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Are "express" photoshoots worth the money?

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

I say this a lot, in business, time saved is a profit made. The allure of the "express" photoshoot is obvious.

Express shoots have a lower investment. It doesn't take up as much time, and often, they don't need as much prep time either.

However, all the things that make these packages appealing, also have some red flags.

Small or start-up businesses often go for an express shoot as it a quick and way to kickstart a content library at a more affordable price.

Long-term founders who only need top-up or refresher images also find this an appealing offer.

These packages are an excellent service for busy business owners who know their vision.

I say this as first hand many who come along are hoping for the best and may not have considered what it is they are really getting.

Convenience does not always equate to value. So let's look at a couple of ways to get more value.

Below is an example of images in the one backdrop. The goal; create a corporate style headshot. 

We ticked that box really quickly as the subject was at ease and so, we were able to do a few other stories in that same 15 minute time slot. However the downside is there isn't a lot of variety to the setting. and in terms of Media or PR they can become limiting for that reason.

Below is an example that was taken in 30 min intervals within a airbnb setting which allowed for planned wardrobe and setting change ups in order to get variety.,

Here are my top tips, to ensure you are happy with your results.

  1. Look at the location or backdrop. Ask yourself, does it fit into your Branding? Or are you trying to fit into the background?

  2. Do you get wardrobe changes or setting chang-ups in the short time you have?

  3. You can take many great photos in one sitting, but will that give you variety for what you need?

  4. What stories do you need to tell in the next two to three months? Does this location provide ways to tell those stories or is on Brand?

  5. Do you need another laptop shot in a cafe? It's okay to say no to images you know you don't need. Besides, people want to see you in your environment.

And of course, be realistic in what is possible in 15mins. Plan and discuss your hopes with the photographer before the shoot to not waste valuable shoot time.

Take props for the best-case scenario and be prepared to walk away with a few great images, not an entire content library.


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