Updated: Feb 18
Between your website and social media, the face of your business is a visual one. You know you need photos to help define your brand and build your niche but you may not know how to get there. I can give you tips and ideas for honing in on a business vision that captures the best image of your business.
Ask Yourself - What Story Do I Want My Photos To Tell?
Your Branding Photo Goals:
If you know you need photos but are not sure which ones or what they should look like, consider the pillars of your brand for inspiration. Brand pillars are what makes your business unique to you and what you have to offer (to include beyond what you are selling). Think about what types of photos or expressions would convey these pillars without words. If you want to seem approachable or trustworthy, what might that look like to you?
I recommend writing down some words you would like a prospective client to use to describe your business after seeing these (not yet taken) photos. Some examples may include wanting to appear fun loving, approachable, friendly, focused, etc. There is no right or wrong answer as it is individualized to your business.
Part of your branding vision also includes knowing how the photos will be used. Are the photos for your business cards, website, or social media? Will they be used for one or all of these things? If the photos are for social media, you may have content already planned but don't have photos to go along. We can brainstorm ideas around your content to put it all together. If the photos are for your website, you may have specific photo sizes requirements or themes for your website which should be discussed prior to your session to make sure we are taking the types of photos you need.
Once you have a vision in mind, it is useful to create a shot list of must have photos that you would like me to take for you. This will help ensure that your session is focused on the specific vision of your business. If you would like me to look over your list and add suggestions, I would be happy to do that. Some personal branding shot list items might include: environmental headshots and 3/4 length photos, lifestyle photos that show your personality, photos with props, photos with clients, and photos of your workspace. If you are looking for more visual inspiration to plan your next branding session, Pinterest is a great place to start. You can create vision boards of photos or themes that you like and can share your ideas with me.
Picking a Location:
Personal branding photos can be taken anywhere! If you don't have a storefront or would like photos taken outside of your establishment, we can choose from a variety of outdoor locations, coffee shops, co-working spaces, or Airbnb rentals. Let's discuss your branding photo goals to decide which location would work best for you.
Choosing What to Wear:
What you choose to wear to your branding session will depend in part on your type of business, the setting where the photos will be taking place, and your personal style. Let's start with your type of business. If you are a sporting goods store owner, you may choose to wear an athletic / athleisure outfit to your branding session because it is in line with your brand image and is relatable to your client base. Meanwhile, if you are a lawyer, you may prefer to wear business casual / business attire to your session which would be more representative of your profession than a tracksuit would. Your clothing or fashion accessories can also tie into your brand colors. For example, if your brand color is pink, you can choose accessories like a pink glittery bracelet, pink shoes, or pink blazer.
For more outfit do's and dont's, check out my "what to wear" branding article HERE
When picking outfits for your session, consider the location where the photos will be taking place. Will the photos be outdoors or indoors? Will the photos be taken in the summer when it might be hot out during your session or will you need boots in the snow? Make sure to dress with the weather in mind so that you stay comfortable during your session because you will look more comfortable in photos too.
If you are selling a product or have a storefront, you may want to showcase these elements in one or more of your branding sessions. If you sell a service and do not have a storefront, you can still incorporate props into your session that show you doing your profession. Common set ups include pretending to be on your cell phone, writing in your planner, and looking at something on your laptop. The great thing about using props in your branding sessions is that we can be as creative, thematic, personalized, or seasonal as you would like.
I hope you found these tips helpful in stepping up your branding image.
I am happy to discuss these with you in more detail to create a customized session for you!
Jessica M. Photography is an Arlington Heights, IL personal branding, headshot, and business photographer. She services the Northwest Suburbs including Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook, Barrington, Schaumburg, Mount Prospect, Glenview, Deerfield, Vernon Hills, Park Ridge and more throughout Lake and Cook County in Illinois.