Image by Alexa Williams

PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHY 

SESSION GUIDE

Personal branding photography is all about having a set of professional images that you, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, can use to bring your brand to life. For businesses where you are your brand, where your customers need to buy into you as a person as much as they need to buy into what you are selling, it is essential. Personal branding photography can include headshots, product images, photos of you doing your thing, your office or premises if you have them. Whatever it is that will help you tell your story and connect with your audience.

1. THINK ABOUT YOUR BRAND

 

We want your photos to be on brand and in order to make that happen you should spend some time before the session thinking about your brand and getting it straight in your own mind. What makes you different? Who is your dream client? Why would she buy from you instead of that other business? What do you want your images to say about you and your brand? Which brands really inspire you? Once we know all this, we can make sure that the photos we take speak to your dream client, convey the messages you want them to convey. I’ll send you an online questionnaire so that you can organise your thoughts and we have something we can refer back to.

2. CREATE A MOOD BOARD

Armed with your completed online questionnaire, I’ll set a up a secret Pinterest board and start saving some pins that I think, based on what you have told me, convey the look and feel you are striving for.

 

These are just ideas to get you started and you should feel free to add or remove pins as you wish. The more you add the better but aim for at least around 20 - 30 pins. A few things to consider as you work through this: 

  • Colours - try to stick to no more than 4 or 5

  • Atmosphere - light and airy, dark and moody, muted, vibrant

  • Poses - headshots and working poses

  • Outfits - ideas for what you might wear

  • Props - accessories that will help tell your story

  • Product shots - angles, styles

  • Locations - anything that takes your fancy

This is a good exercise to do as it really helps you to bring both you and your brand together in one place. It's a visual representation. Save anything that strikes a chord. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

3. COMPILE A WISH LIST OF SHOTS

 

Next I’ll ask you to send me a wish list of images that you are keen to get. For example, if you need a Facebook cover photo it's good for me to know that in advance so I can get a wide angle shot. I find Pinterest is a great source of ideas for this. And remember, with a personal branding photography session we can include headshots and lifestyle shots as well as product photography. We can always work on this together if you are struggling with ideas but some ideas for you to consider:

  • The About Me shot 

  • Profile or cover shots for social media channels

  • Behind the scenes working shots

  • Product shots

  • Props⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Personal Branding Photography Surrey.jpg

 

4. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

 

This is another really important element. The backdrop you choose will have a massive impact on the look and feel of your images. Somewhere with lots of natural light tends to yield the best results. Lots of people like to do them at home. We can capture you in your home office or workspace if you have one, your living room or kitchen, your garden. Or we could go out somewhere - a park, a beach, a pretty woodland. Or perhaps a more urban look would suit your brand better, in which case you could consider a street, a town or village, or a hotel lobby might work. We can work on this together if you are struggling to choose.

 

5. LOOKING YOUR BEST

This area is all a matter of personal preference. The key takeaway should be to do what makes you comfortable, what makes you feel like you. Perhaps that simply means running a brush through your hair and a slick of mascara, which is absolutely fine. Or perhaps it means going the whole hog. If you fall into the latter camp, then there are a few things you may (or may not) wish to consider.

If you’re getting your hair and makeup professionally done for the personal branding photography shoot then it might be wise to have a trial run before hand. You don’t want any nasty surprises on the day. Likewise, if you’re planning on having a haircut don’t make any drastic changes and do it a week or so before so you’ve got time to get used to it. We might take some close ups of your hands, perhaps typing or holding a mug, and so you might want to consider getting your nails done and adding a slick of polish yourself.

6. WHAT TO WEAR TO YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION

 

This always causes a little anxiety! And with good reason. It’s important to get it right. What you wear can have such a massive impact on how comfortable and confident you feel. As with everything on this list though, the most important thing is that you feel like you.

When it comes to colours, try and choose something that complements your brands look and feel. You want things to be cohesive and consistent and for your images to work well on your website. But do make sure these colours actually suit you.

 

Plain works better than patterned in photos, and try and avoid any brand names or logos. Make sure whatever you wear fits well and is comfortable. That goes for shoes too. And when you’re making these choices make sure you consider the environment we are shooting in.

You are welcome to have a couple of outfit changes if it helps you to tell your story.⠀⠀

7. DO YOU NEED ANY PROPS?

 

Whether we are shooting in your home or out on location, you should have a think about anything you’d like in the photos with you and make sure you've got them with you on the day. Items that will help to tell your story. Depending on what your business is this could be something practical like a monogrammed notebook, your laptop, or your phone. It could also be something personal that you love or that inspires you. Chosen thoughtfully, props can really help you speak to that dream client of yours. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

A FINAL WORD ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION

 

You may, like me, dread stepping in front of the camera but if you know what you want out of your personal branding photography session and take the time to prepare for it, you will soon forget the nerves and find yourself actually having a little fun. And if you have any questions or concerns about any of it, I am always available.

NEXT STEP...

 

The next step to preparing for your personal branding photography session, is to fill in my online questionnaire. Click here to access it

LET ME FIRSTLY SAY THANK YOU FOR YOUR FANTASTIC WORK! THE IMAGES LOOK GREAT! I'M SO HAPPY WITH THE IMAGE CLARITY AND THE EDITORIAL LOOK AND FEEL OF THE SHOTS. IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE WORKING WITH YOU ON THIS.

— VICTORIA —

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Family Photographer | Newborn Photographer | Baby Photographer | Business Photographer | Lingfield | Surrey | East Sussex | West Sussex | Kent | Copyright © {2020}  | Jo Leeson Photography