Have you ever scrolled over to one of your favorite businesses Instagram and just paused in awe of how ‘put together’ their feed looked? Chances are they probably have a strong sense of their brand and have properly executed a branding session with a professional photographer. 

styled instagram feed flatlay

Why You Need to Invest In Branding Photos

In this post, we’re gonna cover all the reasons WHY you need to invest in branding photos in 2021 and HOW to get the most out of your time in front of the camera!

But first……..

Q: What is a branding photography session?

A: It is a professional photography session for small businesses and entrepreneurs of all types that aim to elevate their online presence and show potential clients a piece of themselves, before that client even hits the inquiry button. It is a very targeted method of attracting ideal clients and making yourself stand out in a saturated market. 

Q: Who needs to invest in a branding session?

A: Any business, entrepreneur, blogger, or influencer with any kind of social media presence. If you have social media, a website, or an email list, a branding session can set your posts apart from the rest and really connect with potential clients.

Q: What kind of images should I expect from a branding session?

A: A wide variety! But a few examples would be quality headshots and some good filler content (think flat lays, close ups of you working, etc). Here are a few examples:

It’s proven that clients want to work with like-minded businesses. It doesn’t matter if it’s your hair stylist, your barista, or the guy you pay to cut your grass. As humans, we feel more comfortable paying for services with people that understand or ‘get’ us. You want to put off the vibe that your ideal client will be attracted to. Having solid branding photos that truly represent you and your business is the first step in doing just that.

Aside from attracting the clients that you want to work with, professional branding photos just make you look more classy and high end! Your business as a whole will become recognizable with these images. Your feeds will start looking more cohesive with every post. You’ll have an image for your email signature that you’re proud of. The list goes on!

Planning for Your Branding Photography Session

So now that we’ve talked about why you need to schedule a branding session, let’s talk about HOW to plan for one!

Step 1: Find a professional branding photographer! Yes, there definitely is such a thing! These photographers know exactly what kind of photos your business needs, they know how to help you prepare for you session with them, and are a pro at branding sessions to ensure this money is being well spent!

Step 2: Do an audit of what kind of photos you need and the purpose of these photos. For example, you could go through your website and write down each branding image that needs swapped or added. Note things like their orientation, how much negative space is needed, and what kind of images you think would look best  where.

Step 3: Create a Pinterest mood board! Pinterest has so many ideas out there for you. Start gathering outfit inspiration, poses you like, and ideas for creative things to bring to your session!

Step 4: Start creating a “props list” of any props you will need to bring with you. Ask your photographer if she has anything included in your session fee as well! A few examples of things you could bring would be your laptop, phone, favorite planner, favorite business books that you have read, a coffee cup that aligns with your branding colors, the options are endless.

Step 5: Select your outfits! This part can make or break your shoot, for real. We all know the stress of trying to find the perfect outfit for an occasion but now you not only have to find multiple perfect outfits, but you’re going to be photographed in them over and over! When selecting your outfit options, keep in mind the location of your shoot, how authentic these outfits are to you and your brand, and what colors compliment you most. You don’t want to purchase new clothes for a branding session just because they looked really great on that girl from Pinterest! Be true to who you are and what you’d naturally wear!

Step 6: Look your best for the day of your session! This kind of goes with saying but there are a few sure fire ways to ensure you will actually look your best!

  1. Get plenty of sleep the night before
  2. Stay hydrated the week of your shoot
  3. Schedule a hair appointment 1-2 weeks prior to make sure your hair is looking it’s best
  4. Get your nails done 3 days before your session. Your hands may be photographed more than you might think
  5. Hire professional hair and makeup (And if you want to take it a step further, schedule a trial run with your HMUA so you can rest assured knowing they can do what you ask of them for your session)

Now that you are prepared and know what to expect from your branding session, let’s talk a little about how your session should go! Your professional photographer should be able to give you a full run down before your session as well!

When you show up to your session, you’ll probably be nervous because although now you should know what to expect, this may be your first time actually executing a branding session! My advice would be to have fun! Don’t think all of your photos have to be super formal and posed (unless that ties in with your brand!) People will relate to those fun shots, casual shots! Get ready to laugh, move, and make some photos you’re going to love!

rocha photography wv

Guest post by Chelsey of Rocha and Co. 

Chelsey is a West Virginia wedding photographer and educator. She specializes in teaching business foundations to build a strong and profitable business. Since starting her business in 2015, Chelsey has photographed more than 60 weddings and mentored numerous photographers that have gone on to start their own photography business.

If this post has inspired you to get moving on your own branding photography session, we’re happy to connect with with Chelsey or any of the photographers who use our studio space to create awesome images for other professionals.