Brandography - What To Think About Before Your Next Portrait Session
Have you ever had your photos taken for your website or latest promotion only to discover that they aren't communicating the right message and/or aren't representing what you stand for? Or perhaps you're about to get photos taken and you want to make sure that they hit the mark the first time around.I talk a lot on the blog about the importance of every detail related to what you offer being 'on-brand.' Mainly because I believe it's so important and vital for good business. Photography is a powerful tool. More can be communicated through the eyes or a smile then a whole paragraph of prose. So, here are few pointers to help you ensure that your photos are in total alignment with your brand.
First off, take a few minutes to write down the three words that most accurately describe what your brand represents. (More on that over here.) Use these words to keep yourself focused and to help you determine the key feelings your photography should communicate. Is your brand adventurous, playful and alive? Perhaps it's timeless, sophisticated and modern. Be sure to tell your photographer exactly what needs to be communicated through the images. Give them your brand words and let them know what message needs to be conveyed to your audience.
Is this an editorial-style shoot or a professional portrait session?
These need to be approached very differently. All too often portrait sessions of entrepreneurs and professionals can get swayed in the editorial direction because most of us LOVE to play model for the day. (Who doesn't have fantasies of being Marion Cotillard in front of the camera for an afternoon?) But the fact of the matter is that the 'Runway Stare' is not the best way to promote yourself if you're a professional outside of the entertainment industry. Let loose and have fun but remember to be natural.
In a portrait session, the the best thing you can do is be your best self. By best, I mean you - fully present. If you have the time, spend a few minutes really focusing in on who you are. What do you stand for? What energy do you authentically bring to the table? Take a deep breath and focus on your intention for the photography session. Close your eyes and visualize where they are going. Let yourself come into alignment with your message. Dial it in. Be here now.
Use clothing to further communicate what your brand stands for. The best wardrobe choices combine your unique taste with the right messaging for your brand. Don't be afraid to be yourself and show your own personal style.
Hair & Make-Up
Hair & Make-Up for portraits is so important to get right. I like to think of it a bit like wedding make-up. You don't want to look like someone completely different on your wedding day. You just want to look like your best self. Test out different looks prior to the photoshoot so avoid last minute mistakes. Are you going for 'oh naturale' or dramatic flare? Make sure your hair and make-up people know what you are after.
If you are venturing out of the studio, make sure that your location communicates the right message. Dark alleys might not be the best bet if you're an aromatherapist. But lush greenery and floral accents might just bring that hint of freshness and/or calm that would have been missing otherwise. Location can give portraits a whole new life force when used appropriately. If you're looking for warm and inviting shots, avoid cement/stone backgrounds in favour of light and nature. If you're looking for sharp and dynamic shots, then stone and cement might be just what you need. Always ask if the background and location is in alignment with the intention for your photographs.
Remember, this is your time to shine! You are about to bravely step into a new phase of your career, launch an exciting new business or product line. This is time to celebrate you. Nourish yourself on photo day. Drink lots of water and take time for snack breaks. You deserve it!
To your unbridled success,