How to prepare for your branded business photoshoot
If you’re looking for one thing to take your brand and website to the next level… look no further than professional, branded pictures.
Let’s all agree that when you’re in business, looking legit matters. Right?
Yeah, you can be the best expert in your field… but it doesn’t matter how much you know if people aren’t lining up to work with you. And if people aren’t lining up to work with you, then that means you’re constantly hustling for your next client. And that, my friends, is the essence of feast and famine. Which is what NONE of us want.
So, what does that have to do with having amazing branded pictures?
The fastest way to build your credibility + show up as an expert in your industry + grow in your legit-ness (yeah I know, not a word) is to actually look legit.
So what can branded photos do for you?
1. Having branded photos boosts your confidence…
I’ve seen it time and time again. A business owner feels slightly embarrassed to post images of themselves on Instagram or Facebook. They don’t feel like their website truly showcases who they are. They feel like if they show themselves in a genuine way, they won’t look professional. But having branded photos changes all of that. Now these business owners can show up confidently as THEMSELVES and know that they are making the best (professional) first impression possible. And they know people will instantly be drawn in, wanting to know more.
2. Having branded photos gives you a cohesive look across all of your platforms…
It’s SO important that you have cohesiveness throughout your entire brand. That means that your colors are cohesive, your imagery is cohesive, your ‘vibe’ is cohesive. And your photos go a LONG way in making this possible. With branded images of you and your business, you can post on social media + landing pages + use images on your website that showcase you and have the same ‘vibe’ for them all. (Plus, keep reading and we’ll talk about how these images can help you solidify your brand ‘vibe’ as well!)
3. Having branded photos makes you more relatable…
When you’re running an online business, being able to relate to your potential clients is HUGE. We know that statistically, people buy from people they trust. That means they have to go from just knowing about you… to following you… to liking you… to really trusting you. And when people can’t meet you face to face like a business of the past, it’s up to you to get them to that trust category and the faster you can get them there, the faster you can make impact + income. High quality images showing who you are in a genuine way go a LONG way in making this happen.
Ok, so now that we know why you need branded photos for your business…
let’s talk dive into how to prepare for your branded photoshoot!
I actually used to be a professional photographer. I absolutely loved it, but eventually learned that it wasn’t for me (that’s another story for another post!). But I am so thankful that now I am able to take all of the lessons learned during my photography days and use them to help online business owners prepare and plan for the best branded photoshoot possible.
So let’s dive into the 7 things that you absolutely MUST DO to make sure you’re getting the best branded images for your business…
1. Know your brand + brand style…
Obviously, in order to be cohesive with your brand, you first must know your brand inside and out! You have to determine who your perfect-fit clients are and outline the experience you want these people to have with your business.
No, your brand isn’t just a logo… it’s not just a set of colors or fonts… or some magic combination of just the right things… but your brand is all about making sure the right people have the right experience with you. If you need help knowing where to even start with this, then grab my free brand building checklist.
Once you have determined what your brand experience is all about, you can begin to think about creating images that are cohesive with this ‘vibe’.
(SERIOUSLY… if you haven’t grabbed my brand building checklist yet. Do that! It is the perfect starting place and you’ll thank me later ;)
2. Pick the right photographer for your business…
Other than knowing what your brand is all about… this is one of the most important steps to having branded images that you love!
So, how do you find the right photographer for your business AND your budget???
1. Search online. Look for local photographers in your area and don’t just limit your search to ‘brand photographers’. You can search for portrait photographers too… just make sure that any portrait photographers who don’t specifically talk about business brand photography on their website are up for the job. You can also search for local photographers on Facebook, Instagram, and any other social platform.
2. Do your homework. Ask for referrals from your social media friends. Ask for referrals from local entrepreneur groups on Facebook. See who your friends recommend and give raving reviews about. Check out any potential photographers that you find on Facebook and look at their reviews. Do people enjoy working with them? Are they easy to work with? Do people like the results? Do you like their pictures? And don’t just look at the best of the best they highlight on their website… go to their Facebook pages or blog and see if you can find a few full sessions to review. If you can’t find a full session, then you can always ask a potential photographer to see a complete recent session.
3. Talk with potential photographers. Once you’ve narrowed your list of photographers down to a handful, you will want to schedule times to chat with them. Here is a list of questions you will want to ask to make sure you find the best photographer for you…
What do they charge for a session?
How long is the session?
What exactly is included in the session cost?
How many locations can you go to? – Some photographers will let you split your time between two close locations and some only want to go to one location.
Will you get the digital files of the photos with the package price? Or will they expect you to pay more for digital files?
Have they done branded business photos before? If so, can you view an entire recent business brand session?
Will they retouch the images?
Are they willing to work with you to make sure you get the shots you need for your website?
That last one is a big one. You need a set of specific shots to be able to use your images throughout your website. Also, you want a photographer who is willing to work with you. Most portrait photographers are used to zooming close in on faces or taking a lot of vertical images, however, you will want different images for your website.
