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The Ultimate Guide to Influential Personal Branding Portraits

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Planning Your Personal Branding Photo Shoot

If you are ready to invest in branding photography for your business, this is for you. I’m sharing steps I take with my small business brand clients to help them get the most mileage from their personal banding sessions! The more planning you do, the more meaningful and impactful your portraits will be. After a branding client books a session, I help prepare for the shoot by sending my Branding Guide, a branding questionnaire, and scheduling a consultation call to finalize our plan!

Personal branding portrait of a health coach standing near a chicken on a farm

Know Your Brand

Brand photography is a highly personal way to share the story of your brand. Prepare to share the story behind your business. Consider: What do you do and why do you love it? What are your mission, vision, and core values? How do you hope to use images to reinforce these aspects of your brand’s identity. What does a typical day or week look like for your business? People love to peek behind the curtain and see who is behind the product or service they love! Try to break down your process into three to five steps we can capture in photos. 

Personal branding portrait of a health coach reading a book in a tea house

Choose Your Location(s)

Branding sessions focus on you and sharing your story. Let’s showcase you at work! Whether that is where you actually work or in another picturesque space. Let’s look for a space that offer a lot of variety. If we can highlight some brick exterior shots and then a bright and airy indoor space, you’ll get even more mileage from your branding portraits. Brainstorm backdrops that would complement the design and feel of your website. 

Personal branding portrait of a health coach working at Salud

Assemble Your Wardrobe

Selecting what to wear is often overwhelming! It doesn’t have to be! Remember the goal is authenticity! Outfits to consider: how you really dress when you are on the job, out for a date night/girls night, spending your free time. Tie in your brand colors to your outfits/accessories. 

  1. Choose a base outfit or two in hues that complement your brand colors. 
  2. Brainstorm how to easily transform your outfit with accessories and layers to look like images are from multiple days.
  3. Stick to solid muted colors. 
  4. Choose footwear that compliments your outfit.
  5. For hair and makeup, keep things simple to highlighting your natural style. 
Personal branding portrait of a health coach shopping for plants in a greenhouse

Prepare Your Props

Props add variety and insight to your brand. Brainstorm props that represent your industry, that you use daily and that showcase your personality. Consider asking a friend to play your “client” to help your ideal client picture working with you.

branding portrait of Pittsburgh based health coach, Green Balanced Gal

Fill Your Photo Gaps

My top tip for getting the most out of your photos is to think about how you plan to use them. Consider effective ways to feature your brand photos.

Assess your social media. How do you show up professionally and personally? Let’s showcase a balanced brand. Next, look at your website. Do you need a full-width homepage hero image? Or perhaps an updated headshot on your contact page? We’ll also take into account how you’ll need to crop the images. I try to get portrait and landscape orientations, as well as wide shots and closeups to give you variety and options from across your social media platforms to email headers. Perhaps you’d like to display these.

Ariel personal branding portrait of health coach working

Have Fun

Last of all, be sure to be well rested and relaxed. I want to capture your natural, confident self on shoot day. Let’s have fun while capturing portraits that showcase the person behind your business! My goal is to provide you with a beautiful gallery of meaningful and authentic images to showcase you and your brand.

Personal branding portrait of a health coach drinking fresh juice at Salud

Ready to document your story?

Let’s work together to create beautiful images that you can treasure for a lifetime!


Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.

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