What Should I Wear for My Branding Session | Amanda Richardson Photo
Amanda Richardson, Charlotte brand photographer, works with a client before her brand session to pick out what outfits to wear for her branding session, laying out clothes on the bed and going over outfit options together.

What to wear to a brand photo shoot | 2022 update

December 15, 2020

“Amanda… what should I wear for my personal brand photos?!” – This is probably the first question on everyone’s mind once they decide to invest in personal branding. Don’t worry, I have aaaaall the answers for that! I spend a lot of time preparing my clients for their sessions, including what to wear for their photo shoot, what to avoid, and how to make sure they get the most out of their images. I’m already thinking about how you’re going to use these images, making sure your outfit choices align.
 

Let’s Talk Colors to Wear for your Branding Session.

 

You may be tempted to wear your brand colors exactly in every outfit. After all, these are your BRAND photos! But, remember that you’re going to use these images in lots of places that already have those colors. Your business cards, handouts, Facebook cover, landing pages, LinkedIn… they are already branded to your business. You don’t want to overdo it. 

When considering color schemes for your wardrobe and props, it is best practice to only wear HINTS of your brand colors in order to not distract from the overall image. Wearing too much of one color can be overwhelming in a photo and because there are different shades of every color, large-scale colors can end up not matching your actual brand colors on your website and marketing. The key is to have POPS of your colors so that all your images flow together.

Choosing a style for your brand photoshoot

There are two different styles that photograph really well: light and airy, and bright and bold. Let’s cover how to rock them both! (This is specific for my style of photography, so if you’re working with someone else, definitely consult them before you plan your outfits!)
 
Wedding planner dressed up for brand photos wearing light and airy jumpsuit in pale beige and walking around wedding venue for behind the scenes photographs

Light and Airy Brand Photo Outfits

 
Light and airy colors are generally neutral. They include blushes, tans, light pinks, faint blues, and light minty teals, creams, grays, and whites will always result in a more light and airy look in your images. These colors photograph softer and much lighter! The more dampened down colors are the more high-end it makes your brand appear, in general. One of my client, Chef Monica Thomas, absolutely nailed her branding session outfits, with a mixture of including her brand colors and neutral outfits.

 

 

Bold and colorful on-brand outfits

 
If going with a bright and bold look, choose only one bold color, and your other garments should be neutral. You may want to do a more neutral second outfit so that you have some options that go well in marketing material with different color schemes. If you have multiple people (or models) in your shoot and really want a bold and bright look but you want to do it tastefully, I suggest only one of you have a bright and bold colored outfit and the other stay in a solid neutral to avoid over-doing it.
 

Colors and styles to avoid

 
Even if your choice is bold, avoid bright reds, neons, bright oranges, bright yellow. They reflect color onto the skin and can be unflattering. Of course, if the color is brand relevant we will work on an outfit selection together that works for your brand and is still flattering on camera.
 
Woman working at her desk wearing a white dressy mock turtle neck and jeans

Should I wear something trendy or timeless?

Trends and patterns are tricky.
 
If you want to wear a pattern, my only request is that your pattern is on the larger side. Patterns that are smaller than a quarter can be difficult to photograph. This isn’t true of all patterns but it’s a good general rule to go by! Tiny patterns cause something called “Chromatic Abberation” in digital images. Men’s checkered shirts are fine if the “checks” are on the larger side.
 
 
Ruffles are gorgeous and trendy, but they can make you appear larger when you’re sitting down and from certain angles. Always reach out and ask if you’re not sure what will be flattering! I’m happy to help. 
 
 
What you wear in these brand images will have an impact on your first impressions online. Just make sure it still feels like you!

 

headshot, an essential brand image

Layers

 
Layers are awesome because they give us some more options for variety in your images. This is especially helpful if your session is shorter. If you’re wearing a clingy top, a second layer can help make that top more flattering. Just make sure not to layer two items of the same color on top of each other. For example, a black shirt tucked into a black skirt. The camera sees things the eyes don’t and will pick up on the minute differences between shades.
 
