Ready to revamp your brand with brilliant personal branding photos? You are going to learn how to produce your own branding photoshoot and take great photos. I have helped many coaches, consultants, thought leaders, and professionals brand themselves through photography. Now it's your turn!
There are three phases to producing your photoshoot. There's pre-production, the photoshoot day, and post-production.
Take the Brand Personality Test
Preparing for your photoshoot. The first thing that I highly recommend you do is to take the brand personality style quiz. When you take this quiz, you're going to be prompted to getting a unique guide just for you. It's based on your interests, values, and what you gravitate to and what's most authentic to your brand persona. This will give you advice on things like what are the colors, what's the look and feel that works best with who you are authentic. You can use this advice to guide your photographer and planning and all of that when setting up your photoshoot. I recommend clicking here and taking the brand personality style quiz.
Creating Your Look
Once you have a sense of your brand look and style, start to brainstorm and create a collage of looks and poses that you're going to want to put together. Use Pinterest as an excellent resource for creating collages. It's an excellent place for you to start to put some photos together. You could also Google search some photos and just type in things like "brand photoshoot" and collect those images and put something together that's going to be something that represents who you are as a brand.
Hiring The Photographer
Of course, you're going to want to hire a photographer. I recommend getting a referral to a photographer from friends or people in your network, family members. Ideally, you want to look at their portfolio before hiring them because you want to make sure that the photography style they're taking is aligned with your brand persona and what's authentic to who you are. Don't cheap out here. Suppose you don't have any referrals to a good photographer. You can head over to Instagram, Facebook, or social media and do a search on local photographers, and take a look at their portfolio.
There are different ways that photographers will charge you. They might charge you based on the number of photos that they give you. They might charge you based on the amount of time it takes to take the photos. Or they might also charge you based on the number of looks and outfits you create, so you're also going to want to get a good sense of what it's going to be as an investment to take those photos.
Then you're going to want to get a location. Some photographers have a studio already. If not, you might be able to find a nice spot, an office space, an Airbnb, a beautiful garden or park, or whatever, so long as it suits your brand and the message that you are articulating. For example, if you're a health and wellness coach, it's okay for you to take photos at a gym, maybe jogging in a park or along a trail that makes sense. Photos in the kitchen, cooking, whatever it might be. But if you have a business that's not in those locations, maybe it's an office space, maybe you're a real estate agent, so you're in a house or a home. You want to think about your business context and what you're offering and what makes sense for that.
The style guide that I recommend for you after you take the brand quiz gives you some ideas on looks and what to wear. You're going to want to plan out what you're going to wear, the color scheme of what you're wearing because, for example, if your logo is purple and teal. You're wearing something that's not aligned with those colors; when you put everything together with text and design, it might not show up as great as you want it to. Go with neutral colors, not too much print. If you are trying to communicate a specific look and feel, you can use print, but again, take that style quiz, because it will give you some ideas on prints that will look good for your brand.
Before you take the photos, make a list of the types of poses and shots you're going to take. Some photographers will direct you and say, "Pose like this, pose with that, use this prop." Many photographers don't do any of that, so pre-planning will set you up for success. My recommendation is to go ahead and start to think of the poses that you want to have.
Think of what the shots are going to be for.
Is it for your website, banners, social media posts, social media banners, brochures, and business cards?
Are you going to use stand up posters for events?
Professional career photos versus casual and lifestyle photos, do you want a mix of both or one or the other?
Do you have a book or a product to capture?
Are you going to take photos with the product?
Do you want to take photos with clients or actors that can pose as clients?
Brainstorm what you might want to present and make sure that you do the pre-planning and organization before you get to your photoshoot.
The night before, pack your outfits, get everything packed up, props, everything you need because the next morning, you don't want to be looking around to find everything. Make sure you are well-rested, make sure you feel energized, eat something that's light, healthy, and going to make you feel good because you are going to want to shine. If you feel sluggish that day, the photos won't be the best quality, so get your rest. Have lots of water and bring an assistant or someone that can help you change in and out of looks and keep track of the photos you want to get.
One is to be mindful of your posture, no slouching over. You want to breathe in through your diaphragm, elongated spine, and feel confident, think positive thoughts. Think about the transformation that you're providing to your potential clients and customers and the results that they're going to get and the enthusiasm, the excitement, the joy, the happiness, the whatever emotion that your brand communicates, whatever that emotion is, you're going to want to feel that and project it into the camera.
Take some photos with you looking directly into the barrel of the camera, looking right pierced into the eye of the camera.
Also, do some photos where it's just you in your element, not paying attention, just on your iPad, and just doing whatever makes you happy.
Allow yourself to relax and enjoy the process. Be yourself. Don't try to be anything else but you.
You've done most of the heavy lifting. Now it's time for your photographer to make you look good. Photographers will usually sort out all of the photos that have you blinking or doing things that you don't quite want to put on blast, and then they'll send you the raw files of the photos that you've taken. Depending on what you agreed with your photographer, they might have you pick specific photos from that batch to be edited. Some photographers don't edit. Instead, do some light touch-ups with the lighting. Photographers have you pick the photos, and then they'll start to do some editing and make your shots look brilliant. Those are the best looks, so I recommend again that if you can find a photographer who can do that, that's awesome.
When choosing your photos, you don't want to choose it based on how you look. You want to choose a photo-based on how you're going to use it in your marketing.
Start to think...
Am I standing off to the left or the right enough so that you can put text beside your pose?
Where is the photo going to go?
Is it going to be on your banner?
How are you using the photo, and do you have enough of what you need to create the marketing materials you want?
It's not just about looks. It's about versatility and efficiency.
Example Personal Brand Photoshoot for a LinkedIn Banner
Example Personal Brand Photoshoot for a Social Medis Post
Once your photographer sends you the photos, be sure to save them in multiple places. Don't just save them in your email folder. I've had clients that will receive their photos, they never download them, and then they come back six months later, and they're gone. You want to make sure that you save them in a Dropbox or Google Drive in the cloud somewhere so that you can access them. Again, multiple places, if one area you can't find it, you can always find it in your backup location. That's how you set up a successful photo shoot.
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