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My Very Own Branding Photos!

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Branding Headshots, Personal

|Behind the Scenes on My DIY Branding Shoot

Plus 3 Things I Learned |

What’s a branding photographer to do when she needs to update some photos for social media and her website, but has very specific ideas and limited time? She “hires” her husband and teenage daughter to be the photographers of course!

I knew I wanted to do the sessions over the course of a few days instead of all at once. I mostly wanted to do it this way because I wanted different hair styles! LOL!

Day 1

Our first “session” – I say that loosely – was at one of my favorite local outdoor malls on a Sunday after church. I loved that I already had make up on and an outfit put together! Although my husband was the main photographer (he’s learned a lot over the years!), the whole family came and helped pick up the popcorn after I threw it a bazillion times!

Goals for this shoot:

  1. Incorporate my love of popcorn in a fun way! I knew specifically I would use one image on my welcome email when new people sign up. I also love puns, so I knew it would say, “Thanks for letting me POP in your inbox”!
  2. Show my absolute craze over Happy Planners!
  3. Wear a couple of different jackets so I had some variety without completely changing.

I think we met the goals! Here are some of my very own branding photos from day one!

 

Holding a bowl of popcorn by a palm tree
Holding happy planners
Throwing popcorn in the air

Thanks to my big helpers for picking up popcorn over and over!

Day 2

For the second session of my very own branding photos, I used my sister-in-law’s office! Her wall is exactly the soft pink that matches my brand colors, so I knew it would be perfect! Sometimes we have to get creative with brand pictures. My office is dark grey walls with black furniture, so it would look to “heavy” on my website or in my instagram feed. She cleared her office out before I came and I rearranged some things. My daughter was the photographer this time, and I think she did a great job!

Some of my goals for this shoot were:

  1. Show me wrapping a client gift so I could write a post about that (detail image and whole scene)
  2. Casual photos of me at a desk
  3. Drinking my favorite drink – kumbucha
  4. Reading the Bible and other favorite books
  5. Relaxing with the dog. Now this part is actually a little funny. I have a maltese, and my sister in law has a maltese. They are actually sisters and so pretty much look exactly alike! They are still young so they get a little crazy when they are together, so rather than bring my dog, I used hers as my prop! 🙂

gift wrapping a present for clients

I have a bad habit of biting my nails, so I actually got some acrylic nails for this shoot! So glad I did!

Day 3

For the final day of shooting my brand photos (these three sessions actually happened in the course of about three weeks – I wasn’t that efficient!) we utilized my parents’ bedroom. Their room is white and light and airy so it goes well with my brand style.Again, my teenage daughter photographed me. 

Goals of photo session 3:

  1. Drinking water so I cold post about how consuming more water has been a goal of mine this summer
  2. Craziness – crazy faces, jumping on the bed in excitement over happy announcements!
  3. Specific books
  4. Listening to podcasts
  5. Working casually on a laptop
  6. Doing some yoga/stretching
  7. Specific words on a tee shirt

My photographer squeezed herself in a photo!

I am so happy with the way they turned out and love the variety! 

3 Things I Learned from DIY’ing my Very Own Branding Photos:

  1. Just as working with a professional, it’s super important to plan all the details out ahead. I noticed I was so much more casual with my own photos than if I had been working for a client. For clients, I make a vision board, have them fill out a questionnaire, do a video call and submit a proposal. With my own photos, I casually wrote a list of a few things I wanted and thought of the places I wanted to do them. I think if I had been working with another branding photographer I would have invested more of my time and resources in making these really good!
  2. Along with being casual, I didn’t get my hair and makeup done since I was doing three separate days. I actually have mixed feelings about this because my personality is one where I don’t tend to where a lot of makeup or do my hair fancy a lot, so in a way, I’m glad I stayed true to myself and who I am on a daily basis. In hind site, I probably would have gotten hair and makeup done for at least one of the sessions though! I did go ahead and get my nails done. 
  3. Be patient with your free photographer! I set the manual settings on my camera and basically set up the shot and all that my people had to do was press the button. This was a little bit of added stress on me because I had to check each shot for focus and lighting. So, it was kind of hard being the model and the photographer. It’s doable, but I would have been able to focus more on just being in front of the camera if I didn’t have both jobs. On another note, the photographers were great and very patient with me!

If you DIY your own branding shoot, let me know in the comments how it goes! What were your wins and what were your struggles?

If you’d like to see another branding session I’ve done, you can see All Things New Design shoot here!

 

  1. Michelle Garayua

    September 4th, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Oh gosh I love the fun here! Great job! I wish I were closer so we could trade!

  2. Kelly McMullin

    September 4th, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks, Michelle! It was a lot of fun! 🙂

  3. Mary Kate Anthony

    September 5th, 2019 at 1:33 am

    These are not only amazing photos but really awesome tips to capturing branding photos! I love how you explained your goals for each day of shooting!!

  4. Kelly McMullin

    September 5th, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Thank you, Mary Kate! I hope it’s helpful!

  5. Alisha Cornett

    September 5th, 2019 at 2:30 am

    How fun!! Love that you got your daughter to help you. Jumping on the bed is my favorite shot!!

  6. Kelly McMullin

    September 6th, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks, Alisha! It was fun!

  7. Mandy

    September 5th, 2019 at 6:46 am

    These are so awesome!! I love that you had a specific set of images that you wanted to achieve with each look – Your tips for what you learnt are so helpful in assisting with what to do for a brand shoot moving forward. I just did a headshots shoot with a fellow photographer friend and we just changed locations and outfits and are looking at doing more of the branding ones in a separate shoot, I am going to use your tips and tricks from this post for our next session!!I LOVE these – your free photographers did a superb job!

  8. Kelly McMullin

    September 6th, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks so much, Mandy! Glad some of the things I learned are helpful for you!

  9. Tania

    September 6th, 2019 at 6:58 am

    These are fabulous. Makes you so relatable!!

  10. Kelly McMullin

    September 6th, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you, Tania! I appreciate the feedback!

  11. kat

    September 6th, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Love these! Such a great idea to recruit some family to help!

  12. Kelly McMullin

    September 6th, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks, Kat!

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