Behind the scenes of a personal branding photoshoot in London

Personal branding photography is so important because it’s the first impression you make online. The style of your imagery tells a unique story about who you are, what you do, and the type of clients you want to work with.

Whether you’re 5 days into business or 5 years, photos are a hugely important part of your online presence. They help you communicate to your potential clients exactly what you’re all about. 

In May 2023, I met up with marketing strategist Bella Foxwell in Peckham to capture a fresh set of personal branding photographs for her business. 

In this article, I’ll take you behind the scenes of the day so you can see exactly what goes into a personal branding shoot.

Bella was also kind enough to answer some questions about her experience, so you don’t have to just take my word for it.

Let’s go!

The brief: an elevated brand appearance

Bella booked a personal branding photography shoot in London because she wanted elevated photography that reflected the next step of her business. 

“I’ve worked with Laura for the last three years and LOVE her editorial style of brand photography. 

My last brand photoshoot (before Laura) was great but I needed something a little more grown-up—something that reflected my new website design and branding. 

I wanted my photos to feel as elevated as my brand refresh. They needed to attract clients with the budget to be able to invest in monthly retainer services.”

Personal branding photography London pricing

I offer three options; a full day, a half day or a short headshot session.

Full Day:

  • ideal for businesses who have more than one person, multiple services, want to use multiple locations, have lots of products to be photographed with.

Half Day:

  • ideal for individuals who want multiple images for their social media and website photographed in one location with a few different looks

Headshots:

  • ideal for those who want a few images for socials, PR purposes and maybe a refresh session if you’ve had a branding session before.

Ready to shine online? You can access the full pricing by signing up to the brochure here.

The process: a half day of personal branding photography in London

This personal branding photography photoshoot was a half-day session, which means one gorgeous location and fewer outfit changes/props than a full-day. For an idea of what a full-day photoshoot is like, check out Nicky’s branding shoot.

I booked Sunset Studios in Peckham as I knew the backdrop would be the perfect relaxed yet professional vibe that Bella was going for. Plus, it has tons of good light, which is a photographer’s dream!

Before the shoot, I sent Bella a Pinterest board with a few ideas to start her off. By the time it came to the shoot, she’d pinned several images so I had a good idea of the kinds of poses and set-ups to try out. 

“That being said, the wonderful thing about working with Laura is that she makes you feel so comfortable that you’re happy to go “off-book” so to speak, and try some different things.”

What to wear for a personal branding photoshoot

A question I get all the time is: what should I wear to a personal branding photoshoot?

My answer is always: wear what you’re comfortable in and what makes you feel your best. I encourage you to bring a few outfits with you—a casual option, a formal option, and possibly a bold option too (e.g. more colourful/patterned outfit). 

Think also about where these photos are going. For example, there might be a page on your website that warrants a more casual look and a page that would suit a bold/playful look (perhaps the 404 ‘page not found’?!).

If you bring a few options along with you on the day as Bella did, then we can capture a few different looks. For her photoshoot, Bella brought 3 outfits with her—all comfy, no boring, itchy workwear here—and we used a few different props, such as a laptop, a mug, and her phone, to situate her work. 

What props to bring to a personal branding photoshoot

As a service-based provider, it might feel like you don’t have anything you can use as a prop for your work. But the equipment you use every day will absolutely work for the shoot. After all, it shows your potential clients what you’ll actually look like working for them!

As with your outfits, think about where these photos are going to be used and the overall tone/messaging of your brand to help you decide what props to bring.

Laptops, phones, stationery, and notebooks are great props to bring along. But you can also use other items. Just look at the props copywriter Laura Belgray uses throughout her website.

From glass bottles of Coca-Cola to lipgloss, she uses props that reflect her brand aesthetic (80s print ads) and her business/website needs (see the copy and corresponding brand photo used on her ‘Resources’ page).

The result: “A gallery of brand photos that I absolutely love”

A few weeks after the shoot, I delivered Bella her online gallery of beautiful new personal branding images. 

Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

“My branding photoshoot with Laura was a dream. I usually hate having my photograph taken (but understand how hugely important it is for my business!) so was a little nervous before the session.

I needn’t have worried. Laura put me at ease immediately, telling stories, making me smile, and making the entire process fun and relaxing. 

It’s because of this that my photos came out so well and I have a new gallery of brand photos that I absolutely love.

The compliments I’ve received on the photographs AND the new clients I’ve signed since the shoot are a testament to her nailing the brief, too!”

Stop it, you’ll make me blush.

Personal Branding Examples

I know how helpful it can be to see personal branding examples from other small business owners. Here are some of my favourite photos from the shoot with Bella.

You can check out Bella’s photos across her website, Instagram, and LinkedIn profile. And if you’re ever in the market for a freelance marketing strategist who can help with social media management, editorial SEO, and email marketing… Bella is 100% your girl.

Contact me:

Alternatively, if you’re looking for personal branding photography in London or the Midlands, then pop me a message—I’d love to chat. 

The techy bit, if you like that stuff:

The Photography: Captured with 2 x Sony A7iii’s – a 24-70 g master and 85mm g master.

Follow me on Instagram:

You can follow my instagram here: www.instagram.com/lauramayphotographyuk

Feel free to pin any images you love to your Pinterest boards.

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