I love enquiries for personal branding photoshoots. They take a little bit more preparation and I quite like challenging myself to ensure that each one is different and more creative than the last. This is how I prepare:
First, I speak to the client and find out about the brand and business, so that I can begin to understand the kinds of photos that may be of use. It isn't a one size fits all and each small business will need a different set of pictures from the shoot.
I then keep the conversations in my mind and spend the next few days or weeks, keeping an eye out for ideas on either Instagram or Pinterest and save the pictures so that I have a few examples of the kind of pictures I want to create. It's a collaboration, so it's also good if the client does a little bit of this as well, but isn't essential. From this point, I can create a shot list.
I then think about props. They are so important for a Personal Branding shoots as the props help to tell the story. I send a questionnaire ahead of the shoot which includes some ideas for the client to gather up some various items and I ensure that I have a bag of tricks with me as well, usually in the client's brand colours or complimentary colours. These include items like notebooks, mugs, coffee table books, candles and more tailored items specific to the industry that the client works in.
What to wear
This is the number one thing that most of my clients will have been thinking about and I encourage people to have a number of outfits to pull from and I try to give some helpful ideas of what I feels works best. Here they are:
- Bright block colours look brilliant if it matches your brand identity
- Clothing that is comfortable and that is similar to what you would usually wear
- Shirts/blouses with details are brilliant for the up close shots as your face is not always the focal point in a personal branding shoot
- Having your hair done either by you or professionally
- Nice smart nails always helps in the close up shots!
As is often the case that the pictures are going to be used on social media or websites, it's good to choose locations where a variety of pictures can be achieved so that your instagram page or website doesn't look too obviously that they were all taken on the same day. This can be done in your home, office, or with a couple of past clients I have included a local walk as well.
A couple of days before I have another chat or coffee with my clients to just go through their questionnaire and any questions they might have. I allow 2-3 hours for one of these shoots, so this is a generous amount of time that allows me to not feel rushed and allows the client to relax into the shoot.
I am a chatterbox, so invariably there is some nattering and giggling during the shoot which I hope puts people at ease and often the four legged friends jump in too!