Step 7-9: When the Details Matter in Brand Photography
Updated: Jul 13
Now that we've uncovered tips and tricks to pulling details from your personal brand photography client, making a shot list, creating stories, and boosting communication and expectations, now's the time we focus on the last pieces of your personal brand photography consultation: nailing down the details.
Today we cover the fun stuff: locations, props, and outfits. And although they can be the most fun to discuss, they are by no means fluffy or unimportant. Their weight can contribute heavily to the success of branded photography when strategy is utilized.
A good personal brand photographer doesn't create a boatful of stories and shots that involve the client sitting at their desk.
My first piece of advice? Think about what would be interesting for the client's customers to see. Behind the scenes? Where something started?
Second piece of advice? Think about what your client is passionate about, at work and beyond. Do they do volunteer work? Do they have a favorite place in the city that inspires them? Where are the comfortable and happy?
As you discuss locations with your client, it's totally okay to go back and refine your stories and/or your shot list if locations become an inspiring discussion. Everyone's brain and creativity works differently; there's always a chance that thinking about places will set your client's inspiration into overdrive!
Other assorted pieces of advice:
-Be careful with light if you're indoors. Always take photos near a window if you end up in a dark office. It's never worth the dark shot. Use someone else's desk!
-You have more options. There are websites that will let you reserve and rent out fashionable (and well lit!) locations for a reasonable price.
-Also be aware of the legalities of private property. If you need to get permission, don't risk shooting without it.
Props may just be the most undervalued piece of the personal brand photography pie.
As you might expect, a good prop list isn't going to consist of pens, computers, and coffee. So how do you be strategic in your props?
A while back you may remember that I covered the importance of hitting the customer emotionally. Think of props the client may have that could pull an emotional response: heirloom jewelry? Photos of family? Pets? Favorite book?
Another really great tool you have with props is the control of color. Now that you have an idea of your locations, think of props that may have contrasting or other interesting ways to coordinate with color. Are you taking a photo by the pool? What about an orange towel? Do you have a conservative business person who is going to be wearing neutrals? Find a great prop that has a JOLT of color: chair? Scarf? Watch? Book? Hat? Phone? Toy?
Along with the general color coordination, now's the time to ensure that the brand's colors are showing in your photos. Within both props and outfits, make sure at least one of the brand's colors are shown. This is worth planning in advance. Set your client out on a hunt if they need to!
A good outfit can set a tone that can match a brand's personality and increase trust.
When your client's outfits match their brand's tone, then customers' trust increases because their holistic view of the brand becomes supported with yet more consistent data.
So go back to your documentation in the first steps and figure out 2-3 (yes! 2-3!) outfits that a client can wear to match that tone. Conservative? Artsy? Have them think it through. Now they're obviously not in front of their closet during the consultation, and you can't control anything about what they end up bringing to the photo shoot, but a good conversation regarding the importance of outfits can really make a huge difference.
Don't put them on the spot or force them to decide, but have them a least list out 1 or 2 pieces that they have so you can gauge their comprehension of their assignment once they get to their closet. Advise them to choose their outfits within 3 days of this consultation so this conversation will still be fresh in their mind. I know most people are prone to procrastination, but outfits can make or break a photo session. Your client needs ample time to think about tone, color, the stories they're going to tell, laundry, dry cleaning, ironing, laying out, planning, and shopping.
You might want to follow up in a week to confirm they're ready.
This is the final step to the 9 Steps to Personal Brand Photography Consultation! This is a surefire way to improve your reputation as a personal brand photographer by using strategic marketing in your shoot planning. You'll also improve the quality of your clients' use of the photos because they'll also be set up for strategic marketing storytelling.
Go out there, be brilliant, outclass your competitors, and get those recurring contracts! I'm always here if you need help, and here are links to my training suite for personal brand photographers.