How a Personal Branding Session is Different Than a Headshot Session

Personal branding sessions are a relatively new aspect of visual branding. Savvy small business owners are jumping on board to take their branding to the next level. A branding session differs from a typical headshot/portrait session in several ways. With headshots, the focus is simply you, usually shot from the waist up. Headshots are incorporated into your branding sessions, but I don’t stop there. I dive deep into not just who you are visually, but the story of what you do and why you do it. This is done via detail shots, lifestyle shots, photos of you in action, and you with your products, etc. I customize each session to best reflect your business and the message you wish to convey about your brand. The possibilities are endless!

Is a branding session right for you? 

You should consider a personal branding session if:

  • You own any kind of small business.
  • Your face needs to be part of your brand and it is important for people to connect and interact with you.
  • If you wish to take your business to the next level by stepping up your visual branding and getting in front of your customers.
  • Your ads need a look fresh, polished and professional.

How I Work

Booking your branding session

It’s always best to book your photo session well in advance, especially if you are working towards a specific deadline. It’s also important to take into account the time required for photo selection and editing when booking your personal branding session.

The Brainstorming Session

Once you’ve set a date for your photo session, we will begin brainstorming ideas. The photos from your personal branding session are very multi-purpose. These can be used for your website, promotional materials, blogs, ads, social media, headers, banners and more. That’s why planning and analyzing is so important. Knowing where and how you want to use your images will help us understand whether you’ll require vertical or horizontal images for your website, social media, etc. If you will want to use text across any of your images, please let me know so that we can plan the image backgrounds accordingly.

Your Brand Description

I ask that you come up with a brief but detailed description of your brand and what it stands for so that we can find ways to reflect this in your images. If there are specific brand colors that you would like to incorporate, please let me know. My goal is to paint the perfect picture of what you do, and what sets you apart from your competition. These images will provide an important glimpse into what it would be like to work with you.

Prior to your session

Confirm any hair and makeup appointments and confirm the address of the session one week prior to your session. If you will be coloring your hair, this is the time to do it.  The day before your session I ask that you prepare your outfits, ensuring that they are steamed, pressed and on hangers. Make sure you are well hydrated on the day prior and be sure to go to bed early so you will look and feel well rested for the day of photos.

The Day of the Session

Now it’s all about relaxing and enjoying the experience. I will direct you on how to pose and ensure that you get the best possible shots.  We’ll take a mix of lifestyle images and headshots to give your audience a better view of what you do on a daily basis. We’ll also take some behind the scenes shots for a more personal view of what it’s like to work with you.


After the shoot I will spend time sorting through all of the photos, deleting any photos that didn’t work out and duplicates. Once I’ve done this I will send you the gallery to review. I will have removed any small imperfections and ensure that the color looks amazing. If you have any specific editing requests, please let me know.

Selecting Your Images

While my packages do come with a specific number of images, there is always the option to purchase additional shots if you would like to use extra photos. It’s best to choose a good mix of images so that you have a little bit of everything available to you. I am always happy to assist you with this process if you would like.


Choosing a Location for Your Session

Before you start considering locations for your personal branding session, take the time to think about what your average day looks like. Remember that you want to give potential clients and audience a look at a day in your life so your photos need to relay that. You may even find that you don’t need to look very hard or far for the perfect location. Your shop or in your downtown area might be all you need. Consider some of the coffee shops, hotels, studios or co-working spaces in your area for ideas. Always opt for a location with as much natural light as possible as this makes for the best shots.

5 Ways to Use Props In Your Photos

  • Props can be used to bring in your brand colors. Cushions or pillows on a couch or different color files, notebooks or pens are just some examples of how you can incorporate pops of color.  If you’re incorporating any electronics such as your phone or laptop, try a cover that matches your brand as a way to feature your brand colors.
  • Props can be used to help personalize your photos. Incorporate items that help showcase what you do during the day. A funky planning board for example.
  • Props can also be used to create a connection with a potential client. Showcasing certain books on your desk or coffee table featuring titles that resonate with your audience is one such prop idea.
  • Add a few personal touches to your workspace to give clients an idea of what you’re all about. Flowers, a camera or a passport (if you love to travel) could work really well for this.
  • Detail shots such as a close up of your hands typing on your laptop or of your coffee mug next to your laptop are also some popular prop ideas.

Choosing the Perfect Outfit

Your outfit will make a huge difference to your photos so choose something that suits your personality and your brand.  There is no need to spend a fortune on clothes. Make sure your clothes suit your body type and fit well. Simpler is better but feel free to add a pop of color to add some personality and flair. Keep your skin tone and hair in mind when choosing an outfit as contrasting colors make for some of the best photos. Want to see what you might look like in photos in a certain outfit? Take a few selfies and send them over so we can decide what works and what doesn’t.

Tips for the Ladies

  • Avoid baggy clothing
  • Stay away from clothing with logos and wording
  • Don’t wear intense colors or busy prints
  • Choose the right undergarments

Tips for the MEN

  • Avoid wearing any items with logos or wording unless it’s part of your branding
  • When wearing a suit, it should be tailored
  • Your shirt should be fitting.
  • Clothing that’s too big adds weight so opt go for something that’s slightly smaller to avoid the sloppy look
  • A tie isn’t always necessary but bring one along anyway
  • Ensure that your undershirt is not visible

Hair & Makeup for your personal branding session

If you really want to make your photos stand out, I highly suggest you have a professional assist you with your hair and makeup. Opt for a hairstyle that adds body and volume to your hair. Extensions can be used if necessary or desired.

Now, the next step is to reach out to me about your personal branding session. Let’s start planning and brainstorming all our ideas to make your session perfect for your business. Click HERE to contact me to start!

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