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    HI, I'M ABBY

    I'm a branding photographer living in Charleston, South Carolina, a lover of eating strawberries, and my obsession is teaching others how to live a life they love.

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      The Top 5 Questions I Get Asked About Planning a Photoshoot

      Apr 18

      As a small business owner, I know how important it is to have photos that elevate your brand and set you apart. Planning a photoshoot can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before! Here are the top five questions I get asked about planning a photoshoot. I hope they’re helpful and offer a little inspiration!

      Where Should We Shoot?

      I understand the overwhelm when choosing locations because Charleston has endless great spots! I have plenty of favorite spots I can suggest, but it’s also helpful to think about your brand’s story when choosing locations.

      Ask yourself a couple of questions:

      • Where do I do my best work? If you’re a floral designer, you would likely want to show off your workspace and all of the behind-the-scenes goodness that goes into your process. You might also want to show yourself outdoors gathering inspiration and sourcing your flowers. It’s all about showing you in your element!
      • What feeling, message, or tone do you want your photos to convey? If your brand’s color scheme is full of pastels, downtown Charleston south of Broad Street and its colorful homes might be a perfect location for you. If you’re thinking indoors, your office might already have your brand colors built into it!


      Your location can also be a mix! For many of my shoots, we’ll shoot portraits outdoors and then head inside to a work space for more portraits and detail shots.

      Woman interior designer smiling next to a display of rugs on a wooden ladder Woman in a pink blazer and black pants standing against a pink house with black shutters

      What Time of Day Should We Shoot?

      If we’re shooting outdoors, the best times to shoot are either shortly after sunrise or before sunset. The glowy light eliminates harsh shadows & highlights. Think about being outside at noon without sunglasses- that’s why I avoid shooting in the middle of the day! Squinting is just not a good look on anyone!

      When shooting indoors, the best time to shoot will depend on the light coming through any available windows. If the room is facing East, it will be the brightest in the morning. If it faces West, it will be brightest in the afternoon. South-facing rooms are also generally brighter. The lighting situation will depend on your specific location, so I always like to do a walk-through before the shoot to determine when the best time for our shoot will be.

      Woman in black dress with stripes posing with her hand against a wall Woman entrepreneur typing on laptop in coffee shop

      What Should I Wear?

      Head over to this post to read a few of my tips for wardrobe choices! I go over how to choose clothing that matches your brand and how many outfit options to bring (hint: bring a couple of options and keep your color palette simple!). The most important thing is that you’re comfortable. If you buy a new outfit for your shoot, wear it a couple of times to test it out. Have someone take a few iPhone photos of you to make sure you like how your outfits looks on camera. You can always send me some options! I love helping with outfit decisions.

      Woman standing against a white wall with two windows and ivy Headshot of a woman entrepreneur sitting on a brick wall

      How Can I Translate an Idea I Have into a Photo?

      That’s what I’m here for! My recent client Erin is a personal trainer and wasn’t sure how to translate an idea she had for her shoot. She trains people in a gym environment as well as outdoors, and she told me that oftentimes her clients that start outdoors feel intimidated by the gym. We gathered a bit of inspiration on Pinterest and brainstormed some ideas, and we landed on a way to make her idea visually pleasing and make sense to her potential clients. Bring any ideas you have to the table, and I’ll help visually translate!

      A trainer stretching with a client outdoors on a yoga mat A trainer and a client sitting on wood blocks in a gym laughing

      What Do I Need to Bring to My Shoot?

      In addition to a couple of outfit changes, you might want to bring a few props along! Bring a few items that show off how you creatively work. Here are some popular props my clients have brought along in the past:

      • Laptop
      • Favorite notebook & pen
      • iPhone
      • Glasses
      • Pet (can’t go wrong with an adorable puppy friend)
      • Glass of wine or champagne
      • Workout equipment
      • Project sketches
      • Inspiration (coffee table books, mood boards)
      • Favorite purse
      • Balloon
      • Plants (little succulents can add life to detail shots!)


      Close up photo of a woman making notes on an interior design layout plan Overhead shot of an open notebook with pen, an iPhone, and a succulent

      Have More Questions?

      Hiring a photographer can be overwhelming, especially if you’re going about it for the first time. Thinking ahead to develop ideas can make a huge difference – and remember I’m always here to help! Got more questions? Leave them in the comments! Read these additional blog posts that will set you up for an awesome shoot!

      1. 3 Tips for Professional Portraits
      2. Modern Headshot Essentials
      3. 3 Tips for an On-Brand Photoshoot









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