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  • Susannah Money-Schenk

Why YOU Need a Branding Shoot!

So this month I got in touch with Laura Fiddaman Photography and booked myself a little branding shoot!

I'm always using photos as part of my advertising on social media, my website, emails etc but I'm not great at remembering to take them or at taking any good ones.

Having met the lovely Laura through Jenni Bush's Nail It Mastermind I had listened to her talk about running branding shoots for small rural businesses. I love the style of Laura's photos - all light and bright - so thought why not?! I contacted her and described what I wanted - pictures of me treating people and horses in multiple locations and she rose to the challenge!

This blog is to give you an idea of what a branding shoot with Laura entails and to show off some of the gorgeous photos that she took of me doing my thing!

We started at my clinic in Colchester, focusing on human treatment.

My first top tip when it comes to branding shoots is to make sure you have a model on hand if you need one! I hadn't - doh! Did it stop us? Nope!

Laura took charge photographing the room, my PPE set up, RockTape and then me doing loads of random exercises whilst we waited for an opportunity to grab an willing model! A massive thank you to Pete for stepping in - despite having just finished a WOD he happily acted model for me for part one of my shoot.

Next stop was my parent's house to represent my home-visit service which, especially at this time, is extremely popular. My little sister was the model this time on my parent's gorgeous patio! Full PPE donned as per every treatment - rules as to what we are expected to wear for optimum safety have changed slightly since the shoot - you know what that means... need to book another!

On the subject of booking another - after a business meeting with the lovely Laura today, I have decided to enrol in her 4 seasons program. With this you get four, three-hour shoots a year which gives you LOADS of photos. I love the idea of being able to have images that work all year round and not having to take them all on the same day - it was far too hot to dress up in wellies and coats for a winter look!

However Top Tip number 2 of having a branding shoot is to be prepared with outfits! Laura is extremely patient - I can't tell you how many times I changed during our shoot but it was a lot. This is something that she encourages so that your photos are varied and you will get more use out of them.

Next stop was my second clinic in Great Bardfield. Here it was time for the stretchy stretchy jumpy jumpy photos. Having just had lunch this was somewhat of a struggle but Laura has done me proud with the photos! Even the bloopers are brilliant......

Once I'd recovered, more human treatments were covered and then it was onto ponies! Thank you so much to Craig for being my model for human techniques and also taking some fab snaps of Laura at work too.

She spent most of her time rolling around on the floor. When I asked her about it, Laura's response was 'No shoot is complete without me lying down at least once!'

And of course thank you to my furrier models - Molly, Kodi, Monty and Ted! Molly had the BEST deal with Lick-It stretches - check out that snozz - but Kodi was definitely the most obliging. Top tip number 3 is to pick your animal models wisely! Ted, for example, isn't a fan of treatment unless there are treats involved! Molly just loves having her bum scratched but she was actually very well-behaved. Monty was a dream for some actions shots on the lunge but Kodi was the real star of the show - boy does that pony like having his photo taken. Not that it would matter if he wasn't, Laura is the queen of getting ears forwards!

I would also try and remember that despite a clean horse at the beginning of the day, doesn't mean that they will be by the time it comes round to their time to shine - thank goodness Ted is bay!

Now, you've heard how our day was - how utterly jam packed you can make your branding shoot in order to get some awesome shots. So how do you get them?

So I sat and had a drink with Laura this week to quiz her on what she does next when it comes to editing the photos. She took over 800 on our shoot together and I was intrigued about where she even starts when it comes to editing them.

Firstly they are backed up three times - to two hard drives and a 'cloud'. This cloud back-up means that Laura can access them on-the-go to ping over any in particular at any time.

Laura then culls the photos! Reducing multiples and removing any that she's not happy with before adding her watermark and her own special edits which give them her look. The photos come to you in two edits - one is full resolution, perfect for marketing and promotion work, and the second edit are social media ready. Laura has converted them to 2048px which means they won't be compressed by FaceBook and made to look blurry - one less thing for us to do between downloading and using them!

Overall I think you can probably tell that I loved my branding shot. Not only did i have a great day with the lovely Laura but I also have some insanely good photos to use whenever I want. Laura has even set them up as an app on my phone for me so I can grab them whenever I want!

I would strongly recommend to any business owners (small, rural or otherwise) to book a shoot with Laura. The results really are worth every penny. I can't wait for my autumn one!

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