The 9 Steps to Complete Personal Branding Photography Planning
Updated: Feb 27
When you have the technical skills for professional photography but feel like you don't know where to start, just starting is daunting!
When you research about personal brand photography and feel intimidated by all the marketing jargon you have to not only learn but implement for your clients, it can feel downright hopeless.
It's ok! I help photographers who don't know where to start! I'm known for my 9 step formula for setting up a comprehensive and strategic personal branding shoot. I've refined my formula over the years so that any photographer can use this formula over and over with real professional results for both their images and their clients' branding.
If you don't know where to start when your client is staring you in the face and expecting great branded imagery, here's what we need to do.
1. Define Brand Details. Very frequently, your client will not have a complete brand plan. As their personal brand photographer, one of your values (and what outclasses you from your competitors) is the ability to guide them through their brand so you both understand it better in the end. This helps them, obviously, because they just got solid marketing strategy advice, but also helps you as the photographer get the data you need to set up the most effective brand shoot you can. Ever have a consultation where the client just looked at you confused? There's no way you can achieve excellence in branding without these details defined.
The ability to help your client through this instills trust in you from the beginning and also sets expectations on what they'll see in their final images from you.
2. Set Expectations. Now that the client has a better understanding of their brand identity (thanks to your added value!), now's the time to review what the client wants to see from your images and how they'll be using them. This will also help you plan your shoot list.
3. Inspiration. It's time to do a competitive analysis with your client and define what sets them apart. What kind of images do they like?
4. Define Audience Persona. You can't create images that speak emotionally to your client's ideal customer without understanding exactly who this customer is.
5. Alignment. Take the time to review everything with your client and tie up all the brand details in one document.
6. Stories and Shot List. Now's the time to speak to your client about everything they'd like the customer to know. What will hit emotionally with their audience persona? Write these stories out and create a detailed shot list based on this. Check the Golden Circle for more info.
7. Locations. Speak to your client about locations and make a game plan for securing/reserving/gaining permissions to use them.
8. Props. Props are vital pieces of branding collateral and should never be dismissed cursorily; every element in your photos play a part in speaking to your client's customers emotionally. Don't speak boring or plain to them.
9. Outfits. A general plan for outfits should be agreed upon so they can match the location, props, and story. You don't want to tell a gala story if your client shows up in overalls, do you?
This is how you get there. My 9 steps have helped countless photographers break into personal branding. This is the key to the personal branding kingdom!
Do you need more help? I have my 9 Step system set in framework for you, so you're going to save a lot of time, you can be sure you're including all the details you need, and you'll get results fast.