What's the difference between a head shot, a traditional portrait session, and a branding session... Besides cost??
There are actually 5 major differences.
But let's knock the head shot session out of the way first, because usually the goal of the head shot session is to get one or two images. Its sole purpose is for a profile image.
Branding sessions will cover the head shot image, but will also give you images for your social media content; and images that you need for your website that go beyond a head shot.
So what's the difference between getting a traditional portrait session and getting a branding session... here are the TOP 5 differences:
The difference between creating just “pretty” portraits, and creating portraits that will convey a message to your ideal clients is all about the intention behind them.
For example, in the above image I know her message, her audience, and her WHY she feels the need to show up for them. She talks very candidly about all of the trauma (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) that she's endured over the past 3 years... AND how she's walking through her healing process.
We picked this location for it's natural elements... where she feels most grounded. Her messages will be based on her thoughts, feelings and practices that she's doing to recover and grow stronger. Everything that we did during this shoot was speaking directly to her Who, What, & Why.
As a branding photographer, I will set up a consultation call with you and ask a lot of questions about your business. The more I understand your business, your ideal clients, your message, and your purpose - the better our shoot will go.
2. Posing & Composition
After we know the intention for the photos, it's about posing for communication; and creating a composition that allows for negative space. None of which you'll find in traditional portraits.
These photos for your brand are the beginning of a conversation with your ideal clients. The image is a prompt for your topic of conversation.
For example, in the above photo, I know her brand so well, that I know where she gets her inspiration from... so this photo is a "tip of the hat" to that. She used this image to talk about where she came from and how she's evolved over time. I left a "negative space" off to the side, so she could add text to this image when she wanted to.
With branding sessions, it is a given, that of course you will get shared copyright… which gives you permission to re-crop, and re-edit your photos to fit whatever purpose you have for that image. Getting shared copyright means getting shared ownership of the images.
Unless you are willing to pay a higher price, you'll won't get shared copyright with traditional portraits - because those are considered to be artwork. But branding sessions are commercial work. For traditional portraits you'll get Sharing Rights and Printing Rights only.
Also, because you have shared ownership of the images... although I greatly appreciate it, you are under no obligation to tag me in any of your photos... these images are yours to promote YOUR business!!
4. Receiving the Images
When you work with me, here’s what you should expect: You’ll know exactly how many images are included with your branding session from the time you book. If it’s a limited amount (typically 30 or 60), you’ll get your choice of what images you want out of the entire session.
After we have photographed your session, I will send a basic edits gallery to you, with a watermark on each image. You'll get this gallery in less than a week from your shoot. As a client, you'll go through and tell me which images you want (and if you want any extra images; I'll let you know what the added fee is for them).
Once you've selected your images, then I continue to edit just those chosen images with a high quality touch; I don’t photoshop any images that are not chosen for the final gallery.
When the final gallery is ready for delivery, you’ll get a link with the ability to download all of those images. I send a step-by-step guide on how to download on the computer as well as on your phone.
5. Legal Paperwork - Contracts & Invoices
As a business owner, you should be signing a contract with your photographer, and getting an official invoice. We do this to protect both parties - and make sure we are all of the exact same page. You should know exactly what you are getting, as well as what is expected of you… in written form.
This is a write off for you, so the invoice is needed for your files. An email “handshake” is not good enough.
Although I cannot speak for all branding photographers, I become your Champion!!
I support my clients even after the session is over. I support them by re-sharing their posts (especially when my images are used); and I support them by sharing reels and post ideas with them that I think are applicable to their brand. I also recommend your business when I encounter anyone that might benefit from your services.
I want to see you succeed in your business more than anything else… and when I KNOW your brand, I don’t mind passing something along that may help with it.
Are you ready for Branding Photos?? As you can see above, I work with a large variety of clients... I can help you too!
I'm also a Visibility Coach and Branding Strategist. Which means I help you untangle the stress of the backend of your business (website, photography, social media), so you can go back to focusing on what you do best.
Joy, of Joysong Photography, has been in business for about 10 years. But the photography always played second fiddle to her full-time job. And just like most photographers, in the beginning of her career she was casting a wide net - looking for just any type of client that might want her services.
But once she decided to leave that 9-5, and finally put photography in the driver's seat... she asked me to help her re-brand her business; so that she would attract clients that were attracted to the way she wanted to do business.
She picked her target, aimed, and... I gave her a game plan to finding authentic ways to speak to her ideal clients.
I've been friends with her for the full 10 years of her business, we were newbie photographers together; so I know the "real" Joy... the girl behind the camera. But even if I didn't know her... she knows who she is. And anyone who steps inside of her home, will also know who she is - she is a genuine nerd.
She does accents, and makes up voices. And she can rattle off movie quotes, facts, and references like no one I've ever met (well, except for maybe her husband = perfect match). Together they have collections of books, movies, video games, board games, and collectible toys (Star Wars, Legos, Jim Henson, Nightmare Before Christmas, Dr. Who, Marvel Universe, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Pixar, Disney, and so much more)!!! They LOVE the holidays; and they are diligently raising the next generation of nerds (2 daughters).
So when we were talking about what kind of clients she wanted to attract... going after the nerd culture was an easy decision. It is who she is to her core. Which means it's how she authentically shows up in the world. She doesn't have to pretend to be someone that she is not. Her online presence is going to match who she is in person.
When designing her logo, we decided to stick to a visual that would attract the curious-minded.
Here's the thing though... for small service based businesses, logos don't matter as much as YOU do. You are the face of your business, not your logo. Your clients will learn to associate your face with your brand, and your business name.
However, when they do see your logo (usually on a printed material, or a website), it aligns with who you are... it makes sense to the brand that you are presenting to the world.
As part of Joy's visual branding package: we did 1) a logo, 2) a photo shoot, 3) a content calendar for her social media, and 4) designed graphics "Highlight" covers for her Instagram.
So is this what 'authenticity' means within a business?? Just look exactly like your clients??
No... Authenticity means that you are selling from a place of sincere service. The more niche your market is, the more you are able to tap into who they are, and how you can be relatable - because you are getting to know them. It's a different vibe/energy than when a business is coming from a place of personal needs (ie money).
And that's what I do... I help you figure out exactly who your ideal clients are, and what how you want to communicate your messages to them. We look at your personality and talk about what form of communicating resonates best with you... then I help you lay out a plan to attack those goals.
I give you tools, and help you create strategies that feels authentic to you.... and we do it all in 3 months.
Does this sound like something you need help with? Let's chat: