After 3 years as a brand photographer I (and my clients) know just how powerful having an amazing set of brand photos can be for you and your business. It can save you loads of time, but most importantly, it gives you a compelling online presence that will help you connect with more of your dream clients.
Have you been dreaming of having new, scroll-stopping images, but are hesitant to book a session because of the amount of planning involved? Yes, a lot does go into creating a successful brand session, but a great brand photographer will help you every step of the way!
I have a detailed process I take all of my clients through so they are as prepared as possible for their session, and here I’m sharing some of those steps with you. That way if you like to plan in advance, you can get started with a few things before your session is even on the calendar.
Completing these steps is in no way a requirement to book a session, but if you want to get at least some of them started it can help you feel even more relaxed and prepared. I’m just a big plan-aheader, so I wanted to provide these steps in case you are, too!
Step 1: Consider all the places you need brand photos for your business.
Most brand photographers have different packages to choose from that include a varied number of photos. For example, I have 3 brand session packages including 15, 40, or 90 images. Knowing all the places you’ll be using the photos will help you decide which package is best for you.
Look Over Your Website
As you look through your website pages, note how many current photos you want to replace. Also consider where you could place additional photos. Keep in mind that your session could include other types of photos in addition to images of you, like product photos or flatlays.
Look Ahead On Your Calendar
What do you have planned in the next several months (or even for the year) that you’ll need photos for? Consider everything you’ll be doing for your business like product or service launches, events, marketing campaigns and speaking engagements.
Make a List
Now make a list with the above and add any other uses you can think of. Here are some ideas:
- email signature
- email newsletter images
- profile images for social platforms
- page headers for social platforms
- social media posts (list all platforms you use)
- business cards
- blog posts
Step 2: Define your brand identity for the best brand photos.
While in-depth work on your brand identity is not an absolute must before your brand session, the clearer you are on your brand the better. That way your photos can truly capture your brand and make your visuals cohesive.
Key aspects of your brand that will help you plan for a brand photoshoot include: your ideal client, brand personality, messaging and brand colors. One key aspect that will really help you and your photographer design the perfect brand photoshoot is knowing your content pillars. These are the themes/topics that you plan to talk/write about on a regular basis wherever you’re putting out content (like blog posts, social media, youtube videos and email newsletters). Then you can create photos that will easily compliment those topics and that makes for much easier content creation.
You may want to consider working with a branding designer/coach, however, the right photographer can help you with a lot of the basics of defining your brand. I offer my clients help with this as we’re designing their session through a detailed questionnaire and planning meeting.
Looking for help with defining your brand identity? Check out my Brand Identity Quick-Start Guide.
Step 3: Create an inspiration board that will help bring your vision for your brand photos to life.
Think about the vibe, mood, and stories you want to convey with your photos. Then start collecting photos and other inspiration that best represent these ideas. This will get your creative juices flowing and will later help you communicate your vision to your photographer.
Create a Pinterest Board
Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration for your brand session. You can include anything on your board that inspires you and fits the aesthetic of your brand. I always set up a board for my clients with the following folders. Having these sections in your board will help you organize your pins and build your vision for your session:
Create a folder (on your phone or computer) of Instagram accounts you love. You can look at these for inspiration and share them with your photographer to help paint the picture of what you’re envisioning for your photos.
If you won’t simply be swapping out your current photos on your website, consider looking at other websites for inspiration on how you can incorporate your photos on yours. Create a bookmark folder of your favorites so you can easily find them again and share them with your photographer.
I love having all of these visuals from my clients so I can have an even better idea of what they want the final look of their photos to be.
Step 4: Start thinking about props that will make your brand photos stand out even more.
Start to brainstorm possible props you can use during your brand session. Doing this early will allow you to keep some ideas top of mind. Then when you’re out shopping/running errands you can purchase some ahead of time, saving you time later. Keep an eye out for small items like the following that match your brand colors:
- office supplies (paper clips, binders, pens, notepads, etc)
- coffee mug
- accessories (hat, scarf, sunglasses)
I love how this client of mine got balloons in one of her brand colors! They made for some super-fun images.
You likely already have a lot of items that could be used as well, such as:
- items you use for your business tasks (computer, planner, phone)
- marketing materials (business cards, pamphlets)
- products you sell
Step 5: Start thinking about what you’ll wear for your brand session.
Depending on your “Style IQ”, choosing outfits may be one of the most challenging parts of planning your brand session. Starting in advance will give you more time and reduce the stress! Even if you’ll get assistance from your photographer (I provide support and tips on outfit selection for all my clients) these steps can get you headed in the right direction.
- “Shop” your closet and see if you think you’ll want to buy anything new
- Check to see that you have a mix of different levels of formality (casual & dressy)
- Make sure you have outfits that will go with your brand colors, fit you well, and you feel great in
- Reach out to a stylist if you feel you need the extra help
As I mentioned above, going through these steps aren’t a must before booking your brand photoshoot. When you work with me I’ll help you with it all! However, if you’d like to start working on some of them you’ll have less prep work to do when it comes time to book your session.
Are you an ambitious woman in business in the Sacramento, Ca area ready to get a brand photoshoot on the calendar? Contact me today so we can chat about getting the process started! I’d love to help you through all the steps!
If you’re not quite ready but would like to start planning ahead, grab this free download, Preparing for Your Brand Photoshoot: a Pre-Booking Checklist to keep you on track. (All the steps above are included as well as a help guide that includes the content of this article).