Find the Perfect Photographer for You
This is the first and one of the most important steps! When you're on the hunt for the perfect brand photographer, it can be a bit overwhelming since everyone and their mothers are doing photography nowadays.
When you're doing your research, look for a photographer who specializes in business brand photography. Have you ever heard the phrase, "Someone who specializes in everything, specializes in nothing." I really love the meaning behind that. As a photographer myself who specializes in branding for businesses and entrepreneurs, I spend a lot of time researching and studying personal branding so I can really be the expert in my field. Instead of studying up and putting my attention on a bunch of different things, like branding, families, seniors, maternity, etc., I just hone in on personal branding photography and videography.
Another thing to do when searching for the right photographer is to make sure their shooting and editing style aligns with the style you are wanting to portray on your website and social media. Is their editing sleek, bright, and clean or is it dark, contrasty, and moody? I will say that I do love both of these styles and I edit photos depending on my clients needs and business style and the type of shoot we are doing. Just as long as you take a deep dive into the photographer's work and communicate the style you're wanting to go for, you shouldn't have a problem! Communication on what you're wanting for your session is key.
Most of these details below are all great things to plan with your photographer, you don't have to make all of these decisions alone!
What's Your Goal?
Put simply, why are you wanting to book a branding session? What is your overall goal with this session? Are you trying to have a more professional online presence? Do you simply need more photos and/or videos to post on social media? Are you doing a complete rebrand and none of your old photos align with the target audience you're now wanting to attract? All of the above? Nailing down your reasoning behind your shoot will help give you and your photographer even more ideas on the kind of locations, poses, and props to incorporate to identify and attract your ideal client.
Create an Inspo Board
You've chosen your photographer and identified your goal for the shoot, now it's time to get down to the details of your shoot! Create a list or Pinterest board for inspo of different styles of shots that you want! These can range from more serious and professional to light and goofy to where it really lets your clients see a glimpse of your personality. This also helps your photographer visually see what kind of shots you like.
Plan Your Locations
Do you have a main office / commercial space where you do most of your work at? I always think that is the best first place to look to see if it would be a good space for your photos, or at least part of the photos. That way, your clients will see you in your own space. This is especially good for businesses where you have a business structure where your clients come to your space. For example, hair salons, financial advisors, massage therapists, etc.
A studio rental is always a good option as well for a professional, clean, space.
Other locations can include places you visit often for professional reasons. For example, are you always going to your local coffee shop to do work? Maybe snap some shots there (with their permission, of course.) If you're a realtor, is there a house you can go to for some great indoor house photos or even outside of the house to get some photos of you putting up your "For Sale" sign. There are endless possibilities for locations!
Picking Your Outfits
When choosing outfits, the type of outfits you bring will vary a lot depending on the type of profession you're in. Incorporate your brand colors in your outfits or at least have neutral-colored outfits for most of the shots so your photos won't clash with your brand colors when you start adding them onto your website and other marketing materials.
Choose outfits that really set the tone of how you're wanting to portray yourself. Have a luxury brand? Bring high class, professional outfits. Are you taking branding photos for your salon? Maybe bring a casual outfit along with a classy outfit or just outfits that you usually wear to your salon. I think it's important to not stray too far away from how you regularly look when you're with your clients. For example, if you are a person who NEVER wears a blazer and dress pants with heels, then don't go out and buy an outfit that totally isn't you just to look a certain way in your photos. Bring an outfit that fits more with your personal brand.
Bring Different Props
What items do you use regularly in your business? Props are a great way to add diversity to your photos. It's good to bring items that resonate with you and your brand. This could include your phone, laptop, notebook, your journal, or anything else that you know you want to incorporate. Those are just the basics. When you book a branding session, we will get into the details of what you want to portray in your photos and anil down a prop list.
Book Your Session Early
What I mean by this is if you know you are needing your photos back by a certain date, make sure to book your session well in advance to give the photographer time to edit everything without having to be rushed. For example, if you know you are needing your photos by December 1st to start advertising for your Christmas specials, make sure you are booking your session in the summer or fall at the latest! Some photographers will have a quicker turnaround time to where you could get away with booking a little more last minute, but it's always good to book earlier than later.
Of course, there are more details that go into your photoshoot, but these are the top basic things to have lined out! Don't get stressed! Your photographer is there to help you plan your shoot with you. Have fun with it!