May 27, 2022
Ahhhh… branding photography! This is a niche that is known by many names; marketing, lifestyle, personality, and so much more; but what is branding photography and why is it important? To start, I’d like to address why I like the term “branding photography” above all other names. As artists, creatives, and small business owners we are ultimately trying to sell our brand for casting directors or consumers and we want to do that in a concise way. Here’s where the whole “picture is worth a thousand words” thing comes into play. For artists this can often be a daunting task because we are multi faceted and bring so much to the table. Having a branding shoot can aid in this process as you collaborate with your photographer to navigate how you’d like to market yourself in terms of content.
How can we do that, you ask? During my consultations I usually start by asking your goals and where you’d ultimately like to be. What roles would you like to play? Who would you like to work with? Etc… Once we build the “Barbie Dreamhouse” that is your future landscape, I begin to ask what adjectives you describe yourself as or how others describe you. What makes you unique? Then we get to work.
Next is to create a concept. This could be as simple as fun props and styling, or a complex lighting setup to create a mood. What aspects of yourself would you like to dramatize? What are you passionate about? Do some of these things contrast with each other? If you’re a ballerina who loves heavy metal, let’s break out some pirouettes and patent leather. Would you play a lumberjack on TV but you’re a big softy? Let’s find some puppies and bunny rabbits to join us on our shoot! The options are endless and sometimes the more memorable the better.
It’s the day of the shoot… Woohoo! Congratulations. 90% of the hard work is already done once a concept is created. Next we will take the outline you’ve discussed and run with it. Once styling is settled, lighting is established, and the camera is on… it’s time to have fun! Since this is not fashion photography the purpose is not to look like an airbrushed supermodel, but rather yourself. So put on that playlist of your favorite songs and relax… the hardest part is over.
Finally, the images are cultivated and a gallery is formed. What next? The options are endless in the days of social media and can be used to your advantage in more ways than ever before. Now you get to share the images across Instagram, Facebook, perhaps a Tiktok or two, and of course your website! With these, not only do you bring a cohesion across all of your platforms but you can reach a wider audience than ever before. Just be sure to credit your photographer! 😉
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Rachel Rival Photography LLC
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