Personal branding photography is so much more than a headshot used on social media or a website. Digital marketing enables us to portray every aspect of our brand – from the product/service, to the people working behind the scenes, to the packaging and the ethos behind it all. People buy from people that they know, like and trust. Having a strong brand identity that shows a potential client what your brand is all about is integral to developing your online persona.
When we think about the word ‘brand’ we may think of logos, colours, products, services and packaging. We also associate a brand with customer service and how the brand makes us feel which is where photography is so important. It can help a business showcase themselves 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. This 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 brand photographer
When choosing a personal branding photographer, shop around and find a style of imagery that you like and ‘fits’ your brand. If you like bright vibrant images, 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 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.
#2 Planning your brand photoshoot
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, extra team members etc. This questionnaire should be thorough and leave no stone unturned. It’s ok if you don’t have a brand style. Perhaps you’re a new business and you’re still working out the feel of your brand – that’s ok too! A good photographer will be able to help and guide you in to capture your brand, products and/or services.
It’s important that you plan the session with your photographer for at least 2 weeks before your agreed date. If you already have some ideas for some shots you’ve seen, Pinterest is a great way to share it with your photographer. They won’t be able to replicate these images exactly but it’s a great way to illustrate what you like!
#3 What to wear to your branding photoshoot
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, but for small businesses a white background and a power suit won’t necessarily portray your brand persona! A lot of brands 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. It’s vital to think about this and discuss it with your photographer.
#4 Brand photoshoot location
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 the light. If you have more than one location this may need to be done as 2 shoots. Having a ‘shot list’ will ensure you can work out these details before and will help with the flow of your shoot. It will also mean you’re more relaxed too. Making sure you’re happy with what has been planned and agreed, and that yours and your photographer’s time is used productively, maximises the photo shoot to its full potential.
#5 Props for your photoshoot
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 only 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. If you have a specific shot in mind that needs a prop, make sure you communicate this with your photographer. This can be included in your shot 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. These give the option of full resolution images along with web size images. If you know the size and orientation (portrait, landscape) of the images you’d like, it’s important to tell your photographer. They will then make sure you have everything you need at the point of delivery.
If you’d like to discuss your personal branding photography, or you’ve been thinking about booking a photoshoot, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. Read more about a shoot with me here. If you have any questions I haven’t covered, I would be delighted to help. I hope to see you on a shoot soon!