How To Prepare for your Brand Photo Session
With Brand Stylist Julie Harris of Whiskey & Red
Photography is by far one of the most powerful brand assets you can invest in for your business. Whether you do business online, offline, or some balance in between, the visual identity you create for your business sets the tone and mood for the experience your clients will have with your business.
Think about all the various ways imagery is used in business: on websites, business cards, print stationery, ads and marketing materials, social media, video marketing, email marketing (I think you get my point…) . Needless to say, it’s everywhere.
When you think about the brands the you love the most, there will always be a specific visual association you have. It’s that visual association that we first connect to that business and establishes our initial relationship with a brand. But even more importantly, that visual association is consistent across all those marketing avenues we listed above.
Consistency is key in building a strong, recognizable brand, and photography plays a major part in that.
WHERE TO START
When it comes to styling your branded photo session, we need to keep these key elements in mind:
- What is the ideal visual experience you want to create for your ideal clientele?
- How can we recreate that experience through photography?
To help you photographer understand the world in which your brand exists and the experience you want to create, a great place to start is on Pinterest. Create a brand board by collecting images, colors, graphics, and anything else that speaks to the tone and mood of your brand. Your photographer will be able to identify these common trends amongst your pinned images and begin to craft a narrative of images to style your shoot with.
Here is an example of our own Brand Inspiration Board on Pinterest:
You can see by looking at our own brand inspiration board that our brand’s style is very dark, richly colored images, with lots of space and room. We included elements of color, and words to also help aid in understanding the core element that make up our brand. A great photographer, like Tracy, can see from our inspiration board the tone and mood we are aiming to create through our images, and what technology or settings she’ll need to use to accomplish this look.
WHERE WILL YOU USE YOUR PHOTOS
After creating your inspiration board, your next step is to create a list of all the various areas you will be using your images.
This list, along with your inspiration images, will help your photographer to know not only how to style your shoot , but what angles and shots need to be taken in order to meet your list of photo uses. This is especially key if you are taking photos for online media or website design where you need lots of wider images instead of taller vertical shots.
Here are just a few places to help you start your own photo list:
- On your website
- In business emails
- For your business Facebook Cover
- In print marketing materials
- For specials or featured events
- To send to potential jobs/clients
- In Social Media, (Specify platforms)
- Branded Postcards
- To frame in our office
- Digital or print PDF guides and Portfolios
- On our business blog
- (anything else you can think of…)
WHAT TO WEAR
Now that you have your list of photo uses as well as inspirational shots, next up comes the styling.
Your photographer should have some resources to help you prepare your outfits or any props needed for your shoot. Tracy goes even a step further, offering both tip guides as well as video calls to style and prepare your shoot in advance with you, or even hiring a stylist to take you shopping before your shoot.
Think about the colors you pulled in your inspiration board, or even more appropriately, your current branding. If your branded colors are more neutral and dark, wearing hot pink or sparkly pieces might not fit very well. Yes, teal might look lovely on you, but if your brand is more red and beige, your photos won’t flow well into the world of your business.
Same goes for fancy patterns or for us ladies, big flashy pieces of jewelry. Tracy has an excellent post on how to prepare your wardrobe for your photoshoot for both men and women that you do not want to miss.
HAIR + MAKEUP
At this point, we have your inspiration images, list of shots, styled wardrobe and you are just about ready for your shoot. The final piece of the puzzle is professional hair and makeup.
Photoshop is amazing but it’s limits only go so far. No, unfortunately, photoshop can’t make you look tanner, or take away all the fly-aways in your hair from the lovely Hawaiian humidity, or cover up that sunburn from last weekend’s beach party. But, you know what can, professional hair and makeup. It may seem like an unnecessary ad-on, but the professional polished look that a professional stylist can give you will not only make you look your best, but feel your best and that resonates through your final photos. And I promise you, it will be worth every penny. Check out another post by Tracy on the huge impact professional hair and makeup can bring to your brand photoshoot HERE.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
I have worked with Tracy for years, and together we’ve styled shoots for many clients, from sound healers and chiropractors, to website designers, and fitness instructors. Tracy’s ability to capture the essence of a business and spirit of a brand is unparalleled. If you have been considering investing in professional photography for your brand or business, Tracy is the photographer for you.
Reach out to Tracy today and see how she can help you put your best face forward and elevate your brand through brand photography.CONTACT TRACY