Congratulations on taking the first step towards enhancing your business visibility by booking a personal brand shoot. Recognising the significance of showcasing yourself authentically is a huge move.
You might be contemplating how to get ready for your personal brand shoot. I understand that the idea can be a little overwhelming, so I've crafted this guide to assist you in preparing for shoot day. Drawing from my experience with numerous remarkable entrepreneurs, I've tailored this guide to provide a helpful insight. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that each shoot I undertake is unique because you are too. This is not a one-fits-all experience. It's a collaborative effort to create a personalised shoot that reflects your individuality.
Feel free to pick and choose the ideas and suggestions from this guide that resonate with you. Remember, this guide is intended to empower you to prepare for the session in the best way possible. Don't stress about the aspects that may not align with your preferences - it's all about making this experience uniquely yours.
It's essential to have a clear understanding of your business to ensure your content aligns perfectly with your brand identity. To help with this, I'll provide you with a brand questionnaire before our session. This questionnaire is designed to gather information about your brand and your ideal client. With this insight, we can curate images and/or videos during your shoot that resonate with your dream client.
Before the shoot, ask yourself the following questions:
What makes you unique?
What unique offerings do you provide that distinguish you from others?
What do you want your images to communicate about your personality and brand?
What emotions do you want your clients to experience when they see your photos?
Are there any specific brands that inspire you?
If you haven't delved into in-depth brand work and would like assistance, you may opt for my Brand Visibility Strategy before our session. This way you can gain clarity on your business, ensuring that our shoot is well-planned and aligned with your brand vision.
While you may have selected a photographer based on their unique style, taking the extra step to develop a visual mood board before your session can be highly valuable.
Curating a visual mood board on Pinterest or Instagram which includes photos and branding elements you admire is a fantastic way to convey the overall aesthetic you desire. This will provide me with a clear understanding of your preferences, and it'll also allow us to identify locations for your branding shoot. Additionally, it will help you plan your outfits and props too.
Of course, if you're confident and comfortable with my direction, I can curate a mood board before our session, and that's fine too!
The advantage of booking a personal brand shoot lies in the flexibility to choose locations that align perfectly with your brand and personality.
Depending on the package you've selected, we can decide on one or two shoot locations in Dorset or London. These venues could include your home, workplace, studio, coffee shop, hired venue, or even an outdoor location like the beach - The possibilities are endless! If you're stuck for ideas, then make sure you head to my Location Guide, and we can discuss the ideal location for your session ASAP to ensure we're all set for shoot day.
An important part of getting ready for your brand shoot is to plan the use of props in your photos and/or videos. For instance, if you're a podcaster you might want images of you talking to the mic. As a yoga teacher, incorporating a sun salutation into the photos would be fitting. Or if you're involved in social media education and marketing, capturing shots of you on your phone or taking photos would be perfect.
On a side note, props can also be living things! If your dog plays a significant role in your story, feel free to bring them along! Alternatively, if your partner, friend, or client is an important part of your narrative, including them in some shots is more than welcome.
Consider items that reflect your personality, whether it's your favourite notebook, crystals, or influential books - anything that adds depth to your story is a must.
Now, what to wear?
Your choice of clothing can significantly influence the overall vibe of your photos, no pressure, right?!? It communicates a great deal about your brand, style, and plays an important role in the impression you make on clients.
I won't dictate exactly what to wear because you must stay true to yourself. So to offer some general guidance, here are my recommendations based on my experience:
- Consider your brand colours and opt for clothing that complements these hues. Ensure that the chosen colours also work harmoniously with your website and social channels.
- While patterns can be appealing, solid colours tend to work best as they don't distract from your narrative. Feel free to introduce prints to add variety, however definitely avoid logos.
- Choose well-fitted clothes to enhance your appearance. Avoid outfits that are excessively tight, loose, or slouchy, as they can distort your body proportions.
- If we're shooting outdoors, consider just swapping your top and/or jacket to easily adjust to changing conditions without needing a changing room.
- Prioritize comfort with your choice of footwear. While heels can elongate your body, they may not be practical in certain settings.
- Bring different clothing options to the shoot, allowing for variety and flexibility. This way, we can adapt to different light conditions and backgrounds.
Hair & Makeup
Let's begin with makeup. Some clients prefer professional makeup before a session for an added boost of confidence. On the other hand, I've worked with clients who prefer doing their own makeup - it's entirely a matter of personal choice. To ensure satisfaction, I strongly recommend a trial run with your chosen MUA, and take a few test shots on your phone to validate the desired look. It's crucial to avoid investing time and money in a shoot only to be dissatisfied with the makeup results. If you're doing your own makeup, I'd suggest aiming for the same level you'd wear for a night out, whether it's a touch of mascara and lipstick or a full makeup look, the key is to ensure your makeup reflects your style. If you need recommendations for local MUA, feel free to ask, or head over to find your dream makeup artist. Regarding hair, why not consider treating yourself to a professional blow dry on the morning of the shoot? It's a great way to feel relaxed before we get to work on capturing your desired shots.
If you wear glasses regularly, it makes sense to include them in your shoot. However, to minimise lens glare, please consider wearing glasses with non-reflective lenses. While I'll make every effort to reduce glare, sometimes it's impossible to avoid, so an anti-reflective coating on your lenses can significantly help in avoiding this issue.
Shoot Day prep
Choose what resonates with you to make the countdown to our brand shoot more manageable, stress-free and fun.
2-4 weeks before:
- Complete the brand questionnaire.
- Create a Pinterest or Instagram mood board for sharing ideas.
- Shop for new clothes if needed.
- If booking a MUA, schedule a practice session.
2 weeks before:
- Schedule a haircut for settling time before the shoot
- Curate a bad-ass playlist ready for us to play on shoot day.
A few days before:
- Treat yourself to a manicure.
- Shape eyebrows or get your lashes done if it's part of your routine.
- Stay hydrated and well-rested for fresh-looking skin.
On the day:
- Allow ample time for stress-free preparation.
- Bring all outfits, shoes, jewellery, and props.
- Pack a hairbrush, compact mirror, and makeup for touch-ups.
I hope this guide has provided helpful insight into preparing for shoot day. Take this opportunity to connect with your brand and revel with confidence that you're elevating your business to attract your dream clients. If you need an extra confidence boost, head over to how to pose for the camera.
Trust in your brilliance, you've totally got this, now let's have fun on shoot day!