Let’s get real, advice from a professional photographer – Malumi Photography

December 15, 2021

Do you remember when we introduced the 5 steps for you to build a better plan to capture your brands defining moments? We barely remember it either, so we thought we would ask some of our photographers we have worked with to get some truthful advice on what to do when you’re planning your brands next photoshoot. (we are serious this time, you should pay attention).

The first photographer you’re meeting is a humble, kind, and funny as f*ck photographer. She owns Malumi Photography and if you don’t follow her…. open your instagram and do it. (or click the button at the bottom).

Meet Maxine Tamoto THE POWERHOUSE OF A WOMAN, you should know she specializes in creative product shots, branding, and has a lot of fun with lifestyle photography; Max is one of the brilliant minds behind ALL of the images that you see on our website.

1 – Pre-Production is SO important:

You can’t build a good house on a shitty foundation, right? The same rule applies to your session! If you have a solid plan going into your shoot, the day will run a lot smoother and there’s less room for error. Start with a mood board, inspo pics, and a colour scheme you’d like to stick to; then work with your photographer (AKA ME) on a detailed shot list. I use an excel spreadsheet to break everything down from what product we’re shooting, what background we’re using, to the required props for that specific shot. Lastly, think of where you’ll be using these photos for (social media, website banner, print) and consider that when building your shot list so you know what orientation your photos need to be. Being on set can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. So coming prepared will ease your anxiety 🙂

2 – Find a photographer who matches you and your Brand’s vibe:

Imagine commissioning a watercolour painter for an oil painting. They for sure have a better grasp at art than the average person, but it’s not what they’re good at and it’s not what they like doing. This usually results in the client being unhappy with the results and the artist being frustrated. So when you’re looking for a photographer, it’s important to take a look at their portfolio to make sure you like their style and they actually offer the type of photos you need!

3 – Go in with an open mind:

Vision ≠ execution. You can prepare as best as you can for a shoot but at the end of the day, the photos may not turn out exactly as you envisioned. As much as we try to avoid it or try to fix it, sometimes things just don’t work out on set. From props breaking or your shot straight up just not working out, you have to expect the unexpected (ALWAYS). But fear not! The way I think about it is, people aren’t going to expect something that never existed… so maybe the photo wasn’t exactly like you thought, but it could turn out better!! Trust the process.

4 – You get what you pay for:

I recommend putting aside a budget for photography and getting the photographer you want over whatever is more affordable (or even worse, just doing it yourself). I can tell you this: My prices are set according to my talent, skill, time, equipment costs… the list goes on. My prices are NOT set because I’m out here trying to take all your money and run away to Bali. I have been outbid many times by photographers that are just starting out and have more affordable rates which is totally fair.. sometimes I just don’t fit the budget! But 6 times out of 10 that client has come back to me ready to book because the other photographer has yet to build the skill set needed for the type of photos they want. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go with the best thing right off the bat – I promise the payoff is worth it!

So we hope that getting a real photographer to help you start to understand their profession, it also helps you build your brand. It’s time to listen to the professionals. Isn’t there a reason you’re hiring them? They have a skill set you don’t and that’s okay.




oh she makes videos sometimes too

  • Author: Maxine Tamoto
  1. […] Kilig Candle Co. new website launched on the Spring break with the double dose of launching new lines of products like body lotion and perfumes. The new products are showcased on new imagery created by the amazing Malumi Photography (which we mentioned on our blog before as she shared advice for brands looking to have successful photoshoots, if you missed that one go read it here). […]


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