How to Prepare for Your Branding Session

Branding sessions can be daunting – I totally get it. Being in front of the lens is nerve wracking. BUT I am here to help you be as prepared as possible long before your photographer ever points that camera at you.

Step 1 

Have a brand outline. What is your business identity? Make a mood board of your colours, logo and message. Inspiration images you love and identify with. Make a clear and concise inspiration board to pull ideas from and show your photographer so they can be one the same wavelength as you.

For your brand message to be as cohesive and clear as possible, the images used in your marketing should all reflect your values. You need to educate your customer on what it looks like to be a part of the process. Branding should show you behind the scenes, working and it should showcase your personality. Brands and businesses that show their employees have a track record of doing better in sales. It makes you much more personable and gives your customers reason to relate to you, thus building trust and seeing themselves as part of the process. 

Step 2

Figure out the WHY of your branding session. Your photographer needs to know where you’re using the images and what you’re using them for. They will be able to shoot with more intention and get you all the images you need.

Figure out where you want to use the images, and why you decided that you want a branding photoshoot now. Do you want updated headshots, product images, behind the scenes? Where are you using the images? Social media, website or event print materials? 

Maybe you have no idea why you want to do this or where you want to use the images but you know you need to up-level your brand. This is where consults come in. I will sit with you ( or chat over FaceTime) to help you figure all of these things out long before we shoot. Don’t get too overwhelmed with this, I am here to help!

Step 3 

Put together a shot list. This can be done with the help of your inspiration board. A shot list is crucial to a branding photographer – it makes sure that we get all the content you need out of a shoot and maximize your money. 

If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want, think about the content you want to put out (emails, blogs, instagram and facebook) and think of images and subjects that would support that content. 

Visit this blog post about 5 Types of Images that Attract Your Ideal Client to get a better idea of what you might need.

Step 4 

Plan out the details. This is where people often get overwhelmed. But this is another one of those steps that I am more than happy to help with. 

Outfits

Aim to have a different outfit for every “shot” or theme on your shot list. The goal here is to make it look like you had multiple sessions on different days and provide as much variety to your images as possible. I want to maximize your ROI (Return on Investment) because we might as well get as much content as possible for your business.  

Here is an outfit inspiration board for you to pull from BUT I like to keep things clean and simple. When in doubt, send me a text of your outfit ideas and I would be more than happy to help curate your shoot’s outfits.

Props

Keeping the props minimal and classic will go a long way to keeping your images as fresh and usable for as long as possible. Trendy props are fun, but you can’t always use them further down the road and you content might lose its usability quickly. Think of props as enhancements and tools to help keep your hands busy. Keep them relevant to your business and personality. For example if you don’t wear glasses, don’t bring any. If you don’t use a day planner, don’t buy a new one just for the shoot. 

Location

So you took the time do plan all of these things out, but now you have to figure out where to go for the session. Do you need to be outdoors, in a coffee shop, in your home? 

I recommend keeping the amount of locations to a minimum. Max 2-3 for a 1.5 hour session. And that all depends on how far each location is from the next,  If you’re not sure where to go, here are some ideas that might help you. 

  • rent an AirBNB
  • rent a show home 
  • rent a local office space
  • use a family member or friend’s home

Once you have all of these things in place… you are ready to go rock your branding session! Remember to have fun with it, feel free to bring food or drinks, bring a bluetooth speaker to jam out to your favourite songs. The idea is to make the process as fun as possible so you feel comfortable to come back for more and keep your content as fresh and updated as possible throughout the year. 

If you’re interested, check out my pricing and packages for branding sessions, I would be more than happy to help walk you through all of these steps and get your brand on the next level!

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About me

I am a margarita-loving photographer based out of Canada’s capital. I have an obsession for adventure and an appreciation for the small things in life. I’m known for my love of strong margaritas, big curly hair, and notorious sailor’s mouth.⁠