Since I started my business in 2016, having beautiful, branded images has made all the difference in my overall brand! In this post, I want to share a few tips on how to prep for a brand photoshoot that will guarantee a stress-free session and beautiful images you’re excited to use.
It sounds obvious, but you need the ‘right’ photographer for you. Not every photographer does lifestyle and/or brand sessions. So, that would be my first tip. Seek out a photographer who specializes in this type of work. Once you find that person, make sure their style aligns with your brand’s vibe. A photographer’s signature style is something they have spent years crafting and perfecting. If you want ‘bright and airy,’ find someone who does bright and airy! Full disclosure: my photographer is my mom. She is a professional photographer and this blessing is not lost on me! These tips still count 😉
When I started doing yearly branding sessions with my mom, we were both very new to this type of session. So, I created a shared Pinterest board (with her blessing) where I could pin images, poses, colors, and outfits that aligned with my brand. This helped her prep for the session, but I would always suggest asking the photographer what they prefer. Many brand photographers will have a process in place for getting to know you and your brand before you work together. Even if that’s the case, creating a mood board is still a good idea for you to prep for your session.
I am preaching to myself on this one. Change is my middle name! But, this is not the time to try something new and different with your hair or change your skincare routine. Trust me, I’ve learned that the hard way. Keep things simple and predictable for your session so you don’t get any surprise break outs or hair choices you’ll regret.
Many photographers work with a hair and makeup artist as well. If you don’t feel confident doing your own hair and makeup, hiring a HMU artist is a great option. Ask your photographer for recommendations, and check out their portfolio to ensure you like their styling choices. You may want a really natural look or to get really glam! Find someone that aligns with you. It isn’t a bad idea to do a trial run with them, either.
Choosing wardrobe for my session is probably my favorite part! My sessions usually come with two outfit changes (you could totally do more), so I like to choose one outfit that’s more casual, laid back and neutral, and one outfit that shows more personality. This is my personal preference, but it’s worked like a charm in the past. For my neutral, laid-back outfit, I opt for jeans and an elevated white t-shirt or top (something with a little pizzazz), and simple, timeless jewelry. Who knows what my fun outfit might be! Whatever wardrobe choices you make, double and triple check that they are comfortable, they fit properly, and they make you feel like ‘you’ when you’re wearing them.
Don’t forget about the little details! I like to take time to do an at-home manicure the night before, lay all my clothes out, iron them, and even create a little playlist to have going during the session.
My brand sessions are always in my home, because that’s where my home studio is. But, that’s not the only option! You could rent an AIRBNB, borrow a friend’s gorgeous home for a day, or even shoot inside or outside a pretty cafe. If renting an AIRBNB, make sure to ask permission to have your session at their property. If you want to have the session in-home, it’s important to clean and declutter your space. As far as props go, clean smudges off laptops, iPads, and any other tech devices that might appear in your photos. To add a little life into your photos, bring in a plant or two, as well as a candle to have lit on your desk. The little things can make your photos feel cozy and full of life—if that’s what you’re going for, that is.
If you can afford the investment, I believe having one brand session a year would be ideal. That may seem like a lot or a little, but I find that my brand evolves and grows year after year, and I’m left wanting some fresh imagery. And, like I said earlier, I like changing. Keeping your brand photos current is important. If your last session was 3 years ago when you had a teal blue pixie cut, you might need to get some new photos done! The opposite is true, too. Life changes, style changes, updates to your home office are all reasons to have updated photos made.
Relax. Have fun. Pinch yourself. Having a branding session is an investment in yourself and your business that is not accessible to all. Take the day to be in the moment and enjoy every minute of your session!