My Icon Story’s first photoshoot with Yeshen Venema

  • 13-Jun
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Lesson #23 : Leave it to the professionals

Considering my previous role as a ‘Creative’ in advertising I was pretty adamant I didn’t need a Stylist for my first product photo shoot. I mean, how hard can it be to position your own product and add a few props either side to give it some context?

As a Solo founder I am used to planning and doing everything myself and naturally left no time to prepare for the shoot – a shoot that could dramatically transform the My Icon Story brand, attract new customers and ultimately generate new business. I could not afford to f**k this up!

With only 2 weeks until shoot day I felt completely out of my depth. I had never been on a product shoot, let alone planned one. It was time to call in the professional.

I booked my shoot with Yeshen Venema, who for the last 3 years, has worked in partnership with Mugdha Sapte – his studio stylist. I met with Mugdha and spent 2 invaluable hours planning my shoot: what I wanted to get out of it, the products I wanted to shoot, what the shots would be used for (social, content, editorial, website gallery) and any themes or focus that would determine props, styling and visual identity. I can’t put into words just how important it was to do this especially as I had never done a product shoot before. I left feeling completely prepared and confident that the output of the shoot would be nothing less than pure brilliance. Thank you Mugdha!

Shoot Day!

Shoot day was literally a ball of fun and I couldn’t have asked for anything more for My Icon Story’s first professional product shoot! Yeshen and Mugdha made the whole day so enjoyable was planned to perfection. Above all though, it was creative, collaborative and fun! From organising the different scene set-ups to playing with coloured paper, washi tape and post it notes, we gave every single product photo life and character and brought the vibrant and playful nature of My Icon Story to life!

Creating a visual identity: Lines, icons, colour

Minimalist line design is our strongest brand identity so we used strips of washi tape in My Icon Story brand colours to create a visual identity for the brand and photos in the shoot. Our icons are without a doubt our most important feature. This is what makes My Icon Story unique in the personalised gift market. Printing hundreds of single icons on square Moo business cards was a simple way of communicating our vast icon variety, themes and subjects.

Finally, bright pop colours is what gives My Icon Story it’s fun and playful character which is why we loved playing with different coloured paper and card to create interesting compositions and angles.

And we even had time for a few off-plan shots…

Yeshen & Mugdha composing the perfect shot

Top Tips:

  • Plan, plan, plan in advance
  • Bring in the professionals and work with a stylist
  • Determine the purpose of your shoot and what the photos will be used for
  • Create a shot list
  • Create a prop list
  • Don’t follow the norm – create your own visual identity
  • Have fun!

Enquire or book a shoot with Yeshen here

Washi tape for shoot design and styling
Creating the perfect mantlepiece backdrop
Set up for overhead panoramic shot

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Client Testimonials

  • I've ordered a few pieces from My icon Story and couldn't recommend them more. They make for amazing bespoke gifts and the service is amazing! The team are really helpful should you have any queries or issues.

    - Lisa-Kate McGrath

  • Thank you My Icon Story for helping me create a unique and personal 30th birthday present. I would recommend the website to anyone who wants to give something special as a gift.

    - Liam Whiddett

  • This beautiful bespoke piece of art will add something very personal and meaningful to our new home. Creating bespoke icons which weren't on the website was no trouble at all. The customer service was impeccable, and we are completely in love with our 'my icon story'. Thank you so much

    - Jenna Bristow

  • I'm looking forward to receiving this sentimental anniversary gift for my husband. It will be a fun and artsy reminder of the path our relationship has traveled. (I'm also thrilled to be the first US order!) Can't wait to gift more of these for friends with new babies!

    - Zahra Curtin

  • Thank you so much for all your help with designing my icon story! Nothing was ever too much trouble and being able to create the exact icons I wanted made my story so much better! A fantastic gift for anyone!!!

    - Ella Rayment

  • Fantastic idea for a gift for a brother in law who is extremely difficult to buy for! So pleased with result and have already recommended to others. Will definitely use the site again

    - Julie McCarthy

  • Great service from My Icon Story and we loved our finished Icon Story - which was a very successful anniversary gift!

    - Carl

  • My Icon Story really caught my eye when I saw a feature about it in Metro. It really helped me find a unique present for my wife this Xmas and our print hangs proudly in our hallway!

    - Rob Griffiths

  • Really wonderful piece, my wife loved it. Designed an icon specifically for us as well which made it extra special.

    - Ryan Taylor

  • What a great idea. I wanted something meaningful for my partner for his birthday and what better than icons denoting memories from our time together. Will definitely be telling my friends and family about My Icon Story.

    - June Richardson

  • I came across this amazing website via the Evening Standard during a commute home. We were able to create a fantastic and very personal story of our family epic holiday to Australia via Hong Kong. Within a day, Laura even added 2 icons for the Gold Coast for us to choose....the best bit about the the whole experience was the personal service to ensure we could capture an eternal memory in such a unique way. Thanks Laura!

    - Russ Thomas

  • Love love the My Icon Story I made for my wife to remind us of some travel adventures we've had over the years

    - Christian Turner

  • It brought my wife to tears with all the memories of our past she thought I had forgotten

    - Sean Garwood

  • Really loved the artwork, stylish and contemporary. A wonderful memento of our daughter's trip. My Icon Story were extremely helpful from design to delivery. I would recommend My Icon Story to anyone seeking a unique and well made souvenir of their travels.

    - Jane Allden

  • Was really happy with the print. The customer service was great and it didn’t take long to arrive. Cheers!

    - Rob Aitken

  • We loved our Icon Story print following a European trip. Beautifully made and framed.

    - Kayleigh Westwood

  • I purchased a print for my friends birthday and I can honestly say I am so happy with the result. The website is really easy to use, there are a huge variety of icons to choose from, but if you can't find what you are looking for, there was the option to get one designed for you.

    - Kirsty Elliot

  • My boyfriend bought me a print as a surprise after I went away travelling. I absolutely love it!, thank you! It's such a thoughtful and personal gift and a lovely reminder of my travels.

    - Diva M

  • My parents absolutely LOVED their bespoke print I gave them for their ruby wedding anniversary. What's more personal than something that reminds them of all their favourite places they've been together? I'm normally terrible at buying gifts, but you can't get it wrong with a My Icon Story print!

    - Abi Morrish

  • We got a beautiful bespoke print for our wedding, it has all our tables that featured at our wedding. Cities that myself and the hubby have been to. They even created a new icon for us as they didnt feature it. Brilliant service.

    - Lauren Chorley

  • We bought a print for a 50th birthday and selected a number of icons that reasonated. The site is really easy to use and if you cant find what you want then you just need to ask! We were delighted with the print and so was the Birthday Girl!!

    - Rebecca French