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Demystifying a Branding Photo Session

This post is all about Branding Photo Sessions with Owl's Iris Photography!

There is nothing more meaningful than to work with other local Vermont business to help enhance their brand through photography. I absolutely love the collaborative nature of these shoots (seriously makes me so happy) and am always so blown away by the final images that we create. I promise I will BLAST your business on IG (blast in the good way) and be your biggest cheerleader!

I have experience working with business coaches, jewelers, bakers, interior designers, professional athletes, massage therapists, and so much more! Having worked in the corporate photography business, I am high skilled at styling photos shoots with both products only (think flat lays for jewelry or images of just your beautiful products) and styled shoots using models. If you're looking for your triple threat photographer, you've found her here!

In this crazy world of social media, professional photography is going to be one of the most important ways to get your brand out there. People will see your page on Instagram or visit your website which are direct reflections of how potential customers will see your business. Professional Photos = Professional Appearance. Chances are, if you have an iPhone snap for your “About Me”, this is going to portray a lack of professionalism and even lack of care for your business and how it is presented. You need to come across as being the badass CEO and business owner that you are!

This first post is going to cover the very basics of a Branding Session, so let’s get down to it!

What: A Branding Photography session in a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment. We will work together to create a game plan for what exactly the aim and purpose of your photoshoot is, what kinds of shots you need, and if we need to arrange for models, locations and any other props. We will have a collaborative Pinterest board to put up photoshoot ideas, colors pallets, and posing inspiration. This process will help you gain more clarity in not only the photoshoot but also in your business.

Who: Maybe you're starting a new business and need some content. Maybe you’ve been in business for a while but have been using the same images for years and you need a refresher. Maybe your current business is expanding and you need images to promote this new and exciting business venture.

Where: We will choose the best location to do the photoshoot. If you’re an artist, maybe I’ll come to your studio. If you’re a personal trainer, we’ll go to your gym or an outdoor location (weather permitting). A few times a year I offer “mini” branding shoots, which are a set time at a set location and are a great way to get your foot in the door of professional photoshoots.

Why: Professional Photography is one of the most invaluable investments you can make for your business. Chances are, your potential clients are going to find you online before contacting you. Having clear and concise imagery in your online presence will set you apart from the rest of the crowd and will also position you as a trusted expert in your field. And did we mention that since this is a business expense it’s a tax-deductible write off?! WOOT WOOT!!

I want to work with you.. Now what?

Once you decide you want to dive in and up your professionalism as a business (so proud of you!), we will devise a game plan for what kind of Branding Session you need. I offer a few tiers of Branding shoots: 1 hour, 2 hours, or a half day (4 hours)*. We will work together to decide what the best option is best for you. Most clients gravitate towards the 2 hour session as this is a good middle ground and gives us time to be thorough while still moving swiftly. But as a guideline, here are my recommendations for which session to choose:

ONE HOUR If you are a service based business (coaching, accountant, marketer), an hour might be a good length of time. Unlike a ceramicist or jewelry maker, you won’t have products to set up or consider during the photoshoot. Chances are, you might need some photos in some cool spots with your laptop or maybe you on a (pretend) Zoom call with a client. These are good for entrepreneurs who aren’t selling a material good and can accommodate ONE outfit change and ONE location.

TWO HOURS Two Hour Branding Sessions are perfect for entrepreneurs looking to get a little more out of a branding session without going all out with the half day session. Two hour sessions are perfect for makers who have a new line of jewelry or product launch. This session gives plenty of time to make sure we have time dedicated to photographing groups of products* on their own (and time to play with variations and iterations of these) as well as lifestyle images of people using or wearing the products and photographs of you, the business owner! Since the session is only 2 hours, we will work together to come up with a perfect game plan and time-line for getting it all in. This session allows for us to have two to three outfit changes and up to two locations.

*Two hours may not give us enough time to photograph each product individually. For example, if you make earrings, we will photograph your new line as a whole, but may not have time for individual product shots (shots without people or models) of each pair.

HALF DAY/FOUR HOURS THE BIG ONE! THE WHOPPER! THE WHOLE KIT ‘N CABOODLE! This is the package for entrepreneurs that are not messing around! This is perfect for our product based friends who are launching their business and want to go all out, and for businesses that want a little more time and focus than a two hour session, or for makers who want individual product shots of their products (the extra time allows us to really focus on the styling for each product and varieties within each product). This is also perfect if you are looking for new content all throughout your website. For example, we were hired by a Law Firm to create new images for each page of their website. Together, we designed the perfect timeline and coordinated models to accurately illustrate the intention of each page of their website. Four hours might seem like a lot, but I promise you it will FLY BY!

**I also host the occasional “Mini Branding Sessions” a few times throughout the year. These are 20 minute sessions and are a great option if you are a new business just starting off or if you just need some refresher images. Send us a message if you’re interested in learning more about Owl’s Iris Photography’s Mini Branding Sessions! We will have 2 sessions in early 2023, so keep an eye our for our emails! Don't receive our email newsletters? SIGN UP HERE!

Where will we have the photo shoot?

This is a great question, and there can be so many answers! If you have a studio or office space, the first step would be for me to come by and assess the space to see how it would/will work for the session. I’m looking for good light, depth of the space, and where we could set up supplemental lighting. For artists + makers, having some photos of you in your space is a great move. People LOVE to see you at work in the studio and see where all your magic happens.

If you don’t have a space or your office isn’t super photo-worthy, we will find the perfect spot! In the past, we have used Abode VT (Juliet is AMAZING), Casa Collective (Alex has so many cute corners and spaces for variety of shots), and Hula (holy windows with natural light galore!). I’ve also worked with some businesses that rented Airbnbs or Vrbos. Note that there may be an additional fee for space rental.

If you’re a yoga or fitness instructor, and outdoor writer, or just want to shoot your products outside, then the sky’s the limit! I have my go-to places in and around Burlington that are great to get those outdoor shots in. If we photograph at an outdoor location, we will make sure we have a back up rain date in case Vermont decides to rain on us, because we all know that that can definitely happen.

The shoot is over…Now What?

The shoot is over, but there is still more to come! I will upload your proofing gallery no later than 72 hours after our photoshoot. What is a proofing gallery? It is a collection of all the best images from your session that have undergone minor preliminary edits (usually just brightness/darkness and maybe some contrast). You will choose your final images from this group of photos that will get the heavier editing. Number of images you get to choose will depend on which package you have selected, but there is always an option to add on additional images for a small fee for each session.

Once you have chosen the final images you want to edit through the proofing gallery, I get into the “heavy lifting” editing. This could include blemish removal, image removal, and editing dust or lint off clothing (those lint rollers do not get everything!). I will never airbrush your skin until it looks fake and try to do the least manipulation to get a beautiful, clean image. Turnaround time is usually around 4 weeks but can also be expedited for a small fee if you just cannot wait!

And that’s it! Now you just have to wait just a little bit for the final gallery. The excitement will be out of this world!

So, there you have it! Branding Photo Sessions DEMYSTIFIED! I really hope that this helps shed some more clarity on what branding shoots are, the investment and exchange, and the process as a whole.

If you’re interested in scheduling a Branding Photo Session with Owl’s Iris Photography, visit our website to book a session! I cannot wait to hear all about your + your business, and to create a fun and collaborative game plan for your photoshoot.




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