Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Are you planning to have a personal brand photoshoot? Not sure what to expect or how to prepare for it? I hope this post will be helpful in ensuring you get the best out of your session with your chosen photographer.
What is a personal brand photoshoot?
Unlike brand photography (BP) which is typically undertaken for more established businesses with several employees, personal brand photography is specific to an individual and their service and/or product.
The objectives of a BP shoot is to give your ideal clients and customers/clients a glimpse into who YOU are. Its an opportunity for you to show your character, your personality, your BRAND.
When you are a sole trader YOU are your brand. What service or product you sell is just that, your product.
Today, people very much want authenticity. They want to know about the person/people behind a logo, slogan and name.
A personal brand shoot gives you the opportunity to make a connection with your audience, ideal client and customers.
Who is personal brand photography for?
A PB photoshoot is suitable for any individual who runs a business. For example,
Chefs, bakers and catering businesses
Web developers and website builders
Top 10 tips to prepare for your personal brand photoshoot.
Know your locations - When considering a photoshoot, give some thought to the types of settings you'd like to be photographed in. I advise my clients to think about their daily routine. If you are a coach that spends most of your time on phone and video calls, then you should absolutely include images showing this in your shoot. If you are often in coffee shops, then include your local coffee shop (always seek permission from staff that you can take photographs in there!). Check with your photographer how many sets/locations they permit in the scheduled time.
Know your outfits - I always recommend at least 2 outfits (if possible) during a personal brand shoot. One outfit dressed as you would dress to meet with a client. Assume a first time meet in a local coffee shop or at their offices. The other outfit should be more 'you'. So again, if you work from home on a daily basis, you're not likely to be wearing the same outfit you'd wear to a client meeting. You'd probably be more casual and relaxed? Remember, these photoshoots are about authenticity and showing your audience your real personality.
Prepare your home - If you have chosen to shoot in your home office space, take the time to remove any clutter. What photographers commonly refer to as 'background noise'. Whilst you want to show authenticity you also want to show a level of professionalism, so having towels hanging over the radiator is probably not a great background. The trend in photography at the moment is minimalism. So ideally, try to remove any non-business related items from the 'set' (the areas in which you will be shooting)
Incorporate your brand colours - Do you have brand colours? If you look at my website I'd hope you could tell what my brand colours are. Where possible, try to include your brand colours into the images. This can be as subtle as a brand coloured bunch of flowers or more apparent such as a top, sweater or jumper.
Clean your kit - if you spend a lot of time on a computer or laptop during your typical business day, it's likely this will be incorporated into your photoshoot. Be sure to clean any equipment that will be included, this includes laptops, tablets, PCs, monitors and mobile phones.
Incorporate props - This may seem counter-intuitive to my previous 'keep it simple' tip, however, if you have items that represent your personality, then include them. For example, maybe you play the guitar? Have it in the background. Perhaps you're a business coach but also a keen artist, show off your work. Perhaps you're a keen baker, bake something to include as a prop. A creative photographer will be able to see opportunities to incorporate the items you have chosen.
Hair - Have your hair the typical way you'd have it. Women, especially tend to have multiple options when it comes to hair. Straight. Curly. Waves. Ponytail, bun etc.I'm sure you're seeing a theme here? Be YOU. A personal brand shoot isn't a beauty or fashion shoot. It's a lifestyle shoot. Absolutely go have a trim or colour if it's due anyway. But don't make a special effort at something drastically different that doesn't represent the person people would meet on a day to day basis.
Makeup - as above, keep makeup to the norm. Don't overdo it. If you would like to incorporate a makeup artist into your photoshoot, speak with the photographer as they may have makeup artists and hairstylists they work with. I certainly do (hint hint, nudge nudge 😉).
Create a mood board - a mood board is a collection of images that you like the look of. If you have a Pinterest account, you can create a board there and then share this with your chosen photographer. The mood board will provide a source of reference for you both and gives the photographer an idea of the style of photography you like and the sort of images you hope to achieve with your photoshoot. I have a mood board here if you need a starting point 😊
Enjoy yourself - very importantly, relax and enjoy the photoshoot experience. In the vast majority of cases, you are going to want images that show you relaxed, smiling or laughing. There are a few exceptions dependant on your job title but in the main, you want to create images that show you as a friendly, welcoming and approachable person.
I hope this guide proves to be useful to you in preparing for your photoshoot.
If I have missed anything and you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment below or get in touch and I'll be happy to help.