A personal brand session is a business investment so it’s important to get the images you need. If you are new to branding photography sessions or you are unsure what you want, I have created a handy list.

Here are ten likely images that you will want in your session.

1. Vertical Headshot 

A vertical headshot can be used in profile pictures, email sign offs, press releases and digital products. They are an anchoring image in a collection of branded images. One of the strongest reasons to invest in branded photos is to increase trust and likeability; this headshot needs to be open and welcoming.

 2. Horizontal Headshot

Very similar to a vertical headshot but it’s a different composition so you have everything you need for different placements and products. Horizontal headshots are required as some publications will only take horizontals, they also work for banners and hero images on websites.

3. Behind The Scenes

Behind the scenes images are a brilliant way to give your audience a peek into what it’s like to work with you. This helps them see themselves in the picture. If you have a product these images are an excellent way to give more transparency by letting the customer see the process. Giving access to the process of the product increases perceived value as the customer can see all the work it takes to create the product.

4. Movement

Creating movement in your images helps to have a more vibrant, creative and intriguing session. Movement captured in a still has a very cinematic feeling. People that have cinematic branded images actually have images that others will look at for longer, they are more likely to have an emotional response and that consciously or subconsciously creates a stronger connection.

5. Lifestyle

This is similar to the movement shot in that it builds connection through narrative and stories. Lifestyle images are a great chance to show off your brand narratives and attract your ideal customer through simply showing up in an authentic way. They add depth to a collection of brand images as the viewer gets to see you in a candid way. These images are brilliant for creating trust, likeability and memorability.

6. Hero Image

This is the most important image in the collection, and you may have more than one. If you are shooting for a website this is the first image before you scroll down the page. This image needs to be crisp and perfectly composed and ready for press. I recommend getting deep edits on this image to remove any distractions so you are perfectly happy with the images.

7. Filler

These are still life images, images of objects, hands, even the scenery. They build on the brand narratives and create variety in your marketing material. It’s nice to have one or two filler shots in the collections. Customers who see these shots know you have invested the time to create beautiful personalised “stock images” that are on brand and fit seamlessly with the rest of your images. I like to use these shots in blog posts and to add variety in digital products.

8. Environment

Capturing the environment around you helps to strengthen the narrative. It builds the story as it gives a different perspective. Customers are often interested in where you are based either because they are also based there or its an aspirational location. The environment shots are focused on creating a scene. These, together with yourself and the location creates the whole scene. 

9. Product

This only applies if you have a product. These shots are not a substitute for a product session as that is something quite different. Creating campaign or ecommerce shots for your products is time consuming and, unless it can be fulfilled by a team, it should be kept separate from a portrait branded session. However, there is no harm in creating one or two filler shots with your product so that you have product shots that are integrated into your brand session. This creates more consistency, which we love.

10. Full Length

Full length is great because it’s nice to show the whole story. When we view an image we can only see what’s in the composition. If something is always missing like the bottom half of your body we as viewers can start to get the feeling that something is missing. This is not the effect you want to give. The main reason to create branded portrait images is to build trust with our audience. Capturing full lengths is a way to ensure we don’t create mixed feelings.

I hope that helps you understand what type of images you should aim for and give you more confidence to create what you need on the day.