Booking a Branding Shoot: Helpful Questions to Ask

I’m Catie, and I’m a brand photographer for passionate small business owners who are ready to stand out online and scale their businesses.

I'm based in North Dallas, serving the greater Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Here at Catie Ronquillo Photography, I provide strategic marketing photos that will help you grow your business.

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Helpful Questions To Ask Before Booking A Branding Shoot

Personal Branding Photography

helpful questions to ask before booking a branding shoot

Thinking about booking a branding shoot?

Are you feeling like it’s time to invest in marketing photos that really speak to your ideal client?

Sweet! A brand photoshoot may be what you need.

Here are some helpful questions to ask before booking a branding shoot.

A brand photoshoot can be a great way to position yourself as an expert. As well as create consistent visuals your audience will love.

With a library of brand photos, you can use them anywhere and everywhere in your business. This includes your website, marketing materials, social media, digital products, courses, presentations, and more.

The key to a successful brand photoshoot is choosing the right brand photographer who can carry out your vision.

I can only photograph so many businesses per year, so I want to make sure that business owners know what to ask and look for.

If you aren’t sure what questions to ask your brand photographer to see if they’ll be a good fit, check out these helpful questions to ask before you book a brand photoshoot.

helpful questions to ask before booking a branding shoot

The best questions to ask before hiring a brand photographer

Before you start looking for a brand photographer, think about why you need a branding shoot. This will help as you start asking questions.

What do you need branding photos or marketing photos for? How do you want grow your business in the next year?

  • What am I hoping to get out of my brand photoshoot?
  • Why is now the right time for my photoshoot?
  • Do I have a clear vision of where I’d like to be? 
  • How will a branding shoot help me reach my goals?
  • Do I know who my ideal client or customer is?
  • How will I use the final branding photos?

After answering these questions, the next step is to research brand photographers and narrow down your list to a few favorites.

I recommend looking specifically for a brand photographer because they specialize in strategic marketing photographs. It’s their goal to help you get to your business goals.

Find 2-3 brand photographers you think you’d like to work with and contact them through their website and schedule a discovery call. A discovery call is an important part of the process so that you can meet the photographer, ask about their process, and see if you would work well together.

Before booking a branding shoot ask these helpful questions

WHAT DOES YOUR PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

Before hiring a brand photographer, it’s important to know what their process looks like. The best brand photos come from clear communication and collaboration. What that means is that the business owner and photographer work together to bring the vision to life.

It’s good to ask this question because you’ll understand what their client experience is like. Do they offer strategy sessions inside your package? Do they help you find a creative team, including personal stylists and makeup artists? You’ll get the answers to these questions when you ask about their process.

It’s helpful to ask how a brand photographer works when it comes to planning. Are they hands-off or hands-on? Do they create the strategy for the shoot or do they have the client create the vision? Based on their answer, you’ll be able to see if they’re a great fit for your brand photoshoot.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGE?

You may have checked out a photographer’s website for photoshoot information. It’s always a good idea to ask specific questions about the deliverables on your discovery call. If you’re unclear about anything, this is the time to ask.

Most brand photographers will offer set packages, but some may offer customized options to fit your needs. It’s best to ask how they structure their packages so that you can be sure to receive what you’re looking for.

You may also want to ask your photographer what their turnaround time looks like. Personally, I deliver the full gallery about two weeks after the shoot. Each brand photographer will be different, so be sure to ask if you have a deadline for a project or launch.

Here’s an example of some of the deliverables inside the personal brand photography package, which has everything you’ll need:

  • Planning & strategy meeting
  • Client Questionnaire
  • Shoot Vision Board
  • Specific Shot List
  • List of props and scenes
  • Gallery of Images

Some of these items are signs of a seasoned brand photographer. Experienced brand photographers come with a higher price tag, but there’s much more than just photos. It’s strategy and brand aesthetic. It’s a refined process to deliver intentional brand photos. I highly recommend working with someone who specializes in brand photography if you can!

HOW MANY HOURS ARE INCLUDED IN THE BRAND PHOTOSHOOT?

Some brand photographers may offer a half-day or full-day photoshoot for your brand while others may have packages with a couple hours. After your discovery call, the photographer can offer their recommendation for how long of a shoot you may need.

