How to Prepare for a Personal Branding Shoot

My Top 5 Tips On How to Prepare for a Personal Branding Shoot.

What is a personal branding shoot?

Let’s clear the air and first talk about what even is a personal branding shoot. A personal branding shoot is your authentic visual representation of you. It is a shoot that centers you in your business and gives your audience a visual of who you are, what you do, and why they should buy into what you offer.

A personal branding shoot is your authentic visual representation of you.

Why should you invest in a personal branding shoot?

You are the face of your brand.

If you think about highly successful business people, like Bill Gates, you understand that they help build their brand by showing themselves. Professional photos will, ultimately, communicate that you’re professional, experienced, and qualified.

A personal branding shoot gives you control of your brand and image.

You get to choose how you convey yourself and how to tell your story. You’re in control of everything, and you can let your wildest dreams come true! Throw away those stock images… they aren’t doing anything for your brand.

A personal branding shoot builds trust with your audience.

By seeing your face and knowing more about who you are, your audience is more likely to purchase your service or product.

My 5 Tips to Preparing for a Personal Branding Shoot

1. Know your audience. Know your why.

Knowing who you are talking to will help curate the images to create an experience that really clicks with your potential client. In order to effectively communicate your business, you must understand your audience. If your business is an app that helps people learn more about political candidates, and you know that your ideal customer is a millenial woman who is 1-2 years out of college, has a type A personality, and is active on social media; you know that she will most likely respond best to organized information that is easily accessible via her favorite social media apps like Instagram or Facebook.

Knowing who you are talking to will help curate the images to create an experience that really clicks with your potential client.

Knowing your “why” will help ground you in making your decisions. Why are you looking for a personal branding shoot now? Is it because…

  • You’re rebranding?
  • You’re launching a new course? A new book? A new offer?
  • You’re looking for a cohesive and professional Instagram feed?

Understanding why you’re doing this now will help you communicate the message through the photos.

2. Identify where the photos will be used.

Knowing where your photos will be used will also help your photographer understand what types of shots to take and how to frame you in the image.

If you’re looking to use photos on your website…

Typically you’ll need more landscape photos that will fill the screen. For example, if you’re trying to create a banner, you’ll need a wide image! You may also want to leave space in the photo to put in text.

If you’re looking to use photos for Instagram…

Typically you’ll need more portrait photos that will fill the screen of someone’s phone when they’re scrolling through Instagram.

3. Collaborate with your photographer.

Remember, YOU are an equal collaborator in this process! YOU have just as much creative freedom and thinking as your photographer. Ultimately, this personal branding shoot is about you and should represent you. It’s like when you get a a haircut. You shouldn’t be nervous about telling your stylist your true opinions because you’re the one that is going to live with the hair!

4. Create a mood board.

Creating a mood board will greatly help your photographer understand the final image or product you’re looking for. Using words is a great way to communicate (obviously), but not everyone thinks “moody” means the same thing. By showing your photographer what photos you like and what you like about it, you can more so align on the same page.

Remember, YOU are an equal collaborator in this process! YOU have just as much creative freedom and thinking as your photographer. Ultimately, this personal branding shoot is about you and should represent you.

5. Create a shot list.

Finally, create a shot list together so you both are prepared leading up to the big day. Here are some things you should be thinking about:

What props should I use?

Find things that you actually use in your daily work environment. For example, your planner, your favorite mug, etc. Are there other things you can include in the foreground or background of the image? Think of your favorite book or your favorite framed picture.

Think of things that relate to your brand. Are you a florist? Flowers, scissors, ribbon, and bridal magazines may all be good props to bring.

What clothes should I wear?

Ultimately, you should wear whatever you feel represents you and makes you feel comfortable. Try to avoid logos (unless it’s yours, of course) and busy patterns. If you’ll be photographing in a white room, try to avoid wearing white. Instead, wear bold colors that will make you pop against the background, like a deep, mustard, yellow. If you’ll be photographing in a differently colored room, go back to your elementary knowledge of art, and think of colors that compliment each other.

Know that you are your brand and you should be proud to show your face. You’re an incredible, go-getter woman who deserves to be recognized by the world.


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or email me at angelinahongphotography [at] gmail [dot] com