Getting the Most Out of Your Images

Are you considering booking in a brand session to update your professional images? Or perhaps you’ve already purchased a brand session but aren’t completely sure about how to get the most out of it?

Whether you’re booked in or are yet to decide, there are a number of things to consider that will help you to get more out of your brand’s new images. 

Here is a quick list of questions to help you prepare…

What type of look and feel is best?

This comes down to really knowing your brand’s personality and what you want it to stand for. This can be tricky sometimes, especially as you may also be in the process of transitioning from one industry to another, or even starting out afresh as a freelancer or consultant. In these cases you may wish to adjust your personal positioning and to totally change how you present yourself. So, if your personal brand is changing, how then can you express this in your new images?

A very simple but effective way to communicate what your brand is about is to think of five words or phrases to describe it best. If you then share these with your photographer it will really help them to understand the look, feel and even brand message that you’re going for.

How do I plan to use my images?

Giving some thought to how you actually want to use your new images can be a very helpful thing to consider. Sharing this information with your photographer prior to your session will also help them to plan the type of shots of most value to you on the day. That way you will get more useful images and more shelf-life out of those images too.

Think about where you plan to put your images on show to best effect; do you need images for your website, for your social media pages, for your Google My Business page or for printed marketing materials for example? 

Also consider how you want to use the images. This again can really help your photographer to work with you to plan the types of images you will be creating on the day; for example do you need portrait or landscape images, a headshot for a particular platform such as LinkedIn, a banner portrait for speaker program notes, or images with negative space* so that you can overlay text? 

Being clear on how you want to use your professional images will help you get the maximum out of your branding session. The result will be a variety of images that are most useful in a professional sense.

By communicating these ideas beforehand with your photographer will also help them to offer you more value from their professional experience.

*Negative space refers to the area within an image where there is no clear focus or obvious subject. This can be used to effect if the composition is ‘weighted’ by positioning the subject, for example you, to the far left or right of the photo with nothing in particular on the other side. See the image below as an example. In this way text such as a website title or a promotional headline might be placed over the top of the negative space, or it may simply be used as a technique to draw the eye more directly and dramatically towards the subject.

An image utilising “negative space”.

Where should I have the photos taken?

Depending on what package you purchase your session will include one or more indoor and/or outdoor locations. Before choosing your brand session package think about the kinds of locations that would suit your brand and what you’re wanting to communicate to your audience. 

Would you prefer an urban backdrop, a more natural setting or a mix of both? Would a backdrop of colourful street art suit your brand, or a more formal indoor office setting? Do you want the shoot done within your own workspace, or at another location?

This is something that your photographer will be happy to discuss prior to the day of your session and is likely to have plenty of suggestions about too. 

Think about which locations and backdrops would best suit your business or personal brand.

What do I want to wear on the day?

This relates closely to your five words that may describe your personal or business brand’s look and feel, and how you’re trying to communicate that to your audience. Clearly this is going to be very personal and yet as a general rule comfort translates as confidence.

Having said that, some people feel more confident when they’ve gone to a lot of trouble preparing such as buying something new for their wardrobe or having their hair and makeup done specially for the occasion. Others however are more at ease when their preparation is fuss free and if you feel at your presentable best in something then by all means go with it. 

Some brand sessions allow for a change of outfit such as our Content Suite and Business Portrait Suite. This allows you to communicate a different message depending on the audience you’re speaking to, for example your newsletter contacts versus a job application, and which marketing channels you’re publishing to, for example LinkedIn versus Instagram.

Do I want to have my makeup and hair done professionally?

As we’ve mentioned this should really come down to personal choice in terms of what you’re most comfortable with and what you feel is the ideal way that you’d like to present. We’d also suggest that when you appear comfortable then that often translates as confidence, and that this in turn will build trust with your audience. Similarly comfort for most people has to do with the familiar, and so we don’t recommend trying a totally different look on the day without some tests and perhaps an honest friend’s tactful appraisal.

Keeping in mind that a professional image suite can be expected to have a shelf-life of up to two years it is important to do your best in planning to be happy with how you look on the day. Thinking ahead about the desired results will always help add to your personal confidence during your photo sessions.

What props, if any, would I like to bring along to my session? 

Including props in your brand session is another way to vary your message to your audience and to show them more about you and the work that you do. 

Before the day of your brand session try to think about any items that you can bring along on the day that will help enhance your message about your brand. Your photographer can also give you examples of what past clients have used to best effect.