Planning for your branding session
As a personal branding photographer I’ve got my own detailed process that I take each and every client through. After a potential client contacts me with interest, we will set up a time to do a phone Discovery Call with each other.
The Discovery call is the perfect time for both of us to get to know each other and see if we are going to be a fit. I want you to trust and feel comfortable in my knowledge and skill to help you. I also want you to like both my portfolio and myself as well, if we aren’t on the same wavelength or vibing then we might not be the right fit for each other and that is ok.
The call is the perfect time for me to know your business, get some ideas flowing and even start envisioning potential images ideas that I would see for your shoot. This is also the perfect time to ask any questions you may have for me. Ask me anything that you want, I want to make sure you are making the right decisions and I want to provide you with as much information as I can.
I have a previous blog post I wrote about what questions to ask when you're interviewing potential photographers. You can check out that post HERE and get all the details or if you’d like a script version of questions to ask you can download my free guide below.
When you’ve decided that I’m your photographer and you want to work with me the next things that I ask you to gather in preparation for you photoshoot are:
-To make a Pinterest board that you add me as a contributor too. These pins are of inspiring images, poses, outfits and ideas that you like. This also helps me to understand your brand aesthetic if you aren’t as sure what that looks like.
-Reviewing your website and providing me with a list of images that need to be updated with on brand images.
-Sending me any inspirational websites or social media pages that you admire and love their look of.
All of the above is helping me to understand your image look and what specific image ideas we need to get. The questionnaire is also filled out and adds to my understanding of your brand. The information that I gather is put into a project managing board, which I use Trello to organize it and I add you to the board as well. You’re able to read and add things if you so desire.
A week or 2 before your photoshoot we will do another video shoot planning call. This call is to finalize all your details and what the day of shoot is going to look like. I’ll check in with how outfit selection is going. You’re more than welcome to hold up clothing that you are deciding, but you can always bring more outfits to your shoot and I can pick out the day of outfits for you.
We will talk about the list of props. We will throw out more ideas of potential shot ideas and make sure we’ve got everything listed of what could be in that shot. If needed and I have the items I’ll bring my own props to the photoshoot.
Then we detail out specific images. I’ll go over and ask about any more image ideas that you want. Clarify anything that needs to be in a specific image orientation. This is when we will also plan out when we will take certain images, what sets we will start with first then move into next and end last with. If we are adding “clients” to the sets, we will talk about when to have them arrive.
I want to prepare you on what to expect for your session. I want us to have a detailed plan of action that is written out and we are on the same page. I don’t want there to be disappointment on your end of wishing we would have gotten some image in.
All of this detailed shoot plan also goes into your project managing board. You can see it and add to anything. The day before you shoot I’ll print or write all of the shoot ideas down and I’ll use that as my outline for the shoot day to check off and not miss anything we talked about.
However, I do like to say that the shoot plan is our outline and I do love to go off script and leave room for creative inspired vision. As much as I plan things out sometimes, inspiration will just hit and I’ll see something and have to take that image idea.
This happened a lot with Kerry’s session at Your Apothekerry. We had our location planned, which actually changed days before our shoot, we were planning a park in Sammamish WA but ended up going to North Bend to Suspension Bridge trail head. I knew the specific images that we needed to get like holding her drum, playing the sound bowls, burning cleansing smoke and being in water. Her plans ended up being a little more broad and they came to life as we were exploring the woods and I would see a location that just took my breath away and inspired the images to take place at.
I also added my own crystal ball to my bag the morning of, it was one of those spur of the moment decisions to bring, it wasn’t planned on our end, but it turned out to be a fun and wonderful image.
I didn’t prep scope out this location either, I honestly went in blind, I could view public images that people had posted on google map reviews, but that was it. It was magical though. We didn’t fully know where we would take these images and we just let nature pull us in the direction we were meant to go. Many times, I would just stop and say let's take some photos here. I would see the potential the space offered us, nature is always beautiful though and Kerry trusted in my photographic eye to make her images come to life and be her.