Personal branding is important. Whether you’re building your career or business. Personal branding tells a story of who you are and what you provide. Having a collection of branded photos makes it easier to share stories on social media. Your audience can identify your content more quickly in their feed. This creates familiarity. Familiarity helps build trust and relationships.
A great brand photoshoot can serve you for several years. My last photoshoot was for Little Black Desk Society in November 2016. Since then my business and I have evolved. I closed Little Black Desk Society in March 2020. In the process, I launched this personal website to continue to serve leaders in small businesses. This created a need for a new personal branding portfolio.
I emailed Vibe Tribe Creative after seeing their work for Donna Mondi Interior Design. I reviewed their portfolio to see the range of their work. It’s important the aesthetic of the photographer align with my creative vision. I also want to see creativity in their work and not a signature style replicated across clients. Lindsey and Hilary were very easy to work with and prompt in their communication.
Lindsey recommended that I share a Pinterest board with them. This would allow them to see my inspiration and creative vision for the photoshoot. I created sub sections to further detail out my vision. These sections included: Inspo – Outfit, Posing,Scene #1, Scene #2, and Stock – No Face.
Creating a shared board allowed me to gather my ideas in the weeks leading up to the shoot. I refined the boards the week prior by deleting pins that didn’t fit the vision. The board also helped with creating a prop list.
Make the Investment
Each time you do something you learn something new. Remember the first brand shoot I had in 2016? I was building a business and didn’t have a lot of money. I operated on a lean budget. Thus I did my own hair and makeup. While I loved how the photoshoot turned out I didn’t like my appearance. My hair needed more volume and the lip color was wrong.
This time I paid to have my hair and makeup done. One less thing to worry about on shoot day. I had a blowout at DryBar. Joanna from Joanna B Artistry did my makeup. She did my makeup several times before and I trust her. Plus working with her is like catching up with a friend. She is professional, friendly, and upbeat. Everything you need when you’re getting your makeup done. She also leaves you a touchup kit.
Communication and preparation determine the level of execution. I hire the team members for their level of expertise. However, I can’t sit back and expect the photographer, MUA, and other participants to create all the magic. For a photoshoot to go well everyone has to come prepared, including me.
Preparation requires me to know what type of images I need and share those details in advance. Once I’ve communicated what I need then I’m open and flexible to their interpretation. Flexibility is important because the shoot is a team effort and everyone has a role in the execution. Working together as a team means asking questions during the shoot, suggesting ideas, or declining an idea if it doesn’t align with my brand. This communication helps everyone be satisfied with the outcome.
For maximum execution of your creative vision include everyone who is participating in the shoot. Include them in your Pinterest vision board, shared documents and copy them on emails. For the shoot I created three separate documents. Shoot Overview, Shoot Details, and Shot List.
- PhotoShoot Overview – includes the stated creative vision, goal, and purpose of the shoot. It includes links to Pinterest boards, location, and tentative schedule.
- PhotoShoot Details – includes locations, tentative schedule, inspiration, outfits, and prop list
- PhotoShoot Shot List – a spreadsheet of different shots I wanted, their orientation, location, and notes
Behind the Scenes
How can you be a gracious host to your shoot team? Will they want something to drink or eat on shoot day? I emailed my team the night before to request any orders for the next morning. Do they need anything to make their jobs easier? For example, I requested a bar stool from the hotel to use for my makeup chair.
To tie a bow on your experience, here are several recommendations.
- Send thank you notes to your team. Notes of gratitude can make the day of small business owners.
- Ask where you can leave a review.
- Tip your hair stylist and makeup artist.
Here is a picture from behind the scenes. I’m still waiting on the full gallery.
What tips would you add? Share in the comments below.