Brand Photoshoot (Why You Need It and How to Plan For It!)

brand photoshoot

We know photos are a great visual asset for your business, but how is a personal brand photoshoot different from taking other types of photos? 

Brand photography is the pathway to selling without being salesy. It captures the person behind the brand along with their missions and values.

Why is investing in a personal brand photoshoot so important for your business?

  • It helps you tell your story and build relationships with your clients. Personal brand photography is a way to market you, which includes showing who you are and what your brand is about. 
  • It displays your professionalism and gives your audience a first impression. 
  • It makes you stand out compared to stock images and cell phone pictures. When people go to your website they want to see you! You’ll outshine your competitors with photos of yourself and it will help people remember you.
  • It’ll help you attract the right clients and increase your website conversions. As a business owner, you want to make sure your clients know who they’re working with. It’ll also increase your website conversions as people will feel more comfortable and get to know you on a more personal level. 

A brand photographer should be asking you in-depth questions about your business so they can capture strategic images that will help you reach your business goals.

brand photoshootWhat questions should you be asking when hiring a brand photographer?

  • What is your experience with brand photography? Do you have a portfolio I may view? (Ask for examples related to your niche or a variety of different types of work.)
  • What types of businesses do you enjoy working with?
  • Do you have a photo studio or do you shoot at various locations? (Some photographers may have a studio and props that are appropriate for your niche, while others prefer to do a personal brand photoshoot at different locations.) 
  • Do I own the rights to the photos upon delivery? (Discuss where or how you plan on using the photos, and if the photographer will require you to credit them when you use the photos in any marketing materials. It’s always common courtesy to ask if you can make any changes to the photographer’s original work, such as cropping or editing.)

Here are some questions your brand photographer should be asking you:

  • Where exactly will you be using your photos?
  • What mood and emotions do you want to show in your images?
  • Who is your target audience and what do you have in common with them?

Your photographer will typically ask these questions in a questionnaire and then go over your answers during a meeting before your photoshoot. 

Discuss what kind of poses and props you will need for your brand photoshoot. 

Some images you may consider are:

  • Headshots (These are great for social media profiles and very useful for marketing materials such as speaking events.)
  • Photos of you smiling directly at the camera (This helps create a warm, welcoming vibe on your website.)
  • Poses of you working with your computer or laptop
  • Flat lay images of your workspace
  • Personal photos of family or pets (This shows who you are outside of your job.) 

Here are a couple pro insider tips:

brand photoshoot

Have photos where you’re positioned towards one side of the frame. For example, if you want to add text over an image, it is better to have your body on the right side of the picture and place text on the left side. If your body is positioned in the center of the photo, the text will most likely cover your body and will be hard to read.

Here is an example of a photo I used for my About page. As you can see, my body is on the right side of the frame with text on the left. The background to my left is very neutral and makes it easier to read the text. 

brand photoshoot

Don’t forget to take horizontal and vertical shots! This is very important when it comes to how you want your photos to be displayed on your website.

Here are examples of horizontal and vertical shots of me. I have a mix of both photo orientations throughout my website to mix things.

Remember, there’s really no “one size fits all” when it comes to photoshoots. This is your time to really shine and stand out!

What kind of outfits should you wear?

The most important tip is to try on your outfits before your photoshoot and make sure you feel great and confident in them! It may be natural to gravitate towards wearing your brand colors but it’s also nice to have some neutral colors in case you decide to change your colors in the future. 

This shirt is one of my favorites from my photoshoot because not only is it comfy, it’s also flattering. Avoid wearing loose clothing because it may make you look bigger than you actually are. Other quick tips are to avoid busy prints or thin stripes that may look blurry on camera. If you do choose to wear stripes, pick vertical stripes that’ll elongate your body! You also want to select clothes that are quick and easy to change out of, and the same rules apply to shoes! Most photographers charge by the hour, so you don’t want to spend too much time changing into your outfits!

brand photoshootWhat kind of makeup should you wear or avoid?

In my opinion, when it comes to photo-friendly makeup, less is more. I have been using this concealer for years just to brighten up areas of my face. After applying your favorite foundation or powder, I recommend setting it in with a mineral veil loose powder for a smooth natural look. Avoid any makeup that is shimmery or sparkly because it’ll add more shine to your face.

If your skin tends to get oily or shiny, keep some blotting sheets in your purse. One thing I forgot to pack during my photoshoot were makeup remover wipes. It’s so nice to have a few handy in case you have any smudges!

If you are like me and aren’t blessed with long lashes, this L’Oréal lash primer paired with this voluminous mascara will help give them an extra boost! If you’re looking for a more dramatic look, check out these easy to apply magnetic lashes that I wore in my photos or you can also take a look at these non-magnetic Ardell lashes.

When it comes to lip color, I would wear a satin matte color. Anything that’s too shiny or glossy will be too distracting for the camera.

After I’m done applying all my makeup, I let it set in by spraying this E.L.F. controller primer mist to minimize oil and shine, as well as mattify and hydrate skin. Although it’s a primer, I like to use it as my final step to seal everything in.

Nail color should be kept neutral, and it’s best to eliminate glittery or busy designs. As for your hair, I wouldn’t stray too far away from how you normally have your hair styled on a casual day. I like to use this hairspray because it locks in my style and even works well in the humidity!

brand photoshoot

If you’re feeling lost, a skilled brand photographer will be able to guide you through what you need. This is why I recommend talking to at least a few different photographers before you decide who you want to work with. You want someone who makes you feel comfortable and understands your business. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! A personal brand photoshoot is a big investment so you want this experience to be worthwhile AND make sure you have a return in your investment!

Outfit links:

Peplum v-neck shirt

Chiffon v-neck shirt

Pleated top with cap sleeves

Espadrille wedge sandals

(*This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my link.)

Photo credit: Dakota and Co.

What questions do you have about personal brand photoshoots? If you have invested in one, let me know how it has changed your business!

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