A headshot with a distinct look

The goal of your personal branding photography should be to tell your unique story. The look and feel of your images is critical in making a great first impression and I agree that custom photography is an asset. So, it’s essential that your first visual impression matches up with how you want to be perceived.

Here are 7 tips to help you make a high impact first impression with your brand photography.

Meet Your Photographer in Person

Meeting with your photographer

Start with an in person meeting with your photographer to talk about your photography needs (e.g. headshots, social media library, website refresh, brand overhaul). This in person meeting is vital to helping your photographer understand the full scope of what you want to communicate with your photography.

Keystone Words

Create keystone words to help frame your brand story.

Once you’ve discussed what you hope to get from your session, the next step is to discuss the look of the brand you are trying to achieve. Think of 3 words that you want people to think of when they see images of you and your brand. These 3 “Keystone” words will help your photographer capture the right vibe and tone during your session.

Know Your Location

Two people visiting a future shoot location.

Often a short visit to the site prior to the shoot can help you mentally map where you feel you . Being familiar with the location will save time on the day of the photography session. Ask your photographer if they can also visit the location. That way they can bring the best equipment needed to light the scenes properly. When creating a scene, I find that a quick scouting visit 2 weeks prior to the session allows me to prepare for success during a branding session. By scouting out the location, I can determine what type of lights or props should be used without wasting time bringing equipment which isn’t suited for the location.

Ask for Instant Feedback

Viewing the images from a branding session.

Ask to have images shown to you throughout the session. This will give you instant feedback. What you see will either reinforce the great shots you are already getting or help you discuss your expectations with your photographer and course correct if you’re not feeling great about the shots you are getting.

Altitude is Key

An image from a high angle.

Angles are so important when trying to create a unique image. I really love using what I call “cinematic angles”. Shots from way up high and shots that include reflections often give an image a sense of energy, creating curiosity in the viewer and making your brand photography dynamic and unique.

The Clean & Simple Personal Brand

A headshot with a simple white background.

When it comes to headshots, aim for clean and simple. The white background is your friend! A simple background allows the individual to be seen and not get lost in a busy background. If your brand specifically calls for an outside shot, then the subject and the background can be distinguished by separating them with “depth of field”. Allowing the background to blur subtly while the subject stays sharp in the foreground.

Emotion & Movement

A work team expressing emotion and movement.

For brand photography using emotion and movement can help tell your brand story. For example, since movement is so important to their work, an athletic trainer may want to capture that in their photography. Images of their training technique and how they help their clients move would be key to helping them tell their company story.