You know that saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, it’s true. Especially these days when more so than ever, we ingest, collect, save, learn and gather information and more visually, quickly and online. Instagram shopping anyone???
For both major corporations and smaller solopreneur businesses, marketing is becoming more and more personal and having a clear and consistent visual identity is super important (and much easier said than done, for sure). And the logo and typefaces and brand colors or only part of it. The images that represent your brand and products are sooooo important and help your audience better understand the brand and what you’re about and having quality, professional photos that are intentional in their purpose and message will take your business a step above the rest.
Let’s talk personal brands – meaning you are the main representative of the brand. You may have a team and whatnot but for the most part, with a personal brand, you = the brand (and that goes for products too, not just services). These days, buying is about more than a trade of value, it’s also about valuing the person or team you’re buying from. All of which to say, again, quality photos of yourself (and maybe a team) are crucial! So how do you prepare for a successful personal branding photoshoot?? Let’s break it down:
First, you’ll want to get clear on your brand identity and messaging and talk through this with your photographer so they can get inside your head, and craft the shoot in a way that is cohesive and synonymous with these ideas. Before planning the details of the shoot, walk through answering and thinking through these questions:
Who are you serving? Who is your ideal client/audience/target market?
What is your brand message? How are you different from your competitors?
What is your brand personality? (light, airy, bubbly, moody, edgy, etc.)
The branding from above will inform the style of shooting and editing for the photos. As you look for a photographer to work with, be sure to reach out to someone who’s style fits your own. Then, talk about these branding questions with them so everyone’s on the same page.
Once you’re aligned on branding, it’s important to think through the purpose, intention or goal behind the photos. This could be one specific thing (like “photos to be used in announcing the launch of an online course for hair stylists across social media, email newsletters, and website”) or it could be an array of things (like some new social media content, updating photos for the about page on your website and to use in general email newsletters).
Get clear. Get specific. What’s the goal? Then talk to your photographer and write a shotlist. Do you need a banner image for the homepage of your website that will have copy over it on the left side? Do you need a slew of vertical images for some epic instagram stories you’re planning to help hype up your course launch? Are you partnering with a product brand and need a photo of you with the product or the product in a specific environment? Write a list of the shots you need! That way, you and your photographer can make sure to get these done! Then, your photographer can fill in with other creative and fun shots.
Now, the fun part. This is where you should think through wardrobe, props, location, hair and make-up. Again, each of these pieces should align with your branding and your purpose for the photos. And these are all things you should work through and springboard on with your photographer! Together, using your brand messaging, shot list and any other ideas, you can dream up and then plan the perfect personal branding shoot for you! After that, the only thing left to do is have fun and shoot!
Personal branding sessions can be super simple or get more complex depending on the purpose, what stage you’re at in your business and the scope of the project. In any case, these steps will help you prepare for a successful branding shoot!