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Personal Brand

4 Ways to Prepare for Your Personal Brand Photo Session

The best results from a personal brand session come from planning ahead with purpose in mind! Your photographer should be able to help create a ton of variety of images for you, but you want them to be consistent with your brand (or what you want you want your brand to feel like) and it’s helpful if you have some idea of how you want to use the images ahead of time!

Use these four steps to plan for success as your session approaches and get the most out of the time with your photographer! If you’re an entrepreneur, blogger, or influencer in the Colorado Springs area, scroll to the end for a link to reach out and schedule your next session with me <3

1) Write out your business goals for the next 3-6 months

I truly believe in utilizing the power of images to help get you where you want to go. While stepping out from behind the scenes and connecting with your ideal client is one of the biggest benefits of personal brand sessions, the limits don’t stop there! Think about what your goals are for the next 3-6 months.

Maybe you’d like to come out with a new course or item in your online shop. Maybe you’d like to book more weddings/events. Maybe you’d like more of your ideal clients to book your services. Get into the nitty gritty using SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable – but still challenging, Relevant, and Time-based).

plan your personal brand photo session goals

Once you know your goals, think about the type of content that will be super relevant in warming up your audience to eventually get them to convert into paying clients. One of my favorite examples are the sessions I do with Chloe with Deeper Than Money. She is a millennial money coach and we always do photos that relate to the next course or challenge she is offering to her audience.

For example, she had a challenge in November called “It’s beginning to cost a lot like Christmas” that was going to lead people into her new course that was all about how to stop impulse shopping. So we took a bunch of photos in her apartment with her Christmas decorations (plus a few flat lays/stock photos/etc.). Then we went down to a boutique that was filled with natural light to fit her bright brand and made some fun images of her shopping to promote the course!

Did you know I offer an add-on option to my regular brand package to actually come take photos behind the scenes of you doing what you do?!? This is a chance for you to get not only tons of personality filled images in a space that represents you well, but also to let your audience in in a deeper way. Speaking at an event? Photographing a wedding? Making pottery or art in your studio? Leading a workshop? Let me tag along and snag some in-action shots for you to use in establishing credibility and nurturing the know-like-trust factors with your people! Reach out here for more info!

2) Plan your outfits

This may seem obvious, but for full personal brand sessions I offer UNLIMITED outfit changes, which means you can really get some great variety, but they may also take a little longer than expected to plan out. A few tips when thinking about what to wear:

a. Wear several outfits in your brand color(s)!

This can really help tie your images into your brand and make everything look super consistent, professional, and seamless when you share the images on your website and social media.

b. Use words to your advantage!

While I usually suggest avoiding large logos or graphics on clothing for photos to keep the attention on the subject (and since images can start to look repetitive quickly), words can be a fun way to connect with more people scrolling by your image on social media if they don’t know you on a personal level and/or don’t follow your brand closely yet. Just make sure they are very legible and very RELATABLE to the type of thing you will share about and want to be associated with!

c. Think about what will be most flattering to your body shape

For example, 3/4 length sleeves are very slimming for women who are self-conscious about their arms and heels are slimming and seem to elongate your legs (which I certainly don’t need at 6′ tall, but you might enjoy!). If long, flowy dresses fit with your brand, I LOVE the additional movement they provide in images and accessories like a wide-brimmed hat, a stylish purse, or a stand-out necklace can help add some points of interest and even more variety.

Next time you walk by a store like J. Crew, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are usually wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera as they will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats up the level of any look and tend to be flattering on any body shape. If the temperature permits, you could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!

Long pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from legs and feet and towards your face instead. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home, unless they specifically make sense for your brand.

3) Think about locations

You’ve heard me talk about variety a ton already, but I love choosing a couple locations that feel VERY different from one another in order to make it feel like an entirely different photo shoot when you start working with what images to share and where/when. I love to help my clients think through this and make suggestions after hearing a bit about their brand and what they’re looking for from the session.

This often looks like choosing one indoor and one outdoor location. My favorite is when I get to photograph people in their “natural element,” whether that’s a home office, their living room, their studio, or working at a coffee shop. Then a more nature-y (is that a word?) or urban setting is a great option that allows them to share about any other aspect of their life or business in a bit more abstract or general way.

4) Plan your props

Props are one of the most FUN parts of personal brand photo sessions and are honestly a big factor in making the images feel unique! Using the first tip here – be sure to think about your goals and plan props that will align with the types of content buckets you want to share that will lead you to accomplishing them.

For example, I have a client who owns a pilates studio and she wants to start sharing more of her personal journey to holistic health (mind, body, spirit), so one of her props will be her essential oils. If there are any books that have inspired you or that you and/or your ideal client really resonate with, those can be another great way to incorporate some words into your images and be really eye catching!

These will vary SO much based on the service or product you offer, but here are a few more examples of props to get your creative juices flowing.

Personal Brand Photography Prop Ideas:

  1. Laptop
  2. Camera (for photographers/videographers)
  3. A cute notebook + pen (extra points if it’s in your brand color or has relatable words on it!)
  4. Airpods or headphones
  5. Glasses
  6. Coffee/tea mugs
  7. Makeup + makeup bag + makeup brushes
  8. Paint brushes
  9. Champagne bottle + glass (let’s shake it up and snap some photos popping that sucker open!)
  10. Confetti + balloons
  11. Bubbles
  12. A money gun (WHAT! yep – done that one before!)
  13. Plants
  14. A blanket
  15. Food & cooking utensils (cooking in a kitchen!)
  16. Passport / boarding passes / travel books / travel stamps
  17. Inspiring quotes or relatable content printed out – like this!
  18. Paint swatches – grab some for free somewhere like Home Depot!
  19. Sunglasses
  20. Workout gear
  21. Your inspiration bulletin board

As you can see… THE SKY IS THE LIMIT! Ready to get started? Reach out here for more info and to set up your next personal brand photo session!

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