One of the most important parts of a Branding Session is the planning. This is not your mom’s family photo shoot… you can’t just show up in your favorite sweater and best fitting jeans and expect to get enough content to last months across your digital platforms. Did I just stress you out? Don’t sweat it! Today I’m giving you the run down of how to prepare for your Branding Session and my recommendations for the types of brand photos to have in your business.
First up: The Planning
Planning ahead is the KEY to a successful branding shoot. If you want your images to be on-brand and to get a variety of images (not just the typical headshots), you’ll need to have a game plan. One of the most valuable services I offer is the Strategy Call. Once you book, I ask you to complete a questionnaire that gives me insight into your business and you as a person. This helps to determine what types of images we will create, what props we will need, the locations we choose, what colors you’ll wear, what time of day we shoot, etc. All. The. Details! As a result, we’ll be able to incorporate as much “you” as we can into your images and allow you to stand out from everyone else in your industry (#knowliketrust, remember?). The more types of brand photos you have in your image cache, the more content you have to use in your future postings!
Types of Brand Photos to Incorporate Into Your Business
This is kind of a no-brainer… You’ll definitely need a few great images of you smiling at the camera. Use different variations, poses and outfits to maximize your options when you’re posting later on. Headshots allow your future clients to see your face and connect with you in a way that they can’t do when they’re only looking at images of your work.
Lifestyle photos are an opportunity for you to show off the “you” behind your business. These images include laughing, interacting with props, walking down the sidewalk, relaxing on a couch, showing off a talent, sharing your favorite things, etc. When you incorporate this type of brand photo, you help your audience get to know the real you! Are you a dog mom? Include your pup in a few images. Do you love gardening? Let’s show off all of that passion! There are a million different ways to include what makes you unique into your brand story. By building up this portion of your content, you are able to humanize your brand.
What inspires you to do what you do? Maybe you grew up baking with your grandmother and you love to wear her apron when you cook at home for your family. Or perhaps you love gardening and the colors in your backyard garden inspire you to create for your business. Whatever it is, incorporate your inspirations for your creative process and day-to-day life. This allows you to get a little personal in your marketing without feeling like you have to get TOO personal.
Your audience already knows what you’re selling, let them see where you do it and how you get the job done! Whether it is your desk, your couch, your office space, a studio or a workshop, give them a behind-the scenes
look at where and how it happens! Remember: things that seem simple and basic to you are interesting and extraordinary to other people. People LOVE getting to know more about the behind-the-scenes!
This is one of my favorite types of brand photos. I love the candid aspect of people at work doing what they do best in a way that is interesting and compelling. Everyone knows you do great work, this is your opportunity to show them HOW you do it! When people are able to cheer you on throughout the process, they’ll be more interested in the end product. With these images, you can build your content by sharing your favorite tips to creating your signature styles or educating your client on the importance of not skipping certain steps in your process. In doing so, you solidify yourself as an authority in your industry and help your audience to trust you even more.
Tools of the Trade
What does it take to get the job done? Whether its a laptop, planner, paintbrush, beads or a jigsaw. We will create compelling images that get your audience interested in all the work that goes into your product. Show your audience what it takes to create your product or produce a high-quality service. In doing so, you help them to realize that things aren’t always as simple as they may seem. The tools and systems that you use regularly make you the perfect expert to help them with their needs.
Choosing the right props is SO important in a branding shoot. Everything we use will be carefully curated and selected. I ask my clients to think about two things: Is it true to you, and is it on-brand. If the answer is yes, it fits! Props are another way that you can show off your uniqueness. By incorporating them, you can talk more about yourself in a fun way. Do you love to cook? Are you an avid reader? What about a talented painter? My pre-session questionnaire will help in the process.
If you have a product-based business, you’ll definitely want to show off what you make! Show yourself interacting with the items you sell. Wear the jewelry that you make or pull those delicious cakes out of the oven. The key is creative product placement (ahem, Coca Cola can in every movie from my childhood!) Does your product need to be the focus of every image that you share? No way! But it’s great to include it now and then so you can point back to your business without directly selling to your audience.
Planning a great branding shoot is a big undertaking but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Need some extra guidance? Use the information in this checklist and check out my blog about presenting a consistent brand image. Do you have more questions or not sure where to start? I would LOVE to help! My branding packages include a free 45-min Strategy Call. This allows us to be sure to cover all the bases and keep your images authentic and on brand. Reach out here if you’d like more information or follow me on Instagram for more tips and examples of my work!
Let’s work together to plan a session that allows you to connect with
your audience by them who you are and what you do!