.PREPARING FOR YOUR BRANDING SESSiON.
Quality branded imagery can make all the difference for not only your personal brand. but your website, your Social Media presence, and even your level of perceived professionalism.
Of course any local business or brand can choose from thousands of stock images from countless other online resources, but there’s something to be said about having the ability to set yourself apart from the thousands of other like-minded individuals who are offering the same kinds of services to the world. Why not create your own collection of customized imagery for your brand? Something that fits your color palette, your style, and images that truly speak to your ideal clientele.
CREATE A ‘VISUAL IDENTITY’ FOR YOUR BRAND
First & foremost, what is your brand identity & who is your target client? It’s important to take the time to outline what your goals are for your brand and your business in general, as well as for the photoshoot that you’re preparing for. Sure, you want an updated ‘headshot’, but what else is it that you truly need? Being confident in your ‘brand voice’, setting a visual identity [this includes your brand’s key color palette], and creating a list of qualities & values that you want to make sure to get across to your ideal clientele - these are great places to start, especially if you’re unsure of exactly what you’re looking for in a brand photography session. This is your chance to get more than just a headshot…so take advantage of it!
If you take the time to make a list of at least  adjectives that describe your brand & how you want others to feel when they experience your brand imagery, the process of creating a ‘visual identity’ for your brand, will be seamless. If you use Pinterest, look for colors, textures, vibes, & feels, instead of specific poses, as every person, brand, & shoot is different. By having a general description & overall ‘vibe’, we can work together to capture the essence of your brand, not just a replica of someone else’s.
SELECTING THE RIGHT CLOTHING & PROPS FOR YOUR SESSION
This really comes down to making sure you’re choosing outfits and accessories that are cohesive to your brand.
‘On-brand’ outfitting can be as easy as layering a necklace into one of your brand’s key colors over a great fitting black dress. Or pairing a pop-of-color blazer with some nice denim pants and a neutral-colored top. Or you can keep it simple by wearing some dark colored sunglasses along with a white or off-white top and fun accessories and shoes that carry your brand’s signature color!
So whether you’re a calligrapher with a boho edge and you feel your best in a blousy top or you’re a restaurant owner in your element wearing dark denim and a crips, tailored shirt, always stay true to your personal style and keep your brand’s voice in mind when putting together an outfit.
In terms of props, they don’t necessarily have to be ‘matchy-matchy’ to your branding in order for everything to pull together. Instead, look for props that you actually use in your day-to-day work to create authenticity. Choose props that contain your branding [like a copy of a brochure that you created or a hand-painted sign], use items that incorporate your brands colors or complimentary colors like flowers, coasters, books or pens, and include some neutrals to balance out the colorful elements.
Scour your office space & home for items you already use on a day-to-day basis & pair those with a few key purchases that elevate your brand from those everyday items. Think of your brand in 5 years. What does it look like then, compared to right now? That’s the brand identity we want to go for. Let the imagers we create aid you in getting to that 5 year down the road point.
Here are a few extra photographer & styling tips:
Don’t select outfits that have super loud, busy patterns as they can be distracting in photos.
Heels [even if you’re not a heel type of person] elongate the legs, making great lines in photos. Additionally, clothes that fit well & aren’t too baggy are the ones that photograph best!
Be sure to let me know if you have a “good side” – while I think every side is my client’s good side, I also know that you are more likely to love [and make use of!] your photos if you feel your best in them! I’ll even show you a few images while we’re shooting to ensure we’re on the same page & that you’re feeling great about what we’ve got going on.
CHOOSING THE BEST LOCATION FOR YOUR SESSION
Whether its an office space, a studio, or a neighborhood within your city. Selecting the right location for your branding session can make all the difference in the style of the imagery that’ll be captured. Referencing your pre-shoot prep & brand vision is key in this stage. If you have an office that is perfectly styled for your brand & filled with gorgeous light, let’s shoot there! But often times, this isn’t the case. So…where do we shoot? Below you’ll find a few scenario examples to help you to get a better understanding of how I can make any scenario work for you!
A small office space with no natural light: If your brand’s vision is full of light & airy photos, we’ll discuss what sorts of artificial light options I can bring along with me. I always aim to find at least a window where natural light can filter in, because I love the look of natural light, but, in sceneries such as this one, I will be sure to come well-equipped & ready to supplement your shoot with a number of artificial lighting options. In fact, I use it at some point in nearly every indoor shoot, as it can add the perfect amount of extra fill light.
You want a mix of professional & lifestyle imagery, but you don’t have an office space: Searching for places to shoot on sites like Airbnb is a perfect option here. Plus, if you can select a photoshoot spot near one of your favorite places in town, you can capture some of those “day in the life” lifestyle images, as well, adding in the perfect mix of professional & lifestyle photos for your brand at the chosen rental location.
You would love the opportunity to shoot at another business’ location: Just ask! Let the business know what it would require of them [for example: at a coffee shop, you might just need to secure a corner table near the window for an hour or so] and what is in it for them. Making it clear what to expect from the shoot can often ease some of the nerves about the photoshoot hindering their business. Plus, I always love to offer for the business to have access to using some of the images for marketing purposes. You may encounter a local business owner that will just flat out say ‘no’, and that’s okay. Just do your best to keep an eye out for other potential locations that might work well. I also try to keep a running tab of the local businesses in my area that are almost always willing & open to this, so feel free to ask me for suggestions!
Overall, this time together should [and most likely will be] easy-going, enjoyable & productive. I’m looking forward to working with you!
Have a question about something that wasn't answered here? Don't hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!