Why book a personal branding shoot?
You've worked really hard and put in a huge amount of time and passion to build your business and you feel ready to take the next step and have some professional photos taken to represent your brand.
A personal brand photo shoot will supply you with a series of great go to shots that you can use time and time again for your website, business profile and across all of your social media platforms. If it’s done right, you’ll find that making the investment in a professional photo shoot is well worth it and will enable you to shout about your brand with the confidence that you deserve.
Here are eight key tips from Jennifer West Photography to give you some practical advice on how to prepare and make the most out of your photo shoot.
Tip 1. Have your ideal client in mind at all times.
Understanding who your ideal client is, is the foundation to your business. Your mission statement and your core values are all represented by your visuals. Be specific about who YOUR dream clients are. Remember, you can’t be everything to everyone so knowing who your ideal client is and aligning everything to engage them is so important.
If you’re sure of your ideal client already, then focus on them. If you’re not where you want to be in your business yet, then think, who is the dream client you want to attract and that you want to work with every day from now on?
Tip 2. Plan with your photographer.
Your photographer is not just the person who will take professional looking photos, they will have a whole wealth of experience and creative input to make sure you get the most from your shoot.
Whether it's a 15 minute or a six hour shoot, planning and working with your photographer before your shoot will give you the very best start to your personal brand shoot.
Have a strategy in mind. Think about what your business goals are for the for the next six month to a year. Will you be running a course, updating your website or a new launching a brand new product? Do you want to tell the world you have won an award? You'll want to shout it from the rooftops right? So be prepared and set out a plan together.
Tip 3. Create a mood board.
For almost every single shoot, I start with a mood board. It’s a great way to get all your thoughts in one place. If you have an idea in your head but find it hard to explain exactly what you like it’s a perfect way to communicate exactly what you’re looking for and explain the mood and look that you’d like. Pinterest is a great place to start for visual inspiration. Include everything that resonates with you and your ideal client, including images that you love, colours, locations, and types of looks.
Tip 4. Pick a location that speaks to both you and your ideal client.
This will most certainly be something that comes from your mood board.
It’s always great to have a few shots of you in your working environment, some professional working shots and even some behind the scenes shots are great to engage your target audience.
It’s also really nice to think about the shots you may need, that are in a different location too. Take time to think about what locations represent different elements of you and your business. Some ideas are home office, a coffee shop, edgy city streets or even a trip to the woods or a beach.
Tip 5. Choose your outfits in advance.
Try on a couple of different but complete looks, at least a few days in advance of your photo shoot, think about your brand colours and how each outfit and look makes you feel. You should feel comfortable, confident and most importantly yourself.
Your business represents YOU! So let your personality shine.
Ticking this off your mental check list early will ensure that you arrive at your photo shoot feeling fresh and confident with your look.
Bring two to three outfits to your shoot and don't over complicate it, don’t bring too many things along that you don’t need and ask your photographer what they think will work best for each location.
Tip 6. Bring your best self.
It’s the details that matter and the camera will pick up on them all, so get your nails done and have your hair and make up done professionally. It is so worth the investment and really makes a difference. Treat yourself to that pair of shoes you cannot get out of your head or that outfit that you have been waiting for an excuse to buy.
Bonus top tip: plan a night out after to make full use of that gorgeous hair and make up.
Tip 7. Be mentally prepared.
Having photos doesn't come naturally to all of us, so do as much as you can to put yourself in a positive mindset so that you’re feeling as relaxed as possible. You'll want to appear approachable confident and natural. If you get a good nights sleep the night before your shoot and you’ll be off to a great start. Have a good breakfast before the photo shoot too. If you arrive at your shoot feeling anxious and worried, tell your photographer, this is completely normal and they'll help make you feel comfortable and ease you in gently to your shoot.
Tip 8. Have fun!
This is probably the most important thing! Remember, this a great opportunity to capture the face behind your business, to see the person that your clients will be entrusting.
Trust in your professionals, enjoy the experience and celebrate the fact that you are taking your business to the next level with your personal branding photo shoot and enjoy!
With thanks to the incredible female led, small businesses featured here, whom I loved working with:
Artist, Author and Illustrator : Martyna Wiśniewska Michalak.
Hair and make up Artist: Hair and Make up by Gabrielle.
Energy Healer and Meditation Guide : Zoe Wood
Nutritional Therapist: Kate Del Mar Morgan.
Writer, Editor and Consultant : Rebecca Lewis Oakes.
Holistic Psychologist: Natalie Bodart.
Make up Artist: Sylwia Kunysz.
Ethical Rainwear Designers : On Good Authority
What my clients say...
"Jen is a real talent and absolute pleasure to work with. We gave her a tough brief (the first photoshoot for our new fashion brand) and we're very precious about what we wanted but she really immersed herself in it, made great suggestions, gave fantastic direction on the day and the end result is brilliant. The pictures really tell the story of our brand and we can’t wait to start sharing them on our social channels and website"