Brand and business photography is so much more than a headshot used on social media or a business website. Digital marketing enables us to portray every aspect of our brand and business – from the product/service, to the people working behind the scenes, to the packaging and the ethos behind it all. People buy from people and having a strong brand identity that shows a potential client or customer what you and your business is all about – it is integral to developing your online brand and persona.
When we think about ‘brand’ we may think of logos, colours, products, services and packaging. We’ll also associate a brand with customer service and how the brand makes us feel which is where photography is so important in helping a business showcase their brand on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn as well as their websites. Images can show the face of a brand, the inspiration, ‘behind the scenes’ and customer service, which can include packaging for products or interaction with customers for businesses that provide a service. Personal branding and business photography, beyond just a few headshots, can ensure that your content is relevant, and your brand persona is right for your target audience.
#1 Choosing your photographer
When choosing a personal branding and business photographer, shop around and find a style of imagery that you like and ‘fits’ your business. If you like bright vibrant images, and this fits with your brand persona, look for a photographer that shoots and edits in this way. The rapport you have with your photographer is also important, so before you book talk with the photographer – a good connection with someone that is trying to capture the essence of your brand is key to making sure you get what you want and need.
If you need fresh content in the form of imagery throughout the year you may be looking at quarterly or 6 monthly shoots, using the same photographer each time means you will build a consistent brand persona.
Your photographer needs to know your ‘must have’ shots in advance of the shoot. Ideally they will have a questionnaire that asks not only what your business is about but also includes questions regarding the ‘feel’ and ‘personality’ of your brand, who your target audience is, if you already have a brand style guide which includes colours and brand information, whether you want other people photographed as part of your business, and if so what you should wear? This questionnaire should be thorough and leave no stone unturned. It’s ok to not have a brand style or perhaps you’re a new business and you’re still working out the feel of your brand – that’s ok! A good photographer will be able to help and guide you in the best way to capture your brand, products and/or services.
It’s important that you plan the session together with your photographer for at least a couple of weeks before your agreed date/s. If you already have some ideas for some shots you’ve seen on a platform such as Pinterest then you can create an image board and share it with your photographer. A photographer won’t be able to replicate these images exactly but it’s a great way to illustrate what you like and love!
#3 What to wear
Making sure you look like you is absolutely key – it also means you’ll feel relaxed if you’re wearing something you feel comfortable in. Formal headshots certainly still have a place in this world but for small businesses a white background and a power suit won’t necessarily portray your brand persona! A lot of businesses I have photographed are creatives who favour a more casual look. Whatever your business, choosing the right outfit can help portray the feeling of your brand so it’s vital to think about this and discuss it with your photographer.
This is a key element of a great shoot – if you’re using an indoor location your photographer may want to see this beforehand to work out if they need to bring extra, such as extra lighting. If you have more than one location this may need to be done as 2 shoots. Having a ‘shoot list’ will ensure you can work out these details before the session which will help with the flow of your shoot and mean you’re more relaxed too. Making sure you’re happy with what has been planned and agreed, and that you and your photographer’s time is used productively, maximises the photo shoot to its full potential to ensure you capture all of your planned shots.
Discussing props – what you have and what you need to source – is another key element of your photo shoot. For example, if one of the planned shots is a relaxed setting of you sitting in front of a laptop with a coffee cup to the side, but you have a desktop computer, you’ll need to make a plan and your photographer should be able to help and guide you on this. A list of the props you intend to bring is also important, and if you have an idea of a specific shot with a prop make sure you communicate this with your photographer – and include this in your shoot list.
#6 Post Shoot
Finally, it’s important that you understand how your images will be delivered to you. The majority of photographers use online galleries which give the option of full resolution images along with web size images (full resolution generally isn’t used for online platforms as the file sizes are too big and they take a long time to load, however, these are great for printing!). If you know the size and orientation (portrait, landscape) of the images you’d like, it’s important to tell your photographer so that they can make sure you have everything you need at the point of delivery.
If you’d like to discuss your personal branding and business photography, or you’ve been thinking about booking a photoshoot, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you and if you have any questions I haven’t covered I would be delighted to help. I hope to see you on a shoot soon!