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How to pose at your BRANDING PHOTO SHOOT

Whether you own a business or are thinking of starting one, there will come an important time that is both super exciting and equally stressful! Any guesses?

I’m talking about a BRANDING PHOTO SHOOT!

When it comes to the stressful part of a session, the biggest concern from clients is usually how to pose.

There is a lot of pressure when it comes to branding shoots. These are the photos that will likely be splashed all over your website, Instagram, and other social channels for your online audience to see. They will be the photos that make the first impression on your prospective clients, colleagues, and partners.

Most importantly, they will be photos that you, as the business owner, will have to see on a weekly basis, so it’s so important that you love them!

I know it sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!

With careful planning, branding photoshoots can be an amazing experience. There are plenty of things to check off the list before the shoot, from wardrobe to location to hair/makeup, but one thing that always seems to create a lot of anxiety is posing!

We’ve all been there, myself included when the camera turns to us and we freeze… What do I do with my hands? How does a normal person sit? Smile or smolder?

With a few easy poses in your back pocket, I promise you’ll feel so much more confident going into it. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of how to pose for you to reference at your next shoot. Whatever industry you’re in, I’m sure you can find a way to make most (if not all!) of these work in some way.

So, without further ado: LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Working on a laptop

There is a high chance that the person reading this right now (yes, you!) works on their laptop 8 hours a day. It’s completely become the norm these days, so why not start by keeping it real and showing you, hard at work on the computer?

This photo can be taken from so many angles including:

  1. From over your shoulder to show your screen

  2. From a bird’s eye view (think flat lay)

  3. Close-up of your hands typing away.

  4. From the photographer’s point of view:

    • Looking at the camera for a lifestyle headshot

    • While you’re looking at the laptop “in action”

    • Consulting in person with a potential client

All of these options make for a great way to showcase a sample of the work you do as well! There you go, “how to pose” option number one!

women working on a laptop wearing a yellow sweatshirt

Showcasing your creative process

As marketing becomes more and more personal, showcasing your creative process and how you create the products or services you do should take a bit of priority during your branding session.

Deciding how to pose will look different for every creative entrepreneur and is a great way to keep you moving in a way that feels natural for you.

As a photographer, my creative process looks like photographing my clients.

As a business and mindset coach, it looks like educating myself and talking to my clients over Zoom.

For an interior designer, it could be creating a flat lay of samples, measuring, looking through samples, or drawing on blueprints.

If you’re a painter, it could look like actively painting a canvas or a peek into every stage of creating a masterpiece.

Hand letterers and calligraphers could showcase the initial pencil outlines or the digital drawings.

For wedding planners, it could look like creating mood boards and showing the overall vision.

It could also be them on the day of styling, planning, and bringing the couple’s vision to life.

Whatever it is that you do, make sure to take some shots that show you in action!

As a potential client, it helps us build trust that you know what you’re doing. It’s also a lot of fun to see behind the scenes as the curious humans that we are!

Working with a client / your client experience

If you work with people in a face-to-face environment, showing that process can also help build trust in your potential clients. It helps them to understand your process and what it’s like to work with you.

Sharing this part of your business allows you to also pull in your brand personality and brand adjectives.

It also shows that you are professional and personable and that you value the 1:1 time you spend with your clients.

If you can’t get one of your clients to come for the shoot, ask a friend! Who’s really going to know?

If you create products or services and don’t have interaction 1:1 with your clients, share the unboxing experience and what it’s like to have and use your product from a client’s perspective.

candid and lifestyle photos

As a branding photographer and lover of all things marketing, candid and lifestyle photos almost always do better on social media and in marketing efforts.

Why? Because they make us look and feel relatable to our potential clients.

Candid and lifestyle photos are my absolute favorite to take and create.

They include lots of movement and laughter and showcase “life”.

Even more, candid and lifestyle photos often don’t require you to look at the camera. You don’t even need to decide how to pose for this one! Imagine a photo of you walking looking away from the camera with your laptop bag, purse, and coffee in hand. That feels easier, right?

This goes for product photos too! Incorporating elements of our human experience in your photos gives more interest to the products. It also helps your potential customers envision themselves wearing, using, or even eating what you create.

For example, instead of showing a beautiful wedding cake on a stand, you can also include your hand placing the final floral, piece of fondant, or last hand-painted element. This is much more interesting to your customers and could also count as showcasing your creative process. Two birds with one stone is my kind of photo!

As much as it’s important to get a handful of images of you looking at the camera, for most branding sessions I aim to be a “fly on the wall” in my client’s business. I want to capture them in the moment: creating, laughing, working, and doing what they do best instead of worrying about how to pose.

Some of my favorite candid and lifestyle photos include:

  1. Pouring a coffee or wine

  2. Walking while looking to and away from the camera

  3. Laughs shared between you and your “clients”

  4. Creating your products / providing your services

  5. Talking to your phone / IG storying

  6. Anything that showcases you in a natural environment that doesn’t require looking at the camera (LOL!)

As much as it’s important to get a handful of images of you looking at the camera, for most branding sessions I aim to be a “fly on the wall” in my client’s business. I want to capture them in the moment: creating, laughing, working, and doing what they do best instead of worrying about how to pose.

Know that at the end of the day, learning how to move your body will come naturally as your branding session progresses.

As I guide you through different movements and ideas on your shot list, and as you do more branding sessions, your confidence will continue to build!

The best advice I can give when it comes to branding photoshoots may be cliche, but it’s true — have fun with it all!

Let planning be a joyful process, get excited to choose your outfits, and on the day of, make it a special and fun-filled occasion


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