Personal & business branding style guide
Let's get those finer details planned to get the most from your photoshoot!
In this guide you'll find my recommendations around how to dress for your shoot to help make the session a little more seamless. Clothing choices can increase spontaneity or take some of it away - if you are thinking about wardrobe issues it's unlikely you'll look or feel relaxed. With some consideration we can achieve the highest level of both comfort and spontaneity so you have a great experience on your shoot.
First and foremost I want you to wear something you feel good in. Getting in front of the camera can be tough! Give yourself a leg up by wearing clothes that make you feel like your best self. Whatever makes you feel confident, bring it, wear it. If you have an outfit that makes you feel off, or uncomfortable, don’t wear it. Your images will be better when you feel better. If your clothing choices don't align with my suggestions, that's fine, these are just guidelines and at the end of the day, the choice is up to you. I'm always open to looking over your outfit selections prior to your shoot so feel free to email them my way!
STORIES TO CAPTURE
PEOPLE TO INCLUDE
Models that reflect your target audience
Foods that are brand cohesive
Business cards/other marketing
Behind the Scenes
Teaching or presenting
The environment: When shooting in an outdoors location you'll probably be moving around, walking, sitting etc. You don’t want to be restricted with your clothing so wear an outfit that allows for movement.
The weather: Blue lips don't look good on anybody, so look ahead at the weather forecast, factor in the temperature, and bring layers just in case this changes.
The beach: You’ll likely get a little wet and sandy. Shoes will be likely be thrown off when we arrive. The beach is often super windy so an extra layer can be handy to keep the goosebumps at bay.
Rescheduling: While you'll see plenty of golden light throughout my portfolio, if you take a closer look you'll also see plenty of moody and stormy skies too. I absolutely LOVE to work in both scenarios and both will provide beautiful scenes. If you have your heart set on a particular look - please let me know as it may be worth rescheduling. I limit my workload to have room for rescheduling so I'm happy to be flexible for you to ensure you will make the most out of this investment.
Hair and makeup
When it comes to professional hair and makeup for personal branding or head shot photos, my vote will always be a resounding yes! I truly believe you will look beautiful either way, but having that little bit of extra can definitely add to your confidence level on the day. Once you feel great, it’s easier to relax and enjoy being in front of that camera. Below is a list of the professionals I recommend, they are experts at creating beautiful natural makeup, and I know will look after you. On booking, I suggest also finding out their postponement policy in case we need to postpone your session due to wet weather.
Unless you are booking shoots regularly, you want to be able to use this photoshoot for many months to come. Make the most of your time and wear multiple outfits. This gives you more marketing mileage and helps your content to look fresh.
Aim for a range of styles that are on on brand. Casual, dressy, professional. If what you do requires a uniform or branded clothing bring that too.
Patterns that are really large, geometric, very colourful, and highly contrasting will draw the eye to focus on these strong patterns, especially if only one member of your team or group is dressed like this. The same goes with large logos or text. Floral and light checks are a great alternative. However, if bold, bright, high contrast is your thing and represents your brand then go for it!
Try everything on at home prior to the shoot, to see how it fits and moves and to make sure the combinations you have selected work together.
Press, iron or use a steamer before you arrive so that garments aren't creased, (this is super hard to photoshop out!).
Remove anything you don't want on your wrists - scrunchies, hair ties, watches.
If you're wearing a dress I recommend medium or long dresses to cover your knees when you sit. If you're wanting to create movement, maxi dresses give you something to twirl in and can create really dynamic, interesting shapes.
Select the right colour and the right type of underwear for whatever outfit you’ve chosen. Make sure there is no pulling/ cutting in on you, no tight elastic etc. Do an underwear check to see if you have underwear lines showing. If you don't want bra straps showing choose pieces that properly cover your undergarments, in all types of movement scenarios. Strapless tops or dresses, often pinch in around the arms and back in an unflattering way, so check this if you are going strapless.
FOR THE LADIES
If you are wearing a suit, make sure it fits correctly (you would be surprised how many badly fitted suits I've photographed!). If it's to tight, and pulls, leave the buttons undone.
Dress shirts for a professional look, add a blazer or jacket to quickly create interest. If your target market isn't professionals, keep it casual and comfortable, if you don't usually wear dress shirts don't feel like you have to. Linen, loose cottons on collared shirts, breathable fabrics, or a T-shirt with an open shirt over the top will help look less business-y.
Empty those pockets of phones and keys!
FOR THE GUYS
The colours you choose to wear will change the whole look and feel of your photos, and will help communicate the story of your business.
I suggest using your brand colours, or various tones and hues of these. Solid colors help to keep a viewers eyes from getting distracted or pulling their eyes to your clothes. However, if bold, bright, pattern, colour is your thing and represents your brand then go for it! If in doubt use, warm, earthy and neutral tones. Think olive, rust, beige, dusty pink. For groups, my advice is to colour coordinate tones but not to all wear the exact same colour. A really bright red does not tend to photograph well. Neither does black as all the details get lost in the shadows. Dark gray, dark wash jeans, and dark olive are great substitutions for black. On the opposite end, wearing bright white can cast bright spots onto faces in certain light, or look blue rather than white. Off-white and cream are great, and white lace is fine because it has so much texture.
Below are a few examples of colour combinations from some of my shoots in a variety of locations. I hope these inspire you!
For more inspiration
Odds are, you already have a vision in mind about how you want to present yourself in these photos. But sometimes, that vision can be hard to describe when it’s not sitting right there in front of you. For more outfit inspiration Pinterest is where it's at. I've curated a bunch of helpful resources like the ones you see here, so take a look at my boards below, and feel free to re-pin to your own board!
What to bring checklist
Any personal appearance touchup items you might want, including things like lipstick or a hairbrush.
For TOUCH UPS
All your outfits, shoes, and any props you want to use. I've seen people use a suitcase to transport these.
CLOTHING & PROPS
If you are photographing near a body of water like the beach or a river or lake pack a towel and wipes. I always bring a change of clothes, even if it's just for the way home.
For SHOOTING NEAR Water
What to expect
I’m not photogenic, good luck getting a good photo of me”. I hear these things from clients all the time.
Most people don’t like the camera, I get this! Don't worry its not like that dreaded picture day in school when you were placed in front of a blue backdrop and forced into an awkward smile. My personal branding sessions are structured around the stories you want to tell. Each story is tied to an action or activity. Having something to do is key to making you feel more comfortable.
We’ll work through each shots one by one, capturing a mix of photos from headshots and environmental portraits to detail photos and action shots. Our goal is to create a diverse album of images, so we will vary up your wardrobe, your hair, add props and accessories, and change locations to create all the looks you want.
Unlike your school photos, I'll coach and guide you the entire time we’re working together. I’ll give you enough posing direction so you feel confident but still look natural and not ultra-posed. You’ll feel fully prepared and relaxed throughout your session, hopefully forgetting that you’re even in front of the camera.
Shops we love
FOR THE LADIES
If you can't find anything you love in your own wardrobe, Lend Me The Dress offers an amazing range of beautiful garments you can hire in a variety of sizes and colours. Use the discount code 'photographer20' for 20% off. Designer Wardrobe also has some great options!
FOR THE MEN