Branding photography is all about storytelling. Share who you are and what you do or create through eye-catching visuals. Quality branding images can communicate your story without saying a word. 

Discover what branding photography is and why it matters to you, including:

  • Why you should invest in a personal branding photoshoot
  • All the many ways to use your branding pictures
  • Great locations in Chicago and backgrounds to consider
  • Other backgrounds for branding portraits in the studio and on location
  • How much does a branding photoshoot cost?
  • What to expect during your photoshoot
  • How to get the most out of your session on a budget
  • DIY branding pictures

What is branding photography?

In a nutshell, branding photography is a collection of pictures that showcase you or your business. These pictures ALWAYS include a portrait or headshot. They’ll also include photos of you in motion, a.k.a. lifestyle pictures. These are images of you in your studio, location, or action. They show more personality than a classic studio portrait. A branding photoshoot aims to create a library of images to share with your audience that show, not just tell, who you are and what you’re all about. 

How to use your branding pictures.

During these virtual times, customers appreciate seeing pictures of the creators behind products and the process and location of where they were made. These intricate details give brands a unique character that customers enjoy. These photos can be utilized in various ways, such as websites, social media, and newsletters, to promote your work and share your images.

What’s the process of creating a branding photoshoot? 

Step one: schedule a consultation with your photographer. Create a list of defining elements of your brand’s story. Like an interior designer or a therapist, asking questions and listening, really listening, is key. Important questions to answer include: 

  • How did you get your start?
  • Where do you do your work?
  • How many people are involved?
  • Is there a mission statement?
  • Do you have a branding-style board?
  • Do you have visual inspiration to share?

In addition to these straightforward questions, you may want to consider:

  • What music do you listen to most often when you’re alone? What’s your clothing store? What’s your dream home look like? 

These questions help refine a path forward for your branding shoot. Based on your answers, you can create a shot list and summary to identify a look and feel for your pictures. For example, a Pilates instructor might want bright, backlit images that feel natural, intimate, and inviting. In contrast, a personal trainer for a bodybuilding competition might want high-contrast images with enhanced definition, gritty settings, and a more intense vibe to their images. 

Where will your brand photoshoot take place?

During the initial phase of our collaboration, we will discuss the most suitable location for creating your pictures. We can either take them to your place, my studio, or any other desired location. As human beings, we all have a natural curiosity to see where the magic happens. Therefore, I always advise clients to have their photographs taken in their natural environment. It could be your home office, kitchen, yoga studio, or any other place where you feel comfortable. Allowing your audience to have a glimpse behind the scenes can create trust and intimacy with your audience. However, if you are not comfortable sharing your personal space with the public, the studio is an excellent option. With ample natural light and a neutral background, you will have the flexibility to create stunning images for your brand.

How long does it take to create a set of branding photos? 

The amount of time required to create your branding photos will depend on the scale of your vision. If you are working alone, you may only need an hour or two to capture your content. However, larger businesses looking to revamp their online presence may require a half-full day or more.

All brands need professional photos of their leaders, workspace, and demo photos that showcase their creations and location. For instance, a dermatology practice should have pictures of their staff, workspace, demonstration photos, and essential products or devices used.

When you consult with your photographer, you’ll create a list of photos and decide the scope of work to convey your story. This will help determine how much time you’ll need. Often, photographers offer an hourly rate, a day rate, or pre-arranged packages at a bundled price.

You should also consider a retaining fee with your photographer, which would cover additional photoshoots on a monthly or quarterly basis to create updated material – ideal for growing and maintaining a community of fans.

“Fans, true fans, are hard to find and precious. Just a few can change everything. What they demand, though, is generosity and bravery.” -Seth Godin, Marketing Strategist and co-creator of the Ted Conference.  

Why hire a professional photographer for branding photos? 

Phone cameras have greatly improved, making taking stunning photos at your fingertips easier. However, capturing great content requires more than just a good camera. A professional photographer understands how to create a collection of images that are visually cohesive and reflect your style and personality. Factors such as lighting, background, lens choice, setting, movement, and post-production all contribute to the final product, taking your photos to the next level and creating a unique and captivating set of images. 

How often should you update these pictures?

The frequency at which you create new content determines the need for updating your professional images. If you are the product, regularly updating your images is advisable to keep your audience engaged with new developments. The same applies if you create new work regularly. You may consider hiring a photographer on a monthly or quarterly retaining fee to have updated material. Suppose you frequently generate new products like a ceramic artist or baker and require new photos on the same background. In that case, you can hire a photographer to advise you on a setup you can use independently while hiring them for more complex scenarios.

How much does branding photography cost?

If you want to strengthen your reputation and connection with your audience, consider investing in professional photography. The cost of these services can vary, with hourly rates starting at $600 and full-day rates going up to $4,000.