How To Get The Most Out Of Your Personal Branding Session
First up, take a deep breath and relax! This is going to be fun, we promise :) We're very chilled, and have heaps of experience when it comes to head shots and personal branding sessions - on both sides of the camera!
Robyn herself developed her head shot technique in Los Angeles, where she spent the whole of 2013 and 2014 - it was a big learning curve, and totally worth it! Since then she's been using that knowledge, plus her over thirteen years experience as a model, to take stunning personal branding photos for a multitude of professions.
These skills and techniques she's also passed on to her full team of associate photographers - mentoring and training them in such a way that their images are indistinguishable from her own.
Taking photographs is all about the light. The most magical pictures happen when the light is soft and delicious - during the hour of sunrise or sunset.
We use only natural lighting for our photo shoots - around the time of day when the light is gentle and flattering; and will have a reflector at the ready.
Have a good look through the pics in this post to get an idea of the range of looks and styles that can be achieved in a personal branding session.
Looks are wardrobe changes - so if your package includes three looks, we'll be shooting you in three different outfits - always be sure to have a couple of additional options available in case one of the three doesn't translate well on camera. We may also change the background and lighting for each look.
On a deeper level, these "looks" are how you want to portray yourself, your brand and your business. Spend some time really exploring what you want to convey with these photos - are you a casual mom-run company and work mainly from home in jeans and a t-shirt? Are you more of a corporate vibe and would like to slip on a great pair of heels and a smart blazer?
And then, take a moment to think about your target market - who is your ideal client? Are they someone who is going to relate to you sending emails from bed in your pjs? Or are they the type of person who wants to know that you're working from a fancy office? (Scroll down for the official PREP questions!)
We find this is a very useful time to spend going through Pinterest choosing 5-10 of your favourite references, the ones that most appeal to you - this Pinterest board is a great place to start.
And then send us those references so we can chat. If you have any other brands/businesses in your field (or even not in your field), that you feel are doing the social media thing really well, and you would like to be on a par with, send us those too.
This'll get us started on a really fun conversation as to what exactly you want out of this session and these photos! We're not mind readers after all, and ideally we're sure you'd like to be able to use these pics on all your platforms for a good while to come. These are important steps to making this happen.
Please bring a few different options for us to work with - plain pastel colours are ideal (blues, greens, pinks, etc, with little to no patterns), as well as a neutral option or two (creams, charcoals etc). Mostly fitted shirts (with either a blazer or cardigan) are going to work best, but a formal dress or suit is also great.
PLEASE TRY AND AVOID wearing too much white, as it over-exposes, or black, as it under-exposes.
We won't see your bottom half in most of the pics - but we find great dark blue suit pants or skirt are great, just in case we do see them.
Try and avoid the following:
- visible wording or branding
- patterns that are very bold or harsh
- clothing that is too tight, or too loose
- lumo colours
- white or black (try and aim for neutrals, creams and greys instead)
Let us know what exactly it is that your brand or business does and we'll chat through the options on props. Good standard items are - a laptop, tablet or phone, a notepad and pen, a few options on coffee/tea cups and any other accessories or items that you use on a daily basis to run your business.
We also find flowers and fresh fruit add a nice pop to the images.
If what you do is very much based in a certain spot/office we will try and utilise that particular spot for the photo session. We do however need a space that is flooded with natural light, so big windows are great.
An ideal shooting space also has a lot of clutter-free open areas, with a variety of different rooms and areas we could shoot in. Chat to us about our recommendations for locations.
It's a really good idea to spend a few hours about a week before your shoot working on a plan of action. Things to work out are:
1. What is your brand vision and mission? (i.e. how do you want to portray your business/brand?)
2. How would you like your brand to be portrayed? (i.e. are you more on the casual side of things, and would like more images of you on a couch drinking coffee; or would you consider your brand more serious and would therefore like more images in a formal setting, typing on your computer for example)
3. How do these choices tie into your wardrobe options? (i.e. will you go more formal with lots of suit jackets, or would you like a more casual vibe? If you have budget let me know and I can recommend a wardrobe stylist for this)
4. Would you like to up your game even more by booking a make-up artist? I highly recommend this. Let me know and I can organise one.
5. What would your ideal shoot setting be? At the office, in your work space, at a coffee shop, etc etc?
6. What would you like to use the images for? Are they primarily for your website, or more so for social media? Do you need images to have negative space for wording? Would you like more portrait or landscape images? (We usually try and shoot a variety of both, but depending on the platform you'd like to use the pics for, you may require more landscape images for example, and this is good for us to know from the beginning)
HAIR & MAKE-UP:
For the ladies - please arrive with your hair and make-up done for the first shot (unless we are using a make-up artist) - we'll start with something quite natural, so just a light layering of make-up to start with, but please be sure to bring your make-up bag along with you, especially mascara, blush, an eye pencil, and some natural lip colours.
If we are using a make-up artist please arrive with a clean, moisturised face with no make-up on.
It is a great idea to drink lots of water in the week/days leading up to the shoot to give your skin a nice healthy glow, and exfoliate well the day before.
We have a heap of experience being on your side of the camera, and we know how nerve-wracking it can be! But it shouldn't be! We're here to have fun, so take a deep breath and relax. We'll give you hints and tips throughout the session - we want to make you look good!