On the blog and the podcast this week, I dive into the seven props to use in your branding photoshoot.
You’ve taken the leap and booked your branding photography session. You won’t regret it! But you may be feeling a little nervous, and that’s totally normal. After all, even if you’re used to family photos and other kinds of portraits, branding photography can feel like a totally different experience, and that can be scary.
One of the biggest questions I hear as a photographer is “What do I do with my hands?” Posing is always a concern when you’re having your photo taken, and I’m here to help! In my sessions, I guide my clients into poses that feel natural and comfortable.
But if you’re still feeling nervous, I put together a list of a few favorite props to include in your session, both to give you something to do with your hands and to help you feel more at ease.
1. A cup of coffee (or tea)
What’s the fuel that keeps you going throughout the workday? If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, a fun mug can be the perfect accessory for your photos. Another option is to bring your water bottle or blend your favourite shake and put it in a mason jar for the pop of colour and emphasis on nutrition. It’s not only a comfort to those of us in desperate need of caffeination, but it’s also a common workday accessory.
2. Your favourite accents and decor items
If you're doing a photoshoot at a studio rental space, an easy way to make the space your own is to bring some of your favourite accents and decor items. The pop of colour in your brand palette can make the world of difference. For example, adding your own couch pillows or blanket adds an instant touch that is customized for you. Plants and flowers are also a great accent that adds life to the scene.
3. Your phone, laptop or computer
No matter what kind of business you run, chances are your phone is always close to hand. Whether it’s answering client phone calls or filling orders (or just trying to keep up with your busy schedule), your cell phone is an important accessory in your business. A great way to show your business in action is by sitting at or working on your computer. If what your brand offers isn’t a tangible product, your workspace and work accessories are often the best way to demonstrate that you’re a busy professional, working hard to build and grow your brand.
4. A book, magazine or day planner
Some of us use the calendar on our phones, while others are more pen-and-paper types. If you have a day planner, why not show off that packed schedule and to-do list? You can even use a book or magazine as an accessory, especially if your job involves regular research or design.
5. Celebrating wins, milestones and key dates
Do you have an upcoming milestone or celebration in your business to celebrate? Celebrating wins no matter how big or small takes your audience along on your journey. Illustrate the enthusiasm with some celebration. For example cupcake, cake, champagne, wine, sparklers, balloons. If you're a product based company, is there a calendar date that you want to have some unique images for such as the holiday season or Mother's Day? Showcase it in your branding images! Think ahead to the upcoming months to see if there are any themes or key dates you'd like to tie into your imagery.
6. Other people
A business isn’t a business without staff and customers! Whether you’re meeting with a supplier, assisting a client or just chatting with one of your team members, branding photos that include other people are a great way to feel more natural and at ease. They can also help you show off the hard work you do by demonstrating how involved and focused you are in a meeting or while working with a client.
7. The tools of your craft
Think about what items you use in an average workday. Think big on this one, take a look at your desk and office area - are there any decor items that you love that represent you? Do you use a mic or certain headphones on the daily? If you build or create things, you may have actual tools you use. Maybe you just work on a computer or tablet. For me, I like to showcase my camera and various lenses I use on a shoot. Whatever you use, include these items in your branding photos to showcase how you do your work.
As you’re choosing props for your branding session, think about how you can best represent the work you do and the products or services you offer. I recommend to have the items packed and ready to go at least one day before the photoshoot. And if you’re still unsure what to use, talk to your photographer! They will be more than happy to help you figure out exactly how best to show off your brand identity.
Hello, I'm Nathalie - owner and photographer of Pictonat Photography located in the heart of Toronto. I help entrepreneurs and professionals create a strong personal brand online with authentic images that builds connection and trust with their audience.