In today’s episode I am answering a question that I get often… do I actually NEED branding photos? If you’re anything like me – you’re not too excited about spending money to get ready, feel awkward, and hope that you get a few usable shots… haha! These Professional Branding Photo Hacks are gonna blow your mind!
That’s why I created this episode for you – I explain IF you need professional pics, how to get the most bang for your buck, my superhacks for getting the MOST out of your session, and my system for getting in as much variety as possible.
I even share how you can get a photo session for free! I hope you enjoy.
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
I had a friend messaged me yesterday and asked me Stef, do I need branding photos? How can I just not do this? Cause I don’t want two and three. How do I get the most bang for my buck? And I gave her all of this amazing feedback. You should totally record a podcast on that because so many people are probably wondering all about this. This is all about if you need to get the branding picks and all of my hacks to get your biggest bang.
The first question is, do I actually need branding photos? Yes, girlfriend, you do. Are you going to build a sustainable online brand? Are you going to start the podcast eventually and have a website that has the basic info about you? Do you want to send out freebies or PDFs or email blasts to a list in the future? If any of those are yes, you do need professional. In my opinion, branding photos.
Now this does not need to be expensive. And I’m going to share with you how I’ve gotten this done for free in the past. I’m also going to share with you all the different hacks that can make this extraordinarily successful for you in as small amount of time as possible. You’re going to love it. The reasons I’m saying yes is because people can tell when you’re using a selfie pictures, okay, that’s going to be go ahead and be a no.
It’s hard to get quality photos, even on portrait mode from your phone and you are the brand. I don’t care if you’re like me and you work from PJ’s all day, we can still take professional picks in our PJ’s. You know what I’m saying? Like you guys have to know that I’m legit and having those photos is my book cover to the story of my business. You’re judging me whether you want to admit it or not, because we all are judging everyone.
We work with everyone or listened to every podcast. We click on every book that we buy. Every coach, every course we are absolutely 100% judging the coach, the program, the quality, all of it from the photos. I am not saying perfection here. I am just saying to have some professional photos done that you can start with. All right. That’s going to be a yes.
When do I do it is the next question. Well, you should do it as soon as possible. The very first thing that I have, all of my students do is start a podcast. That’s like actually, step one, not getting the website done, not doing all the scenes, not having opt-ins or courses. You’ve got to grow an audience in order to have people to send to a website in order to have people to sell to.
The first thing you got to do, well, number one is get clarity as you guys know. But the second thing is you’re going to grow an audience using podcasting. And the very first thing you need to start, your show is channel art. Like when you’re actually going to go launch the show and what better way reason to go do professional picks, because you’re going to need one 80% of the time you use a branded photo on your art.
Most of my girls do. Okay. So you’re going to need it right away. And then from there, what are you doing? Well, you’re probably setting up a super simple website that needs your, your branded photos. Maybe you have a social media profile picture. Like, I mean, come on guys, right? Like, yes, you’re doing it. Let’s just, let’s just say we’re doing it.
Now you go, Oh my gosh, but isn’t this going to be crazy expensive? What? I can’t afford this. You’ve told yourself that you can’t afford this before you’ve ever looked into how you can make this a reality.Let me start with what it could look like versus the reality of what it looks like for me getting branding photos. It could look like you hire someone for thousands and thousands of dollars and you do an all-day branding session.
These are Epic. Okay. Let me just put that out there. If you can afford it, great. Hire a fancy photographer in your area. Hire a really great person. Fly someone in from California and New York. You know what I’m saying? Great flit around all day have 27 outfit changes for locations and let it be, let it be a few. I mean, that would obviously be incredible. You could use those photos forever for everything. Amazing.
However, I know most of you, and I know that most of you are sitting over there saying I don’t have a lot of money to spend on this. If any two, I don’t really want to do that. I want to get in and out, get back to my family, to get back to my business. I just need some pictures to get started. So for those of you who are in that boat, which I’ve done both, I’ve done the big law all day long branding photo shoots, and I’ve done power sessions.
The other option is to do something that’s, I’m just calling. I don’t know if they’re actually called something in the photography space, but it’s like a power session where basically you get an hour and you are in and out with one vision, one focus in mind. And it’s like, girl, I’m getting in and out with as low investment as possible with as many photos, photos as possible with as much variety as I can in as little amount of time, which is one hour.
And it’s typically one location. All right. That is totally a thing. Now, if there’s not a photographer around that offers it. Just ask for it. Hey, photographer. I literally love your work. I’m curious. Would you be open to doing a one hour branding photo shoot with me one location, one hour, one set price. What do you think? Why not ask?
It’s not that much work for them. They show up, they do one location. They do probably like a one simple photo filter, a quick scrub edit and Kanji or picks boom done, son.That is actually what I prefer. Let’s talk about that. Let’s say that you reach out to some photographers and you get someone to say yes to that. Awesome.
Here’s what I told my friend when she asked me, well, how do I, do you have any tips for me? Like what are the tips here? I told her the biggest focus for me when I go into a photo shoot is I need to get the most variety as, as humanly possible. Like I want as many outfit changes as I can. I want as many different poses as I can. I am just going to be a whirlwind in there because I only, your girl only got an hour and I’m going to bust it out.
That’s the goal. Then in order to prepare for that, here are my tips and hacks for you to get the most bang out of this session in an hour, in my last one hour. I’ll tell you how I’ve done this for free. By the way, in my last hour, I was able to get in seven outfit changes in one hour, and I believe that she ended up giving me back over 50 photos, usable, good photos.
What? And PS, I got that for free. Are you still with me? All right. Let’s start with, let’s start with how to get it for, and then we’ll move into all the hacks of how in the heck I got seven outfit changes and probably over 40 different poses. What 50? Cause she got me 50 pic pictures back in an hour.
So think about what you have to offer. What do you do? Are you a nanny? A coach? A web designer? Social media person, VA, nutritional coach fitness mentor. Like what do you have to offer? What is your business going to be and, and think about, is there a way that I could offer something to this photographer to do a swap, to, to give them something course access or coaching or back office support or VA services or whatnot, nannying for your kids.
n exchange for the one hour photo shoot. And that is definitely worth asking. I’ve also done swaps with people simply for the social media exposure. Hey staff, I’ll do a photo shoot for you in exchange for every time you post my picture, you post my photography services, which I just did. Hey, Ashley Shaw on Instagram, you guys can check her out, but she pitched me and was like, Hey, can we do this branding swap in exchange for visibility and promotion?
I’m like, yes, yes. And amen. Why? Yes we can. My friend. And it was actually God’s hand was on that because I went and ended up doing a rebrand a couple of weeks later. What crazy. Incredible. So you can swap with someone. I have swapped with other photographers in the past and I’ve also paid for sessions. So I typically try to get new branding photos once a year. Okay. Let’s talk about hacks hack.
Number one. How do you get in all of these outfit changes? If you guys are in Albuquerque or the New Mexico area definitely hit up at, Hey, Ashley Shaw on Instagram and hire her for branding picks because she did incredible. As you all can see from my pod art from Instagram way more photos to come on the website, pretty soon she killed it. Okay. So y’all for sure.
Hit her up. Okay. What I did was I started with a vision. What photos did I want to achieve in this hour? And I created a list and then Chelsi Jo had a great recommendation, which was to create a, a branding board based on Pinterest, like with different poses so that I could send her ahead of time, what poses I wanted. And then I had a master list of all the different poses looks like. F.
or example, I wanted one in the PJ’s on the bed with the laptop, jumping, spinning, drinking coffee, frustrated, playing with my hair walking pointing at my cute shirt. I want to one city, journaling, sitting at the desk with a planner. I want to one with my son’s favorite mug that he bought me or one reading my Bible.
So I had this big list, thinking ahead, what podcast episodes could I possibly create? And what type of photos will I need for that? What, what vibe do I want? What color scheme am I going for? And all of those things.
So I had this big master list, probably 25 poses that I wanted to achieve. In this time I started there. Then I went and bought probably four new shirts or four new things that were in the exact branding colors that I wanted, because your photo-shoot should match your branding.
You’re going to use it all together. Right? You’re going to use it on your website. So don’t wear a hot pink shirt. If your brand colors are blue and purple, right? You want to stick within your color wheelhouse. The next thing I did was I pre-planned the outfits. So I chose what was the staple outfit going to be, where I would transition easily into outfit too.
So for example, if I start with jeans and a t-shirt, then I just added a sweater, change my hair and took my shoes off for number two. Then the next one, all I had to do was change my shirt. Cause the jeans I was going to stick with or whatnot. So like each outfit change kind of bled into the next outfit change. And then I put the outfits in bags and labeled them outfit.
One outfit to outfit three all the way through, off at seven, I had the jewelry and a sticky note in the bag for myself with a reminder of what to do with my hair and what poses I wanted in that outfit, because you will not believe how fast an hour goes and you have got to be efficient and effective. So I would get into outfit number two, and I grabbed the sticky note and be like, cool, we’re doing coffee.
I’m doing a laptop with this one. And I’m writing in my journal. Boom. And I would tell her that she had it in her brain. I had it in my brain. We were ready to go. I’d run back to the dressing room, swap it out, get into outfit. Number three, it had the sticky note. It was like, okay. And this one I’m leaning against the wall. I am praying and I am laughing.
Perfect. So it really gave me so much variety without having to think. I think that’s the worst part about branding. Photos is you’re sitting there awkward, not knowing what poses to do. You’re wasting a bunch of time and I’m like, I don’t want to do this again. Like, I’m sorry, but like it’s not super fun for me to like schedule
And drive all the way and pay all the things and do all the things.
And how about the, like, I’m not here for photo shoots. Your girl was not meant to be a model. Okay. I’m just here. Like let’s do this once a year and get it over with, and I want to do the best that I can as quickly as humanly possible. So that’s what I did. And it was amazing. I had all of the props that I wanted for each photo shoot in the bag.
So if outfit change, number two said coffee, mug and pen and journal. The pen journal and coffee mug are in bag number two. So take two hours and organize the photo shoot. Before you ever step out of the door came before you ever leave the house. Last hacks that I have for you guys is a hair, a tear change, and I sweater will go a really long way. Also making sure you are constantly facing the light very, very important.
Also don’t just always be happy. There are times where you are going to have podcast episodes. When you’re going to have hard topics or vulnerable posts where you need some variety, you need some frustrated or angry or sad or prayerful. So think ahead of time and come up with multiple emotions in your photo. Shoot, not just smiling the same way at the camera all the time and get awkward, do not be afraid to get awkward.
Final hack for you is to throw on some super fun music, vibrant music, worship music, rap music, you know, I don’t know, whatever, whatever I am not here to judge your music choices, but I am here to tell you that when you loosen up and have fun, your photo shoot is going to be all the better for it. I hope that you enjoyed this. Go schedule that shoot sister. I can’t wait to see it. And I’ll meet you back here real soon.