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  • Writer's pictureEmily Marcella

Curious About Personal Brand Photography? How to Get Started Easily Without the Overwhelm!

Personal brand photography is a new phenomena for the photography world and has been evolving rapidly over the last few years. Is it headshots? Is it commercial photography?

Everyone has their own idea of what to expect for personal brand photos and, quite frankly, there's no right answer or formula.

As a photographer, my goal is to develop an experience that makes brand photography attainable for all creative small businesses and personal brands. So if you're considering brand photography, then allow me to introduce you to the One-Off Brand Session.

Northern Virginia Brand Photographer | Elevate Your Brand with Intentional Marketing Images

Whether you've been in business for years or are just starting out, if you've never booked a brand photo session, then the One-Off Brand Session is a great place to start.

Before we dive in to the specifics of the session and how it's a good starting point, allow me to share what every brand client will experience with Emily Marcella for Creative Brands.

On a very high-level, the brand photography experience can be presented in three steps:

  1. Plan Strategically Before a single photo is ever taken, I'll take the time to get to know you, your brand, your goals, and your ideal client. We'll have some great conversation and look through images that inspire you. All the information and images you share then go into a strategic plan, the brand guide, for your session. This guide will give us a baseline to work from and prepare for our time together.

  2. Shoot Creatively Now is the time we've been looking forward to - the brand session! The brand guide we put together will give us direction in our time together and ultimately we get creative and find what feels right for you and your business.

  3. Market Intentionally Say goodbye to piecing together stock photos and hello to a full library of curated on-brand images of you and what you have to offer. Take the reigns and use your brand photos in a meaningful way by marketing intentionally to your audience.

All brand sessions will experience that simplified structure. Each small business and personal brand are unique so what goes into each session will look different.

Personal Brand Photographer in Northern Virginia | Emily Marcella for Creative Brands

What is a One-Off Personal Brand Photo Session?

The One-Off Brand Photo Session is intended for personal brands and small businesses who are interested in brand photography and want to get started building their library of brand images.

This session is also intended for brands who want to continue to refresh or add visual content to their established library of marketing images.

These sessions are shorter and easy to prepare for so that if you're totally new to brand photography, you can try it out without feeling overwhelmed.

What's Included in a One-Off Personal Brand Photo Session?

Personal brands who book a one-off brand session are dipping their toes in the water of brand photography. The point is to come out on the other side with the beginning of a library of brand images. Put another way - creating enough fresh content to get through 2 - 3 months of marketing, depending on what you're doing.

A One-Off Brand Session includes:

  • Brand Session Planning Call

  • 90-Minutes of Photography Coverage

  • (1) Location of Your Choice

  • 2-3 Outfit Selections

  • All Edited High-Resolution Images

You may be looking at these features and wonder if your business really needs all of that. After all, you're just looking for a couple photos, right?

Sure, you're just looking for a couple photos but there's a rhyme and reason to these features based on past experience and figuring out what works best.

The Planning Call - Ever heard 'proper planning prevents poor results'? Every Type-A, Enneagram 1, planner-loving person has because there's so much truth in that statement. Your photo session deserves to be properly planned for. You'll get a better result and you'll go into your photos feeling confident knowing you are prepared.

This call is an hour long and is intended to cover a lot of ground. We'll discuss your business, brand, ideal client, and your vision for your brand photos. The goal is to identify a few focuses for your session so that we can maximize our time together.

90-Minutes of Photography Coverage - Yes, 90-minutes sounds like a lot of time to be in front of the camera. Truth be told, you won't be in front of the camera the entire time AND time flies. Ninety minutes accounts for setting the scene, outfit changes, discussing ideas, lighting, etc. Most importantly it accounts for when the creative juices start flowing and you start to request specific shots - that's when we're in the zone!

Location of Your Choice - The right location is important for several reasons (like building the right emotional connection with your audience) and you want to find a versatile space to reflect your brand (here's what to consider). Going into your planning call, you should know where you want to take your photos or have a couple options ready to discuss. Consider using Home Studio List, Peerspace, and Airbnb to find locations.

