How a Personal Branding Session is Different Than a Headshot Session

Personal branding sessions are a relatively new aspect of visual branding, and savvy small business owners are jumping on board to take their branding to the next level. A branding session tends to differ from a typical headshot/portrait session in several ways. With headshots, the focus is you, shot from the waist up. Headshots will be incorporated into your branding sessions, but it doesn’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. 

A branding session takes who you are visually and goes one step further; it tells your story, the what’s and why’s of what you do. This is done via detail shots, lifestyle shots, action shots, and shots of you with your products. I personally customize each session to best reflect your business and the message you wish to convey about your brand. The possibilities are endless!


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’s important that people connect and interact with you.
  •  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 fresh, polished, and professional look.



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


Once you’ve set a date for your photo session, we will begin brainstorming ideas. The photos from your personal branding session are meant to be very multi-purpose. They can be used for your website, promotional materials, blogs, ads, social media, headers, banners and more. That’s why planning and analyzing are key.. Knowing where and how you want to use your images will help me get a better understanding, for example, of whether to shoot vertical or horizontal images. If you will want to use text across any of your images, letting me know up front will help us plan accordingly as well.


I ask that you come up with a brief but detailed description of your brand, including what it stands for, so that we can find ways to reflect this in your photos. Any brand colors that you would like incorporated is also important to 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.



Confirm any hair and makeup appointments, and confirm the address of the session one week prior. 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; ensure that they are steamed, pressed, and on hangers, ready to go. Make sure you are also well hydrated, and be sure to go to bed early so you will look and feel well rested for the photos.


Before you start considering locations for your personal branding session, take the time to think about what your average day looks like. Remember, you want to give your potential clients and audience a look at a day in your life, so your photos need to relay that. You may find that you don’t need to look very hard or far for the perfect location. Your shop or local 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.


  • Bringing in your brand colors. Cushions, pillows on a couch, different color files, notebooks, and 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 choosing a cover that matches your brand as a great way to feature your brand colors.
  • Personalizing your photos. Incorporate items that help showcase what you do during the day. A funky planning board for example.
  • Create a connection. Showcasing certain books on your desk or coffee table featuring titles that resonate with your audience is a good way to not only incorporate props, but also connect with potential clients..
  • Give clients an idea of what you’re all about. Flowers, a camera or a passport (if you love to travel)would work really well to showcase the type of individual you are.
  • Detail shots. Close ups of your hands typing on your laptop, or of your coffee mug next to your laptop are also some popular prop ideas.


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


  • Avoid baggy clothing
  • Don’t wear intense colors or busy prints
  • Choose the right undergarments
  • Stay away from any items with logos or wording, unless it’s part of your branding
  • When wearing a suit, make sure it’s tailored
  • If ties are your thing, but you’re not sure about wearing it, bring one with anyways!
  • Ensure that your undershirt/undergarments are not visible
  • Wear clothing that is fitted for your body type. Again, nothing baggy!


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 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 dedicate time to sorting through all of the photos, deleting any photos that didn’t work out, along with any duplicates. Once I’ve done this I will send you the gallery to review. I will remove any small imperfections and ensure that the color really pops. If you have any specific editing requests, please let me know ahead of time.


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.


The next step for you now is to reach out to me about your own 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!downers grove photographer, best photographer, western suburbs, photographer near me, best family photographer, chicago photographer, la grange photographer, western springs photographer, hinsdale photographer, best newborn photographer, best maternity photographer, downers grove newborn photographer, chicago newborn photographer, la grange newborn photographer, western springs newborn photographer, hinsdale newborn photographer, chicago family photographer, la grange family photographer, western springs family photographer, hinsdale family photographer, lifestyle, portraits, mini session, full session, family photography