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What Is A Branding Photo Session?


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You’re familiar with studio headshots, possibly family portraits as well (which we do as well in our Sterling studio). You know the rough procedure. You sit, turn your shoulders at an angle, and smile.

If your photographer is one of ours, they’ll capture you perfectly with each outfit and directed pose. Our associate photographers are experts at making each client feel comfortable when in front of the lens.

But a branding photo session looks a bit different.

So what is the difference?

Headshots are great images to use across social media when you’re a professional. These are the pictures that you’ll put on your LinkedIn profile, your Facebook page, use for speaking engagements, PR, etc.

Wherever you show up – on social media and in person, your headshot is a very important part of getting your audience to pay attention to you right away.

You’ll have your headshots either done in studio with both natural light and professional lighting or done outdoors. If you’re a realtor, you would wear something you’d want to show a house in or an outfit you’d wear to meet with a client.

These images aren’t really used to tell your brand’s story.

You can continually use branding photos to get behind the scenes, attract your ideal client, and be as visible as possible online.

These photos for a florist may have shots of them cutting flowers, watering plants, putting bouquets into vases, applying the finishing touches to an order of roses, assisting a customer, filling out notes on which flowers to sow next, etc. There is a multitude of ways you can use branding portraits to look professional while also being yourself, just doing what you do. That way you can connect to people in more meaningful ways.

What to do in a branding session

You wouldn’t be wearing your best suit and tie (unless you’re wearing one outside the office – that’d be apart of your personal brand!) when you’re just hanging out, packing the orders, talking with clients over the phone, traveling back and forth, and just doing the dirty work.

Here in Northern Virginia, we have a lot of brewing companies – many of them showing up daily on social media to connect with their thousands of followers.

Let’s think of what a brewing company might want their branding images to show.

If all the work is done in the same location by the same team of people, we’d want to capture them harvesting their crop, transferring it to the mill, adding hops and other flavors, barrelling and canning, and distributing product to happy locals.

Maybe they’re a family-owned business, so they include shots of their own family cracking jokes sipping on their home-crafted brews. They’d likely be wearing utility clothing or something else they’re not afraid to get a little dirty in.


We would want to convey a feeling through these photos. This family would want to show their consumers that they’re more than just a brewery company – they’re a part of the community, a part of people’s day-to-day lives and they value family.

Whatever passion lies within you for what you do in your business, it is a branding session’s goal to highlight that. You’d share your process through these photos and you’d share the moments when you’ve worked longer days to get the job done.

The possibilities are really endless with a branding photoshoot.

You can switch up locations.

Got a favorite coffee shop? Show it off with images of your ordering your favorite latte, sitting down in your go-to spot, chatting with a friend nearby.

Do you go to the farmer’s market every Sunday? Take your audience with you while you carry your market bag and discuss heirloom tomatoes with the local farmers.

People who are keeping up with you or are just finding you for the first time on social want to know that there’s more to you and your brand than just your products or services.

Share your story

If you have a story from your past that pushed you to grow and build a business, consider how you can tell this story to your followers through images.


If you grew up in a small town, go there and share your roots. If you have parents or grandparents you’ve been in the business with for decades, capture moments of you speaking with them like they’re sharing all their secrets (Social Media tip! Film little interviews like this, where you’re getting some words of advice from someone you trust and share it with your audience as a BTS).

The possibilities are pretty endless with creating the best branding photos for your needs. And you can keep creating them with each new endeavor, event, launch, or product. Take the stories behind all you do in business and transfer them into captivating and exciting branding photos. When used in unison with a great marketing plan, you can reach bigger goals faster.

If you’ve ever had doubts of whether or not a branding session, whether it’s with photos or video or both, think of all the use you’ll get out of that content and how it could drastically increase your visibility online.

If this sounds like something your brand needs, don’t be shy – give us a call or message us on any of our platforms. We’re happy to discuss your needs and help you get those perfect branding videos and images that your business needs.

If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, learn more about how you can show up online and craft an influential brand with our Free Celebrity Brand Training. Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up!


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