You don’t have to be a professional model to have a branding photoshoot. You must have a business you love and want to promote. The main differences between a fashion and branding photoshoot are the purpose, posing, and complexity of the process. A branding photoshoot is destined to result in photos that you will use in your business promo materials, websites, social media, and advertisement campaigns and refine the visual flow of your online presence.
Branding photography is business oriented. The main goal of branding photos is to increment awareness about the brand, raise interest, and tell a visual story of the brand, which ultimately will help with sales.
Fashion photography is mainly about fashion, thus more art-oriented. The main difference with a branding photoshoot is posing and clothes. Fashion is about clothes and accessories; thus, fashion photoshoot aims to advertise and make everyone who gets to view it want to own it.
Personal branding photography is about business owners personality; it’s more personal. It combines portrait and lifestyle photography and has a personal touch in every photo. So, in short, fashion photography promotes clothes and accessories, branding – personality.
How to plan your first branding photoshoot elegantly?
And turn it into the epic one
Be ready to invest time in planning a photoshoot, and remember to add a special ingredient.
- Start planning in advance
- Define the purpose of the branding photoshoot
- Create mood boards
- Find a branding photographer
- Discuss all details with your photographer
- Take care of extra details if needed
- Practice posing
- Pamper yourself
- Yay! Photoshoot day!
Start planning in advance
The more time you have to plan and prepare for a branding photoshoot, the more relaxed you’ll be during the shoot and the more confident you’ll feel about the result. Give yourself three-four weeks for thorough planning. You will need this time to create mood boards and decide on outfits, hairstyle, and makeup. A branding photoshoot is a strategic excuse to update your business wardrobe. And the search for new dresses, shirts, pants, and skirts might take several days to weeks, including the delivery time. And what if the clothes you ordered online don’t fit, and you’ll need to exchange them? It will require extra time, which may force you to change a scheduled photoshoot date. Thus, to avoid all such complications, I recommend you plan your branding photoshoot three-four weeks in advance.
Define the purpose of the branding photoshoot
Start by answering the question: “Where do you want to use brand photos?” Strategic planning combined with the artistry of photography allows for a versatile usage of branding images. You can purposefully use them on your websites, social media, advertising, PR campaigns, email marketing, book covers, magazine articles, etc. The choice will depend on your business model and primary communication point with your audience and clients. If it’s social media like Instagram, most photos should be vertically oriented to fit appropriately and elegantly in the feed. If you use your brand photos primarily on the website, you should also have horizontal-oriented photos. Are you a coach, yoga, or fitness instructor? Then you need to focus on lifestyle photos showing your easy approach at work and cheerful interaction with clients. Are you getting ready to publish your book? Wonderful! Branding photoshoots can also include a professional headshot that you can use for the About author page or info block. I designed a list of questions to help you define the purpose of the branding photoshoot and turn it into an easy and enjoyable event. You can find it on my website by clicking on the following the link.
Create mood boards
Being inspired is one of the essential premises for the success of any activity, including a branding photoshoot. And mood board reflects your inspiration status and shows the vision of the photoshoot. Mood boards, often inspiration boards, are necessary to conceptualize and keep your actions aligned with a photoshoot goal. Pinterest is the best website for visual inspiration and maintaining a mood board. It’s easy to use and offers a never-ending flow of images from different aspects of life. Everyone can find something to add to their mood board on Pinterest. Allocate 10-15 minutes per day to scroll through it and Pin (Save, in other words) photos that inspire you and resonate with the goal of your future branding photoshoot. It can be poses, locations, colors, flowers, design details, outfits, shoes, purses, even catchy phrases, tone words, or anything else that helps you refine the idea of your branding photos.
Find a branding photographer
Whether you know one already or still have to conduct your search, now is the right moment to contact them and book a branding photoshoot. Remember that good photographers with an established business might be booked weeks in advance, so think of several possible dates for a photoshoot when having initial communication with them. I’m Elena Sullivan, the founder and a branding photographer at ArsVie photo studio located in Alpharetta, GA, and I also offer photography services in Atlanta. Feel free to contact me for a personal branding photoshoot.
Discuss all details with your photographer
Ask them anything you want to know about the process of a branding photoshoot and discuss your outfits, accessories, props, location, and timeline. Share your goal and vision for a photoshoot and ask for their advice. I love helping my clients, and I’m always happy to apply my experience and guide them through planning. I offer different locations based on the type of business and the photoshoot goals, and if they need outfit advice, I have image consultations specifically for branding photoshoots. I want my clients to get the best from their investment in a professional photoshoot, and thorough planning is an essential first step in our communication.
Take care of extra details if needed
After the initial consultation with your branding photographer, you will want to add extra details to your outfits, accessories, and photoshoot props. Plan to have some time after the consultation and before the photoshoot day and use it to add some final touches to your branding photoshoot program.
Whether you plan on having a fashion-inspired branding photoshoot or lifestyle, posing will be an essential part of it. Examples of lifestyle posing are standing, sitting in a chair and typing on your laptop, walking, having a cup of coffee, and crossing a street while holding your purse. Lifestyle or documentary style of photography includes photos captured while you are moving and doing something. This is the best option if your personal brand is associated with coaching, fitness, creative work, tourism, real estate, family, and leisure activities.
Take some time before the photoshoot and check my mood board on Pinterest, where I gathered a collection of lifestyle poses. Look at the photos and try to pose the same way. Think about it as a rehearsal; thus your poses don’t have to perfectly match the image. The goal of this practice is to warm up your mind for posing. So, during the photoshoot you feel more comfortable and familiar with posing dynamics.
A day before the photo session, praise yourself for planning your first branding photoshoot and indulge in joyful and peaceful activities. For example, do yoga, meditate, listen to an inspirational podcast or watch a movie with a positive message, do something artistic like painting, get a massage, or read an inspirational book. Enjoy and feel every moment, and practice deep breathing. The purpose of these activities is to slow down and reconnect with yourself, allowing more peaceful energy to flow into your life. Tomorrow, during the photoshoot you will feel energized and creative after a day of pampering yourself.
Remember that you have nothing to prove and everything to give. You are enough! You are smart, you are doing the best you can with what you have, and you will make all your dreams come true, keep moving forward, and enjoy the journey, savor every step you take in the direction of your goals. Life is not about moving from one destination to another, jumping from one goal to another. Life is a journey! Enjoy it, and pamper yourself for every win!
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