I offer half day and full day options depending on your needs. Seasonally, I offer mini sessions for those who need a quick headshot refresh. Returning clients can book “refresh” sessions to update their photos.

I recommend that clients take the whole day off for their brand shoot. This way, they can give their full attention to the shoot. Because branding shoots require full participation from the business owner. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s often overlooked! Also, it will allow you to approach the day without the stresses of emails, meetings, or deadlines..

Pro tip: Since your makeup and hair is already done, end your photoshoot with a night out with your partner or friends! This makes the day feel even better with a fun evening out planned.

HOW DO WE CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION?

The location of your brand photoshoot matters. It has a direct impact on the quality of your brand imagery. When you shoot in the perfect location, everything comes together naturally.

It’s a good idea to ask if the brand photographer is willing to travel to multiple locations. More than one location can add travel time which eats into your shoot time.

I recommend choosing only two locations if you book a half day shoot and three (at the most) for a full day shoot. DFW is huge and traffic unpredictable, and driving time will eat into the session time. But honestly, when you choose the right location, you should be able to shoot indoors and outdoors, which eliminates travel time.

If you don’t feel like your home is the perfect spot for your photoshoot, don’t worry! It’s actually less stressful to shoot outside of your home, which is why I recommend renting a space. I often suggest checking with friends who have beautifully designed homes if you can shoot there. Who knows, they may agree!

If you do shoot in public places, it’s always a good idea to do your research and ask the coffee shop or restaurant you’d like to use. All it takes is a quick email or phone call. It doesn’t hurt to get written permission before you arrive so that everyone is on the same page. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a restaurant or coffee shop and not having the right permission to take the photos you’ve been envisioning.

WHAT DOES YOUR CREATIVE TEAM LOOK LIKE?

Brand photoshoots usually go beyond the creative and strategic direction of your photographer. Having a creative team helps bring all the pieces together. This can be helpful if some areas are not your expertise, such as wardrobe or makeup styling. You may already have an idea of which stylists you want to work with, but if you’re not sure, you can consult with the brand photographer. I recommend clients hire a makeup artist at the bare minimum to ensure that you’re camera ready.

Most photographers will have a set of vendors they love working with, so you’ll be able to work with they trust and recommend. If you have a specific vendor in mind, you can book them separately for the shoot. Once you have a shoot date, be sure to secure your stylists as soon as possible in case they book up quickly.

Most entrepreneurs will book a hairstylist and makeup artist for their shoot. Did you know that hiring a wardrobe or prop stylist can be a total game changer? The impact on your photos is huge.

There’s nothing like having someone on set who can style the next scene while we are shooting the one right before. It’s really helpful for those who need flat lays, product photos, and stock style photos. If you want to take your shoot to the next level, a stylist could be the best way to get there!

OTHER QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR BRAND PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more questions you can ask that didn’t make it onto this list. Here are some additional questions if you’re looking to deep dive with your photographer.

  • How would you describe your shooting style?
  • How would you describe your visual aesthetic? 
  • Who are your favorite types clients to work with (i.e. specific industries)?
  • What’s your favorite part of a photoshoot day?

With that, you’ll have all the questions you need to make an educated decision on who to hire. If you aren’t sure, you can consult with your colleagues, friends, or your partner. In the end, go with your gut and trust your instincts!

Essential questions to ask before booking a branding shoot

The next step to hiring a branding photographer might look like signing a contract and paying an invoice to lock your spot in their calendar. That’s what it is for me!

Before the shoot, I have a planning meeting with my clients to prepare well. Here are some of the things you’ll want to know before the day of your shoot.

How do I put together inspiration when booking a branding shoot?

One of the keys to a successful branding shoot is knowing what you want from the photos. Prior to booking a shoot, it’s helpful to start gathering inspiration. One of the best places to do so digitally is with Pinterest. When booking a branding shoot, having visual ideas of what you want will help you communicate to your photographer what you wish to create.

However, no matter how much inspiration you’ve gathered so far, remember to consult with your photographer to ensure you’re following their signature process.

In my business, I have clients create a Pinterest board of images that they gravitate toward. Whether it’s a particular pose, wardrobe styling, type face, or location, all of these elements help build that moodboard.

Once the Pinterest board is complete, I’ll pull the inspiration together into a personalized Brand Shoot Guide that will direct the vision of the photoshoot.

