Whether you’re planning for a personal branding photo session (geared towards service businesses or creating a personal brand) or a business branding session (geared towards a physical business with a space and maybe even product), here are some things to think about to help you have the most stellar session ever:
LET'S TALK BRANDING
Branding is something that's near and dear to me. As a business owner, it's something I'm always conscious of. Developing a strong brand identity will build your reputation in your field, help you stand out from your competitors, and attract your ideal clients, and here are all of the tips I think you'll need to make sure that our branding session accomplishes just that, and also some pointers on how to keep our session incredibly organized so that we can just focus on having a ridiculous amount of fun shooting!
I am super passionate about educating anyone I work with, and making their lives better in some way beyond just giving them cool pictures - for that reason, I've made a (very comprehensive) pre-session questionnaire that's not only going to help me take amazing photos for you, but will absolutely benefit your brand as well. Click the link below and take some time to fill that out, if you please!
Get your creative juices flowing in the weeks leading up to the shoot by making some inspiration boards specifically for your photo shoot that will capture your aesthetic and define the creative direction of this project. This can either be achieved digitally through a platform like Pinterest or Tumblr, or through a physical collage board. Include a variety of content, including both buzzwords and images. I recommend finding a handful of existing brands that have a look similar to what you're hoping to achieve, and sending them my way a week or so before the session so that I can get some ideas together. Having a clear vision for the shoot already figured out is going to be important for us to maximize our time together, and also to ensure that you get exactly what you're hoping for from this session.
Seriously, organization is something I cannot stress enough – I’ve shown up to so many shoots and seen so much precious time be wasted because things weren’t organized. Let’s go ahead and get everything mapped out now, so that our session moves smoothly and efficiently.
First of all, figure out where your images will be used, whether it be on your website or blog, on promotional materials, in print form for a featured event, etc. This will allow us to style your shoot appropriately. For example, if you plan on using your images mostly for social media campaigns, we’ll want more wide, horizontal images as opposed to tall vertical shots. If you don’t know, or just want a mix of everything, that’s perfectly fine, and shooting a mix of orientations is my default mode for a branding photography session. But, for the most part, a horizontal image isn’t going to look as great “cropped” into a vertical one, so let’s make sure we know how these are going to be used going into the shoot!
If you’re looking for specific shots, then create a detailed shot list so we capture all the necessary angles and content. For example, a lot of yoga + athletic branding shoots that I do, I encourage clients to come with a list of poses that they want to photograph, so we can check them off as a we go. For restaurant branding shoots, I encourage clients to have a list of the dishes that they want photographed. Every image should capture your style, personality, and color palette, so keep referring back to your inspiration board. If you have specific props in mind, decide which shots you want to include them in.
Have all your necessary tools laid out and ready to go before I get there. If you’re a food stylist, have as much prepped ahead time as you can, and your kitchen neat + tidy. If you use a laptop or camera on a daily basis, have that handy. Think about things that you can’t start your day without. If that’s a cup of coffee or your journal, be sure to include that. Building up your toolkit will be a helpful resource for future shoots, or if you need a content shot for your social media feed.