Most photographers have a niche. Wedding, family, maternity, etc... And personal brand photography is a newer sector. Before you would go get your headshots taken in a studio and end up with the same picture as everyone else in a white button up and blazer (blah!) If you don't have a personal brand photographer near you, we've got your covered!
Here's how to plan and prepare for your personal brand photoshoot.
1. Plan your content
I like to break brands down into 3 categories: WHO you are, WHAT you do, and HOW you do it. Think about your business within these 3 categories because you want to show your audience a holistic view of you.
For example, if you are a fitness instructor:
WHO you are: the personal side of you, your interests, ways you can connect with your audience and show who you are
WHAT you do: teach online classes and do in person 1:1 instruction
HOW you do: your unique methods, thought leadership in your field, specific areas of expertise
Thinking about your WHO, WHAT and HOW, how can you then create images of these things so you have content to use specifically related to your brand?
Do you need to stage client interactions? Do you have props to show your expertise? What small things can you bring in that show your brand values?
Pro-tip: If you need to stage something like a workout class, client paper signing etc... STAGE it. DO NOT think a real experience is better for photography. I've learned over countless shoots that staging these interactions is much better for a higher quality photo. There are too many variable in real interactions.
After thinking about ALL this, start putting together a list of shots you want to get.
You want to get the most variety you can in one shoot because planning a shoot takes a while so one way you can get a variety of content is switching up locations. Think about 2-3 various locations that are relevant to your brand and you could get a variety of shots in. You may have a favorite coffee shop you are thinking of shooting in but if you're just going for 2-3 shots of you on your computer having coffee, is it worth it? BUT, is there an outdoor mall outside the coffee shop with a couple great walls you can stop at for some portraits? Think it through and make sure the location is on brand with your visual identity.
3. Coordinate with your brand palette
Hopefully, you've worked hard to create a strong visual identity that gives your audience a feel for your brand. Make sure your outfits, props and locations coordinate with your palette and aesthetic. While they don't have to perfectly match, they should be on brand.
Pro-tip: If you are staging interactions, make sure your "client" is wearing something on brand, too.
4. Show your personality
Hopefully, you're working with a photographer that will help draw your out of your comfort zone and show your real personality. But, do some mindset work beforehand, because the whole goal of the photoshoot is to show yourself to your audience and create a connection with them. If you're stiff or nervous, your photos will be flat. So show YOU! Be expressive, offer a range of faces, hand gestures, movement.
Pro-tip: I'm telling you, laughing pictures are the BEST. As silly as it seems in the moment, you can't beat a laughing picture.
The fun part! For a brand photoshoot, I tell my clients to plan for 3 main outfits with 2-3 mix ups. For example, maybe with one outfit you will take off a jacket and add a hat. Or the next one you put on a sweater over the main outfit and add earrings. Just think 2-3 small changes.
Pro-tip: This wills ave you so much time and stress- bag your outfits before hand and have them clearly labeled and lined up in your car trunk. You easily know what is next and won't be fumbling around. Take the extra 15 minutes- I promise, It's worth it!
6. Share your plan with your photographer
As you put are thinking of the types of photos you want to create, create an itemized list of exactly what you want and give it to your photographer beforehand so the day runs smoothly and with ease.
That's how you put together a brand photoshoot! Planning one is a strategic investment of time that pays off with photos that authentically represent you. leave us any questions in the comments!