WHAT OUTFITS SHOULD I WEAR?

Virtual Assistant Coach Sharon Nissen | Frisco Branding Photoshoot

This is such an important question because wearing an “off” outfit can affect the whole photoshoot. Your personal style is a form of self-expression, so it’s important to choose outfits that feel on-brand but also genuinely feel like you.

I recommend clients choose three to five outfit options. It’s always helpful to bring more options than less. For the most part, this number will work well for most creative entrepreneurs.

You don’t want to spend most of your time changing clothes (especially if it’s a warm day, this is Texas), and it is good to have a variety so it doesn’t look like every photo was shot in one day (even though it was!). If you’re looking to shoot a lot of variety, bring layers like cardigans, scarves, vest, jean jacket, blazer, etc to mix it up without having to change a whole outfit.

Here are a few more questions you can ask yourself before choosing an outfit:

  • Does this outfit feel like me?
  • Will I be able to wear this piece after my photoshoot?
  • Will this still look great a year from now (or more)?
  • Why am I choosing to wear this outfit?
  • What does this outfit say about my brand?
  • How do I feel in this outfit, really?
  • Does this fit my brand vibe?

The last question is important. Your overall style should be driven by your brand colors and visual elements. For example, if your brand colors involve different shades of blue and neutral creams, it wouldn’t make sense to wear a magenta sweater. It might look beautiful, but if it clashes with your branding, it will stand out… but not in a good way.

If you want to mix in some fun pieces, you can always add accessories or pops of color in your shoes. Get creative with your styling!

If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Many clients feel this way. In this case, I recommend consulting with a fashionista friend or a wardrobe stylist, to help you pull the right pieces together. And another pro tip: don’t forget to get a manicure or DIY paint your nails before the big day!

WHAT KIND OF PROPS SHOULD I BRING?

props before booking a branding shoot

While you will be shooting most brand photos with you in them, this is also a great time to create styled imagery for social media and website. This will give you more variety and showcase your work in a different way. If you sell products, photos are a great way to showcase them.

It’s important for your props to feel like a fit with your brand rather than putting random items into your photo that don’t have meaning to you or your work. Basically, don’t bring props just to have props. Your props should support your brand and play a part of your story.

If you aren’t sure what kind of props to bring, here are a few examples:

  • Meaningful everyday items – particular mug, special notebook, favorite candle
  • Items that tell a story about you or your business
  • Items related to routines in your business
  • Tools you use for business

This doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy new office supplies. It is nice to bring along a few notebooks, journals, and any other brand elements that display your process.

Besides props, I recommend bringing your favorite playlist. It’s so much more fun to take photos with background music. Music can help you feel at ease and calm any nervousness you may experience.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW TO HAVE THE BEST PHOTOSHOOT POSSIBLE?

Every branding photographer is going to have different advice for this question. That’s what makes them unique and different. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Plan ahead so you can enjoy the day of the photoshoot.
  • Bring more rather than less. Nothing worse than wishing you had brought something and not having it.
  • Prepare all your clothing, props, and items for the shoot a couple of days before the shoot.
  • Remember to eat before and bring snacks for after the shoot.

With that, these are all your considerations before booking a branding shoot. I hope this post has helped you feel more prepared and excited about booking a brand photographer for your shoot.

Now go create some strategic brand photos for your business!

questions to ask before booking a branding shoot

HELPFUL RESOURCES BEFORE BOOKING A BRANDING SHOOT

So what you do think about brand photography for your business? Are you ready? Here are some more resources to check out before booking a branding shoot.

Personal Branding Photography – What You Should Know

How to Know When to Hire a Brand Photographer

How to Find the Right Brand Photographer for Your Business

How to Use Your Branding Photos

READY TO BOOK YOUR OWN BRANDING SHOOT?

Step 1. Get in Touch – click the button below to get started

Step 2. Discovery Call – we’ll chat about your business and your vision for brand photos

Step 3. Book your Shoot – if we’re a “match” let’s get you on the schedule and start plannin

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I'm Catie! Brand photographer based in the North Dallas, Texas area. 

I work with busy women CEOs who crave more than generic stock photos to promote their business. You want an effortless strategy to connecting with your ideal clients through personal branding photography.

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