What is a branding shoot? Why do does one matter for your business?
Are you building a business? Or growing a side hustle? Or maybe you’ve been running your small business for a while and you’re ready to level up.
If any of these options sounds like you, then you have probably needed a headshot.
But, here’s the thing. A headshot is one photo. Honestly, it can feel kind of stuffy since it’s professional and posed.
However, a headshot cannot tell the story of you. It does not tell the complete story of your business or your brand.
A Branding Shoot is More than a Headshot
A branding shoot is so much more than a headshot! A branding photoshoot is an opportunity to tell the story of your brand and business visually.
It allows you to tell the whole story of who you are. You’re more than a headshot, am I right? You have a dynamic personality and business.
A branding shoot showcases what your brand represents and what you do through photos. These are photos that include you, your team, your services, your products, your process, where you work, your brand colors, props and so much more. A branding shoot allows you to communicate what makes your business unique.
A Branding Shoot Creates The Know, Like, Trust Factor
Here’s the hard truth that people know, but tend to ignore. People buy from people. Buyers trust a brand more when they know there is a human behind the company.
Seeing the person behind the brand allows the potential client to connect with the human behind the business. Think about it. If you’re a Fixer Upper or Magnolia fan, don’t you like the brand even more because of Chip and Joanna?
You can introduce yourself to a potential client online. Then they start to follow you and your journey. Then, they to get to know you when you share bits about you. As a result, they start to trust you because you are showing up with photos to share who you are and what you do.
And a branding photoshoot can give you a collection of photos so that you can show up consistently. When you show who you are, you can create the know, like, trust factor with your potential clients.
A Branding Shoot Can Elevate Your Business
You can use brand photos everywhere. On social media, promotional materials, your website, marketing materials, email marketing newsletters, interview profiles, and much more. Quality brand photos can help you step up your brand’s game.
Branding photos can give you more publicity, more consistency and more confidence which will help you to grow and scale your business.
Professional brand photos can showcase what you do with a level of shine that iPhone photos and selfies cannot.
A Branding Shoot Can Set Your Business Apart from Your Competitors
Does this sound familiar?
”There are so many photographers in my area!”
“There are so many interior designers in my area!”
“There are so many real estate agents in my area!”
“There are so many (insert profession here) in my area!”
But what makes your business different from anyone else in your industry is YOU. You are what sets your business apart from the competition.
Having branding photos that showcase you, your personality, and what makes your brand different is what will differentiate your business from the competition.
Think about it…
The client is choosing between the two.
Realtor A only has one headshot.
Realtor B has branding photos.
Realtor A’s headshot is professional, in a suit, arms crossed. Nothing wrong with that.
Realtor B’s branding photos show the realtor setting up a home for a showing, meeting with clients, baking cookies, and more.
If you were choosing between the two, who would you choose?
For me, I’d be drawn to Realtor B. They seem relatable and approachable right off the bat. They’ll be selling my home fast!
There is something magnetic for your brand when you can show off who you are and what you do. A custom branding photoshoot tells your story, shows what you do, and how you can help your customers.
Tips for Planning a Branding Shoot
So now that you know what a branding shoot is, have I convinced you that you need one yet? Once you decide you need a branding shoot for your business, here’s what you can do next.
Find the best photographer for you
Any photographer can take photos of any genre. But finding a photographer that specializes in branding photos makes a difference.
Branding photoshoots are meant tell the story of who you are, so you need to find a photographer who can do that. Storylines are key to creating a comprehensive library of photos. This is more than a headshot and you need to make sure the photographer you choose can create those storylines for you.
Look at the potential photographer’s website. Check out their social media pages. Do you like their style? Do you like the way they edit their photos? Do you see yourself in their photos?
Planning is key to a successful branding shoot
A great branding photographer will take the time to get to know you, what you do and why you do it.
If you choose a photographer for your branding shoot, but they don’t do any planning of any kind with you, that’s a RED FLAG. I can’t emphasize the importance of planning in order to have a successful branding shoot.
