• Gaelle

How to Prepare for Your Branding or Headshot Session

Preparing for a branding or headset session can take a bit of work, but it’s well worth the planning time. And I’m here to help!


I’ve created a library of blog resources to make this task easier!


Before we dive into how to prepare for your session, let’s go over the differences.


Headshot sessions with me include a 15-20 minute photoshoot and provide you with 3-5 new headshots.


Full branding sessions with me include professional hair and makeup, a few hours of photography, 2-3 locations, and provide you with a large variety of images.


One of the reasons personal branding photography exists is to help “brands” connect with your audience.



photo of athletic woman holding a bike behind her head in downtown denver colorado
Taking one look at her, you can guess what she does for her career. That's the power of branding photography!


Planning for Your Branding or Headshot Session


Makeup:

In a full branding session, I include professional hair and makeup. My hair and makeup artist has the right tools and techniques to make you look like a polished version of yourself without looking “overdone.”


If you’re having a headshot session and doing your own makeup, it should be applied slightly darker than you would typically wear it.


photo of a woman applying makeup to another woman's eyes for photo session


Hair:

If you typically color your hair, plan to get your roots colored ahead of time. I won’t give a specific guideline here, as it varies from person to person.


If you need a hair trim, schedule that a couple of weeks before your session so it looks natural for the day of your shoot.



Hands:

Plan on having well-manicured hands. This can be as simple as a home manicure, where you clean up your nail beds and moisturize well.


What’s important is to either have bare nails or neutral-colored nails because your hands will show in the photos. Also, make sure you use good lotion on your hands in the days leading up to your session.


Nails can be well manicured with fun patterns or completely nude. Just make sure the nails don't have partially chipped paint, and that hands are well moisturized.


What to Wear for Your Headshot or Branding Session


What to wear is a big part of planning for a headshot or branding session. Keep in mind your branding colors, and try to complement those. This will be helpful when you add your new photos to your website or social media pages.


We want to keep the focus on your face, not your clothing. Avoid clothing items with stripes, busy patterns, or logos. Try to wear colors that coordinate with your branding colors well, earth tones, or simple black and white items.


For a headshot session, you only need to pick out wardrobe pieces that will show from the waist up. These sessions are pretty short on time, so bringing 1-2 items will be plenty.


For a full branding session, plan to bring 3-5 complete outfit changes. Don’t forget to include undergarments, shoes, and accessories!


To make sure we capture you in various styles, some wardrobe items to consider bringing to your branding session are listed below.



photo of woman and man exercising in downtown denver
For this session, it makes sense for her to wear athletic wear, since she is a personal trainer.


Professional Attire - This could be a suit jacket or blazer. Something that will show you as being authoritative and in charge!


Business Casual - This could be a nice pair of dress pants and a nice button-up dress shirt. This will still provide you with a professional appearance but in a slightly scaled-back version.


Casual - Depending on how you want to come across to your clients, bringing a casual outfit can be helpful. It could be as simple as a pair of jeans and a nice sweater. This will give you a very approachable, friendly vibe.


Variety is nice, but skip the blazer if you’re not super professional. If you’re more professional than laid back, skip the casual approach.


The best advice I can give is to be yourself and wear clothing that makes you feel comfortable!


Pinterest is a great place to go if you need some extra inspiration! You can create a board that includes your brand color palette and start collecting images that fit your brand aesthetic!



For her session, she wanted to have a more casual and laid back approach. That's why she chose a simple white tank top and jeans with barefeet.



Prepping Your Clothes Before Your Session


Before your session, steam or iron your clothes so they are wrinkle-free. While editing can help a slight crease or two, nothing can ruin a great photo faster than unsightly wrinkles.


Most vehicles have a little hook near the back seats to hang items. This is the time to use it! Transport your items on a hanger to avoid wrinkles during travel.


A couple of go-to items to bring with your wardrobe are a lint roller and some binder clips or clothespins.


(Photographer secret: We often use clips to tighten up clothes to make clothes appear tailor-fitted!)




Props to Bring to Your Branding Session


We want to incorporate items and tools you use in your business for your branding session. Adding props can help show your audience what a day in your life as a business owner looks like.


Props should help tell your story!


For example, if you’re a podcaster, you may want to include your microphone. If you’re a writer, an old typewriter could look fun! You get the idea.


General props for anyone in business are cell phones, a laptop, pen, notebook, and coffee mug.


photos of a dark haired woman sitting on couch reading a book for branding photo shoot in denver
Props can tell YOUR story to YOUR audience. Bring along items that are specific to your niche or industry to make your photos even more personalized!




Need More Resources for Headshot and Branding Photos? I’ve got them!


I love helping women take their businesses to the next level! This is why I’ve created a library of blog resources on branding and headshot photography!


I want to help you reach your target audience and make the most of your updated headshots and branding photos!


This blog explains how to build brand awareness with headshots and branding photography. I explain the differences between headshots and branding photography and the 4 best places to use updated headshots and branding photos.

You can read it here.


This blog explains the power behind creating strong brand photography. I explain how branding photography helps you create a connection with your audience, my year-round branding photography membership, and what a branding session with me is like!

You can read it here!


If you have any other resources you would like me to speak on regarding headshots and branding photography; I’m all ears! Send me a message, and I’ll try to create a blog resource on that topic!



What All Headshot and Branding Clients Receive From Me


Whether you choose a headshot session or a branding session, you will receive a complimentary guide on optimizing your new photos for your website and social channels. It also provides tips on increasing your SEO ranking as well!


If you’re ready to take your digital marketing to the next level, reach out here to get started!



** NOW BOOKING DATES FOR MAY AND JUNE FOR MY 50 AND REMARKABLE CAMPAIGN **


Reach out here if you'd like to chat about booking your session!

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