10 Photography Tips to Bring Design to Life

Photography tips from Kim Schlossberg Designs

Finding a fantastic photographer is the first step towards getting photos that look wonderful on your website, social media, or print pieces. But the success of your project is not entirely in their hands. Here are some things you can do and request to help your project really shine.

1. Plan in advance what type of shots you want. Headshots? Action shots? Pictures on a solid studio background, or on location in your workspace or outdoors? Write a list of what you need, and share it with your photographer in advance of the shoot, if possible.

2. List various groupings of people you will want. I suggest taking individual photos of everyone involved, as well as various groupings that make sense (by department, for example).

3. I suggest simple, solid colors, and well fitting clothes. Turquoise and eggplant are professional colors that are flattering to most people.

4. Avoid anything too trendy so the photos won’t become dated too soon – clothes, hair, makeup, jewelry.

5. If there are multiple people involved, coordinate wardrobes. Everyone should be dressed to a similar state of formality or casualness. Also, the colors don’t need to match, but they should at least go well together.

6. It’s usually a good idea to have some photos in formal dress (and a formal pose) and some with a more casual look.

7. If many photos will be used together, like on a website, for example, wear a variety of outfits.

8. For use in design (either print or web) I ask photographers to give me plenty of extra space all around the person (or object). That will give me plenty of room to let the photo run off the page (bleed) or sometimes to serve as a background for text. I always promise to crop the photo appropriately. But we have a lot more design flexibility if we have plenty of space to work with. I especially always want both shoulders to show.


Swallowtail caterpillar

9. Get photos taken with people facing both right and left, so we can arrange the design so the person is facing into the document or the relevant content.

10. Always provide the selected photos in full resolution. We can always go smaller, or lower resolution, but we can’t go larger.

I’m happy to recommend a photographer and/or go with you to art direct your photo shoot, if desired. But even if you’re finding your own photographer and going by yourself, these tips should help you get the most useful photographs for your print materials, website, or social media accounts.

Kim Schlossberg
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Kim Schlossberg created Kim Schlossberg Designs to help businesses and non-profits refine their messages and get them out to the right audience, in a clear, consistent, and integrated way. She provides strategic planning, execution and coordination of marketing, branding, and design by developing a deep understanding of clients’ businesses and their goals, and serves as a trusted advisor to help them grow their businesses and brand. Kim speaks to business and non-profit groups about marketing and related topics, and publishes a well-received (but slightly irregular) newsletter.

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