How to Make the Most out of your Branding Session

Have ya’ll heard of the know, like and trust factor? You probably have if you’re a creative in pursuit of your passion. The basic idea is that in order for a follower to become a paying client, they have to know you, like you, and trust you. You can build trust by calling your shots and following through. For example, let’s say you advertise a weekly newsletter every Wednesday. Each time you show up in their inbox on Wednesday, you build trust. Each time you fail to send out that Wednesday newsletter, you break trust.

The like factor is easy…just let your personalty sparkle. Okay, so easier said than done but really, that’s an simple one to understand. But the know factor depends on you showing up on your feed and sharing the things you love with your audience. This is the one branding photography can really help with. Our 25 minute branding sessions are scheduled back to back with other creatives so that you can get 30 images to use on your social media, marketing, website and in print at a much more affordable cost than you’d expect! Want more than 25 minutes? Book two time slots and get nearly a full hour with 60 images delivered in an online gallery!

So let’s go over the basics on making the most of your branding session!

Denise Karis Branding Photography

1.) What to wear
I’m a big believer that when we look at an image, the first thing we notice is the color palette. When choosing what to wear to your session, choose colors that go well in the environment we’re shooting in.  Nicole (above) picked outfits that fit well with the space we were shooting in making her shoot cohesive and the images look all the more intentional. I tend to look for spaces that have lots of light with neutral colors. You’ll see this recurring theme on my Instagram as well.

But back to color… comparing the three images above to the three below will help you to see how much color shapes the overall feel of the shoot. If you’re more drawn to the images above, then stick to those neutral blue, gray, and white tones. If you’re more drawn to the images below, add in some pops of mustard or rust.

When considering what to wear, try to stay away from heavy prints and logos that will compete with your face. If you’re scheduling a 25 minute session, 2 outfits work well (so come in the outfit you want to start in, and you’ll have one wardrobe change). If you’re scheduling two shoots to get a full hour, I find three total outfits work well in this timeframe.

I love how Nicole chose a casual, at home outfit of a linen jumpsuit with bare feet, followed by a navy top and ripped jeans and ending with a dressy, more formal option for her 1 hour session.

If you’re still not sure here, take 15-30 images you love from social media and look at them all together. Chances are, there’s a recurring color palette that you didn’t even know you were drawn to!  Knowing exactly what you like to is going to go a long way in all areas of branding!

Denise Karis Branding Photography

2.) What to bring:
This is a big one! There are only so many ways we can be creative taking shots of just you with nothing to do. I encourage you to bring interactive props like the ones pictured above and below. So what do you bring? First, what do you do? Are you a nutritionist? Bring a few veggies and fruits, your favorite wooden cutting board and favorite knife for a kitchen setup! You can also bring your apron and a cook book along for the ride!  (I have a whole blog post on branding shoots for nutritionists here!) Are you a writer? bring your notebook and pens and a laptop! Are you a photographer? Bring that camera! For a 25 minute session, aim to bring 2-3 well thought out props!

Denise Karis Branding Photography

3.) Being in front of the camera:
I’ll be the very first to admit, being in front of a camera can be super intimidating! It might set you at ease to know that I give really strong direction and will never leave you hanging when it comes to posing. We will be sure to work together to find the best angles and framing for you! With that in mind, no amount of photographer hype will convince you to feel great when you just don’t. All too often I hear “I should haves” throughout the session. “I should have gotten my eyebrows waxed” or “I should have done my nails.” I want you to feel great when you get to your  session because your energy will show in the final images, so sometimes that means taking time to do all those little things like exfoliating or using a teeth whitening strip or whatever your go-to  self care task is. If there’s ever a time to show up as the most curated version of yourself, it’s at a photo shoot!

4.) How you arrive: 
Give yourself plenty of time and don’t leave anything for the last minute. When you arrive flustered and upset that your top was wrinkled and you had to iron it, or you forgot your favorite notebook because you meant to look for it the night before but just didn’t get around to it, that flustered energy comes through in the photos. Have everything set and ready so that you have  very little to do the morning of. When you arrive 5 minutes early and allow yourself a minute to relax in your car until your session starts, I promise you will have better images than if you’re texting me frantically hitting every red light on the way over. How you arrive matters, so set yourself up for a shoot with great energy!

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Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris