How to Prepare for Your Branding Session |
Las Vegas Brand Photographer
Hi! I am so excited to meet you and I am really looking forward to your branding session! My aim for your photos is a look that is timeless and natural and that shows and celebrates the real you!
Here are some tips to guide you in preparing for your photo session with me!
Time & location
Together, we will pick a location that best suits your style and personality. Maybe you want somewhere with greenery in the background, or maybe somewhere that features the area's natural desert landscape. Or maybe you want a colorful or urban look to your pictures? Oftentimes, it makes sense to have some photos take place where you do your work, like your office or workspace or, alternatively, your favorite places or spots to relax.
We will schedule your session for 1-1.5 hours before sunset, depending on the location. This time of day provides the best light to illuminate skin and hair, and creates that kind of magical, golden atmosphere in photos.
We will start the session on time to maximize this beautiful light, so please take traffic and parking time into consideration.
What to wear
Remember, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable, confident and beautiful/handsome in what you wear. Dress like you're meeting a client and just look like your best you! Below are just some tips and ideas to help you look your best in photos. Implement only as you see fit!
Colors, patterns & textures
Choose colors that compliment your hair and skin, while also considering the season and the location. You can pull colors from the location, but you don't want to blend in or clash with the colors there. Consider
neutral colors (e.g. grey, cream, brown, oatmeal, tan, ivory)
softer, lighter tones (e.g. soft pinks, blue, purple, yellow and other pastel colors, especially for spring and summer) and
muted/subdued shades (e.g. burnt orange, emerald green, maroon, navy and other jewel tones, particularly for fall and winter).
Solid colors work best, but if you love patterns, go for it! Just choose one that is not busy or distracting. Florals, polka dot and plaid can look great in pictures.
Here's something to keep in mind: In general, a lighter color palette will lead to a lighter and brighter gallery. Conversely, a darker color palette will lead to a comparatively darker gallery.
Textures add interest to photos, so feel free to incorporate them, as appropriate for your profession (think lace, wool, satin, silk, croquet, velvet, tweed, corduroy, herringbone, faux fur, faux leather, pleats, tulle, chiffon, sparkles and sequins, a long line of buttons on a dress or jumper, etc.).
Having more than one outfit can add some fun and variety to your photos! For example, considering your profession, you can have one set of casual, dressy clothes, and one set that is more formal to change into. The other benefit could be creating photos that work in different seasons (e.g. a cooler weather outfit and a hot weather outfit). Please note though, you might have to change in your car if there aren't any public washrooms nearby.
For the ladies
Dresses and skirts are the most flattering, as are blouses with textural details. Check the length of skirts and dresses while walking and sitting to see if it is too short. Clothes that flatter your silhouette (e.g. defines your waist). 3/4 length sleeves. A nice jacket; blazer; cozy cardigan for layering, if you would like or if it is cold. Heels, cute sandals and nice boots will photograph well, if we are doing full-length shots.
A LITTLE TIP: Bring flats, crocs, flip flops or other comfortable shoes for travel between shoot locations! :)
A note about undergarments: make them invisible. Be sure that they don't show their outline or texture either under or around clothing. Consider strapless options if there is a chance that straps will show (e.g. boatneck or sleeveless top). Also, it is best if the color blends in with your outfit (e.g. the same color or dark for a dark outfit, light for a light outfit). Sometimes they can peek out around outfits when we're moving around, and we don't want this to potentially detract from a photo.
For the men
Collared, button-up shirts by itself, with a sweater over top or worn open with a t-shirt inside. Knit crewneck pullover. Fitted suit/sport jacket or blazer. Nice jeans, fitted slacks, chinos or pants. Closed-toe dress shoes if we are doing full-length photos.
A LITTLE TIP: Avoid keeping your phone and mask in your pocket during the shoot, as it is distracting in photos. Also, try to avoid wearing pants with wallet or phone outlines worn in.
For outdoor photoshoots during the summer months, choose outfits that will help you stay cooler and sweat less. Certain materials are more breathable, like cotton, bamboo and linen. For ladies, consider outfits or dresses with off-the-shoulder or sleeveless tops, or wider, looser sleeves. For men, consider shirts in these colors: black, charcoal, white, navy blue and pale pink. Undershirts can help as well with sweat marks, as will antiperspirant.
