When should I get branding photos?
Camille Rapacz a business and mindset coach in Bellevue, WA, decided it was time to get professional photos taken for her new copy and new website design. Camille had told me in our phone consultation that it just wouldn't look right to have a self taken headshot and stock photos, she wanted professional quality photos to support and compliment the current in progress updating of her website. During our phone consultation we talked about what she was needing for her website, a professional headshot for her about me page. Camille wanted photos taken with her dog Zoey which is a rescue that they adopted a few years ago. Photos working in her office, at her desk, on a planner, on a "zoom call" and using Post-its since that is a main business planning tool for her. In the office space she would dress in more professional business attire, while after we would go into the Livingroom and have a more casual and cozy look. We talked about taking a walk around the neighborhood to get the daily life with her dog.
After our initial phone consultation and Camille decided to book her session I sent over a branding questionnaire and asked for a inspiration Pinterest board. This helps me fully understand what she wants to present as her brand personality. Branding sessions aren't just headshots, while I do take headshots which are perfect for About Me pages, profile photos and introductory images, more authentic personality is needed to represent your business and create know, like and trust. Once I get all of the information I'll start creating a Trello board, that is then shared with clients so they can see the plans for their sessions.
The Trello board consists of the Client Info, Shoot Details, a link to the questionnaire, the current Brand with screenshots of the website and Inspiration (visual links that client gets inspired by). The stories then gets subdivided into their own categories of Work in Action and Casual and within those I go into detail about shoot lists, outfit suggestions and also link Pinterest boards. The Shoot Prep tab has a link to a guide that I've created for tips to help with final preparations, suggestions and recommendations for the shoot. Once this whole board is created, it is shared only with the client and the client can see our plans and can even check off things as we go through the shoot.
Final prep and planning will happen and then shoot day. Once the photos are done, it is computer work for me and then waiting time for clients.
Let's go back up to the question in the header, "When should I get branding photos?" Well this is a completely specific to you answer, in the case of Camille it was the perfect time to get professional photos to match her new site. While I don't think you need to get a full branding session taken right as you're starting a new business, eventually your business will get going and you'll find that the DIY and stock photos which worked great at the beginning are not fully showing the professionalism, quality, connection and authentic personality needed to create a know, like and trust factor between you and your potential client/customer. Or you don't have the time to learn or DIY and you just need a whole file of photos delivered to you and ready to use when you need to make a post, add photos to your website, update to current season/look, or send out monthly newsletters. When you want your photos to convey your personality and create a connection between you and your potential client/customers.
Here are Before and After screenshots of what Camille's website looked like previous to having her website rebuilt and with a new website template and having a copywriter reword her site.
Both the "Home Page" and the "Blog" went from stock images to images taken during Camille's in home branding session.
Camille went from only one "About Me" photo on her old website to three personalized photos on her about me page. We get to see her personality and also know right away her love for her adorable dog Zoey.
Zoey ended up being such a great dog in front of the camera, she gave us some amazing shots for Camille to work with. She joined in for a few adorable office photos, on the couch for the casual Livingroom photos and the walking photos as well. Below are some more photos of her in home lifestyle branding session. Camille was a wonderful woman to work with and I'm even working with her on some of my own business coaching. I took her 2021 Business Planning Workshop in January and it was awesome and I can't wait to start putting those plans into action. I highly recommend checking out her page here.