I send out a questionnaire to my clients so that I can get to know them and so that I can plan a shoot that is just for them. We also have an in-depth planning call that will create the structure and gameplan for your branding shoot.
I want to know why you do what you do, why you are passionate about it and how you started. I also want to know what you love outside of your business. How do you spend your free time? What do you do when you’re not working? Knowing these things, your branding colors, your aesthetic, and your personality will help me tell your unique story.
Create goals for your branding shoot
Ultimately, what is the main goal of your photoshoot? Brainstorm and think about what you want from these photos. Whenever you have professional photos taken, it’s important to get the most out of the time that you’ve planned, money invested, and make sure that get what you want.
Ask yourself, “What do I want these images to communicate?”
Think about the strategy and goals behind the shoot and share them with your photographer so you are on the same page. Are you launching a new product? Are you launching a new website? Are you offering new services? Your goals will lead the direction of your branding shoot.
Create an inspiration board and share it with your photographer
If you hire me as your brand photographer, I will give you with lots of information about how to prepare for your branding photoshoot. I ask every client to make a Pinterest board for inspiration and ideas. It’s important to have photos that communicate your vision. What are the types and style of photos you’re thinking of or looking for?
Sometimes clients say they want a certain look, such as “relaxed and approachable”. However, my interpretation of “relaxed and approachable” may not be what they are thinking of. Seeing an example of what you see in your mind will help me or any photographer you hire know exactly what you are looking for.
Pinterest is such an awesome tool when planning a branding shoot. There are tons of examples of poses and photos on Pinterest that will help you communicate the type of photos you like with your photographer. A Pinterest board acts as a blueprint for your shoot.
Choose your outfits based on your brand colors
A branding shoot is a visual presentation of your brand. Choosing colors that fit your brand’s look for what you wear is important. These photos will be on social media and on your website so you want them to look cohesive with your brand.
For example, for a web designer with a brand that has subdued colors, then you do not want branding photos that are full of neon colors. The colors won’t match the brand vibe. So make sure your outfit choices fit in with your brand’s colors and aesthetic.
Besides wearing your brand colors, make sure your wardrobe options are ones you love and make you feel confident and empowered. This is not the time to try a new trend or wear something completely out of character. Choose clothing that fits you and your style and are within your branding color palette.
Think about branding shoot locations that fit you
Where do you do most of your work? Do you have a storefront, an office, a studio, or do you work from home?
Maybe you spend your days in your favorite coworking space with your computer and a cup of coffee.
Maybe you spend a lot of time on the go or a lot of time alone.
The location should fit the look and feel of your brand. Communicate to your photographer where you work and talk to them about the specific locations that will work for the shoot.
There are natural light indoor studios, Peerspace rentals, AirBnbs, private homes, coworking spaces, and more. The options are really endless when it comes to finding a location for your branding shoot.
Find props that fit your brand
Props can be very useful when it comes to telling your story.
If you are an influencer or blogger, then you probably spend a lot of time with a laptop or your phone. So these two items would be perfect props for your shoot.
You want your props to feel like you and fit your brand. As with your outfits, having props that showcase your brand colors is a great idea. And adding a personal prop is also great for creating connection points.
It’s important to share some personal things since you are your brand. And people like buying from people they know, like, and trust.
Another great idea is using props that have meaning and perhaps a story behind them. Maybe it’s your purse that you purchased after your first big sale. Or maybe a writing pen that your grandmother passed down to you.
Think about how you will use these photos and what you need
It is so important that you know exactly what you need when it comes to photos before your actual photoshoot. That’s why planning is paramount when it comes to a branding shoot.
You do not want to go through the entire shoot and end up with photos you can’t use so make sure you know the size and orientation for your website.
Do you need photos with negative space for your website or marketing materials?
Creating a shot list for your website and social media with the size and orientation for each is helpful. This way your photographer knows exactly what to take and you can get the most out of your shoot.
Make sure that whoever you hire, they help you with planning, they work with you to get you exactly what you want, and make your shoot fun!
I would love to help tell the story of you and your brand through photos!