woman sitting on coach holding an ipad and looking into a camer

How to Prepare for a Brand Photo Shoot

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. We only promote products that we have used and love, clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money. They will, however, help us keep this site up and running our business. Thank you for your support!

The Importance of Brand Photography for Coaches & Creatives

If you’re in the process of building a personal brand, it’s important that you prioritize brand photography. You are the face of your brand. Relying solely on stock photos just won’t cut it these days.

For coaches, creatives, and really anyone running a business, high-quality brand photos on your website and social media channels are essential for conveying professionalism and competence. But that’s not all! Branded photos can also help create a positive first impression of your business, showcasing your unique style and personality and establishing a connection with your audience. When done right, branded photos can inspire trust, build credibility, and create a memorable brand identity. So, if you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, it’s time to prioritize your brand photography!

woman sitting on a coach holding her ipad and looking into a camera

Define Your Brand Aesthetic

Defining a brand aesthetic is a crucial step in creating a cohesive visual identity that aligns with your business values and resonates with your target audience. Here are some steps that you can take. If you’ve already done the work to establish your visual brand identity, you can go ahead and skip this step.

Clarify your brand value

Before defining your brand aesthetic, it’s crucial to take some time to clarify your brand values. Think about what makes your business unique and what values you want to convey to your target audience. Your brand values should be a reflection of who you are as a business and what you stand for. By clearly defining your brand values, you’ll have a solid foundation for creating a brand aesthetic that resonates with your audience and authentically reflects your business. So, take the time to dig deep and clarify your brand values.

Identify your target audience

Identify your target audience: Understanding your target audience is crucial for defining a brand aesthetic that resonates with them. Consider who your ideal client is, what their values and preferences are, and what kind of visual style they are drawn to.

Create a mood board

A mood board is a collection of images, colors, textures, and other visual elements that represent your brand aesthetic. It’s a fantastic way to gather inspiration from a variety of sources, such as Pinterest, social media, magazines, and other brands that align with your values. By curating a mood board that truly speaks to your brand’s personality and vibe, you’ll have a visual roadmap for your brand photography and other design elements. Plus, it’s just plain fun to gather all your favorite images in one place and see how they work together! So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start gathering inspiration and creating your very own mood board. Your brand will thank you!

photo of a mood board for branding

Determine your color palette

Color is a key element in creating a brand aesthetic, and it’s important to choose colors that align with the emotions and values you want to convey. When it comes to selecting your brand’s colors, I recommend aiming for 3-6 that work well together and represent your brand values. You can (and should!) take inspiration from your mood board to ensure that your color palette is cohesive and aligned with your overall brand aesthetic. So, take some time to consider the emotions and values you want to convey through your brand, and choose a color palette that will help you achieve those goals.

Choose typography (fonts)

Typography is another key element in creating a brand aesthetic. Choose fonts that reflect your brand personality and are easy to read. Use a maximum of 2-3 fonts throughout your branding.

Consider your photography style

hen considering your brand photography, it’s important to think about what kind of style best represents your brand values and appeals to your target audience. Do you prefer bright, colorful photos that feel vibrant and energetic? Or are you drawn to darker, more moody photos that convey a sense of depth and sophistication? Whatever your preference may be, it’s important to choose a photography style that aligns with your brand values and resonates with your audience.

Consistency is key

Once you’ve defined your brand aesthetic, it’s important to be consistent across all your branding materials. That means using the same colors, typography, and photography style throughout your website, social media, and other marketing materials to create a cohesive brand identity. By maintaining consistency, you’ll establish a strong and memorable brand presence that your audience can easily recognize and connect with.

Hire a Photographer

When working with a photographer, there are the obvious things to consider, such as, are they within your budget, are they local to you (or within driving distance.) – Okay, I do know of people that fly their photographers across the county for a photo shoot, but if you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you’re not quite to that point yet. 😅

Another not quite so obvious thing to consider is, does the photographer have experience taking the type of photos you’re needing. Keep in mind that you’re looking for someone that can do personal brand photography/lifestyle photography because it’s a bit of a different art from family photos and or wedding photography. I’m definitely not saying that a wedding photographer wouldn’t be able to take great personal branded photos, but make sure they have a clear understanding of your goals and expectations beforehand.

Look up local photographers on Instagram (using hashtags of your city or local area) and take a look at their style. Do they have experience taking the type of photos you envision for your brand? You can also take note of anytime you see someone else’s photos that you love, reach out and ask who took their photos. 

Create a shot & props list

Brainstorm a list of poses, and shots you want to include. Your photographer may be able to to help with this, and you can also get inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram. You’ll also want to compile a list of props you’ll need for different poses.

Determine photoshoot locations

Where will the photoshoot take place? Personally, I like to have more than one spot in mind – that way, you can mix it up and get a variety of shots! As you’re considering locations, keep your target audience in mind. What type of spot will resonate with them and make them feel connected to your brand? Don’t forget to consider lighting and ambiance – you want the space to feel just right! And of course, it’s crucial that the location aligns perfectly with your brand. After all, we want these photos to tell your brand story in the best possible way.

Choose your wardrobe

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when prepping for your brand photoshoot is selecting your wardrobe. It’s important to strike the right balance between looking and feeling your best, while also staying true to your brand’s style and aesthetic. My top tip is to choose neutral colors – think whites, blacks, and grays – as a base for your outfit, and then add in pops of color that align with your brand visuals. For example, if your brand features a lot of blues and greens, you could wear a bold statement necklace or scarf in those shades. Above all, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in your outfit – it will shine through in the photos!

Get confident

I know that for me, it can be a bit nerve-wracking to be the center of attention in a photoshoot. But, with a bit of practice and the right mindset, (and a few tips from a professional) anyone can feel comfortable in front of the camera. Personally, I found that using Erin Blackwell’s “Get the Shot” guide was a game-changer for my confidence during photoshoots. This guide is filled with tips and tricks for posing, finding your best angles, and feeling confident in your own skin. By using these strategies, I was able to relax and have fun during my photoshoots, which made all the difference in the final product. So, if you’re feeling a bit unsure about being in front of the camera, I encourage you to give Erin’s “Get the Shot” guide a try – it might just be the boost of confidence you need to rock your next photoshoot!

Have fun

I truly believe that the best photos come from when you’re relaxed, feeling good, and enjoying yourself. I know that being in front of the camera can feel intimidating or stressful, but trust me, when you’re having fun, that energy shines through in the photos. So, how can you make sure you’re having fun during your brand photoshoot? First, choose a location that makes you feel at ease and comfortable. Next, play some of your favorite tunes to set the mood and get your energy flowing. Finally, let yourself be silly, try out different poses, and just enjoy the moment! When you’re having fun, it shows in the final product, and your audience will be able to see the joy and passion that you bring to your brand. So, don’t forget to have fun during your brand photoshoot – it’s one of the keys to success!