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How to Plan a Branding Session

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

A few weeks ago I wrote about what exactly a branding session is. Missed that one? You can find it here! Today we are going to dive into how to plan for one for you business. Knowing what you need to have captured before reaching out to a photographer is of paramount importance. One reason for this is that you, as a business owner, need to know what pictures are needed for your website, social media and print.

Truly, I cannot tell you the amount of times I have had an inquiry where the business owner didn’t know what they wanted for their photos. They assumed that the photographer, myself, would know this for them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. My role in all of this is to capture what you see in your head.

What do you Need?

In my previous blog post I went into different possible images you might need taken. To really know, you need to audit your business and see what photos are lacking and where.

  • do you need head shots for your website?
  • what about more casual images of yourself for social media?
  • do you also need pictures of yourself in action?
  • or do you sell product? do you have pictures of it? or pictures of you making it?
  • how about layflat images of your product or items that speak to your ideal client?

From this list you get a great sense of what your branding session will start to look like.branding session

Create a Vision

Now you know what images and stories you want to capture. Next? You start creating a vision board. You find images for inspiration and put them on a Pinterest or Trello board. This part helps you visualize how you want to look in the pictures, what locations and poses speak to you. It also helps you clarify colors you are attracted to, posing you like, etc. It also clarifies what you dislike, which is just as important.

Once you have completed your mood board, you need to send it to your photographer so they know what you want. A good thing to remember is that these images will be used as inspiration, and not to be copied directly. You will never be able to replicate an image, and you don’t want to look like you are copying others. But they are a wonderful foundation to base your session on.branding session

Lists on Lists

Now that you know what pictures you are taking and how you want them to look it is time…to gather all the crap you will need for each set of pictures! Yay! This step is fun for those who are type A, and love making meticulous lists. The way I ensure to get everything for each set of photos is to look at the mood board and write a list of everything in the photo, adding in anything the client wants added in plus clothing.

Once you have your list, you need to break it down to each set of photos, chat with your photographer, and create a timeline for the shoot. When I am capturing a branding session, I always make my own list and share it with my clients. It ensures we have everything we need for the pictures!

Find Location(s)

On top of needing loads of specific items for each concept, each concept has a location. Creating a timeline for the session becomes really easy once you know where you want to take the photos. I have had branding sessions in one spot. But most are in 2 locations. Again, is all depends on the concepts and stories you want to capture.branding session

Get Outfit(s)

Lastly, you need outfits for each concept. Most of the clients I have worked with have purchased a few new pieces of clothes for the session. A great rule of thumb is to get clothing pieces in your brand colors. When working with Melissa and Julie, they wore pieces of blue and purple with neutrals and it fit perfectly with their website. I am well aware of the desire to look your best for these pictures, and part of my packages include a wardrobe stylist and a hair and makeup artist. Having help will make you confident for your session, which will show in your pictures.

Prep Tips

  • If you color your hair, get your hair done in advance.
  • Schedule hair and makeup in advance. Some hair and makeup artists book a month out or more.
  • Schedule a nail appointment if your hands are going to be in the photos.
  • Good skin in photos means avoiding alcohol 1-2 weeks prior to your shoot.
  • Get lots of sleep the week leading to the session so you don’t have noticeable bags under your eyes.

If you can think of other prep tips, let me know!

More Branding Session Blogs

What *is* Branding Photography?

Sprinkle Pop’s Branding Session

6 Ways to use Branding Photos

Get your own Session!

branding session

Christine Wright Swish + Click PhotographyLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!

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