This 10-question personal branding questionnaire will help you decide where your shoot should take place, what you should wear, what props to incorporate and how to pick the right photographer for the job.
If you're ready to take your side hustle seriously or want up-level your small business marketing, there's one thing you'll need in order to succeed: personal branding photography. So what exactly is personal branding photography? What goes into a personal branding photoshoot? And how do you figure out what your shoot should look like? Keep reading to start planning your very own personal branding shoot.
If you're ready to take your personal branding to the next level and have decided it's time to invest in personal branding photography: congratulations! This is an exciting time for your business journey and it's an important step to leveling up your brand and being taken seriously.
Before your personal branding photoshoot, you'll want to answer a few questions to get an idea of the creative direction you want for your shoot. As much as I love documentary-style photography, when it comes to personal branding, going in with a plan is always best. Taking the time to brainstorm creative direction and truly understand your personal brand from a visual and creative perspective will pay off huge in the long run.
10 Questions to help plan your personal branding photoshoot
What services or products do you offer? This might seem like a no brainer but it's important to establish up top what you're selling. Is it an in-person service like hair styling or wedding planning? Or is your business product based? Spelling this out will help determine if your photos should be focused on you personally or the products you're making. Many personal brands will have a mix of both - it is a personal brand after all, so the more of your personality you can inject into the shoot the better. Some personal brand shoots will be portrait based, others product based, and others events. Knowing what you're offering will help you decide which types of shoots are your biggest priority.
What fictional or famous characters do you relate to or want your brand to emulate? This is a fun one to think about when you're getting stumped trying to describe your brand's personality. Think of your personal brand as a fictional extension of yourself. Think of some of your favorite characters from TV and movies - whose serving your brand's vibes? Now how can you translate some of those vibes to a shoot? What can you channel from those characters for your photos? Think styling, location, energy, and even posing.
What adjectives describe your brand's vibe? Fun. Serious. Nostalgic. Formal. Authentic. Funny. Timeless. Warm. Witty. Classic. Vintage. Retro. Modern. Accessible. Charming. Creative. Luxury. Fearless. Imaginative. The list goes on. Take some time to jot down 3-5 key traits that you want your personal brand to evoke. This, above all else, will help determine the overall creative direction of your personal branding shoot.
What are your brand colors? Color is huge in photography and even more so when it comes to branding. If your brand is bright and colorful, your photos should reflect that. The color consistency should extend even to your clothes and styling. The color of your fit and the setting should marry seamlessly with your brand's website and social presence. Bring options - layers are your friends and you can't go wrong with solids.
What activities speak to you or your brand? Again this goes back to what you're selling - if you're a hair stylist an obvious activity would be doing someone's hair or a personal trainer might lift weights. But branding shoots don't always have to be so literal. Maybe your brand has a retro or vintage theme so your shoot takes place at a record shop or retro diner. Or maybe your brand is fun and whimsical so you spend the day shooting at a fair or amusement park.
What would your brand's mojo dojo casa house look like? Like if you were going to design a perfect SIMS home for your brand, what would it look like? What would be in it? Let your imagination run wild and then dial that back to reality - what elements of the dream house could you make happen in a photoshoot? What settings emulate that vibe or what design details could you incorporate?
What symbols represent your brand? Maybe it's plants or disco balls or skulls. Maybe it's balloons or ice cream cones or books. Make a list of as many things as you can thing of. They can be as literal or figurative as you want. Add these props into your photoshoots to add a level of creativity and dimension to your branding visuals. These symbols will help tell your brand story and add more interest to your photos.
Who is your ideal client? This should be at the forefront of your mind with all marketing efforts but it can be especially helpful to channel this question for your personal branding shoot. Think about your ideal client, your bestie, the person who would love to buy your services. Use this ideal client persona as a litmus test for your creative direction when you're feeling lost. Ask yourself if your ideal client would be into an idea or style - keep coming back to this whenever you're stumped.
