Are you looking for the right brand photographer for you and your business?
So, I’ll be honest. I’m not the brand photographer for everyone.
When you’re a small business, you sometimes feel like you have to take every and any client that comes your way. But over the years of being in business, I’ve learned that it’s best to only take clients who are right for you.
At the beginning of your business, it makes sense to let anyone who wants to pay you money to do so.
However, as you grow as a business owner, you’ll figure out that not everyone is your ideal client.
Who is my ideal brand photography client?
For me, my ideal brand photography client typically fits the following parameters:
- Has been in business for at least three years
- Knows and understands who their ideal client is
- Ready to rebrand or relaunch business – such as new branding graphic design, copywriting, and website
- Has a signature offering that most of their clients book or purchase
- Is tired of trying to come up with their own photo content
Who is not my ideal brand photography client?
For me, there are some businesses who may not be ready for a branding session. For these clients, I either recommend that they spend a little more time refining these points or have a specific goal in mind if they want to book a mini branding session or headshots.
- Doesn’t know who their ideal client is. “Women 25-45” is not an ideal client.
- Doesn’t have branding in place – and I don’t mean just a logo – but a mission statement, who you serve, your values, what feeling you want to give your clients – the whole brand vibe.
- Is just starting out in business. While I love helping new business owners, a branding session will produce way more intentional photos when you’ve been in business for a little while and know who you’re serving.
How to Find the Right Brand Photographer for Your Business
So, how do you find the right brand photographer for your business?
The best source for finding the right brand photographer for your business would be referrals. It’s always nice to get a referral from someone you know and trust. Knowing that they have already worked with the photographer and can share what it’s like to work with them is a great benefit. It can feel “scary” to invest a lot of money with a photographer and not know if they can deliver what you want.
If you don’t know anyone who has had brand photography recently, then you should tap into your network. While you may not know someone personally, there’s a good chance that a business connection or networking partner may know a brand photographer they can recommend.
And then, if all else fails, there’s always Google. Be sure to Google “brand photographer near me” as a first step. That will show you brand photographers in your area. Check out their reviews, check out their website, and see if you can get a feel for their personality.
It’s super important to do a discovery call with a brand photographer. I don’t think that you can have a well executed branding session without meeting the photographer first. Thanks to technology, these calls can be done over Zoom or Google Meet.
How to Find the Right Brand Photographer for You
Photography is very personal. Anyone who tells you otherwise may just be scratching the surface with photos. However, brand photography is very personal. It has to tell the story of you, your business, your brand, and essentially who you are.
So again, it’s important to have a discovery call or consultation call with your potential brand photographer. They can answer all your questions and talk you through their process. You can discuss possible dates, locations, and photo ideas.
Most importantly, use this time to get a read on their personality. You want to choose a brand photographer you feel comfortable with. Someone you feel you can trust. Someone who fits your personality.
For me, I’m laid back, but I’m also detail oriented. I work best by preparing a shot list in advance of the session which can be done with a Pinterest board or photo collage. I think it’s important for my clients to take as much ownership in the photoshoot as I am by completing “homework” before their shoot.
Brand Photographer Red Flags
Are there any “red flags” when it comes to brand photographers? Yes! I think there are.
Here are some red flags to look out for when you interview photographers.
- No preparation call or meeting
- No pre-shoot questionnaire or consultation
- No planning component or meeting
I guess what I’m trying to say, is if there is no hands-on preparation for the shoot with your photographer, think twice.
The most important piece to a successful branding photoshoot is preparation. In order to find the right brand photographer, think about how much preparation and planning they are putting into the photoshoot. If you talk to them once and the next time you communicate is the day of the shoot, that’s a red flag.
An experienced brand photographer will have at the very least some sort of questionnaire and some sort of planning call, meeting, or video chat. A branding shoot is an investment in your business and it’s a big deal. It should not be an afterthought or done at the last minute. It takes careful preparation.
On the flip side, there are client red flags too! Here are a few:
- Unwilling to do planning
- Vague answers in reference to brand
- Unwilling to complete or chooses not to complete “homework” such as Pinterest board, questionnaire, or planning
For me, if a client isn’t involved in the planning or doesn’t seem interested in planning, I’ll refer them to someone else. Planning is so key, I can’t stress that enough.
Am I the Right Brand Photographer for You?
Here’s a peek at my process when it comes to brand photography. This will give you a glimpse at how we prepare for a strategic and intentional shoot.
- Initial discovery call – this is where we meet online to get to know you, your business, and if I can help bring your vision to life.
- Booking and retainer – you secure your date with a retainer fee and start planning
- Pre-Shoot Questionnaire – this is where you share about your business, your goals, your vision, your brand, and what you want for your shoot
- Pre-Shoot Planning Meeting – we’ll meet over Zoom to plan your shoot after receiving your questionnaire. This is where things start to come together. We’ll discuss location, outfits, storylines and more.
- Shoot Day! This is where all the planning and preparation comes together and comes to life.
As you can see, I don’t just show up and shoot. I really want to learn about you, your brand, your business, and what it is you want to show your ideal clients. You want to get your brand photos right the first time. It’s the worst to invest money into a shoot and not get what you want. However, it’s so important to prepare properly
Ready to chat more about a branding session? Contact Catie Ronquillo Photography for more information!
Check out these other helpful posts:
How to Prep for a Brand Photography Shoot
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