2-3 Outfits - The outfits you choose for your brand photos will help tell a story and really connect with your ideal client (here's some info on how to plan outfits). Besides seeing your eyes, viewers can connect with what you're wearing and visualize themselves working with you. The 2-3 outfits for a 90-minute session basically accounts for a new outfit every 30 minutes. Can you have more? Of course but definitely factor in additional time to change. Can you do less? Sure but you loose variety in your gallery.

Why Should I Book a One-Off Personal Brand Photo Session?

Something inside of you is saying 'hey, this could be really beneficial' and that little voice should be trusted.

As a small business owner, you juggle a lot of different tasks and projects everyday. To add one more project to your to-do means you're risking getting overwhelmed or letting something else fall off your radar. This session hits different...

The One-Off Brand Session is intentionally designed to give you the brand photo experience at an attainable level.

When you book a session, you have someone else guiding you through the whole process. I'm here to help you plan, prepare, and execute your brand photos so that you get a library of on-brand curated images ready to market your business intentionally.

While it may feel like a risk to add a new project to your to-do list, the reward is so worth it!

How will Brand Photos Benefit my Business and Marketing?

Just one simple scenario we've all experienced - open up Instagram, see everyone else posting, and then guilt ourselves for not posting or not knowing what to post.

Gone are those days of not having content to post! Your brand photo gallery will give you plenty of options for visual content to pair with sharing your expertise and connecting with your audience.

Of course brand photos are good for more than just Instagram content. There are so many ways brand photos can benefit your creative small business:

  1. Build a Connection - A stat that astounds me no matter how many times I read it is 50% of a brand experience is based on emotion (source and a blog post). The emotions your audience feels when looking at your brand photos will start their experience with your brand. Sprinkle in your personality and expertise within the photos and you're well on your way to building a connection with your audience. Making the job of converting potential clients into repeat clients that much easier.

  2. Illustrate What You Do - Potential clients want to know what it's like to work with you. They want to feel confident they're making the right decision by hiring you. Just like you're learning more about what I do by reading this, your clients will do the same. Make that decision easier for them by showing what you do. We'll dive into what your process and client experience is so that we can produce visuals that take the guess work out for your audience.

  3. Appeal to Who You Serve - ...and want to serve more of, AKA your ideal client. Determine who your favorite clients are and what makes them similar. We want your photos to appeal to them by evoking the right emotions and what they value so that they stop the scroll and learn more about you!

  4. Elevate Your Brand Across All Platforms - with a library of brand photos, you can go through all your channels (website, social, blog, digital materials, etc.) and use curated images that vibe with your aesthetic. Cohesive imagery on all platforms instantly makes your business stand out and speaks volumes about your level of service and quality a client can expect.

  5. Fulfill Visual Needs in Your Content Marketing - you have the talent, you have the expertise, and you have the desire to create content. Brand photos can easily be the photos you pair with your written content to catch your audience's eye. Writing a blog post around your most asked question? Add in brand photos to illustrate your point. Then take those visuals and create Pinterest pins to generate new traffic to your blog post, a Reel with the content highlights to grow your audience, a Facebook post to send your existing audience to your post, and the dominoes continue to fall...

  6. Gain Time to Market and Grow Your Business - Creating good visuals for your business on your own takes a lot of time and effort. Like too much time and effort. A brand photo session means the library should instantaneously put time back into your work day. Spend your time in the marketing efforts that produce new business (as we identify in your planning call) knowing you have the visuals to support your marketing needs

Emily Marcella for Creative Brands | Northern Virginia Brand Photographer

How Do I Book a One-Off Brand Photo Session?

The first step to achieving greatness in your business...and booking your brand photos... is to say you're interested!

Share your info and any initial ideas or questions you may have. We'll have a quick discovery call (because we can connect better on the phone) to learn more about each other and turn your ideas into beautiful brand photos.


About Emily Marcella for Creative Brands

Emily Marcella is a Northern Virginia Personal Brand Photographer serving creative small business owners. She helps personal brands and small businesses owners strategically create intentional marketing images to fulfill their digital and social media content marketing goals.


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