What kind of motion or action tells your brand story? This can be something as small as a snap of the fingers or a comb running through someone's hair. The idea is to capture small moments of motion that tell your brand story through video and photography stop motion. Even getting just a couple seconds of video clips can bring your brand to life in impactful ways and give you more content creation opportunities across different channels.
Who is the best photographer to shoot your personal branding photography? There are several things that factor into this decision: the type of content you're interested in (digital vs film photography vs videography and gifs). You'll need to find a personal branding photographer whose services align with your wish list. Budget will also play a big part in this decision - personal branding shoots can range from as low as $600 up to the tens of thousands. Once you determine your budget and priorities you can start comparing that list to potential brand photographers until you find the right fit for budget, services, and vibe.
Break it down: What exactly is personal branding photography?
Personal branding photography is an essential aspect of building a successful brand or business. With personal branding photography, you can capture the essence of your individual brand through colors, setting, outfit, posing and so many more visual details. The key is to choose images that align with the brand's message and values and that showcase the individual's unique personality and style.
Personal branding photography can take many forms, from traditional headshots to more creative and dynamic images that tell a story. The key to finding a personal branding photographer who aligns with your brand’s vibe is to answer a few quick questions about your unique brand. The more aligned you are with your own brand’s identity, the easier it will be for you to find a photographer who matches your style, and the better you’ll be able to communicate your specific vision.
A personal branding photoshoot typically begins with a consultation with the photographer to discuss the brand's message, target audience, and visual style. The photographer will then work with the individual to create a shot list, choose a location, and select outfits and props that complement the brand's style.
During the photoshoot, the photographer will direct the individual to capture a variety of poses and expressions that showcase their personality and style. The goal is to create a set of images that can be used across various platforms, from social media to websites and marketing materials.
After the shoot, the images are edited and delivered to the individual for use in their personal branding efforts. The images can be used to create a cohesive and consistent visual identity across all channels, helping to build a strong and recognizable brand.
Why is personal branding photography important?
The purpose of personal branding photography is to create a consistent and recognizable visual identity that resonates with the target audience. Personal branding photography is a powerful tool for building a successful brand in today's digital age. Here's a quick overview of why personal branding photography is the real deal:
It builds trust: By using professional and high-quality images, personal branding photography can help to build trust with potential clients or customers. A well-crafted visual identity can create a sense of authenticity and approachability, making it easier for people to connect with and trust the individual.
It differentiates your brand: Personal branding photography can help individuals stand out in a crowded marketplace by creating a unique and recognizable visual identity. This can be especially true for product photography in an oversaturated e-commerce world. By showcasing their personality, style, and values, individuals can differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract the right clients or opportunities.
It can tell your unique story: Personal branding photography is not just about taking headshots; it's about telling a story. By using images that showcase the individual in various settings and situations, personal branding photography can communicate a more nuanced and authentic story about who the individual is and what they stand for.
It creates consistency: Personal branding photography can help to create a consistent visual identity across all channels, from social media to websites and marketing materials. By using consistent imagery, individuals can create a sense of cohesion and professionalism, which can help to reinforce their brand message and values.
By investing in personal branding photography, individuals can establish their credibility, build trust, and attract new clients or opportunities.
How to know when to hire a photographer for a personal branding shoot
If you’ve been growing a new brand or are wanting to start, it might be time for you to hire a professional personal branding photographer. Here are some things to consider:
Your online presence: If you're building a personal brand online, having professional and high-quality images can help you stand out and build credibility. If you're using social media, a website, or other online platforms to promote your brand, investing in personal branding photography can be a worthwhile investment.
Your industry: Depending on your industry, having professional images can be particularly important. For example, if you work in a creative field, such as fashion or design, having a visually stunning online presence can be a competitive advantage.
Your goals: Consider your goals for your personal brand. Do you want to attract new clients or opportunities? Do you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field? Having a set of professional images that align with your brand message and values can help you achieve these goals.
Your budget: Personal branding photography can be an investment, so it's important to consider your budget. However, keep in mind that having professional images can help you achieve your goals more effectively and efficiently than using lower-quality images or DIY approaches.
