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PREPARING FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS OR PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION

Booking a personal branding or small business photo session can be a huge step! Especially for those of us who are a bit photo shy. Rest assured that it is a fantastic thing to do for your business – professional photography can make a massive difference to how your business is perceived. It’s also a LOT easier on the day than it sounds. I’ll be there every step of the way to help make it an enjoyable experience.

Here are a few ideas on how to prepare for your session. Nothing is set in stone, so just take whatever you need from the list and ditch the rest. And please, if there’s anything at all I can do to make the process easier – talk through what you’re wearing, discuss jewellery choices, help you find your brand voice – just get in touch!

Step 1: Complete the Personal Branding/Small Business questionnaire

Ahead of your session, I will send you a questionnaire to help get you thinking about what you want from your session and to help me plan and prepare so we can use your time wisely. Don’t feel you have to write war and peace here, but some detail is hugely helpful.

As part of this questionnaire, you’ll be asked to consider where you’re photos will be used (on your website as a banner, in social media as a profile picture, in Instagram), what location you’d like to use, what props might suit your business and what shots you’d like. If you can’t answer some of these don’t panic, we can talk it through ahead of your session. It may even be helpful to you to create a Pinterest ‘mood board’ that reflects your brand and what you’d like your photos to look like – feel free to share this with me so we’re in sync on what you’re after.

Step 2: Clothes hair and makeup!

You don’t want to spend money on your photography only to hate what you’re wearing, your hair or your makeup – so taking time to make sure this is right is important. You want to be proud of the photos and happily show them off! Remember if you’re including a ‘model’ that you’ve arranged to be part of your session, you’ll need to consider what they’re wearing as much as what you’re wearing (for example, if a model is posing as a ‘client).

Clothing

  • Make sure the colours you’re wearing suits you
  • Make sure you’re comfortable!! If you’re pinched at the waist with a tummy-holder two sizes too small, it will show on the photos! Well-fitting, comfortable clothes are very important.
  • Avoid patterns and logos, they are busy and reduce the impact and longevity of the photographs. Stick to block colours.
  • Please avoid really white white and black – unless of course, these colours are important parts of your brand.
  • Avoid wearing anything old, stained or creased, please.
  • Avoid polo necks, or anything too tight – consider underwear lines to ensure they’re not visible.
  • Consider how much skin your showing in relation to your audience.
  • Layers! Especially for outdoor sessions.
  • Bring a couple of easy changes of outfit as options for during the session, that way you’ll have a selection of photos that could have been taken on different days.
  • Wear accessories (jewellery, scarves, hats) and bring some so we can change during your session – this is a great way to get a new ‘look’.
  • Think about your brand colours and incorporating them into your session!

Hair and makeup

  • Don’t go over the top! But equally, it’s best if you wear a little more than you’d ordinarily wear day-to-day.
  • Wear the same amount of makeup you would wear to dinner with friends
  • Please avoid anything shiny – highlighters and shiny eyeshadows aren’t flattering on camera
  • Book in to have your hair and makeup done if it’s worrying you – leave it to the experts!

If you have glasses and wear them all the time – bring them and we’ll include them in the session. If you wear them occasionally, bring them too and we’ll incorporate them in as a prop.

Step 3: In the days leading up to the session

Before the session, make sure you do everything you can to feel your best. If that means you’ve had a manicure/hair done a few days before then do it. If you feel good – it will shine out of your photos! Get a massage if you need, make sure you get a good night’s sleep… All that usual self-care stuff we know we need to do but so often forget.

Step 4: On the day

  • Try to give yourself more than enough time beforehand to ensure you’re comfortable, organised and relaxed.
  • Take a moment and think again about why you love what you do, and what you want your photographs to communicate.
  • Bring all your outfits including shoes and jewellery, any props, a hairbrush, makeup top-ups and a compact mirror (Pressed powder is very handy if you get shiny).
  • Consider bringing your personal statement, business values, best client testimonials – something that will help you connect with why you do what you do.
  • Take a breath, have a cup of chamomile or hot chocolate and relax!

For some ideas of what to wear to your session, you can visit my Pinterest board here.

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