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Meet Chelsea

The Forum Carlsbad Outdoor Mall Brand Photography

The Nix Company, a Dallas-based Brand Marketing Agency who gives retail centers, restaurants, and brands an engaging experience online & off. They specialize in connecting retail centers and direct-to-consumer brands with their target audience. I was hired as their San Diego social content photographer and captured these photos of their client, The Forum Carlsbad.

The Nix Company drafted up a shot list to coordinate with their social media strategy and content pushes, so we had ideas in mind as we walked the grounds.

One of my number one tips before ANY brand photoshoot is to create a shot list. You may not always get every image on the list, but it’s great to work from and easier to get in the “flow” zone of photography and creating, rather than scrambling trying to remember everything in that moment.

Things to Consider When Creating a Shot List: 

  • Upcoming Social Campaigns, Launches, or Pushes
  • Engagement — are there any photos or ideas you have where folks can chime in? Maybe it’s something that’s nostalgic, a this or that kind of question, or they can offer their favorite dish at a certain restaurant.
  • Seasonal Content
  • Evergreen Content (photos that can be used that don’t read strictly Christmas or summer)
  • Gaps or Holes in Your Content Library — what photos have you *wished* you had
  • Big Picture and Little Details — in this instance, a wide image of a storefront, and small details, like a necklace or display inside
  • Sizing and Usage

Where Are The Photos Going to Live?

Figure out ahead of time where the photos are going to be published online — website, newsletter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. And once you have that information, you can shoot with specific crop sizes in mind. Oftentimes images will be syndicated online and used for all platforms, so you need to be aware that the crop sizings and ratios will be different (example: Instagram best ratio is 4×5 for main feed, while Stories are 9×16).

When to Plan the Photoshoot?

When it comes to timing of the photoshoot, some of the biggest factors and lighting and crowd control. The Nix Company was flying in from Dallas to meet me at The Forum Carlsbad and we had a specific timeframe in mind.

This timing worked out great as there was plenty of natural sunlight — crucial to maximize content and not carry around a full lighting rig. It was also the middle of the week, making it much easier to photograph images without people in the background.

What is the Purpose of the Photos? Who is the Client?

The Forum Carlsbad is a beautiful open-air outdoor shopping center mall located at Calle Barcelona and El Camino Real in North County, San Diego. It has a myriad of retailers from Free People to Warby Parker to restaurants and yoga studios.

The photos are primarily for their social channels and to introduce the readers/audience (both new and past shoppers) to what’s going on at The Forum Carlsbad. There are a mix of new stores, changes in shop displays, and restaurants with exciting menus to dive into. The idea is to keep The Forum Carlsbad top of mind as a destination to visit — both to shop at, eat at, and go for an afternoon stroll. At this time, seasonal holiday décor had just been put in place, making it extra festive.

Objective: photograph mostly exteriors and some interiors, merchandise, and product photography, with a slight focus on holiday content.


© 2024 Chelsea loren photography