Your comfort level: If you're not comfortable in front of the camera or don't enjoy having your picture taken, working with a professional photographer can help put you at ease and create images that showcase your best self.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a photographer for a personal branding photoshoot depends on your specific needs and goals. If you're looking to build a strong and recognizable personal brand, investing in professional images can be a smart choice.
What to wear to a personal branding photoshoot? And other details for the day of the shoot
Choosing what to wear for a personal branding photoshoot can be a bit overwhelming, but with some thoughtful planning, you can create a polished and cohesive look that aligns with your brand's message and values. Here are some tips for what to wear to a personal branding photoshoot:
Dress for your brand. Dress in a way that is appropriate for your industry and the image you want to convey. If you're a lawyer, for example, a suit or a more formal outfit may be appropriate. If you're a creative entrepreneur, you may opt for something more casual or trendy.
When in doubt, opt for solid colors. Solid colors are usually better than patterns or prints because they don't distract from the subject of the photo (you!). Choose colors that complement your skin tone and bring out your best features.
Consider your brand colors: If you have brand colors, consider incorporating them into your outfit in a subtle way. For example, you could wear a shirt or tie in one of your brand colors.
Wear what you’re comfortable in. It’s normal to want to go out and buy something new and fancy for your personal branding photoshoot. But you don’t want to overdo it and end up in something totally unrealistic or not your style. You want to feel as comfortable as possible and for a lot of people it means wearing their tried and true power outfit. You know the one. We all have it.
Consider accessories and props. Choose accessories that complement your outfit and bring out your personality. Avoid anything too flashy or distracting.
Consider your location. Think about the location of your photoshoot and choose your outfit accordingly. If you're shooting in a park, for example, you may want to wear something more casual and comfortable.
Get a second opinion. A personal branding photoshoot is a business decision like any other so turn to your most trusted advisor for feedback on outfit choices and shoot styles. It can be hard to be unbiased when it comes to your own personal branding photography but sometimes business requires a more impartial eye. That outsider perspective from a partner or mentor is a great way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your personal branding photoshoot.
Bring options. This is the best piece of advice I can give people going into a portrait shoot. Some photographers have outfit change limits but even bringing the choice of a couple different jackets can give you and the photographer so much more to work with.
Ultimately, the key to choosing what to wear for a personal branding photoshoot is to think about what image you want to convey and choose an outfit that aligns with that image. Remember, the photos are meant to represent you and your brand, so choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
How to pick a personal branding photographer who’s right for you
Picking a personal branding photographer who is right for you can seem like a daunting task, but with a little bit of research and consideration, you can find a photographer who will capture your brand's essence and bring your vision to life. Here are some tips to help you choose a personal branding photographer:
Look at their portfolio: Take a look at the photographer's portfolio to get a sense of their style and the type of images they create. Make sure their style aligns with your brand's personality and values.
Read reviews: Check out the photographer's online reviews and testimonials to see what previous clients have to say about their experience working with the photographer.
Consider their experience: Look for a photographer who has experience shooting personal branding photoshoots. Ask them about their approach to working with clients and how they help bring out their unique personalities in the images.
Ask for references: Ask the photographer for references or contact information for previous clients. Reach out to them to ask about their experience working with the photographer and the quality of the images they received.
Discuss pricing and packages: Make sure you understand the photographer's pricing and what is included in their packages. Consider your budget and make sure you're comfortable with the cost before committing to a photographer.
Meet with the photographer: Schedule a consultation with the photographer to discuss your vision for your personal branding photoshoot. Use this opportunity to get to know the photographer and make sure you feel comfortable working with them.
Trust your gut: Finally, trust your instincts. If you feel a connection with the photographer and you're confident they can deliver the images you're looking for, then they might be the right fit for you.
Overall, choosing a personal branding photographer requires careful consideration and research. Take the time to find a photographer who understands your vision and can help bring it to life in a way that aligns with your brand's message and values.
If you're ready to level up your personal branding photography, get in touch today - I can't wait to make some magic together.