1. Get Clear on Your Brand Message
When you book with me, I send you a questionnaire which helps both of us get really clear on your vision for the shoot. Ultimately, the better I get to know you and your brand, the better I can capture your brand’s message.
My clients’ always say how helpful they find this questionnaire, and some have even found that taking the time to sit down and think about their brand and what they’d like to achieve, made them realise it was time for a complete rebrand.
Some examples include –
What should people feel, when they see or think of your brand?
Which brands inspire you aesthetically, and why?
What is your unique selling point?
Describe your ideal customer.
2. Create a Mood Board
Then comes the fun part! To be doubly sure that we’re on the same page, I ask you to create a mood board.
The best way to do this, is on Pinterest. You can add me as a collaborator, and I can also add images that I think you’ll love.
Some ideas of things you could include on your Pinterest board are –
Hair and makeup
Locations & backgrounds
Images that reflect the look and feel of your brand
Other branding images you like
Anything else that you find that inspires you and matches your aesthetic
3. Prepare a Shot List
Think about what your images will be used for, and let me know of any specific shots you would like. The more detailed, the better. For example, you may have a particular shot in mind for a website banner, so will need to let me know that you need it shot in landscape with negative space at the top. I’ll bring this along on the day to ensure we don’t forget anything. See below for an example from a shot list, created free on Canva.
4. Decide on a Location
The location is SO important when it comes to your personal branding photos, and the ideal location will vary from person to person, depending on your brand. For the best possible photos, choose somewhere on-brand, with plenty of natural light.
You may be lucky enough to already have access to the perfect location, but if not, then here’s some options –
A Gorgeous Home, Office, Studio or Work Space
I recommend thinking of any connections you may have, or reaching out to home or business accounts on Instagram, to see if they’d be willing to hire out their space for a shoot. If you don’t have the budget to pay for a location, you may have something you could trade with them instead. Some are willing to do it for free, but you risk them flaking on you at the last minute.
Most home/space owners are often very flattered when they get these types of enquiries, and are more than happy to help. I’m also fully insured, which gives them extra peace of mind.
If you have a larger marketing/branding budget, then places like www.airbnb.co.uk or www.shootfactory.com have some incredible locations available to hire.
A Hotel, Restaurant or Café
A cute café, a luxury restaurant or a stunning hotel with a gorgeous on-brand lobby and suite, can make the perfect backdrop. Many places are ok with us shooting there, provided we ask the manager in advance, purchase something from them, and are discreet.
The Great Outdoors
If you don’t need an indoor space for your shoot, then the world is your oyster!
5. Plan your outfits
Here’s some of my tips, and let me know if I can help, but if all else fails – I work with a stylist who you can hire to help with your outfits for your branding shoot.
- Think about your brand colours, what message you want to convey, and what your ideal clients wear. For example, I’m typically a hoodie and leggings kinda girl – putting jeans on is making an effort for me! But when I’m with clients or showing up online, I’ll make sure I’m dressed smart-casual, in neutral colours, as this reflects my brand.
- Wear clothes that fill well, especially if you’re at all self conscious about your weight. Going back to me dressing purely for comfort, I’m typically always wearing baggy jumpers, but loose-fitting clothes are usually unflattering on camera. Tip – take a photo of yourself in your outfit before the shoot, to see how it looks on camera.
- If we’re shooting out on location and you want to do quick outfit changes, I recommend wearing a vest and shorts or leggings under your outfit so that you can get changed anywhere.
- Wear something you feel comfortable in. For me, I don’t love wearing skirts or dresses, so I wouldn’t choose to wear one for my branding shoot.
- Have a handheld steamer on hand if needed, so that your clothes aren’t creased in your photos.
- Avoid large logos, busy prints and neon colours. The neon should go without saying – ha! These will distract from the image.
6. Think about your hair, makeup and nails
My advice hair and makeup wise, is to stay pretty true to what you would usually do if you were getting dressed up for an evening out. You basically want to look like the best version of you! Hair down is usually the most flattering, but if you’re like me and you wear your hair in a mum bun every single day of the week, you may not feel like yourself with your hair down, so do whatever makes you feel good. You can always start with your hair down, then tie it up for some of the second half of the shoot. You may want to hire a hair and makeup artist if you think they’ll do it better for you. Lemme know if you’d like any help choosing one.
7. Plan props for your shoot
Think about which tools you use to do your job, such as a laptop, mood boards, a camera, your phone etc. Also think about which visual elements represent your brand, as you may want to incorporate them. Can we incorporate any props that show your personality, for example, you may be an avid reader, so we could get some shots with your favourite books in the background.
8. Get organised
If your shoot is taking place at your home/office/studio, make sure everything is clean, tidy and de-cluttered the day before. We don’t want to waste time on the day that could be spent shooting, by moving and clearing things away.
If shooting on location, pack everything you’ll need, the day before the shoot. Remember to bring a compact mirror, a hair brush and makeup for any top ups.
Drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep!
Allow more time than you think you’ll need, to do your hair and makeup.
Put your favourite music on, have a glass of dutch courage if needed, and enjoy your shoot! I promise to put you completely at ease, and get some incredible photos of you that will help you excel in your business and attract more of your ideal clients.