to see products in use and in context. The aim of product photography is to take the viewer on a journey and help them to know what it’s like to have or use the products. I’m working to be able to offer ‘lifestyle locations’ so brands can have their shoots in gorgeous settings, helping to portray a lifestyle and tell a real life story. Sometimes your shoot requires a little more help in order to achieve your vision, so I’m excited to start working alongside stylists who can help with the creative direction, prop sourcing and selection and fashion stylists who can offer one-to-one guidance for your Personal Branding shoot.
Thank you again Jade for taking the time to give these great advise. It will be great for people to read from a professional why branding photography is so so important - rather than just me!
Finally, what is the best way people can get in touch with you to learn more.
You can find me on Instagram @jadealanaphotography or over on my website www.jadealana.co.uk If you’re interested in anything you’ve read, I’d love to send you out some information and chat with you further!
You'll also find her Product Photography Checklist Free Guide!