3. Communicate with your photographer
Once you’ve narrowed down and decided on the best photographer for your session, you will want to make sure to communicate with them. Make sure that you are going to be getting the services that you want and that you are both on the same page. Some things to consider...
Are they ok with helping you brainstorm locations and props that will match your brand identity?
How many images will you receive from your session?
Will you get digital image files?
Will these files be large enough for you to use on your website or in prints? (At least 1600 pixels wide for website banners and at least 3000 pixels wide for larger prints)
Will they allow you to use images that are not watermarked on your website and on social media?
What type of copyright will you get? Or what do they want you to do in order to use the pictures online? Where will you need to give them credit?
Will they allow any clothing changes? How do they advise you prepare for your session if you want some different looks? (Typically, you can wear the same shirt and pants, but switch up as many accessories as you would like to get some really different looks!)
Not sure what images to even ask your photographer to take to make sure you get the best photos possible? Grab my free branded photoshoot checklist + shot-list planning guide. This guide will walk you through EXACTLY what you need to communicate with your photographer to make sure you get the best images possible. (and no, you can’t use any old image on your website – you need certain specs… so grab that guide now!)
4. Decide your location.
When it comes to making sure your branded images turn out the way you want, your location is huge! If you want light and airy images with lots of white space, then getting your images taken at a park with green grass may not be what you want. Or maybe green clashes with your brand colors?? These are important things to think about before determining your location. If you want light and airy, then a location with lots of light colors, white or light neutral walls, and white space is what you need.
Make sure that the objects, artwork, wall colors, and items in the location will match and enhance your brand experience… not take away from it!
5. Plan your wardrobe.
My best advice for finding the perfect wardrobe is to wear something you would normally wear and just dress it up a bit. Don’t get too fancy… but if you’re always in jeans, then wear jeans for your session. If you’re always in dresses or skirts, then wear that. You should feel SO comfortable in your clothing choices.
Try to stay away from…
anything too tight (and uncomfortable)
things that don’t feel like they are natural for YOU
colors you wouldn’t normally wear
colors that clash with your brand colors
anything flashy or dressy IF that’s not your style.
wear comfortable clothes
love what you’re wearing
find neutral, simple clothes to layer on top of
wear what you wear on a regular basis – it should feel normal and natural (but you should feel gooood in what you’re wearing)
accessorize with simple additions like sweaters/jackets/scarves, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, shoes, etc. These are things you can easily take off and swap out to change up your look.
A little note about hair and makeup…
Make sure you feel soooo comfortable. I usually recommend that you stay away from putting tons of makeup on or doing your hair super different than you normally would. Just keep it simple and make yourself look good. You want to feel natural and wonderful.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say that they really want to wear bright red lipstick… so they wore it for their brand photoshoot, but then before you know it, every time they look at those images they cringe because it doesn’t feel genuine. It feels fake.
So stick with what’s genuine, spend time making yourself look good (but natural), and then let your carefully selected photographer work their magic!
6. Come up with your shot-list & picture ideas
You will need to think about and plan for the pictures you want to get before the big photoshoot day. Here are a few different things to think about while preparing a shot list.
You will probably want some posed “headshots". Your brand will determine how “professional” these pics are… but you will for sure want some posed, looking at the camera pics. Make sure to ask for some close up to your face and some further away... maybe even some body shots to add some variety into your "about me" page!
You may want some lifestyle working pictures. Building that know, like, and trust factor is huge! Keep these images natural and real. If you typically work on the couch, then get some pics there! If you work outside, then take your laptop outside! Work on your phone a lot? Then get a pic of you talking on the phone. The goals is to look professional while still maintaining your authenticity!
Do you need styled “accessory” pics? This would include pictures of your laptop on your desk, pictures of your planner and pen on a table, or your office decor in general.
And my favorite... Lifestyle pictures! These are pics of you just living your normal life! You can incorporate your family into some of these, some of you and your kids, some of you and your dog… you name it! Just make sure this all makes sense with the foundation and “experience” you want people to have with your business and brand!!!
7. Building the know, like, and trust factor!
As an online business owner, it’s so important that you build trust with people you meet online… and your pictures go a really long way in making this happen. This is why having a variety of images that are natural and show your everyday life are great… it literally gives people a glimpse into your life!
Also, in my opinion, it’s better to wait and save up money for GREAT pictures vs. having lower quality images. Actually, you can take low-quality pics yourself for free… so don’t pay someone else to do it for you. Take the time to hire a GREAT photographer the first time and you’ll be SO thankful you did!
I hope this was helpful for you as you plan your own branded photoshoot! Feel free to reach out to me anytime for support or to help you walk through planning for your own photoshoot!
Also, leave a comment below with your best brand photoshoot tips! I can't wait to hear from you!
Always cheering you on,