When you’re first starting a business, you need to be the one to wear multiple hats. There are so many things to get off the ground, including: your website, social media channels, registering your business names and tons of other tedious tasks that overhaul your to-do list. I will always recommend getting professional photos done first, and I’m not just saying this because I am a photographer.
Sarah Blake is a copywriter who is in the beginning stages of growing her business. She also blogs about money and goal setting to help ambitious millennials achieve their dream life. She has a website and some social media accounts going, but she needed something to pull it all together in a way that is professional and speaks to her brand. Personal brand photography is the perfect way to do this.
Sarah was well prepared in the way that she already had a great understanding of her target audience. We brainstormed location, styling, and prop ideas that would resonate with them.
She’s targeting young, smart, ambitious female business owners who care deeply about their purpose but are also not too serious and can talk about more lighthearted things. She wants to help these women write engaging copy that speaks to their target audience.
From understanding this, we came up with a few locations we thought her dream client would like: a coffee shop (who doesn’t love a good coffee shop?) and a bookstore, which also plays into Sarah’s brand of being a copywriter. Throw in a couple outfit changes and props and you have the basis for a personal branding shoot!
Sarah also provided me with a list of accounts she follows for inspiration. I drew inspiration from these and composed a detailed shot list that also took timing, location and styling all into consideration.
Having a shot list for a personal branding shoot is key. It keeps you on track and ensure you’re capturing all your important shots – the ones you really feel will connect with your audience.
If there’s time for some impromptu photos, then great, but you really don’t want your brand vision to fall flat because you got preoccupied trying to artsy pictures through the window. Sarah and I had a spare moment before switching locations so we took a coupe photos through the window, but we knew we had to move on quickly.
The main difference between portrait photography and personal brand photography is the level of intention behind it. Every shot has a purpose and it’s important to hire a photographer who understands this.
Want to understand the importance of brand photography in growing your business? Read my blog: What is the Importance of Brand Photography and Why Do You Need it to Build Your Brand?
Another important consideration when planning a personal branding shoot is to call your locations ahead of time. I’ve seen a lot of photographers make the mistake of waltzing into place, start snapping away and then be told to leave because they didn’t have permission.
Give business owners the courtesy of calling ahead. I reached out to The Tempered Room and Curiosa to ask for permission beforehand (pro tip: offer to send them the finished photos afterwards so they can use them on their platforms – and don’t forget to tag them on social media!).
We wrapped up our shoot at Curiosa, both feeling good about the images we got. Since we played on a Winter theme for this shoot we decided to split her branding package into two different shoots, so she could have seasonal content. I look forward to reuniting in the spring!
To view more personal brand photography Toronto shoots, please click here.