These days consumers want to see the face or faces behind a brand and not just a logo and a corporate identity. The online world and social media have changed the way that we do business. People want to be able to connect with a brand before following someone online and/or shelling out their money and this means that having good content, telling stories and showing up are now more important than ever. Having an actual person at the forefront of a brand creates a sense of trust and relatedness. Richard Branson of Virgin is a prime example of this.
Despite the fact that I have concentrated on weddings over the past decade, I have in fact done a number of branding shoots and created a number of content portfolios for all sorts of individuals and companies. These images have been used on their websites, emails, blog content, social media, PR in magazines and other print or online media, marketing materials, and online shops.
There are a few things that are important to consider when commissioning a personal or corporate branding shoot
1. Make sure that you commission a photographer who knows how to pose you and use lighting so that you look your best. Not all photographers are good at directing subjects in a way that will bring out your most flattering side! This is a skill that often takes years to perfect and why experience is worth paying for. You want to look fresh, open faced and friendly to potential clients, but you also want to have fun and feel relaxed, so using a photographer who’s personality gels with yours is a good plan! A photographer that is used to directing models or doing food photography for example is not necessarily going to be able to bring out your best side (unless you have experience in modelling)
2.Ensure that your photographer has a good brief and that you send them your brand board, a mood board of images that can be used as an inspiration starting block, plus your business’ story and any additional information that might be important. When I am commissioned to do any shoot I like to get as much information from my clients so that I can tell your story in the best way possible. Your branding photos should be a visual narrative about your business and communicate what your brand is all about. They need to accurately represent you so that you set yourself apart from everyone else on the market. This is something that needs to be carefully planned and strategised and why it is worth using a photographer that will take the time to understand your needs and can follow a brief.
3.Ask yourself the questions. What does my brand board look like? What are my branding colours? Who is my target market and my ideal client? What is my brand story? What are my company values? These should influence your choice of:
3.1 Outfits and what to wear – best to have a few outfit changes during your branding shoot so that you can circulate your images.
3.2 Location and where to shoot
3.3 Props used and what will be included in the background of the photos.
4.Ensure that your photographer shoots in both vertical and horizontal format so that you can use these images across all media. It is also a good idea to have a lot of negative space around some of your images so that written copy can be put in these areas when needed ie on websites, adverts or in magazines etc
5.If you are creating a personal brand you should have a library of images of yourself that you can use in your marketing and this should be updated at least once a year.
6.If you are launching a new product, website or online campaign it is advisable to have a new shoot done and not reuse old images. You want to appear current and on the ball to potential customers.
7.If you are female, I highly advise that you get your hair and make up done for the shoot so that you are proud of the images and feel confident to share them with the world.
8.When it comes to outfit choices
THINGS TO AVOID:
- Crazy branding and big logos are a no no
- Sideways stripes can make one look bigger so if this is something you want to avoid – avoid them!
- Be wary of wearing items of clothing that will date terribly – you want to be able to look back at your pics in a decade and not think “what was I thinking” – Unless of course you do your family portrait session annually and have fun with the idea of fashion through the ages!
- Be careful of too many loud, busy patterns which can distort and become distracting
- Watch out for pantie or bra lines
- Dark colours generally make people look slimmer if that is what you are going for
- If you wear glasses, those photochromic lenses aren’t great for photoshoots as they darken in the sun and will hide your eyes and look like sunglasses
- Unless you are making a thing out of your sunglasses and they become a fun fashion accessory for one or two pics – leave them at home for your session
Here’s a link to a few examples of various branding shoots I have done.