Even if we weren’t talking about business, I believe a photo shoot is an amazing way to celebrate you. It’s so much fun to have your hair and makeup done for a professional photo shoot (and yes, men have their makeup and hair done, too).
Branding photography also tends to be one of the biggest challenges for individuals—capturing photos that truly capture their brand and optimally represent what they stand for. It’s so important for your online photography to indicate what you stand for as soon as someone sees a photo of you. Do you represent wealth, health, fitness, autonomy, love, entrepreneurship?
If I look at your photo, I should be able to throw out, at least, two to three adjectives that represent you.
From a business perspective, branding photography is one of the first steps I learned was required to build a successful online business. With social media and the internet, having photos to display you and your band is essential. They help an audience relate to you, trust you and contact you. It’s amazing but true.
As I’ve shared in previous interviews, photos represent our emotions, choices and everything that makes us who we are. It is visual storytelling, and it is transformational. This is why the professional photo shoot is almost always one of the first go-to steps in supporting my clients in developing a branding campaign.
To prepare for a branding photo shoot, I always take into consideration my brand, products, and the services I currently offer, as well as those I plan on launching in the future.
I then go to Pinterest (you’ll notice I mention Pinterest A LOT as a resource I frequently use) and start a board for inspiration and ideas. If I’m planning a photo shoot in Washington D. C., for example, I create a board titled “DC Photo Shoot Ideas” and begin searching for ideas and pinning them to that board. I select looks and locations I might want to incorporate in the shoot, and I then choose outfits and props that I might need, all while keeping my brand in mind. For my first branding photo shoot, I knew I eventually wanted to have an Easy Breezy Greens brand, so I brought a green drink and glass with me so that we could capture an image for that brand.
Once the locations, wardrobe changes, and props are identified, you’re ready to schedule the shoot. When doing this, you’ll want to coordinate with a hairstylist and makeup artist (if you’re lucky, you’ll find one you love that can do both!). Ideally, the makeup artist and hairstylist will come to you.
To reiterate, when you’re in the planning stages for your branding photo shoot, think about images you’ll want to capture for website banners, book covers, product covers, social media images, social media banners, and so on. I’ve included the information found here with some additional tips in my FREE Branding Photography Guide:
From the Photographer’s Perspective
It is so important to find a photographer who takes the time to understand you, your goals, your brand, your ideal client, your products, and your services. All of these components need to be considered before and during your shoot to ensure you capture everything you need based on your intentions when you decided to schedule your shoot. Interview several photographers it that’s what it takes to find a photographer you’re comfortable with. This is an investment in you and your business, and you want the end results to be something you can break into your happy dance about!
I was fortunate to work with a very talented photographer, Michael Bennet Kress, for one of my first branding photo shoots. He was fun to work with, made me feel super comfortable, and most important, I loved the result! He captured many of the photos you see throughout this magazine. Michael was gracious enough to share some insights with us, so you know what to expect and how to go about selecting a photographer to capture your online brand and identity.