Styling Yourself for a Personal Branding Photoshoot
Many of the biggest milestones in your life are marked by a professional photo shoot. For example, when you get engaged, you’ll likely do a photoshoot with your fiancé. The same is true when you have a wedding and also after the birth of a child.
Along with celebrating milestones, photoshoots can also have other purposes in your life. You may need to get photos taken for your personal brand. The idea of a personal branding photoshoot is intimidating for a lot of people, but these are photos that, once you invest in them, you can use for years to come.
They’re ultimately what’s going to create the first impression people in business have of you.
How you style yourself and prepare for the photoshoot is important.
Below is our guide to getting ready and styling yourself to work with a photographer on these photos.
What is a Personal Branding Shot?
Before you can choose your outfit or style yourself, what is a personal branding shoot? What do you need to reflect on?
A branding photoshoot is more than just a headshot.
When you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, or even if you’re searching for a new job, you want to be able to show your personality and what sets you apart.
If you have a website, you’ll use your personal brand photos on this.
A photographer can help you create a library of lifestyle, behind-the-scenes, and portrait photos.
Along with using them on your website, you might use them on social media, in newsletters, on your resume, and in press releases.
When you’re able to have a personally identifiable brand, it creates a sense of trust and a connection that your audience will have with you.
Potential customers want to see the real person behind the brands and businesses they work with. They want to feel personally interested in you, and they want to know more about the story of your business. These are the things that set you apart in a sea of competition.
Your personal brand is how you promote yourself, in whatever capacity you need to do so. It’s how people perceive you on- and offline.
The culmination of your personal brand includes not only your personality but your skills and experience. It tells the story of you and creates a reflection of your behavior and attitudes. While you can completely ignore your personal brand and let it evolve organically, it’s better to take control and leverage it.
When you control the narrative about who you are in a professional sense, then you’re the one who’s showing what you want to be seen about your strengths and interests.
So, with all that in mind, your branding photoshoot is a foundational part of building everything else, so how should you style yourself?
Below we highlight some of the dos and don’ts, especially when it comes to your wardrobe.
Wear Solid Colors
When you’re choosing your wardrobe for a professional photo shoot, avoid patterns. Florals, stripes, and other patterns tend not to photograph as well as solids. Plus, they’re distracting. You want yourself to be front and center rather than a pattern.
You can choose solid colors but integrate your own fashion flair with some pops of color.
Of course, if you feel like you really love a print, that’s up to you, but you should have your photographer show you some test shots to see how it comes across.
If you are going to wear a pattern, it should cohesively link to the direction you want your brand to take.
If you have brand colors, you might want to keep them in mind as you choose your wardrobe. Think about what colors are on your site or the existing marketing materials you have. If you wear items that are completely outside of the realm of your brand’s color palette, you have to think about the potential for things to clash.
You ultimately want cohesiveness and seamlessness for your brand.
Go For a Good Fit
If you focus on nothing else when it comes to the clothes for your photos, make sure they fit well. Try things on and get someone to take some casual photos of you so that you can see how items fit.
If you’re tugging at your clothes or you feel like they’re too tight or too loose, you’re not going to feel your best during your photoshoot, and that’s going to come across.
If you have to get something tailored, it’s probably worth the investment for that absolutely perfect fit that’s going to help convey you as a professional who’s confident and ready for anything.
Bring Options to Your Shoot
Even though you might think you have the perfect outfit for your shoot, you should still bring options with you. Style entire looks ahead of time, and then maybe if something doesn’t come across like you hoped it would, you’ll still have other options.
Try to bring both dressier and more casual looks, so you can play around and see what best reflects you.
Don’t Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
There are plenty of times when it’s fine to experiment with fashion, but a branding shoot isn’t one of those. You want to wear what you would normally wear, but perhaps just in an elevated way.
If you’re going too far outside of your comfort zone or you’re wearing something you never would ordinarily, then you’re not reflecting your brand and your personality.
Along with that, don’t be too trendy in these photos. Ideally, these are something you’re going to use for a long time. If you go too trendy in your styling, it’s going to quickly date your photos, and then you’ll have to invest in more sooner than you might like.
Finally, don’t wear anything that’s too revealing. It’s simply not professional, and even though you want to have some fun in how you show your personality, you also want to be taken seriously. You can save the revealing clothes for another occasion.