Branding Tips

How to Successfully Prepare for Your Personal Branding Photoshoot

Prepare for Personal Branding Photoshoot, Jenn Marie Photography, Seattle Personal Branding Photographer

January 21, 2022

I’m Jenn.
I'm sharing my journey through business, motherhood, & everything in between! Brand photography inspiration, business tips, and a few mom hacks along the way.
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Want to know the secret to successfully preparing for your personal branding photoshoot? I’ll tell you!

Diving into your first Personal Branding Photoshoot can feel pretty intimidating. Trust me, I get it! Stepping up and putting yourself in front of a camera can feel a little uncomfortable at first.   Chances are that you haven’t really done this before and that it’s all a mystery. You probably looked at the length of a session and felt a little intimidated by the sheer scope of what you’re getting yourself into. I mean, when was the last time you got your photos taken?

You might be asking yourself a million questions: Will it feel awkward? Will it be hard? What will I do with my hands? What do I even need photos of? Which outfit is right? How do I even start to think about preparing for something as big as this?

Before you spiral too deep into that worry, though, I want you to take a deep breath, and lean on me to help guide you through your first (or second or third) personal branding photoshoot! With the right personal brand photographer and some in-depth planning, I promise you that you’ll your shoot leave feeling refreshed, excited, empowered, and like you had the best time ever. Which I promise, we will! You’ll be ready to hit the ground running with your new branding images!

So, let’s dive into 5 key steps that will help you successfully prepare for your personal branding photoshoot!

Prepare for Personal Branding Photoshoot, Jenn Marie Photography, Seattle Personal Branding Photographer

1) know your brand

I know this may seem like a really silly thing to say heading into a personal branding photoshoot, but knowing your brand is something that will guide your entire session. Knowing your personal brand identity will help you recognize what images you need, what topics you want to use the images for, and the general feel we need to achieve for the photos that we take. Knowing your brand really sets the foundation for everything! It will make picking out your outfits, props, and colors super easy.

Think of your personal brand identity this way: “…it’s what people say about your business when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos

When your clients are looking at your website, social media, and blog, and they see an image of your brand, what feeling do you want them to feel? Are you a high-end business that thrives on tradition? Maybe you’re an eclectic business catering to the free spirit in all of us? Are you a mom who is just trying to keep her life together and run a fun, uplifting photography business? Might be talking about myself on that last one!!

These are the things that you have to know before you plan your personal branding session. With a strong knowledge and foundation of your personal brand identity, you’ll feel so confident with your plan!

Do you still need help nailing down your personal brand foundations? Check out my free personal brand identity guide here!

Prepare for Personal Branding Photoshoot, Jenn Marie Photography, Seattle Personal Branding Photographer

2) know your needs & goals

When you booked your personal branding session, what was the reason?

There are countless reasons why a business needs personal branding photos. Maybe you’re a new business and you need images to get your website up and running. Or, you could be a seasoned business that is long overdue for a refresh. Maybe you’re launching a new offering and you need photos that represent it! No matter the reason, it’s important to know what you’re desired final result is from your session!

When you’re able to communicate the needs and goals of your session with your personal brand photographer, it will help guide your shoot and help you get the most out of your session!

Prepare for Personal Branding Photoshoot, Jenn Marie Photography, Seattle Personal Branding Photographer

3) Gather your Props

Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend apparently was not a brand photographer, because I’m here to tell you that props will be your best friend during your brand session! Not only will your props set the stage and really drive home your brand identity, hello pink stapler! But including props in your personal branding photoshoot will also literally give you something to do with your hands and create action in your photos.

Love coffee? Bring it. Are you a connoisseur of hair bows? Bring them. Do you have an extensive collection of multi-colored pens? Bring those too!!

Wondering how to get started on choosing props for your personal branding session? Check out my 5 Props to Bring to Your Personal Branding Photoshoot blog post! Or my free list of 100 props to bring to your brand session!

Prepare for Personal Branding Photoshoot, Jenn Marie Photography, Seattle Personal Branding Photographer

4) review the shot list

Once you and your brand photographer have reviewed your brand identity, your goals, and your inspiration board, your photographer will take all of that information and help you choose locations and create a shot list.

A detailed shot list is essential for the success of your personal branding session! Your photographer will provide you with this list, and it’s always a great idea to go over it with a fine-toothed comb because after all,  you are the only authority on your personal brand!

Look over the shots, give input to your photographer, and make sure that each and every image that you are working on together serves your brand and your ultimate goals!!

Are you curious to see what a shot list looks like? Have a look at the sample shot list I put together for you, here!

Prepare for Personal Branding Photoshoot, Jenn Marie Photography, Seattle Personal Branding Photographer

5) Carefully Select Your Wardrobe

While I’m not really a fashion-forward kind of person, I do know that your outfits can make or break your session!

I know I know, I stressed some of you out right there, didn’t I? Let’s backtrack a little bit. 

Any photo that you take (ever!) will be impacted by what you’re wearing. I have a rule when it comes to photos: If you’re not comfortable, leave it at home!

It’s not about being trendy or having the most expensive clothes. It’s about wearing clothes that you feel amazing in! Some of my favorite brand photos of myself are when I’m wearing my sweats. I swear it’s true! 

Rather than trends (which often go out of style quickly – ahem), your outfit selections should consist of pieces that fit your personal brand identity as far as the color palette and overall feeling

A good rule of thumb is to pick 4-5 outfits (you may not wear them all) and to make sure that they are suited to the aspects of your business in which you’re getting photos. For example, are you going to a client meeting in a jogger? Most likely not. Will you be out hiking in an evening dress? Nope. Are you going to be checking emails on your couch in jeans and a blouse? I really hope not! While it’s important to make sure that you look awesome, we also want to set the scene for the story that you’re telling about your brand

In the end, choose a wardrobe for your session that is the best version of yourself in your business! Remember to iron or steam your clothes the night before your session! Editing is magic, but wrinkles are forever, you heard it here first!

Need some outfit inspiration as you prepare for your personal branding photoshoot? Check out my ‘What to Wear’ Pinterest board here!

BONUS TIPS!!!

  • Bring props that represent your personal brand
  • Practice making faces in the mirror, or video yourself. Trust me, it feels weird but it helps!
  • Book hair and makeup. It makes you feel amazing and very official!
  • Plan a relaxing morning before your shoot, stress is not your friend
  • Trust your photographer. There will be some awkward poses and you might get asked to do some strange things, but just go with the flow and have some fun!

Ready to showcase your business with a Seattle Personal Branding Photoshoot?

Fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch!

Or, you can read more about my personal brand photography experience, here!

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