8 Steps to plan your own brand photoshoots(and save lots of time and money)!

flowers blossom against a blue sky and the text Mindful Monday, Before you click, take a moment to reflect on how to best capture your subject... Mindful photography.

So this is me... hi!

Just took this photo myself this afternoon, with my phone and my tripod, drinking a hot chocolate in my favorite café whilst getting some work done.

I love working in a café. It is buzzing with life, with soft music in the background, people chattering... I guess it makes you feel less alone, being an online entrepreneur (don't overstay your welcome though, or order a LOT of coffee ;)).

Aaaaaand... it's a great opportunity to get some really good behind-the-scenes photos or videos of yourself, taken with nothing but your phone!

Just ask the owner, I'm sure he/she will be more than happy to let you take some photos whilst you are working in his café, especially if you promise to tag them in your Instagram, TikTok or Facebook posts!

Now before this turns into a lot of chit-chat... Petra, what is that famous KEY to work with EASE & FLOW'?

The KEY is to BATCH plan your (behind-the-scenes) photoshoots!

I don't know about you, but when you do not batch plan your photo shoots, you ALWAYS seem to be running behind with your images.

You have another reel to make, a story or post to put up on your social media and there you are, frantically searching for a good photo to go with your amazing content idea... SO frustrating, right?!

And more often than not you end up using a stock photo (bye bye to authenticity!) or not even posting at all (bye bye consistency)!

So the solution is to batch plan your photo shoots, after having made your monthly social media content plan (you do those I hope? If not, I just handed you a bonus huge time saver!).

Batch planning your photo shoots will save you LOADS of time!

Especially if you organise at least one shoot each month in the beginning, you will have built your own stock of amazing authentic brand-aligned photos in no time. Because not only are you taking photos for your social media posts, but as you are working very efficiently (I got you some tools for that!) you are taking much more photos than you need, that you can use for future posts!

NEVER will you have to struggle to find yet another amazing authentic photo again... (You are welcome 😜.)

So let me give you some tips on how this works:

BATCH plan your (brand or behind-the-scenes) photoshoots!

Step 1:

Make your social media content plan for the month ahead.

If you don't know how to do that, there is a workshop on planning your social media content available in the FREE Grow Your Visibility-series in my Facebook Group Visible with Confidence.

Step 2:

Make a listing of all the photos/videos you need for your posts/Reels.

You can create a list yourself, simply in excel, or any organising tool like Trello or Asana.

I have a Trello template for this that works together with the content plan.

The template is included in my VIP coaching course and my Star Self Photography VIP days (both of them having Done-with-You Photoshoots included, for which you need the templates). I have also made it available for non-VIP clients in the Ease&Flow Batch Planning Toolkit.

Step 3:

Look at your list of images to make and divide them over two or maybe even three shoots.

It is really important you go about being very efficient, in the sense that you combine photos where-ever you can. To do this I have another Trello template, that is included in the VIP programs and the Ease&Flow Batch Planning Toolkit too.

But if you don't have Trello, you can do this in any organisation tool or excel.

So how can you combine your shoots? Let me give you an example.


If you are a health and welness coach, teaching meditation, you might need the following photos for some of your posts:

-a short video of yourself in a meditation pose, for a Reel on the benefits of meditation.

-a photo of a meditation cushion that you sell

-a photo of accessories that you can use as a background for an inspirational quote

- a photo of you in front of your yoga class for a next course that you are selling.

All these photos, you can plan in one single shoot. First photographing your class photo, taken from behind your students (all or just a couple, so you are still well visible). Then when your class is finished, you take the time to set up the rest of your shoot.

Your second photo can be the meditation cushion in a beautiful set up, using the accessories as background decoration. And then the third photo of you in your pose on your cushion (you need a tripod for this, or a friend...).

And you can go on, taking photos of the accessories, like a pile of books on meditation/yoga, a sound bowl, candles, whatever yoga/meditation accessories you can think of.


Take as many different photos/short videos as you can; different angles, different positions, portrait format, landscape format (for the different social media and your website, nothing more annoying than to need a landscape format picture, to find out that you only took portrait format!), this way you get lots of images from just one single shoot and with just a few shoots you will build a large stock of truly authentic photos for your business.


Think of taking photos/videos with enough empty space (also called negative space) to put your quote/texts. Follow the basic composition rules (rule of thirds, leading lines etc,) to create attention grabbing photos. These are explained in all my courses/challenges.