Regarding oil/shine on the face, consider applying powder or using oil-absorbing sheets. If you're not wearing makeup, you might consider washing your face or using a baby wipe before the photoshoot.
During the colder months, layers are the secret to staying warm in style! Think undershirts and long undies. Think big, cozy knit sweaters and scarves (yay, added texture!). Beanies or toques can be cute if anybody would like a hat. Another idea is to bring a complementary colored blanket to cuddle in!
A few well-chosen accessories can really complete an outfit, add a bit of glamour and take it to the next level!
For the guys, consider belts, watches, ties, bow ties, pocket squares, tie clips, suspenders and/or socks in a fun pattern. For the gals, consider bracelets, stacks of bangles, rings, earrings, statement necklaces, long necklaces, pretty headbands or hair bows, barrettes, ribbons in the hair and scarves. You can also bring a hat to wear or as a prop, but be mindful of how it might affect your hair. We can also just do shots with the hat on at the end of the session.
Props can be informative to the viewer and add interest to a branding session. Though it is not required, you might consider including some of these items for some of the pictures.
Your tools or supplies (e.g. planners, writing utensils, tablets, laptops, brushes, apron, lab coat, cooking utensils)
Works in progress
Some of your favorite things
Something that shows your uniqueness (e.g. a talent, interest, hobby, collection)
Things that inspire you (e.g. a motivational book, photo or relevant textbook)
Gifts for clients
What to avoid
I want your photos to be timeless, and I want the main focus of your photos to be your face and expression. Here are some things that can work against those goals and that are best to avoid...
Trendy/fad clothing (will look dated in a few years). Any outfits that make you feel self-conscious, uncomfortable or that don't fit properly. Neon/florescent/bold colours (these colors can reflect back onto your skin and face or onto others). Words, logos or graphics of any size. Sport watches (e.g. Fitbit). Hair ties on wrists. Pinstripes. Overly revealing tops or too short bottoms. Skinny shoulder straps. Baggy or skin-tight clothing. Turtlenecks (hides the neck). Cargo shorts or pants. Flip flops. Running shoes. Chipped nail polish or dirty nails. Pet hair on clothes. Worn items with tears, stains or a lot of lint. Phones, masks or wallets showing in pockets.
Hair & makeup
Treat yourself and use a professional if you can, but it's definitely not required! Hair that looks like it can move when you move look great and natural. Common hairstyles include leaving your hair down, loosely curled, half up half down and a loose, side braid. Be aware of flyaways - flexible hold hairspray can help.
For branding photos, the goal is still to look like yourself, but your best self! Use makeup to add some color (20% heavier than usual works better for photos), foundation and concealer as needed, and powder to help prevent shine (oil-absorbing sheets are great to have on hand). Bring makeup for touch-ups. The goal is fresh and natural. If you want to keep it simple, just apply a natural lip color and mascara. False lashes photograph well. Painted nails (toes, too, if you're wearing sandals!) and French manicures add the perfect detail.
A fresh haircut for the males looks best. On hot days, before the shoot, you can use a baby wipe, oil-absorbing sheet or wash your face to take away any oil/shininess.
What to bring
Water (with ice during the summer), tissues, small mirror, makeup for touch-ups, oil-absorbing sheets, hairbrush and comfortable shoes for travel between locations.
Prepare outfits ahead of time to reduce stress and ensure proper sizing. Get ready 30-60 minutes earlier than you think you should.
Get a good night's sleep and it will show in your pictures!
Moisturize hands and apply moisturizing lip balm in the week leading up to the session. Dry skin is no joke in the desert(!), so this will help with photos. I recommend Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion.
If we are doing full-length photos, ensure that your shoes look clean, soles included.
Take one last look in a mirror just before the shoot. Check your teeth for food and spit out gum. Straighten any necklaces, collars or headbands. Remove oil/shine with an oil-absorbing sheet. Address any flyaways in your hair.
If you choose not to wear your glasses for the session, remove them at least 15 minutes prior, so that any red marks on your nose have time to disappear.
Make sure your mask, wallet and phone don't show in any pockets during the shoot.
Iron out wrinkles in your outfits, as needed, and remove any loose strings and pet hair.
I can't wait to work with you to create beautiful branding photos that you can use for your marketing! I want this to be an easy-going session for you, so just bring a lighthearted attitude and plan to have fun! 🙂 Please feel free to contact me with any questions related to your session. Take care and see you soon!