Preparing For Your Personal Branding Shoot
Thank you for booking your personal branding shoot and congratulations on becoming even more visible in your business! I am so looking forward to working with you.
I created this page to share useful thoughts and experience as you prepare for your shoot - helping you to get the most out of your session and photographs.
I'll cover some ideas on defining your brand, considering your marketing activities and the uses for your new images, guidelines for clothes, makeup, colours, patterns, accessories, and things to remember on the day!
What you will read is based on my experience working with many wonderful entrepreneurs, however every shoot is unique, as are you! Take only what resonates with you!
I am so pleased that this guide has been useful to my previous clients, as some of the things I will bring up may not have crossed your mind. I trust you will also find it useful!
Defining Your Personal Brand
As business owners, we can sometimes get caught up in the day to day of what we do, not always consciously connecting back with our desires and why we choose to do the work we do. We know we need great photographs to connect with our peeps and really bring ourselves to our brand, so it's important to connect back with yourself at this exciting time, connect with what you LOVE about the work you do, and what you really want to say, so that we can create new imagery together that comes from a place of real integrity.
Hand over any fears, doubts or confusion over to me, and let's tell YOUR story!
Photographs communicate so much about you
...so it's important to get clear on your business. Feel-in to what you love about the work you do... When we're connected to your true work in the world as we plan your shoot, we can create authentic photographs, in alignment with your personal brand that you'll LOVE to share!
Here are some questions and exercises that you may find helpful to explore. Before you answer them, take a little time to get grounded and connected to Love... Your business, your people, your joy. This could mean taking a minute to read some of your best testimonials that really light you up, taking three slow deep breaths with your hand on your heart, smiling, or going outside for a few minutes and feeling your connection to Earth - whatever helps you to connect.
Go back to the core of what you do and how you love to serve your clients.
- What do you love most about the work you do?
- What key-words or values do you associate with YOUR approach to the work you do, and your business?
- Who is your ideal client? How are they feeling?
- How, specifically do you work with your clients? What is the process from their first contact with you, through to your first session together (in person or virtually), and what happens afterwards?
- What are the main benefits they get from working with you?
- What are your favourite types of work to do with your clients?
- Where do you usually work from? What kinds of venues to you take your clients/team/business partners?
- What themes or phrases do you find coming up over and over again in testimonials?
- How are you going to be marketing your business over the next few months?
- Which are your favourite social media platforms? Which work best for you? Which feel most fun for you?
- What new products, services, events or opportunities will you be offering in the next 3-6 months?
- Where would you like to use photography in your future marketing? (E.g. blog, social media, newsletters, Facebook ads, mailers, website banner, about page, profile shot)
- What do you love to do for YOU outside of your business? What activities do you enjoy? Where do you like to go?
- What do you want your new photographs to do for you?
- How do you visualise the look & feel of your new photographs?
Browse through a few magazines or some of your favourite websites and look at the photos of people. What draws you to any particular image? What makes you want to talk to them? What attracts you to them?
Outfits and Personal Style
What do you have in your wardrobe right now that you feel amazing wearing!?
The most important thing about what you wear on your shoot is that you feel confident, comfortable and radiant! I find that in some outfits I feel higher-vibe than others. Which outfits raise your energy?
I recommend choosing outfits for your shoot that make sense with the story we are wanting to tell in each location we use. Think about what you would wear to meet with an ideal client for the first time, how smart or casual you like to show up, and what you feel most 'yourself' in.
You could consult a personal stylist to guide you on what outfits work for you!
Consider the words you would use to describe yourself and personal style. Some examples could be: Casual & elegant, beachy & breezy, chic & creative, classic & clean, sexy & stylish, earthy & zen… The list goes on! Think about the textures associated with those styles and how that feels with your brand...
Keep in mind that the way clothes appear in a mirror, and the way they look in a photo can be different. I recommend wearing outfits that are more fitted around the waist. Loose or billowy outfits can sometimes look less flattering in photographs than they do in person!
As we will be working in different locations and settings, give thought to which outfit you'd like to wear in each environment. Think about what you'd like each 'look' to communicate to your viewer, and which outfit would be most relevant and perfect for each location. This is something we will also talk about before your shoot.
Having a selection of outfits for the photos means that we can create a great variety. You can use the different looks for different marketing purposes, which will help to keep things fresh and interesting!
