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4 Essential Traits to Look For in a Branding Photographer

Jan 7

You’ve realized your current headshot is way out of date, or maybe you’re starting a new business and need imagery to fill your website and social channels. You need a visual identity that represents you and your business goals! But, are you totally overwhelmed or confused by all of the photography options out there? As a fellow business owner, I know the dreadful feeling of adding another task to your to-do list. But researching and hiring a branding photographer can and should be an exciting experience!

It is possible to find a photographer that completely understands you and your brand, has a style you love, and supports you in the shoot process. To help you find the perfect branding photographer for you, I’m sharing four essential traits to look for when choosing the right branding photographer. 

4 Essential Traits to Look for in a Branding Photographer

1. Branding Photography Portfolio

The first step in your branding photographer search is to look through portfolios. Grab your favorite warm beverage and open a fresh Google sheet. Create one column for the photographer’s URL, one for their contact information, and one for notes. When you come across a branding photographer you like, copy their info into this spreadsheet for future reference. 

When flipping through photographers’ images, look for 4 things: 

  1. Their style. Do you fall in LOVE with their images? Can you imagine their images on your website and social media channels?
  2. Technical skill. Do all of their images appear not too dark or too light? Can they shoot both indoors and outdoors? If you’re looking for in-studio or outdoor lifestyle images, do they have examples in their portfolio?
  3. Niche. Do they photograph ALL the things? Do they focus on branding photography or do they also shoot weddings, families, landscapes, and seniors? While the photographer might be great at shooting everything, they’re less likely to give you and your brand their full attention in the process. 
  4. Creativity. Do their images look like everyone else’s or do they bring something special to their branding photography?
A collage featuring 5 photos from a branding photoshoot of a young woman that has a holistic health coaching business.
A collage featuring 5 photos from a branding photoshoot of a woman therapist and coach for young adults.

2. Branding Photography Process

Once you find a few photographers that hit all of these points, it’s time to dig deeper into their process. Make notes on what each photographer includes in their branding photo sessions. Every photographer works differently based on their creative style. Some important things to look for in a branding session might include:

  • Session pricing
  • How much time you’ll spend with the photographer
  • Brand questionnaires to get to know you and your brand
  • How many retouched images you’ll receive
  • Planning meetings to brainstorm the details of the shoot, answer your questions, and scheduling logistics
  • Mood boards to determine the look and feel of your shoot
  • Shot lists customized for you 
  • Resources to help you plan outfits, props, and locations
  • Hair & makeup
  • Turnaround time for your final images

You’ll likely find most of this information on the photographer’s website. If there are parts of their process you’d like to know more about, now is a great time to send an inquiring email and introduce yourself!

An interior designer sorts through fabric samples, paint colors, and inspiration images on her desk.

3. Attention to detail

An organized and detail-oriented photographer is essential to a smooth branding shoot process. If your photographer is timely and on top of your needs as a client, you and the photographer will both feel relaxed and prepared for a great shoot. Furthermore, your branding photographer should be interested to get to know you and the ins and outs of your business. It’s essential that they ask about the details of your business goals, dreams, and hopes for your photos. Details tell the story of your creative process, and your branding photographer needs to care and show interest in the details of your business. Otherwise, how will they know how to get images that truly tell your unique story? 

4. Your Branding Photographer’s Personality

At this point, you may have reached out to a few branding photographers you can see yourself working with. Depending on the photographer, they may chat with you over email, phone, or an in-person meeting to discuss your branding photo needs. You need to jive with your branding photographer’s personality as much as you love their images. A great branding photographer should make you feel comfortable and excited about the process.

A branding photographer should also be your biggest cheerleader! Getting in front of the camera is not an easy task for anyone (even photographers!). Make sure you can see yourself working comfortably with this person and feel understood and uplifted by them. Now’s a great time to do a gut check before working with someone that doesn’t feel like the right fit. There is nothing worse than paying for branding photos that end up just not feeling like you. Trust your instincts and hire someone that you feel confident in working with!

Woman photographer holding a camera up to her eye and smiling as she takes a photo.

Hire Your Branding Photographer!

If you were unsure of where to begin with hiring the right branding photographer, now you know all of the essentials traits your photographer must have. By ensuring your photographer has a solid portfolio, a catered shoot process, a personality you jive with, and a sharp attention to detail, you’re guaranteed to book the perfect branding photographer for you. Need more resources on planning a branding shoot? Check out my #1 most popular blog post How to Pose for a Photoshoot! If you’d like to book a branding shoot with me (I’m so flattered!), head right here to learn more.

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