If you’ve been a part of my community for a while, you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate for getting professional branding photos for your business. For me, it’s a no-brainer. Your professional photos can be used everywhere: your website, Instagram, Facebook, other social platforms, newsletters and even on flyers and business cards. Photos do so much to bring your brand to life and tie everything together. And most of all, they’re the real you. Your target market gets to see YOU and connect with YOU and as service providers, that’s magic. That’s something stock photos can never achieve.
Ok, rant over. But seriously, investing in professional photos is priceless. Do it!
I recently had a photoshoot with the talented Sophie of Sister Scout Studio. I LOVE the photos that I received. The shoot itself went so well, with Sophie helping to make me feel at ease, like I was hanging out with a friend rather than a camera. But I’m jumping ahead of myself. Let’s start with why I wanted the photoshoot in the first place.
I’ve had a couple of branding shoots before and I love the photos that I’ve been using for the past few years. It was just felt like time for a little refresh. I was getting tired of the photos and there’s only so many times you can share the same images on Instagram. For a couple of months I felt the pull to contact Sophie and eventually I jumped on her website and booked a phone call with her.
One thing that I wasn’t expecting from Sophie was that she organises your preferred venue for you. I knew Gather Women in Seddon, Melbourne would be the perfect location and once we organised the dates, Sophie locked in the venue too. So easy!
I had six weeks to prepare for my shoot. I had an idea of the types of shots I wanted and I knew my brand colours needed to be present in the photos but in a subtle way. Sophie had a great questionnaire to help me think of all the things: style, props, clothing, everything. The questions helped a lot.
To be honest, even with all the planning, my anxiety got the better of me. I ended up placing a lot of pressure on myself, wanting to be super organised so that I would get the most out of the photoshoot. I was also busy building a couple of websites at the time and it did feel overwhelming. Try as we might, sometimes our insecurities get the better of us. So perhaps I did visit one too many shops in order to find the ‘perfect’ props and clothes. Continual note to self: perfect does not exist.
I recently attended a Vulnerability workshop, led by Of Kin’s Kylie Lewis and organised by Sister Scout Studio (yep, my photographer also runs awesome events) and it all clicked. Standing in front of a camera and on show is being vulnerable. It’s risky and takes courage and my way of dealing with that was to freak out. I’m glad that eventually (a few days before the photoshoot), I started to cut myself slack, reassuring myself that my efforts were good enough, and I even began to enjoy the final preparations.
Another thing that did help me was putting together a neat little spreadsheet of all the shots I wanted and what I’d be wearing for them. Super nerdy of me but it did help to get all of my thoughts out of my head and into cells! I’ve included a screenshot of it for your own inspiration – maybe it’ll help with releasing some of the anxiety that comes with wanting your shoot to be just right (or maybe that’s just me). And I’d highly recommend not spending too much time scrolling Instagram for ideas. Trust that your own vision for your photos is great!
I also decided that I wanted my hair and makeup done before the shoot. This took A LOT of the pressure off. Not only did I not have the stress of doing it myself, it also helped me to relax on the day. There’s nothing like being pampered before stepping in front of a camera. Shout out to Danee of Killer Queen Creative – how great did my curls look!!
And then there was the photoshoot itself. I loved that Sophie arrived with my spreadsheet printed and attached to a clipboard (and that she referred to it during the shoot to keep us on track).
I smiled a lot for two hours. Other highlights: five outfit changes, lots of laughter, lots of trust in my photographer and best of all, business besties, Jacq and Kate, joined me on the day to be my clients in some of the photos. It went so well and I was so relieved!
Perhaps I could’ve circumvented some of the stress but overall, it was worth it. I now have close to 200 photos to play with. And most of all, I love seeing me in the photos. I love that I look down to earth, professional and approachable; all the values of my brand coming to life.