One of the most important pieces here is knowing what to wear. Consider these three factors when planning your branding session wardrobe:
- Colors. Colors should reflect your brand’s aesthetic/palette or stick with neutrals.
- Accessories. The pieces and accessories to each outfit should reflect the style of your ideal clients and where they might like to shop.
- Outfits. Outfits should represent your brand’s personality. Is it sophisticated or fun? Serious or playful? Trendy or classic?
All of your “props” should revolve around what you do for your business so clients can get a visual of how you can help them. Prep any props with these three categories in mind:
- Products. This should be pretty self-explanatory if you’re a goods-based business (i.e. boutique or makeup artist, etc.). If your business is service-based, what are you offering? Some examples for photography are albums, prints, educational courses; for branding and design could be print collateral, posters, canvas totes; and for coaching, possibilities are notebooks and educational courses.
- Tools. The tools you bring should be the tangible objects you use to run your business. Examples are a laptop, iPad, cell phone, notebooks, calendar, camera and lenses, mood boards, sample items, clothing and accessories, glasses, makeup brushes and hair tools. Think about what is unique to your business!
- Everyday Items. Your everyday items are pieces we can incorporate that aren’t necessarily a part of your business, but help bring your brand’s personality and aesthetic into a visual to relate to your ideal clients. Examples are coffee in a mug, candles, flowers, confetti for a big announcement, champagne, plants, macaroons or treats. The list can go on and on – just use your imagination! The good news is I have most of these things in my studio. You’ll add these items on your questionnaire so I can prepare.
- Variety. For each photo idea on your shot list, you ideally want to have a different outfit. Why? This will ensure your gallery of images has lots of variety. Variety is key if one of the main reasons you’re getting a branding photoshoot is for social media. For a one-hour session I suggest 4-5 outfit changes, but I’ve photographed up to 8 before! The goal is to make it seem like you’ve done multiple sessions on multiple days. Nobody has to know that we’ve done it all in a one-hour session. (;
- Comfort. For your outfits, the first goal is to feel comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable and consistently pulling at your clothing, it will kill your confidence and that energy will come through in your photos. You also want to make sure that your outfits match your overall brand identity visually, physically and emotionally.
- Branding. Is your brand a jeans and tee kind of aesthetic, or do you want to come across as formal? Are your brand colors bright and vibrant or light and pastel? Referring to my own brand, I pick outfits in pinks and greens that are in my brand color palette (as well as white and black) and on the casual side to compliment my brand identity. I want my clients to learn that I’m personable, down-to-earth, and inviting.
After all of that preparation, you’ll be ready for your branding photoshoot! Phew – it’s a lot! If you’re feeling a bit anxious still, don’t worry! Every single person has those same excited/nervous feelings before their first few branding sessions, myself included.
A few more great tips I can share as a branding photographer are:
- Bring a friend to help you stay organized so you can focus on being the model.
- Don’t be too shy to bring food or drinks to help your session feel like fun! Wine, donuts, you name it!
- Make sure you have fun, and I mean lots of fun! At the end of the day, you want to be relaxed and show your true self in these photos.
I hope by now you’re feeling confident in how to prepare for your branding session. If you have a few more questions, always feel free to email me
. I’m happy to help.