Recognise the colours associated with your brand. Do you have core brand colours? If not, what colours are you drawn to wear? What will compliment the look and feel of your website, social media and mailers?
Choose a selection of outfits that tie in well with these. Consider the locations we've discussed and how the outfits will work in that environment.
Patterns & Accessories
Patterns can add great personality or movement to an image, but in a photograph can sometimes be distracting. Try the item on in the mirror so that you can decide whether you're honestly more drawn your face or the pattern!
Accessorise for your shoot, if you like wearing jewellery! It can add a real 'completenesss' to your outfit and communicates more of your personal style.
Self-Care, Hair & Makeup
Booking your shoot is an investment, and it is part of your process in stepping into your greatness in your business, believing in what you have to offer and putting that out into the world. I recommend taking this opportunity to give yourself time to look forward to your shoot and feel prepared.
Self care is really important and can add so much joy and confidence to your photo session when you're feeling at your best!
When someone is looking after themselves and care about how they show up, it models that to the people who find them. It's something we are all aware of when we go to meetings and events - we consider how we want to represent ourselves, what to wear and what we want to say about what we do! It's exactly the same for your photographs - keep it authentic and show up as the best version of yourself.
I recommend before your session to book out self care time before your shoot - treat this exciting time with what you deserve. Some of the self-care ideas that may resonate with you are...
Have your hair cut with your trusted professional. Know that you love how it looks and feels good to you!
Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol or very salty foods within a couple of days of the session.
Feel well rested and energised by getting a good nights sleep in the evenings leading up to your shoot
Stay super hydrated in the days before your shoot!
- Book in a manicure a day or two before your shoot, or if you prefer doing it yourself, make sure you're happy with your hands and nails (trim and file nails, moisturise hands, paint nails if you like wearing nail polish). Your hands will be in some of the photos and if you can be feeling relaxed about how you're showing up it's one less thing to think about.
Book in a massage the day before to help you to feel more relaxed and pampered!
Get your eyebrows shaped
Have a spray tan – although if it's your first time, try it in advance of your shoot so you can feel if it's right for you.
You may not resonate with all of the self care pieces, but by giving back to yourself it can lift your confidence and make your photo shoot even more enjoyable! Do what feels most 'on-brand' for you and you'll come away with photographs that you're really happy with that speak to your ideal client.
If you want a high end finish, then be feeling the best you can, and walking your talk.
If you are working with a hair and makeup artist before your session, send them images that reflect the look you would love to have for your shoot, and discuss that with them - or book in a pre-shoot session so that you can work with them on the style before the day.
Makeup can sometimes appear different in a photo to how it looks in the mirror, and tends not to show up as well in photographs so I recommend working with a trusted professional on this who is experienced in make-up for photography.
If you are doing it yourself, go ahead and wear slightly more than usual, as that extra definition can make all the difference. I also strongly recommend wearing lipstick – it really adds to to the 'liveliness' and presence of your portraits and helps you to stand out!
Things to remember on the day!
Gift yourself the time you need before your session to get ready and prepare in a way you would love, without feeling rushed, and time after the shoot too. It's so great to enjoy this session, be in a good space feeling prepared, focused and present.
Before the shoot, think again about what you love about the work you do, what you would like each set of photographs to communicate, and connect in your heart with your ideal client and the benefits they have from working with you.
Bring your outfits, jewellery, shoes, and all the props you'd like to use. Bring a hair brush or comb, makeup and a compact mirror for top ups just in case you need it. You could also bring a copy of your personal branding statement, some of your favourite most touching testimonials, notes on your values, a list of the unique benefits of working with you, and what makes your work so special. Referring to these on the day (and every day!) can really help to get into a great state for your photos!
If possible, avoid wearing sunglasses within 30 mins of your session as they can leave marks!
Know that this is your time to enjoy, connect with your brand and take an exciting and positive step forward in your business! It's going to be so much fun. It's amazing how much can come across in a photo... If you're feeling great about what you do - the pictures will reflect that.
I invite you to tune into yourself, your business and the people you love to serve. Feel the great wonder and beauty of YOU.
Let yourself shine.
P.S. If you have any questions about anything I've shared here or would like to explore your pre-shoot prep further, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on +44 (0) 7846 351 449!