Step 4:

List what you need for your shoots

Make a full list of what you need for your photos, both accessories (the ones that truly connect with your dream clients, see my December challenge!) as well as technical material (lights, batteries, tripod etc) but also locations, your clothing (at least 2 sets, otherwise you are wearing the same clothes all month on your social media 😉) and much more.

I have a checklist for this, included in the VIP programs and the Ease&Flow Batch Planning Toolkit too.

Step 5:

Organise your shoots

Make sure to not forget one single step. Too often my clients say they have well planned and organised their shoot, but when I do the check before their photoshoot, I find that they have forgotten lots of important thigns, either because they did not use the templates or have gone through them too fast, without really thinking things through.

If you are doing this without my help, you will probably find that you have forgotten things. Write those down during your photoshoot, so you will create your own checklist on the go.


If you are doing your own brand photoshoot, instead of doing it just by yourself with a tripod, ask a business relation or a friend to do these shoots on a regular basis with you. The advantage of a biz relation is that they need their photos too, so you help each other out (plus you network and bond over time!). The advantage of a friend is that you feel really at ease, so it becomes easier to get sparkly photos in great energy. This works really well for brand photos.

If they are not superb photographers yet, send them the two guides in the banner below or maybe convince them to do my speed course or one of my challenges, so you know you will get good photos of yourself 😉)

Step 6:

Prepare yourself for your shoots and nail them!

Prepare yourself both mentally as practically for your photoshoots. Make sure you give yourself a Confidence Boost (you can grab the free Confidence Booster in the links below and could even plan to get your hair and make-up done by a professional) and show up all sparkly for your shoot!

Set everything up (make sure you get the lighting right! Tips in my group and my courses/challenges) and ready-steady-SHOOT!!


I'm doing monthly VIP Done-with-you photoshoots for my VIP-day and coaching clients, in which I give you my full support during 3h, whilst you do your photoshoot.That way you are sure to get the photos you love, without the usual struggle! I'll check your planning, you send me your setup and photos and you get my immediate feedback, so you are sure to finish with amazing photos you took yourself.

Step 7:

Select, edit and organise your photos

Don't keep all the photos, just select the best ones and make sure to edit them. One application that I LOVE is Snapseed, which is free and very complete (again, tutorials available in the Facebook group). Another really good application is Lightroom, but that is only partially free.

You can organise your photos in library software. Google photos, Lightroom or Adobe Bridge, or simply in your gallery on your phone/computer, as long as you make albums to keep your photos. There are many options, you just need to find the system that works for you.

Step 8:

Schedule them with your social media content and voilà! You are now all set up to connect with your ideal audience and attract them into your business to make more sales!

These photos are taken with a smartphone, but look professional, right?!

Isn't it amazing what our phones are capable of nowadays?!

Learn how to get the most out of your phone camera and save lots of money on hiring a pro photographer!

Be mindful about your

Biz photography...

Think before you Click!

With Love,

Do you want to Elevate your Business with amazing photos you take yourself with just your phone? These are the programs mentioned in the article:

Petra van der Wal

Learn how to become Confidently Visible and Elevate your Business to Grow your Sales with Pro-looking Brand-aligned images you take with just your phone. We will work on Mindset (empowering you to SHINE as your true self) - true CONNECTION with your Dream Clients and working with EASE & FLOW, Batch Planning your photo shoots.


Grab your free Confidence Booster to help you Shine and Stand out as the face of your business, so you can build authority and trust and attract your dream clients into your business.

Grab your free 8 settings Guide to immediately improve your Phone photos.

Hi there, I'm Petra van der Wal!

I'm a Brand Photography Teacher and Confidence Coach, helping business owners elevate their business and make more sales by empowering them to shine as the face of their business and teaching them how to stand out and TRULY connect with their dream clients with amazing photos they take with nothing but their phone.

With 14+ years experience as a wedding-, product- and brand photographer, plus 12+ years as a marketing expert, I instantly know what kind of business photos my clients need to connect with their dream clients and grow their income quickly.

My experience with mindset work allows me to help them build their confidence to proudly be the face of their business, with photos that make them look professional and trustworthy.

Teaching & coaching is one of the things that truly makes me happy and I love for my clients to feel all excited too when they see those a-ma-zing and authentic pictures they managed to take themselves with nothing but their phone, knowing that they will feel free to shine and stand out and elevate their business.

I see wonder in my every day world,

I inspire my clients to be mindful photographers.

Want to know how (else) you can work with me?


Any questions? I would love to chat with you!

Send me an email at petra@instantsacademy.com

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