Updated: Feb 13
It is SO important to get authentic branding photos for your business in this day and age. This is short article will tell you my insider secrets for getting the best, most lively and authentic photos for my clients. But seriously, there is no time to waste on boring images that match everyone else. It is so vital to have something created that screams whatever your brand needs to scream. The Facebook and instagram world we live in gives us an overload of images and ads to look at, you need to be sure that people will want to stop scrolling and see what it is you are offering. You can only get that with authentic and show stopping branding photos. Read below to see a few ways I help accomplish that for my clients.
This brief was written to photographers, but brands and businesses can use it to help them find the right photographer to book for their branding photos!
Create a vision board for your client using Pinterest. Add ideas on posing, some of your own work, photos that match their branding colors and brand personality. I do this after the brand consult phone call and then add them to the board so they can cull it more specifically.
Here’s how to do it:
Stalk your clients every social media page and website, gather all your own intel on them before your branding phone call. Look for what defines their brand and find what they are missing from their newsfeed in regards to photography.
You need to nail the branding phone call by asking all the right questions specific to their brand, look, and brand personality. I do this following my branding questionnaire that Ive worked years to put together. You can find that in my shop and make it your own. Don't waste time asking generic branding questions that don't apply to their brand. After doing your research you will know which questions are applicable or not. You want to get to know your client very well and analyze what they need for their business to get to the next level using the photography you can provide. In a sense you want to anticipate their photography needs, challenges, and end the call by stating your plan for helping them get there.
Value your work SO THAT you can bring value to others. So many times photographers will charge ridiculously cheap prices (how do they even make a fair hourly wage with editing?!) and deliver a hodgepodge of random photos. You need to be on top of your niche, charging fair market value prices will help you bring up your standard of planning, shooting, and editing without getting burnt out. This might seem like a weird point to include in a blog post titled "How to get authentic branding images" but it is really so vital. When you charge what you are worth, you tend to work harder for your clients, get less burnt out, have more time to get creative on their behalf, more time and patience in answering their questions and thinking of great questions to ask them, and so much more. I can never talk about this too much because I have met so many tired, overworked, and burnt out photographers, and I was once there myself.
REAL LAUGHTER - What a simple but strong factor in getting great authentic photos. I make my clients laugh out loud, even if they have to start by saying "ha- ha - ha" - it shortly turns into tummy crunching, eye wrinkles, relaxed postured clients. I don't stop there though - which is IMPORTANT. I find that once I get them laughing and feeling joyful, I fix a few things to make sure the photo is a bit more posed but still authentically them. I typically have them fix their posture just a little so it doesn't look like they are curling in with laughter, I'll have them open their eyes a little wider, but not too much, and stick their chins up and out just slightly so they look their best.
Previews are so helpful especially when you are first working with a client. They are investing in these images and you want them to feel and look their best. Im always one to think my clients look amazing and assume Im good to go on to the next pose. But I learned how beneficial it is to give the client a preview of the pose/look on the back of my camera. I can learn so much from their reaction and their input. They might be self conscious about a certain thing and want to re try that pose. It might give them an idea to try the pose a little differently, thus adding great variety to what you will deliver to them. It might give them an extra boost of confidence seeing how cool they look- this can do wonders for the rest of the shoot. My point being - just do this vital step. I see so many photographers saying they do not allow previews during the shoot- and I clench my jaw thinking how much they are missing out.
Proofs- I cull the images and let the clients pick out their favorite photos. The truth is they do not need ALL the images. The truth is their top choices might be very different than yours. Deliver just the right amount, just what they need. This saves you hours and hours of editing time, and the frustration of you working hard to edit an image that they might not end up using at all. Now that you only have to edit the images they chose and paid for, you can make sure to focus on editing it to perfection instead of just slapping a filter or preset on it. I use my presets based on where and how the photo was taken, and then I adjust it for lighting, fix any distractions, use the brush tool extensively to get the result Im looking for.
These are my basic necessities to nailing a branding shoot for my clients. I have been a photographer for ten years now and have learned so much. My main mantra is to stay humble and in a learning mode always. Once you master a few things, move on to learning a few more. Never stop learning and investing in yourself as a business owner and your work will naturally start to reflect that.
Here is to my first blog post ever! I am so excited to start teaching and sharing more with you!
Multi-published creative brand photographer in the
Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.