FAQs for Personal Brand Photoshoot

Everything You Wanted to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask) About Your First Branding Photo Shoot

By this point, you’ve realized brand photography is good for business, especially in Austin. Able to make a world of difference for your brand, your brand photos can establish your credibility in the online marketplace and build that oh, so coveted like-know-trust factor with the clients and customers of your dreams.

So you booked a personal brand shoot, but now you have, ahem, questions. As a brand photographer, I am committed to educating my clients on everything branding and brand photography throughout the entire process, but there are a few questions I still get asked from time to time. My goal is to help you feel even more prepared, especially if you have a question you’ve been afraid to ask. Maybe you’ll see it here.

ATX Brand Photographer, Alicia Leigh, holding her camera and composing a shot during a personal branding photo session in her North Austin Studio.

Preparing For Your First Austin Brand Photography Shoot? Here Are The Frequently Asked Questions of First-Timers. 

1. Can I bring my friend/spouse?

That depends on the purpose. Is it just to watch? It’s a good idea to only bring a guest if they’re going to be aiding in setup/takedown or otherwise actively engaging as a teammate. If they’re not, it would be best to leave your friend out of your session.

The reasons:

  1. Having extra people in the area can be dangerous. As your photographer, I’m going to move around a whole heck of a lot, and (because I’m focused on you) I have a tendency to trip over people and things that are not you. To keep from tripping over your guest, I’ll have to constantly relocate them, and this can affect the flow of your session.
  2. Your guest will probably get bored. They all do. The idea is exciting, but the execution is not. If they’re simply there to watch, there isn’t much for them to do. And when they get bored and restless, you start to stress. And when you start to stress, it shows in your photos.
  3. COVID is still a whole thing. We’re still wearing masks because I’m trying to protect you, my team, and my other clients. Having more people in the room makes staying safe more difficult. 
  4. Being watched makes you more self-conscious. I know, I know. It’s your best friend and you may not think this will happen. But I’ve seen it happen a lot. When you have a “watcher”, you’re less relaxed. You get into your head, worried that they’re judging or critiquing you. Keeping this a judgment-free zone ensures you relax and enjoy the process.

2. Can I squeeze in more outfits?

For Signature Sessions, I recommend 4 outfits + a bonus/backup option. You’re welcome to bring more options, especially if you want my help narrowing things down. But we stick to 5 outfits as that’s usually PLENTY. Time spent changing/deciding is less time we have to spend shooting. I want to make the most of our time together.

For Refresh Sessions, you will have time for 2 outfits (but bring a backup.) If you’re wanting more looks and variety, the Signature Session is the way to go. 

3. Can you get me in by {insert short time frame here}?

Likely not as I book out a few months in advance, particularly around the holidays/end of the year. When you ask this question of your photographer, though, it’s important to remember that rushed bookings cannot afford us the time we need to chat, plan, and prepare you for your customized session. 

My advice:

Inquire 4+ weeks before your desired session date. This gives us the time we need to cover all the bases, so you come into your session feeling good, confident, and ready. 

4. Can I shoot my brand photography session on-location in Austin? 

Yes, we can definitely shoot your session on-location! The studio is not mandatory, by any means, but a lot of clients do find it helpful and oftentimes less stressful.

5. Can we split our time between the studio and on-location during one shoot?

No, I’m sorry, but we can’t split up your sessions into part-studio and part on-location. Setup and takedown require significant time, travel between the two places requires time, hair and makeup take time, and, by the end of it all, a fun, heartfelt session has rather unfortunately turned into a long, grueling day. As a result, the images suffer. Trust me: it’s not worth it.

My advice:

Book two separate shoots with two different goals‒ one on-location and one in the studio. You’ll get all the amazing photos you want and an overall less stressed experience.

Bonus: Not-So-Frequently Asked Questions

A lot of the time, the questions that go un-asked are some of the most important ones to address. They’re questions about our worries or self-conscious feelings, so-called “embarrassing” questions. Questions like… 

  • Can you make sure this mole on my face doesn’t show up in my photos? 
  • I don’t want to look pregnant in these photos. Can you hide how much I’m already showing? 
  • Will it be possible for me to take a break and pump breastmilk? 
  • Can we turn down the lights a bit? Sometimes they trigger my migraines. 

If you’re feeling self-conscious about something or have any special needs, let your photographer know. I have intentionally created this judgment-free zone for you because my goal is always to make sure you feel comfortable and cared for throughout your shoot.

How To Prepare For Your First Brand Photoshoot

  1. Write down your goals for the photoshoot. What do you want your brand photos to help you achieve? Where in your business are brand visuals needed?
  2. Get clear on your brand message. This is so big. I can take great photos of you, but if you want real impact, we need to make sure they communicate a message. What does your brand stand for? Who are you serving? What message are you hoping to communicate? 
  3. Gather your brand assets. Things like a color palette, brand fonts, and brand words can be very helpful in clarifying your brand personality for your photoshoot. If you’re working with (or have worked with) a brand designer, they’ll likely craft these things for you as part of their service and then we can use them in the planning and design of your session.

How To Mentally Prepare for Your Austin Brand Photography Session

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare all the stuff (acquire wardrobe, props, set things out, review items, audit your content needs, pack, etc). And by plenty, I mean, it’s not a bad idea to give yourself at least 3 weeks to prep for your brand photography, even here in Austin. Clients are always thankful when they take this suggestion to not try to accomplish too much in too short of a window.

The reasons:

  1. Sourcing items can take time. You want to have enough time for things to arrive and to make changes when online shopping.
  2. You need a good night’s sleep and peace of mind. The more prepared you are, the more relaxed (and well-rested) you will be on shoot day (and the better your pictures will look.)
ATX Brand Photographer, Alicia Leigh Photography, photographing a florist creating a floral arrangement during a personal branding photo session in her North Austin Studio location.

Need To Know: Your brand photographer has your back. 

When you hire a professional brand photographer, they will help to ensure all the bases are covered. You’re going to have a cheerleader leading up to the shoot AND on the day of the day.

Just focus on arriving safely and with your stuff in tow to your brand photography session here in Austin. We’ll guide you the rest of the way. Your only job is to have fun and trust your photographer. I won’t let you down.

If you’re in the Austin, Texas area, be sure to check out the heartfelt brand experience.

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