Alternate the heaviness of materials you’re wearing. If you have additional people in the shot with you and one of you is wearing very dark jeans, the other may want to wear lighter pants. If one of you is wearing a navy top, the other shouldn’t wear a dark/heavy colored top. To a certain degree, alternating the “heaviness” of your outfits can make your images look more balanced.
 
Brand photos of videographer wearing white dress and holding her camera, walking along the boardwalk by a lake

Pants vs. Skirts/Dresses, Casual or Formal?

This one depends on your brand messaging and overall style. We’ll typically plan to do more than one outfit. At least one will represent your style within your workplace, for instance, a chef’s coat, likely in a neutral color. Additional outfits are a chance to show off your personal style as it relates to your brand image. If going a more feminine, light, and airy route, long flowy dresses and skirts with feminine ruffles, multiple layers of fabric and the ability to blow and move in the wind will always photograph beautifully! You would be amazed at how impactful moving fabric softens an image.

Confident woman posing for brand photo shoot in flowy white shirt and teal maxi skirt

Don’t forget the personalized details!

 
Accessories add great lines, pops of color, and interesting details to your images. Long necklaces, dangle earrings, or other personal accessories will be a great addition to your look! You’ll want to avoid accessories that aren’t brand relevant and don’t represent your image, like baseball caps and sunglasses.
 
 
Branding sessions are about highlighting the details of your business that make you stand out, so lots of things will be on display that is normally overlooked. The same is true of you! You may want to get a manicure, clean your jewelry (think: wedding rings that get daily wear and tear), wipe down your glasses, etc. When we work together, I’ll provide an entire guide of all of the little things to consider before your session.
 

Preparing for your brand photos

The best advice I can give is to plan ahead! Take me up on my offer to help you select what is best to wear. Waiting until the last minute will cause you a lot more stress than necessary and will make the entire process feel very overwhelming. You are spending a lot of money on this process, invest your time too. I offer strategy sessions before your photo shoot to make sure you get the most out of every image. So let’s get detailed about planning what to wear for your brand photos!
 
 

Tips for being *extra* prepared!

  • Bring comfortable shoes along with others in case we have to walk a lot.
  • Please be sure to clean your computer and phone thoroughly.
  • Get your nails done!
  • If you plan to have hair and makeup done by someone other than our stylist, please ensure they are there at least 3 hours prior to the start time.
  • If you are getting your hair dyed, try to have that done at least a few days prior to shoot day in case your skin pulls in any dye around your hairline.
  • Models should be dressed in neutral clothing. NO bright colors or distracting patterns. This will take away from your look.
  • Models should be in the same seasonal-weight clothing as you are.
Brand photo collage of therapist wearing white flowy shirt and beige high waisted pants for her outdoor brand photoshoot at local Charlotte NC cafe

Above all: be yourself, be comfortable.

 
Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable or that you normally wouldn’t. If you normally don’t wear super bold colors, then a branding session is not the time to try that out. You might not feel like the images reflect you well looking back. If you normally don’t get a facial, you won’t want to get one right before a session. Stick within your usual wardrobe range and beauty routine. I’ll work with you to find the aspects we want to highlight, and together we’ll create your look.
 
This is YOUR branding session after all. We want it to represent you well!
 

Let me help you plan your brand wardrobe!

If you are on the fence about a branding session and are thinking that you just don’t have the wardrobe, details, or style altogether to put forth your most professional (and personal!) self, then I have good news for you. I will meet you where you are, and we will craft the looks you need.

My clients are experts in their field, but not necessarily experts at personal branding. That’s where I come in! I offer my clients an in-depth guide including styling tips, a “recipe” for my favorite looks, advice for personalizing your session, hair and nails, details, locations, shot lists, and more. My goal is that you don’t have to think about a thing except what makes you and your business exceptional, and my job is to make you shine. Not only will I help you select what to wear for your branding session, I’ll help you prepare your workspace, talk about what we need to capture to make the most of your investment, and how to use your images most effectively.

Inquire today!

Amanda Richardson, Charlotte brand photographer, works with a client before her brand session to pick out what outfits to wear for her branding session, laying out clothes on the bed and going over outfit options together.

xo,

Amanda

  1. Amanda Richardson says:

    Clients, I really recommend giving this a thorough read! Please email me your questions, or save them for your styling consult.

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