Sometimes, the very idea of scheduling a Personal Branding photo session seems positively overwhelming. And to be completely honest, most of them are. Seeing how other photographers do these sessions, there’s a reason why most of their clients are Bloggers and people who already know how to do most of the work themselves. I, on the other hand, like to work with those of us who want to hire a photographer who will do a bit more than just show up with a camera.
1. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW HOW TO DO YOUR OWN HAIR AND MAKEUP
There’s a reason why hair stylists and makeup artists exist. It’s actually quite hard to do well, which is why there are special schools and training that people go through in order to excel at this specific skill. In fact, doing everyday makeup, event makeup, and photoshoot makeup all require different skillsets. The expectation that the person being photographed should be able to do her own hair and makeup is kind of absurd if you think about it (unless, that is, you’re a hair and makeup artist yourself).
This is why every Personal Branding session includes hair and makeup! Not only is it one less thing for you to have to coordinate and worry about, you will also end up looking your best in the resulting images. Now, I do make a point of working with the most talented hair & makeup artists, and specifically specialists who are able to do natural-looking camera ready makeup. This is important, because you never want to end up looking like someone you’re not in the portraits that are supposed to represent the essence of who you are.
2. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO WEAR
Deciding what to wear is probably pretty easy if you’re a Fashion Blogger, but kind of a challenge for the rest of us! But we all know how important clothing is when it comes to photographs. Clothes can make you feel and look confident, can enhance features you like best, and can tie in with brand colors to create a cohesive expression of your personality. But they can also make you look fatter than you really are (like that saying that the camera adds ten pounds), become a distraction, and overall ruin the image. But what looks good in real life and what works well on camera can also be quite different.
Selecting clothing in person, before the session, gives us a chance to really curate your look. And it gives me some time to put together your shoot day schedule with outfits and locations (more on that below). Now, things might definitely change, as life can sometimes be unpredictable, and our photoshoot plan is never set in stone, but it’s an essential part of making the day run smoothly.
3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO COME UP WITH LOCATIONS
There is a lot of strategy that goes into planning a Personal Branding photo session, but the key is, you don’t need to be the person who comes up with all of it. In fact, when selecting locations, especially if we’re photographing outdoors, knowing about lighting and working with natural light is incredibly important. Because no matter how pretty a location is, without good light, your images simply won’t be very good.
Now, that could mean two things. Either we can be flexible with the locations (and I go out and scout places that would be suitable for us based on your requirements), or we can be flexible with the time of day. So if you do have a specific location (or two) in mind, we’ll simply plan around them and figure out what time of day the best lighting conditions exist. And if you don’t have years worth of photography education that would allow you to determined exactly when that is, don’t worry, I got you!
4. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW HOW TO LOOK GOOD IN PHOTOS
Even some of the most beautiful women I’ve worked with are often unsure of how to look their best in portraits. It’s not their fault, as I came to understand on this photography journey. None of us are born naturally photogenic (yes, even models have to work on this!). The truth is, there are techniques and poses and look great on camera, and it takes dedicating some time to learning all these little techniques in order to know what to look for.
I always direct my clients. Even if a pose looks super natural, it’s still usually created, down to the fingertips. Not only does this guarantee a better result than simply saying “act natural”, but it also takes the pressure off you to be able to come up with various poses on your own. It really shouldn’t be your job to know what to do in front of the camera, at least that’s how I feel about it!
5. YOU DON’T NEED TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA
Aside from posing, there’s also the comfort factor. It plays a really big part in how friendly and approachable you’ll look in the resulting images. But it’s also the key to getting natural relaxed expressions in portraits. The truth is, most of the clients I work with feel awkward or uncomfortable in front of the camera. It’s actually much more natural to feel nervous about the process than not, and it’s up to me to pull that natural relaxed expression out. Everyone has the ability to shine, be themselves, and enjoy the process - but it’s silly to expect that to simply happen on its own. Just like posing, there are techniques for creating a comfortable and safe environment during a photoshoot, and it’s something I feel is incredibly important when working together with clients.
AND HERE ARE 5 THINGS YOU DEFINITELY SHOULD HAVE FOR YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING SESSION…
Your brand colors - Knowing what colors we’re working with will help us style and plan your photoshoot from start to finish.
What you want to communicate to your audience - Every business is selling something, which means effectively communicating with your potential clients is absolutely essential. We need to know what kind of story you want to tell in order to craft your portraits around that narrative.
Ideas for how you would like to use your images - Images that are going on your website require a different form factor than photos for Instagram. So it only makes sense that in order to provide all the formats necessary, we’ll need to know ahead of time what’s actually needed.
Any props you would like to use - I strongly believe in using props and items that you already have in order to create a more personalized feel to your imagery. So if you have a favorite pen, a daily planner, books you love, personalized stationary, or anything else you think might help us tell your story, be sure to let me know!
No distractions - On the day of the photoshoot, it’s imperative that we can work and focus without anything (or anyone) getting in the way. I like to work very quickly and do as many outfit changes as possible, in order to literally create a year’s worth of imagery in one day. So make sure to get the kids out of the house, tell your spouse to work somewhere else that day, and move any other appointments that might get in the way.
If you are ready to take the next step, fill out my form and we will discuss all the important details during my complimentary consultation.