Ever wonder what goes into a leading sporting goods company photoshoot? Here’s a sneak peek into the preparation and performance of your most reliable fitness partner!
Photoshoots and the magic that goes into planning them typically starts months and months before the day that athlete-models literally hit the ground running. For a brand marketing campaign – whether it’s a product shoot, a product environment shoot, a product usage shoot, or a lifestyle shoot – preparation is the most important part of the process. Coincidentally, preparation is also part of the name for our new campaign. Here’s an inside look at what kind of preparation went into our photoshoot at Fitletic for our “Prepare to Be Greater” campaign!
All of the creative team’s key players are involved in the preparation process to ensure everyone is on the same page and we are communicating a clear and coherent message. We don’t just take brand collateral materials and make up a brand message; it’s more than that. More than your logo, your social media, and your color palette, your brand is an experience. A great brand has a stamp and an even greater brand marks their ownership with this stamp by exercising full control of the way in which the brand is experienced by consumers. The idea is to take your audience on a journey where they have a purpose in the community without imposing an ideology on them. At Fitletic, we strive to be about a conversation, not a broadcast.
We brainstorm at the outset what our set of goals are and what we want to achieve with our brand photoshoot. Not only does this give us the framework we will use to accomplish a successful shoot, but it prioritizes what we want to communicate as part of our vision. During the brainstorming process and creation of the “mood board,” we decided to use the phrase “Anything but Ordinary” as a focal point in case we strayed from the desired end result. To eliminate distraction, we identified the exact shots we needed and created a “shot list.”
The goal is to design an image unique to your brand so that just by looking at a photo, you know where it’s coming from. This requires an enormous amount of styling detail for a specific image, and the images as a group, to resonate and communicate the message you’re trying to send. The “mood board” is a visual reference used to define the creative direction for the “shot list.” Our vision was to communicate the message “Prepare to Be Greater” by showing extraordinary athlete-models on their grind and in the preparation zone.
Now that we’ve established there should be an intentional experience partnered with visual consistency, we look at the actual day of the shoot. Because each photoshoot has its own strengths and weaknesses, let’s look directly at what went right that day to measure our success.
I can’t say enough how pleased we were with the team we worked with on the photoshoot. Although we met with the photographer and models for interviews beforehand, you never know what the group vibe will be. I can say in earnest each member of the group was willing, patient, dedicated and totally on their game. How much more can you ask for from your team? I like to believe it was a mixture of luck and talented people.
We did our best to pick the appropriate shots for each model beforehand as to not waste any time the day of. The photographer gave us great insight – he let us know that the fewer people involved and the more prepared we were the smoother the shoot would run.
Not only was the photoshoot incredibly exciting and fun, being that our hard work finally came to fruition, we also got to know each other on a personal level and bonded over the experience. I learned who taught classes where, what kinds of food people enjoy cooking or eating, where each person was from, and by observation – what kinds of shots each model enjoyed taking. I even attended one of the model’s classes post-shoot! The photographer was focused and creative but also took direction exceptionally well. Good natured and vibrant, we all got along, to say the least.
We use and look at photos taken on that day for months on end, deciding on things like edits, placement, banners, social media, etc. Looking back on memorable photographs is far more enjoyable and pleasant when connected to a great day spent with great people than if connected to a problematic shoot. My advice? Meet everyone before the day of, get a diverse crowd, and lead by example – do your best to bring good energy. Believe in and support the talent; after all, you handpicked them, and they chose to show up and work with your team! And have fun! If you can do one thing on the day of a brand photoshoot apart from preparation, it should be to have fun and share your sincere gratitude and happiness with others!