How to prepare for a Personal Brand Photoshoot

Images are powerful. They have the potential to express the experience of being with you.

Creating beautiful, intentional images for a Personal Brand Photoshoot is something everyone can learn.

How to create connection and resonance with your photos

The photos on your website can do a good 60% of the communication. Perhaps expressing subtleties you don’t find words for; perhaps re-enforcing things you say with your copy, perhaps showing clients the atmosphere of the retreat they’ll attend, the space they’ll be coming in (in-person or online). Clients can begin to feel into what it’s like to work with you.

Many business owners feel they don’t know how to pose, they are ‘not good dressers’, are not into clothes and shopping, and some are simply overwhelmed by the idea of having their pictures taken. But planning a Personal Brand Photoshoot, with intention and care can help you feel confident, relaxed, focused on the day of the shoot and totally in the flow. I have seen worried clients completely flourish through the process of designing their photoshoot. This is the course all my clients take to achieve extraordinary photos that are aligned to their Brand Essence.

Planning a personal brand photoshoot builds confidence

These are the steps I apply through the Discovery phase with all my clients when designing a website. Preparation allows for freedom and flow on the day.

1- Discover the Essence of your Brand

This is the vibration of your overall body of work. It’s not the techniques you use or modalities you offer but rather the atmosphere of the interaction with your clients. Your work happens with your clients so it is not just about you. This is the opportunity to apply your Vision on your images.

Sometimes using 3 or 4 words helps to begin the process of discovering and nailing your Brand Essence; ie:
‘The interaction with my clients is innovative, it goes deep, and is professional’. Using words that evoke feelings aligned with your work helps create the felt sense of your Brand essence and what you want to communicate.
Knowing the Essence of your Brand is important; as you embody your true, unique Soul Brand your communications become effortless.

2- Know what to communicate

For a personal brand photoshoot I encourage clients to reflect on exactly what they want their photos to communicate. The simplest way is to make a list of words that condense the atmosphere of your images. For example in my photoshoot I wanted to communicate a sense of depth, heartfelt intimacy and attention to detail. I wanted to express my connection to nature as inspiration for my work; and the mystery of the intangible which feeds my creativity. I did not intend to look upbeat, funky or cool!

3- Research relevant images

This is a fundamental step! Researching images and website pages that resonate with your Brand Essence; and then analysing exactly why you are choosing those items as inspiration, will give you an insight into what YOU want to communicate. You can begin to look into body language, colour choices that work well with your skin, clothes styles and context for possible locations. This is my Pinterest board with Photography poses for women entrepeneurs; you can use these as inspiration for your portraits. This one is for those business owners that offer workshops and group offerings, and lastly inspirational photography poses for men. I usually gather inspiration from Pinterest, from stock photography libraries and from other websites- in any industry. Sometimes the atmosphere of an elegant hotel may be all you need to get inspired and open doors.

4- Make an initial Photoshoot list

List the photos you are hoping to achieve as a base starting point to organise your clothes and your settings. This list is to guide you and remind you of your focus, Photoshoots are multi-layered so The List, can keep you and everyone supporting you on track. You’ll also be able to share this list with the photographer ahead of your shoot and get the practicals in place. An experienced photographer will help you amend, improve and add their creative flair to this initial list. A maximum of 5 shots and a minimum of 3 is my suggestion. You can include the exact details of clothing, location, what you want to communicate and what you’d be doing. You can use a written description or a table.

For example:
1- Nora being inspired by nature. Sitting on a tree trunk in Richmond park, thinking, making notes, an intimate moment captured by the photographer without Nora looking at the camera. Casual jeans, casual pink jumper, trainers, notebook, sunglasses.

5- Choosing clothes for your photoshoot

I encourage you to look through the clothes you already own and see which outfits support you in embodying your brand. These are clothes that you feel good in when expressing your Brand. They may not be the clothes you use when out at a dinner or a party, so tune into what you want to communicate and how these outfits support your atmosphere. How does the Brand express itself through my clothes? Does this outfit work for my Brand? So starting with your wardrobe and then going shopping is my suggested plan.

6- How to choose locations that enhance the atmosphere of your Brand

You can begin to think of these places as scenes of a movie, in which a potential client is having a little peek into. Remember the photos are not just about you, they are there to communicate and engage with people. Here you combine the setting and the action, so you bring clarity and meaning to what you are doing.
The example above applies again, note the location, action and outfit coming together:

1- Nora being inspired by nature. Sitting on a tree trunk in Richmond park, thinking, making notes, an intimate moment captured by the photographer without Nora looking at the camera. Casual jeans, casual pink jumper, trainers, notebook, sunglasses.

2- Nora at her desk, turning round from her work, and a glimpse of her desk, her computer and the setting for her work.

These are some of the test photos I did to feel into what I was doing; I then shared with the photographer through our conversations pre-shoot.

7- Set the scene!

I can’t stress enough how important it is to plan the details: add a flower pot, move and re-arrange the books so they look tidy, clean the chairs, iron your clothes, remove unnecessary cables that lurk in the background!. Allowing time to plan, be creative through it, and come to a simple, clean Photoshoot List creates the right environment for you to feel confident and relaxed. It also makes briefing the photographer a lot easier and it positions you as the business owner that you envisage to become.

Images can quickly create resonance with a potential client, as well as repel non-aligned ones.

This is a good thing! We want the non-aligned clients to be better served by someone else. My encouragement is that you use this opportunity to bring the TRUE Essence of your brand through your images. It does take courage! But a well thought aligned Photoshoot can totally bring in the right clients. I can vouch for that myself.

If you’d like to follow my step by step methodology for your own photoshoot have a look at my course; a very short, to the point; online course to Plan and Create your amazing Photoshoot.

Nora Rose Zinerman
Art Directress, Brand and Website Designer

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