All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.
– Leo Tolstoy
Like yin and yang, every small business needs a quality photographer. Whether it’s staff headshots, product photography or content for social media; content is king.
As a digital marketing agency, we know the impact of good quality content firsthand. This is where Courtney King comes in. You might recognise her work from our previous branding shoot.
We ask Courtney her tips on making the most out of your branding shoot.
Tell us about how you help business owners with your services.
As a photographer and small business owner myself, I know how vital imagery is in selling a brand. I offer personal branding photography packages both on location and in my studio Blondes Garage on Chapel Street, Windsor.
It is imperative in this day to have an online presence. With so many businesses purely online, we miss out on that face-to-face contact with our clients. People still want to put a face to a name or brand as it makes us more relatable and trustworthy.
I like to connect with business owners by meeting with them and understanding their passion and purpose for their brand. As a creative, I am looking for my work to evoke emotion as is the client with their brand, so making sure I am aligned with my clients' vision ensures a harmonious outcome. I will work with my client to create images that will help them connect with their customer and communicate their brand's story.
What is the number one mistake you see clients make when they have a branding shoot?
Thinking that photoshop will make up for being underprepared. It doesn't! A personal branding shoot is a collaboration between myself as the photographer and the business owner. To ensure the best result possible, I like to be thoroughly educated on your brand and customers. This will help with location, wardrobe selection and the overall feeling you want to evoke.
As a business owner, you need to present your best self. Attention to personal grooming and wardrobe is essential. I like to advise clients on appropriate clothing and grooming in their pre-shoot briefing. The more time and thought you put into the pre-shoot aspects, the better the final image.
Some of us feel anxious about standing in front of the camera. How do you help people overcome this on the day?
I like to meet with my client or at a minimum, have a phone conversation. It can be challenging to build rapport via email and help the client feel comfortable. Being comfortable in front of the camera comes down to confidence. I believe the most valuable thing you can do for yourself not only pre-shoot but always, is positive self-talk.
If it isn't something you usually do, then start right now. Begin with a couple of positive affirmations a couple of times a day (the more, the better!), and I promise you will feel more at ease in front of the camera.
I like to help ease a clients' jitters on arrival at the studio by allowing time to have a chat and go through their wardrobe selection and warm-up in front of the camera. Also, Blondes Garage's relaxed homely vibe, some good tunes and my terrible jokes always seem to calm any nerves, allowing me to capture your true beauty.
What would be your checklist for us to prepare before a branding photoshoot?
What are your expectations?
Collect some reference images. This is an excellent way for me to understand the look you want to achieve.
Consider which platforms you wish to use the images on, e.g. Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook
Appropriate hair and makeup
These are all aspects I discuss with my client in the pre-shoot briefing to ensure their look is cohesive with their brand.
What should we do to make the most of our time during the session?
The more time that goes into preparation, the more effectively the shoot will run and the more you will get out of it.
Choosing outfits that you can mix and match top and bottom will help give variety without being time-consuming. A selection of accessories is also an excellent way to add variety.
Depending on how many different looks you want to achieve will depend on the length of the session time. This is generally discussed in your pre-shoot brief. An hour shoot will generally give you time to work through 3-4 looks.