Branding Photo Shoot: The 7 Step Playbook

Client:  Andrea Henry   Photographer:  Mike Black

Client: Andrea Henry

Photographer: Mike Black

Your brand is what communicates who you are to your audience and what sets you apart from the competition. If you don’t have a bank of juicy visuals in your arsenal then your business is at a disadvantage.

Why EVERYONE needs a personal brand photo shoot:

  1. It will capture the best version of yourself.

  2. It helps build trust and connection with your audience.

  3. You will have a bank of juicy photos to use for the next 6-12 months throughout your website and on social.

BUT, before you start booking the photographer and scouting the location, you must be able to answer the following questions:


If these questions go unanswered, you will be wasting your time and money.

  • What is your brand voice?

  • What are your brand values?

  • What is your brand personality?

  • Who do you serve?

  • Who do you want to attract?

  • What emotions do you want to evoke in the minds of your customers?

The purpose of the branding shoot is to help you elevate your online persona, but you need to know what you want that to be, before moving forward.


Always start with a plan.

  • What size & type of photos do you need for your website?

  • What final size and orientation do you need?

  • Which social media platforms will you be posting them on?

  • Do you need photos for a media kit?

  • What kind of headshots do you want?

You need to plan this out before you get started or you could end up with a bunch of photos in the wrong sizes.


This sets the tone and must coincide with your brand. This is also the theme that the team you hire for the day will be following. A clear theme has everyone on the same page

  • Is it fun boss at work, or badass boss on the move?

  • Is it light and airy, or bold and exciting?

  • Is it silly and fun, or serious and sleek?

  • Is it au-naturel and clean, or glamorous and cheeky?

Having trouble figuring it out? Ask yourself, “What are the feelings you want to evoke for your customer?”


You have to provide a list of required shots to your photographer. There is nothing worse than investing in a shoot and leaving the direction up to the photographer, just to get the photos and realize you didn’t get everything you needed.

TIP! Create a storyboard for yourself and make a specific list with examples:

  • Working at your desk

  • The creative process

  • Walking down a busy street

  • Working with a client

  • Power Pose

  • Work from home look

  • Behind the scenes

  • Work in Progress

  • Classic head shot



This is not the time to throw on whatever calls to you that morning. You want to take time to plan out every look you plan to photograph. Ask yourself:

  • How many wardrobe changes will there be?

  • Have I tried on these looks prior to the shoot to know if they photograph well?

  • Do I feel comfortable and empowered in the chosen outfits?

  • What colors work with my skin tone?

  • Does each look work with my brand colors?

  • What accessories will I need?

  • Do these outfits showcase my personality?

The more planning you do, the more streamlined the process, and the more ease you will feel on the day of.


If you wear make-up, (which I recommend, even if it is just a little bit to enhance your look), then make sure you hire a professional. The camera isn’t that forgiving and it will pick up every pore.

To Do:

  • Check out their portfolio.

  • Have a conversation prior to the day of.

  • Send them examples of looks you like and listen to their feedback.

Sometimes the things we think will look good on us, is not always the case. Let the professionals do what the professionals do. Personally, I looove getting my make up done! It’s like a special treat that makes me feel glamorous and taken care of.

TIP! When it comes to hair, this isn’t the time to experiment. Test out any new hairstyles a few weeks prior to the shoot, or stick to your tried and true. Remember you want to look like the best version of you.


A well-organized, professional creative team, will make or break your photoshoot. Ask yourself, who do you need to pull this off beautifully?

This is the team I use:

  • Photographer

  • Wardrobe stylist

  • Make-up artist

  • Hairstylist

  • Assistant

And the most important and often forgotten . . .

THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR (No surprise this is what I do! Tee-hee!)

Having an experienced creative director who can plan and execute everything from beginning to end, is a must for those who want it done right the first time. It’s worth making the investment so you can have a stress-free shoot that you don’t have to organize, style, scout, or source. Sounds pretty sweet right?

Here’s the thing . . . It is almost impossible to be in the shoot and direct the shoot at the same time. Especially if you are not use to getting your photo taken, or come from a creative profession. It’s like starring and directing in your movie, yes it’s possible, but you better have the experience to pull that off.

What does the Creative Director do?

  • Plans the shoot

  • Hires the Team

  • Scouts locations

  • Sources props if required

  • Manages the shoot from start to finish

  • Takes care of the client

  • Ensures the entire team has what it needs

  • Ensures all the deliverables are met for the client

  • Keeps the day on schedule

I don’t know if every creative director does all of that, but I know I do!

With me all you have to do is show up with your fabulous self and I will take care of the rest. What could be better than that?



Monique Bryan