If you want to build a personal brand then having the right imagery is essential, which is why I’m offering a guide on how to plan a personal branding photoshoot.
A personal branding photoshoot ensures that you have full control of the result, so the images align with your brand and that at the same time you create a database of new content.
Planning a photoshoot can be overwhelming which is why I’m providing a free workbook together with this blog post to guide you.
Step 1: Brand Clarity
The first step in planning a personal branding photoshoot is to write down the essence of your brand that needs to be captured.
If you’re struggling with this step, then I recommend going to my blog post on how to find your brand identity and work through the workbook.
So what information should you specifically know and share with your photographer?
- A description of your business
- Give a thorough but short explanation of your business. Explain what you offer, who you offer it to, and what makes you different from your competition. Use this space to also explain the purpose/mission/thought behind your business. The reason why you started your business is an important part of your brand and the image you need to create.
- A list of emotions related to your brands
- I’ve previously talked about looking at your brand as a person. A person who has values and a certain personality. If you’ve done the exercises in the brand identity workbook then you can simply copy/paste the list.
- A little story on how your ideal audience lives
- This section is also part of the brand identity workbook, so you can copy/paste if you’d like, but if you haven’t created a synopsis of your ideal client’s life yet then just make a list of some facts of their life. You not only want to include demographic elements, but also specific details like their hobbies, what they like, dislike, and how they face the world and their life.
- Your personal branding photoshoot is going to be part of your visual brand identity. Sometimes when using words the message can be lost in translation. In order to be sure that the photographer understands how you see things, you have to provide a mood board. Use a platform like Pinterest and gather some examples of what you’d like for the specific photoshoot. Also, include a general mood board of your own brand.
Step 2: Define the Photoshoot Logistics
To plan a personal branding photoshoot and successfully incorporate your brand fundamentals (the content), you need to think ahead of time about the logistics and details.
You want to inform your photographer if there’s a deadline for getting the images and how many images you need.
If you don’t know how many you need then start with 30-60 images, 1-2 months of content.
You also want to mention where you will be using the images because this will determine the image resolution (especially for print).
Decide if you want to do your own hair and makeup or hire someone. Some photographers may also have this included in their price.
My half-day and full-day packages have hairstylist and MUA included in the price because I don’t want my clients to be stressing on details.
Step 3: Photoshoot Details
This may be a step you want to complete after you’ve found a photographer because it’s often something you do together.
You can still make a draft though, mainly on the shot list part.
My packages are based on the number of stories we will be shooting because it’s the most efficient way to think of and do a photoshoot.
Think of stories as different scenes, like in a movie, and each scene has a number of shots
Each story must reflect your brand, so if you’re a coach then your stories can be:
- Working in your home office
- Working in different parts of your home
- Hanging around your home
- Walking through the streets or a park
That was 4 different stories in 2 locations and you can do 4-8 outfits with this setup.
Describe each story in the workbook.
In the shot list, mention the must-have shots for each story including the specific location (kitchen at home or park bench for example).
Create a draft of your stories, shot list, and also the props you’ll need.
After finding a photographer, you two can finetune the details.
Step 4: Finding a Personal Branding Photographer
Part of knowing how to plan a personal branding photoshoot is finding the right photographer for you.
The right photographer is able to remove the overwhelm and, most importantly, understand your brand.
You can have a world-renowned photographer, but if they’re too artistic and aren’t thinking about what you need as a brand then your photoshoot will be unsuccessful.
So, where do you find personal branding photographers?
- Ask in Facebook groups for entrepreneurs
- Look up hashtags on Instagram, like #personalbrandingphotographer #personalbrandingphotography
- Ask friends for referrals
You can find photographers in your local area, but there are also many traveling brand photographers out there (like me).
So, focus on quality and style first instead of only convenience.
How to Find the Right Personal Branding Photographer
You want to choose someone who’s photography style matches your brand style.
If you have a bright and vibrant style then a photographer with all moody images may not be the option for you.
During the call, it’s important that you feel comfortable and connected with the photographer which is why seeing each other’s faces and feeling the vibe is important.
Before giving a whole explanation about your brand, ask them to explain your brand based on the workbook you’ve sent and offer ideas.
This is so important because it will show you if the photographer understands your brand and will be able to translate it into images.
Step 5: Work on the Details
Once you’ve chosen a photographer you feel comfortable with, together you’ll have to figure out the details and logistics—including the price and contract.
Many photographers work with packages making it easy for you to just choose one package.
Then you have to choose the location of your photoshoot, whether you need hair and makeup done, etcetera.
With your photographer, you’ll decide where to do the shoot and if you need to rent a space.
You also want to have an open discussion about the rights to the images as most photographers won’t give you full rights (unless you pay for it) but a commercial usage right.
Step 6: Be Prepared
The last step in knowing how to plan a personal branding photoshoot is to get prepared.
Try on your clothes so you know for sure that they work for the shoot.
Use the free checklist in the workbook to remind yourself of what you have to do the days before the shoot and to double-check that you have everything for the shoot.
Step 7: During the Shoot
Get in the zone.
Put maybe your favorite music on.
Feel like a million bucks
Just have fun!