If you’re planning a photo session to capture branded photos to add to your website redesign, you might be wondering what actually happens during a branded shoot. Photos are absolutely necessary for your website and also a great addition to your social media marketing. They help people to see your personality, and also build trust to see the human behind the business.
But maybe you’ve never hired a professional photographer before, or you’re not one for getting your headshots taken. If you’re anything like me, you’d much rather be behind the camera than in front of one.
I understand, because it’s always been a struggle to get me to put my own camera down and step in front the lens. Lots of negative feelings start to arise when thinking about how the photos would turn out, but by planning out the session on my end I felt more in control and like the end result would be better.
And it was.
I had that fun photoshoot back in December. We got many lovely shots, and I really feel better about stepping in front of the lens now too. I’m sharing the diary of my own Branded photoshoot because seeing how it all goes down will hopefully set your mind at ease.
The day left my sides hurting from so much laughter, and the photos turned out brilliant. I attribute a lot of the success of the shoot to my awesome photographer. She’s funny and energetic, which helped calm my nerves numerous times.
Keep in mind that your day may not be exactly like mine, and that’s totally okay! Things can vary from music choice, to photographer choice, and even to personality type. 🙂
Like every brand, every branded shoot will be unique.
Before we jump into what my day looked like, here’s what happened leading up to the day of the shoot:
Six months before the photoshoot
I realized that I wanted new photos and started a Pinterest board with fun shots that I fell in love with while searching on Pinterest and drinking a yummy chai latte.
I added a mix of shots to the board, not just headshots. You’ll want to add the pictures to various places on your website, not just on the About Page, so having a variety of shots is important.
I used search terms like “fun headshots”, “headshots for women”, “creative headshots”, and “branded headshots for your website”. I got a ton of results and just pinned the ones that I loved the most.
*Tip* Share your Pinterest board with your photographer to give them a sense of what it is that you really love. They will use these ideas as a springboard to even better photos.
Two and a half months before the photoshoot
Mid-September: I contacted my chosen photographer and asked what her availability was like. We discussed what I wanted for photos, including the number of pictures (I said LOTS), so I could get an idea of what the cost would be.
*Tip* By taking the time to contact my photographer months in advance, I was able to find out that she wasn’t even available for a couple of months. Had I contacted her only when I thought I was ready and when I had all of my money saved, I would have had to wait even longer! Boo.
One month before the photoshoot
November 6th: I went clothes shopping! I tried on a TON of clothes…and I probably shed a few tears.
*Tip* This is not my favorite thing to do. It may not be your favorite thing to do either, but by doing it ahead of time I was able to travel to stores that I’m not able to visit locally. I had to travel a couple of hours a few times just to go to stores that had clothes that not only fit, but that also were what I dreamed to wear in my photos.
I had more time to think of my style aesthetic by shopping for clothes over a period of time. I created another Pinterest board filled with photos of clothes that I loved, and actually figured out what my personal style is in the process. Because of this, I was able to choose outfits that really fit my personality and my Brand.
Two weeks before the photoshoot
November 30th: Chatted with my photographer to choose the actual date to have the photoshoot.
*Tip* Check the weather on the date you choose and use this website The Golden Hour to see when the lighting will be best on the day of your shoot. Your photographer will likely do these things as well, but I always like to know so that I’m better prepared. In my case, it led me to buy a few cute wintery things to wear in the photos, because it was winter (like 50 degrees) in Florida and Floridians will use any excuse to wear a cute winter hat.
It’s here! It’s the day of the photoshoot.
8:00 a.m. Woke up, put on some Panic! At The Disco. Showered and straightened my hair using my favorite keratin treatment.
9:00 a.m. Got on Zoom to chat with my biz bestie, Kris with a K, who lives forever away in Canada. We chatted about last minute details of my shoot; I showed her my favorite props, and I took the silly props that didn’t fit with my brand out of my prop box.
11:00 a.m. Ate a quick snack and started putting makeup on.
2:00 p.m. Ran to Target looking for a cute cardigan and sparklers. Came out with grey cardigan, sparkler candles, a bunch of glitter, and a cozy hat for winter photos, because Target is magic, and you can never leave with only what’s on your list.
3:30 p.m. Met up with Michele, my photographer, at our favorite local coffee shop and ordered some delicious coffee drinks.
3:35 p.m. Finalized the game plan for how and where we’d take all the photos.
3:45 p.m. Took some photos at the coffee shop while I finished a last minute thing for work that I forgot to attend to before heading out for the day.
4:00 p.m. Hopped into the car to find a special green door that my photographer couldn’t quite remember how to find.
4:15 p.m. Found the door and took lots of cute photos. Laughed a TON at our mutual silliness.
4:30 p.m. Changed locations, again. Brought out fun props to share more of my Brand Personality through the photos.
4:45 p.m. Quickly changed outfits behind a vehicle while my hubby barricaded others from seeing me. That’s true love.
*Tip* Bring along your spouse or your closest friend to help out by carrying props or holding up sheets of clothing while you change in the parking lot.
5:45 p.m. Changed locations and outfits again.
6:00 p.m. Tried to light the sparkler candles.
6:05 p.m. Lit sparkler candles and realized that they were going to set the whole town on fire. My photographer and I stared at each other in panic for a really long second before we figured that we should quickly blow them out. *This is why planning is so important! If I had planned this out better, I would have known that sparkler candles will NOT work the same as sparklers.*
6:15 p.m. Snuck my hubby into a photo to get my all-time favorite photo of us to go inside our Christmas cards.
7:00 p.m. Covered myself in glitter as I threw the glitter in the air over and over again to get the perfect photo.
7:15 p.m. Said goodbye to my photographer, who is also my cousin, and tried to dust off my glitterfied self. I’m still trying to dust off myself, to be honest.
*Tip* Glitter doesn’t come off easily.
8:00 p.m. Went out for veggie sushi with my hubby to celebrate a fun, long day.
It may seem like a lot of work for photos for your website, but truthfully I am so happy with the result. I have a library of photos now to draw from when creating social media posts. I’m able to use the photos all over my new website redesign (that’s coming soon). And I’m even looking forward to the next photo shoot.
I highly recommend getting your photos done, and hiring a professional to do them for you. Your website will not only tell a lot more about your Brand Personality with these photos, but it will also make you look relatable and trustworthy.
Hopefully, after hearing about my day, you feel more confident to go find a photographer and get your branded photos done!
Are you still struggling to come up with ideas for the photos for your website and social media? Check out my classes on Skillshare to help you get started!