So, you’ve taken the plunge and booked your Brand shoot …… what next? Well, if you’ve picked the right photographer, he/she should help you through the process to ensure that you are both well prepared and best placed to create truly authentic images that fit with your brand and personality. So what should happen next? Here are a few thoughts about the key stages in the process:
Know your brand and values
Are you a well established business and clear on your brand and what it stands for? Or are you just starting out? It is really helpful to be clear on what your business brand values are before your shoot as this will help to shape the type of photos that you and your photographer create together. Often (but not necessarily) the brand values may be and extension of your own personal values, and certainly your personality will play a key part in the shoot itself. Are you a loud, vibrant character – or is your vibe more calm and thoughtful? If you haven’t already thought this through then it is worth doing so before the shoot so that you can communicate this to your photographer.
Brand colours … and props
You probably already know your brand colours by this stage. If you don’t and you are interested in learning a bit more, then have a look at this article about Colour psychology – and how big companies use colour in their logos. Different colours have different associations and connotations, and will convey different messages to your clients.
How is this relevant to your brand shoot? Well, it may be that you wish to introduce elements of your brand colours into the shoot itself – either through your location choice, or possibly through the use of props. Maybe a scarf or accessory in your brand colours – or background cushions or throws might add a splash of your brand colours to your shoot. I am not suggesting you dress head to toe in your brand colours, but there are ways of bringing them into your shoot in a more subtle way, even if it is as simple as fresh flowers in the right colours or a branded coffee mug.
Choose the right Location
The shoot location will also be a key consideration. Are you super self-conscious and would you feel uncomfortable having a shoot in a public place where other people can see you? If so, maybe it is worth considering having the shoot at your place of work or at home. If this idea does not fill you with joy, then you can consider external (neutral) venues that will provide a visually appealing but relevant backdrop. Maybe a local café or hotel, or even a friend’s house might fit the bill. Are you an outdoorsy type brand – or are you a more corporate/ office type business? These considerations will drive where you would feel most comfortable having a shoot, and will help to generate imagery that fits with your business and your brand.
Choose your outfit
You probably want to plan this ahead of time so that you are not panicking on the morning of the shoot trying to decide what to wear! Your business sector and values will probably dictate how smart or casual you are, but there are a few other considerations also. Depending on how long your shoot is, you may well have the opportunity for one or more outfit changes. Adding a jacket/ scarf/ hat can turn one outfit into two and if you bring along more than one option, your photographer should be able to advise on what will work best. Usually plain colours are far more successful for these kind of shots and I would generally advise against big patterns, florals or logos. Don’t be afraid of colour – a strong colour can be a huge asset in creating a striking image.
How to Pose
Many clients are concerned that they will not know how to stand, or what to do with their hands. Fear not! An experienced photographer will be able to guide you with advice on how to stand in order to create the most flattering and natural looking images. If you aren’t sure what to do with your hands, your photographer can advise, but props such as a notebook, phone or pen can be handy to give them something useful to do! Shoots should not generally be static but gentle movements in and out of different poses can create a range of images. If you have ever watched a super model being photographed, you will know what I mean – they are constantly making small but subtle movements so that what looks like one pose can actually generate a whole selection of photos.
Enjoy your shoot!
Almost everyone I photograph, whether for a family shoot or a business headshot/ branding session, opens up with “Oh I really hate having my photo taken, I look terrible” …. and yet, for the vast majority, the experience is a hugely positive one and they are surprised by finding that not only do they enjoy having their photo taken, but the resulting images help to make them feel so much more professional. Try and get a good night’s sleep the night before, and maybe even combine the shoot with a nice day out/ lunch with a friend so that you can think positively about the whole experience. Here are a few comments from previous Brand shoot clients:
“The actual photoshoot was relaxed and good fun”
“Jenny was brilliant from start to finish! I was quite scared to have a branding shoot as I hate photos of myself, but I knew I needed it for my brand. Jenny made me feel very relaxed in front of the camera and took some very natural photos. Thank you Jenny!”
“Jenny is excellent; she has a relaxed, pleasant approach, takes great photos and is very good value for money. We would certainly have her again.”
“What would you say to someone considering a Personal Branding shoot with me? “Do it, I’d say definitely do it because Jenny just takes away all the fear behind it. It’s just very very natural, just good fun!”
If you would like more information about Personal Branding shoots, do check out the information on this web page, or Contact me here.