I realised recently that the profile photography on my website needed an update. It wasn’t only my outfits and hairstyle that were bugging me, the shots just didn’t feel like me anymore. It was time for a refresh! As luck would have it, I was introduced to the wonderful Hannah Macgregor. Not only is she a brilliant photographer, she’s also a total bundle of fun and we hit it off straight away.
I knew that I needed a bank of new images that would work across my website and social media pages. So, the first step was meeting up with Hannah to establish how to go about it. I couldn’t be happier with the results, so here are my top tips for planning and preparing for the perfect personal branding photoshoot.
1) Choose your photographer wisely
This is possibly the most valuable piece of advice I could pass on. Shop around before you settle on the photographer you want to use. Yes, it’s vital that you like their style and you’ve thoroughly checked out examples of their work, but you also need to click. Hannah really seemed to understand who I was and I feel that made all the difference when it came to getting the best out of me and capturing my true personality.
Of course, great imagery is about sharing who you are and showcasing your business in its best light. First impressions count and getting in a pro is a must if you want to be taken seriously.
2) Preparation is EVERYTHING!
Spend time before the shoot working out what it is you need in painstaking detail.
- Where will I use the images – on my website, social media, marketing material, course guides etc? And how many shots will I need? Details such as image dimensions, resolution and any other factors (like leaving space for text, for example) are crucial.
- What sort of environment will best reflect my business? Is it my home, office or workspace, or somewhere neutral that has an interesting background or feel, for example?
- Plan ahead for the months or seasons that the images will span. A bright, sunny shot of you in a summer dress is going to look out of place in December.
- What will I wear? More on this later…
A pre-production meeting either in person or over video call with your photographer is super helpful. I would also recommend pulling together a shared mood board or at least establishing the kind of look and vibe you’re aiming to create.
3) Don’t be afraid to step out of your usual environment
For my first ever branding photoshoot I stuck to my comfort zone. The shots were of me in my workshop and mooching around an antiques market. Hannah made some suggestions that I would never have thought of – like taking a chair and a bottle of champagne down to the green and shooting there. We got some strange looks but it was worth it! I think we notched up around five locations, which has given me a vast bank of images that don’t all look the same.
4) Be the best version of you
As you probably know, my background is in fashion and I LOVE clothes. I asked Hannah if she knew of a good stylist so that I could edit my wardrobe for the shoot. She recommended Personal Stylist Chantelle Znideric who helped me see with fresh eyes what was working and the pieces that were no longer serving me (mainly my black and white staples). I now filter those colours out when I’m shopping. I love how Chantelle made the penny drop. No more buying something because I like the style… the colour AND style have to be right now!
So when it came to selecting outfits for the shoot day, I had so many more options to mix and match with.
“Go with a variety of outfits you absolutely adore that makes a statement about who you are.”
I’d say go with a variety of outfits you absolutely adore that makes a statement about who you are. And mix things up a bit so you have dressy, casual and a mix of seasons too.
5) Be prepared for an exhausting day – but have fun!
I think the more fun you have on the day, the more you’ll love the final shots. Myself, Hannah and my team had a blast. It was a full-on day but we had plenty of laughs and Hannah kept the energy levels high with her enthusiasm and ideas.
The one final thing I’d say is that getting these new shots has given my whole business a new lease of life. It’s so useful to have a bank of photography that you really love. Take a good look at the image you’re currently projecting on your website and through social media. I’ll be factoring in a mini refresh every year from now on. If you ask me, it’s worth every penny.
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