If you run a business, you need photos. You know that. But you need more than just a headshot for LinkedIn and your “About Me” page.

You’ll need images that tell your clients, customers and wider audience WHAT it is that you do and HOW you do those things. In essence, you need to show them the transformation they’ll experience after working with you.

But how do you transform your message into images and style? And how do you make sure that those photos aren’t just literal but also speak to your audience and represent your style and personality?

One way is to be very deliberate in the kind of locations that are used for your photos and how the light is being used. Another is to make sure your outfits match the location, your messages, your offers and your brand story.

And a third one is to make sure you find a photographer whose editing style fits with all the above.

Let me share a few different visual approaches and styles you could be looking at:

Light and airy

Location: Use of big, vast spaces with high ceilings, white or light walls, lots of natural light that represents openness and expansiveness. Could be a daylight photo studio or yoga studio.

Outfits: Wear bright or light colours with accents of colour or contrast. Block colours, little or no patterns to not distract from you.

Message: Openness, sincerity, wealth, confidence

Dark and moody

Location: Dark walls, smaller light sources, cosy spaces. Light accents in the background, comfy furniture. Working with light and shadow.

Outfits: Dark colours, simple designs, small or no patterns.

Message: Cozy, friendly, mellow, approachable.

Earthy and boho

Location: In nature – parks, woods or fields. Rooms with lots of light and plants. Lots of natural light.

Outfits: Earthy tones, natural fabrics, flowy dresses and skirts. No or small patterns, potentially barefoot.

Message: down-to-earth, sustainable, caring, considerate, free.

Playful and fun

Location: Location is not as relevant as it’s more about you than the space. But the place can be colourful, cluttered, cosy furniture with trinkets and light accents. Ideally naturally bright spaces with natural light through big windows.

Outfits: Bold colours, bold patterns and contrast. Unique or quirky outfits can work well.

Message: Not taking yourself too seriously, playful and approachable

Serious and professional

Location: Darker colours, can be a studio to remove distractions. Big spaces with lots of light. Clean designs, deliberate backgrounds and props.

Outfits: Block colours, small or no patterns, colour accents to create contrast to your space.

Message: Serious, professional, qualified, confident

These suggestions above are not set-in-stone rules but might be able to help you find a direction. You can combine styles to create a look that really speaks to you and your brand.

However, it’s important to choose locations and outfits that work together and help you tell the story of your offer and personality so people can connect with you. Think about how you want your business and brand to be perceived and use this to design your own brand shoot.

Locations that generally work well are:

  • parks and woodlands for outdoorsy characters
  • your office, co-working spaces, cafes for images to show you at work
  • your workshop or shop if you have it
  • yoga studios or daylight photo studios for simple sets with no distractions – all you’ll need is a chair or a stool and some props

However, all of this prep work doesn’t just have to be done by you – depending on who your book to take your photos, your photographer might be able to help you. Whatever places you decide to use, make sure everything is in balance and harmony – not just in terms of locations and outfits but more importantly you don’t want your images to contradict your actual messaging and brand style.

Just because you like looking at a style of images, they don’t necessarily have to work for your own business.

How do you find the right photographer to match your brand?

When you research your photographer, really pay attention to who they photograph, where they mostly work and how they edit their photos. there are constant trends that some photographers follow and other not – depending on whether those trends speak to you, those photographers will be a good or bad fit.

Those trends could be editing images very warm, in brown, earthy tones. Others are to stick with a similar kind of location – that’s when photographers have their own studio, use their home or the same spaces for every client.

If you can’t make a good judgement on the images you would get from a photographer, ask them to see a full gallery from a shoot to see how consistent their images look.

One thing to explore is how flexible someone’s editing style is. If you like someone’s work but you know their images would stand out on your website or Instagram feed because they don’t match the asthetics – how willing is the photographer to match your style rather than their own?

To give a quick run down of the above in regards to my approach… I try to use locations that represent my clients. I don’t have a studio that I use every time but I have a few locations I can rely on if my clients need help deciding.

When you book me, you will receive a short prep guide that will help you decide on locations, styling, outfits and props to bring.

My editing style is pretty close to reality – I don’t follow editing trends as I know they will age over time. I also generally don’t change my editing style to match my clients. It’s something that can be discussed but I’ve built and developed my style over years and years and trying to match something else will most likely take me a long time. There are small changes that can be accommodated but if this is something you’d want, it would have to be discussed ahead of time.

If after reading this, you still don’t really know where to start planning your session, really pay attention to what images speak to you that you see on your social feeds. Try to see if there is a theme on style, colours, subjects and content and make note on what speaks to you. Compare that with the images you usually use online and create your own little mood board and style guide.

Over time, you should get a sense of colours, style and aesthetics that speak to you. That’s when you can start researching Brand Photographers near you and compare their work with what you found you’d like your brand to represent in photos.

If my style speaks to you, I’d love to chat with you to help you create stunning photographs that help your business stand out against your competition and show your audience more of your personality. Are you ready?

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