In business, image is everything. How well do your photos express your brand?
If you’re thinking about updating your portraits or business photography, here are some things to consider so you make the most of your investment.
photography as branding
Your brand sets you apart and communicates the personality of your company as well as the benefits of the products and services you offer.
Your brand is more than your style. It’s also your promise and commitment to your customers. Effective branding invites current and prospective customers to engage with you.
Professional photography helps businesses of all sizes communicate their brand promise clearly.
reveal your inner rock star
How do you make sure you capture the essence of your brand and exude confidence in your photos? How do you come away with images you love?
It’s not as easy as it looks. Effective business photography takes planning, preparation and attention to detail. Here are some tips for a successful photo shoot.
1 Get clear on what you want to achieve. How will you use your new photographs? Consider websites, social media and print publications. How many different frames do you ultimately need? How many years would you like for the photos to be useful? Consider studio headshots as well as environmental portraits in your workspace or home.
2 Go image shopping. Collect photos you like from online sources and print publications like magazines. Pay attention to poses, backgrounds, lighting and style of photography. Showing images you like will help your photographer plan the shoot.
3 Select a professional photographer. Look for a good fit, someone who takes time to understand your business as well as your photography needs. Someone whose work you’re drawn to. Search online. Ask for referrals. Study portfolios. Some photographers work in a studio. Others come to you and shoot onsite. Some do both.
4 Communicate your goals. Once you’ve chosen your photographer, communicate clearly so you achieve what you decided on in Step 1. Share photos you’ve collected with your photographer so you’re on the same page about the kinds of images you want.
5 Prepare mentally for the photo session. Other than professional models, I don’t know anyone who loves having their photos taken. For most of us, it’s an unpleasant necessity. Gear up mentally. Visualize the image you want to portray. Try on different outfits and accessories then practice in the mirror. Try different facial expressions. Try standing, sitting, leaning. How do you feel most comfortable and confident?
6 Prepare physically for the photo session. Decide on wardrobe, accessories and makeup. Keep in mind that photography lighting can wash out your features, so apply makeup a little more heavily than usual (except for eye makeup, where less is more). In clothing, wear outfits that express your individuality and style. If your shoot will include wardrobe changes, choose separates that mix and match easily. You could wear one pair of slacks or a skirt with multiple tops, and maybe add a jacket or sweater to change the look. Changing jewelry during a shoot adds variety, too. I recommend solids more than prints. We want you to stand out, not the clothing! If you’re really into branding, wear pieces from your brand color palette. Plan your shoot not too long after a haircut or color and a dental cleaning. Maybe do a dental bleach a day or two before. Come to your session as picture perfect as possible. Don’t expect your photographer to fix things in Photoshop that you can take care of before you arrive.
It’s the day of your shoot. Wherever you’ll be having the photos taken, walk in and own the space. This is your time to shine. Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques will help you stay calm when you’re under the lights with a camera in your face for the next hour or so. Close your eyes and clear your head, remember the kinds of images you want. Then make them happen. Don’t hesitate to ask your photographer to slow down or try something new that you think might work. Business photography should be a collaboration.
Your photographer will show you proofs of the best images from your shoot. With some advance planning and preparation, you’ll love a lot of them and have images you can use for a few years to come.
ready for an update?
I’ve been carrying a camera since I was a teenager. I’ve learned the art of portrait photography from some exceptionally talented photographers I’ve crossed paths with over the years. I’ve picked up techniques from all of them and bring them into my photo sessions with clients.
If you’re interested in working together to create fresh new photography for professional and personal use, please get in touch. I’d love to work with you.