A successful personal brand photoshoot requires good planning! If you turn up without a plan you’ll end up with missed opportunities and I can guarantee you’ll be booking another shoot within 6 months. The reason being that if you don’t plan you’ll miss some key shots/images and it won’t necessarily be inline with your brand and business. Read on for some top tips on how to plan for your shoot. This will help you prepare and get the most out of your investment. If you’re new to the world of personal branding photography, have a read of my previous blog for more information on what it’s all about. I’m assuming you already have a personal brand photographer booked so this will give clarity and focus for your photoshoot. If you haven’t booked your photographer yet, having this ready is still relevant so keep reading.
What’s the goal for your photoshoot?
First of all, your brand is not just a logo! It’s about the look and feel of your brand, the who, what and where of your business. Showing behind the scenes images helps visually show your brand and allows people to get to know you, which in turns leads them to trust you, like you and buy into your service or product. With this in mind, what do you want to share about your business? When you can answer this, this gives you a clear goal for your personal brand photoshoot. For example, the images below show Nury from Simplified Living in 2 different aspects of what she wanted to capture. One is in her closet, showing how she can organise, the other shows her working in her beautiful home office.
What do you want to use your images for?
This is so important for your photographer to know. For example, if you’re planning to update your website with your new images, you’ll need landscape images for your banner and possible portrait for some panel images. If you already have a website design then share this with your photographer and explain what you need. If someone else is designing your website – put them in touch so you can ensure you have the right aspect ratios for what you need. When you know where you want to use your images, it means you’ll have a whole library of images that work for your marketing activity. Apart from your website, this can include social media, blogs, newsletters etc.
Create a moodboard
Having a collage of images in the form of a moodboard really helps to see your inspiration come to life. When my clients book a shoot with me, one of the first things I ask them to start working on, is a Pinterest board. This helps me to see what they’re visually drawn to which is normally inline with their brand aesthetics too. You can even add colour palettes. This helps with the styling of the shoot enormously too.
Detailed shot/image list
I’m sure many personal brand photographers create a shot list but if they don’t then you can always do this yourself. I personally split my clients shot list into their different stories – which we’ve discussed in our planning meetings. These stories are also reinforced via their pinterest board too. For example, one of the stories could be labelled ‘Work in Action’ and the shot list can include images such as the below image. I add all of my shoot planning into a Trello board which is also available via a phone app. This means I have it with me on the shoot day and the client also has it. Having this to hand also ensures we don’t miss any shots planned.
Props for your Photoshoot
Props can really make a difference and enable your brand to look the way you want it to look. For example, if you already have a clear brand colour/s make sure you have props that can give that pop of colour in your images. This can be in the form of your coffee cup, a book or books, flowers, pencils. The list is endless! You can also use your wardrobe to reflect the colours in your brand too. Below is a great example of Lizzy from The Square Pegs Education. Lizzy’s main brand colour is pink – she not only wore a pink t-shirt underneath her jacket but she also had pink books, which can be seen in the background of this headshot of her. The ‘S’ is also a prop and stands for the word ‘Square’ in her business name.
Planning your outfits for your photoshoot
What you wear really needs to reflect you as a person and your brand. Having a variety of outfits planned is key to having images that have some longevity too. If you’re wearing the same outfit in all of your images for your personal brand photoshoot it won’t give you much variety on your instagram grid, for example. Have a read of my ‘What to Wear‘ Blog for some top tips about this.
Your Personal Brand Photographer has many tricks when it comes to posing. Here’s a few of mine that ensures you look your best and avoids you feeling horribly awkward in front of the camera:
- Start the shoot looking away from the camera – this helps dispel some of those early photoshoot nerves and gets you used to having a camera pointed at you.
- If it bends, bend it! This means bend your arms and legs. I will try different poses with you and when we get it right, and you feel comfortable, I’ll shoot some different angles for variety, keeping in mind your brand values and what we’ve discussed for your shot list
- The dreaded double chin – pushing your forehead slightly forwards gets rid of a small double chin, along with leaning forward a little. The difference can be quite astounding and, although it feels awkward to start with, it really does work!
Plan your work and work your plan!
This is something that my father always said to me, and still says it now – even though I’m into my 5th decade of life! It is absolutely true! If you don’t plan for your personal brand photoshoot, you’ll likely be disappointed with the outcome and want to refresh your images sooner than you intended. This also means means spending more money than you originally planned too. I can’t speak for all personal brand photographers, but when you book with me I ensure we have a meticulous plan that ensures you get what you want AND need for your brand imagery. If you’d like to have a chat or you’re ready to get your personal brand photoshoot booked, get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.