As you're exploring brand photography for your creative small business, it's good to know what you can expect during the experience and even better to know when you can expect it to happen. So if you're noodling a big idea for your business or are in need of intentional images for your marketing, then allow me to share how much time you should factor in for your brand photos.
How long does the brand photography experience take?
Quality results take time! You are a professional who takes pride in the work you provide to your clients. Guess what? Me, too! I want to give you a gallery of brand images that you're excited to share with your audience and to do so takes proper planning and time.
The timeline in this post accounts from the first time we talk through the delivery of your full gallery of brand pictures.
It's important to note...your experience may be different than this timeline. There's different considerations to factor in, as outlined at the end of this post. I ensure you'll have clear communication from me throughout the entire experience!
Discovery Call: 7-8 Weeks Before Your Brand Session
Considering a brand photography session with me? Let's have a phone call! I want to hear in your own words what you do and the vision you have for your brand photos. Even if your answer is 'I have no idea what my vision is that's why I'm calling you' - it's all good! I love to share ideas that are coming to mind and figure out what resonates with you.
This is a no-strings-attached conversation and a simple opportunity for us to connect. Email is all well and good but a phone call is *chef's kiss* so much better. But first...drop me a note to let me know what phone number and days/times works for you.
After the discovery call, we'll have a good idea what brand session would be best for you and your business. Then through email we'll determine the logistics - date, time, location, and anything else you may need to make your photos picture perfect.
Book Your Session: 4-6 Weeks Before Your Brand Session
Discovery call was a success - you feel comfortable and excited about your brand photos, we've determined when and where they'll take place, and now is the time to make the session official.
Booking your brand photography session requires three things. First, you'll receive two agreements - one for the actual service and the other for the image rights. And then you'll receive a third email with the invoice. Sessions are booked when both agreements are signed and a 25% deposit is paid. The remainder is due 15 days prior to your session.
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy. I'll confirm with you that your session is booked and secure your location, if necessary. PS - always happy to handle the location logistics so that you can focus on prepping for your photos!
Once your session is booked, we'll schedule your brand session planning call and your homework will be assigned.
Homework: 4-5 Weeks Before Your Brand Session
There is some homework you'll need to complete as we prepare for your brand photos. Now before you roll your eyes at me, let me say that these homework assignments are an important piece to taking the vision you have in your mind and bringing it to fruition.
Assignment #1: A Pinterest Board of Brand Photo Inspiration
I want you to daydream about your brand photos. Think about how you want to feel, emotions you want to come through, what these photos should illustrate, how your brand should be conveyed - anything that resonates with your vision should be saved to a Pinterest board and then shared with me prior to our planning call.
From there, I'll look through your board to see what themes are coming through and share my findings on the planning call.
Assignment #2: Favorite Personal Brands & What You Love About Them
Identifying a few of your favorite personal brands and what it is you love about them (or what you don't love about them) is a great way to hone in on your own brand personality. Write down a few points of reflection for each of these brands and we'll discuss on the planning call.
Planning Call: 3-4 Weeks Before Your Brand Session
Buckle in my friend, we're about to take a deep dive! This call is designed to talk about your business, brand, ideal client, marketing, and review your homework, all in an effort to prepare for your brand session.
Call me a geek but I love to learn more about you as the business owner and the business you've built! I'll ask you a series of questions to help me better understand what the areas of focus should be for your session.
We'll wrap up the planning call by reviewing your Pinterest Board and favorite personal brands. Discussing these two pieces will help us communicate what your brand is and what it's not.
Brand Planning Guide: 2 Weeks Before Your Brand Session
This is one of my favorite pieces of the brand experience - the brand planning guide. We've talked through what you do, who you serve, and how you reach your ideal client. I'll take all my notes [and I take a lot of them] and organize them into areas of focus for your brand photo session, suggested props, ways to prepare for your session, and notes on your sessions logistics.
The Planning Call and Brand Planning Guide is part of the 'special sauce' that sets a brand session apart from a session where we just show up and take photos. Past clients have raved about how the guide makes preparing for photos so easy.
It's Time: Your Brand Photo Session!
*Ahhh* The time has come to actually take your photos - woo! We'll arrive at your location, unload our items, and scope out the space. Then we'll take a look at your outfits and props to determine what we'll start with, if we haven't already decided.
It's no secret that the first few minutes of being in front of the camera can be a little uncomfortable. Totally normal to feel this way! I tend to chat it up - talking about what we're working on, how to pose, prompts for actions to take (like 'write a project to-do list in the notebook you're holding'), and even talk through what I'm thinking in terms of composition and camera settings.
As we move through your session, we'll find a creative sweet spot where the ideas are flowing and the camera is snapping away!
With about 10-15 minutes left at our location, we'll take those last minute shots and then pack up, returning the location back to the way we found it.
Full Gallery Delivered: 3-4 Weeks After Your Brand Session
Now the really fun part - receiving your gallery of brand images! It does take a bit of time to go through all the photos from our time together and then edit them. Generally, you'll receive your full library of personal brand photos within three to four weeks of your session. However, I always strive to deliver them before the three week mark.
You'll receive an email that links to your gallery. From there, all the images are yours to market with intention, connect with your ideal audience, and convey your brand message!
You did it! Take a deep breath knowing you went from 'hmm, I could use brand photos...' to 'wow, I have so many photos to use!'
Considerations When it Comes to the Timeline for Brand Photos
Of course there's always considerations to make when it comes to planning out your brand photos. Here are a few of the most common considerations clients have to make when planning, scheduling, and booking their brand sessions:
Location - Location is usually the #1 piece to the puzzle that will influence when your brand session will be scheduled. Usually, we need to make sure this is available and we have permission to shoot there before we move forward booking your session. To work around this, we'll determine 2-3 preferred dates and times that work for us and then let the location's availability make the final decision.
Hair & Make Up - Hiring a hair and makeup artist? Awesome! Their availability will most likely affect what time your brand photo session will start. Plan for two to two and half hours if you're getting both done, or one to one and a half hours if you're only having one service done. Of course, ask your HMUA what their service time is! Lastly, remember to factor in prep and driving time after your services are complete.
Final Gallery Delivery - Session length will influence when you receive your photos. A 90-minute session will produce a final gallery quicker than a full brand session.
Ready to Get the Ball Rolling? Let's schedule our discovery call together! Simply send me a note through the contact form with your phone number and some days/times that work for you and we'll go from there.
About these Personal Branding Photos in this Post
Jorden Booth delivered the creativity for her brand session! She was looking for images that actually illustrated what she did for clients. Jorden places a high priority on finding the perfect home for her clients and will ensure that every detail is perfect - including measuring to see if their couch will fit in the new home. Not only did she go above and beyond in her brand photos, she goes above and beyond when selling homes. You'll find her in constant communication with her clients, tending to all details - even vacuuming the couch - and ready to celebrate with a bottle of Veuve at closing time!
About this Northern Virginia Brand Photo Location
Love the setting in these brand photos? You're in luck! This beautiful Northern Virginia home is available to rent through Home Studio List. This service features picture perfect homes available to rent by the hour specifically for photography sessions. This particular home is called Shabby Chic and is located just outside of Leesburg, Virginia.
About Emily Marcella for Creative Brands
Emily Marcella is a Northern Virginia Brand Photographer serving personal brands and creative small businesses. Emily has a three-part approach to brand photography - together we plan strategically in order to shoot creatively and generate images that allow you to market intentionally.