behind the lens_ how I craft impactful personal brand photography experiences_nicole Bedard photo video

Behind The Lens: How I Craft Impactful Personal Brand Photography Experiences

Brand photography can feel like the Wild West – a lawless land where definitions are as clear as mud and even the most seasoned photographers can’t quite pin down what it means.

You see, most people – even the ones who wield cameras for a living – don’t really know what personal brand photography entails. They might think it’s all about snapping pictures of products for big-name companies or staging elaborate photoshoots with models galore.

But here’s the thing: those are just two examples of brand photography.

In reality, personal brand photography is a whole different ball game – one that I’ve been playing for years. 

As a personal brand photographer, my job is to capture the heart and soul of a business: the people who pour their heart and soul into making it thrive.

I’m not just talking about a few standalone headshots or product photos, either. I dive deep into a brand’s story and create images that showcase the lifestyle, the process, and the passion behind it all.

personal brand photography example_ creative Business owner _ Nicole Bedard photo video

And the best part? I do it all with marketing in mind.

You see, I do so much more than just take pretty pictures (although, let’s be real, that’s definitely a perk). I’m here to create images that tell a story, connect with an audience, and ultimately, drive business growth.

So, if you’re a photographer who’s curious about what brand photography really means, or if you’re a business owner who wants to showcase your brand in a way that’s authentic, engaging, and downright irresistible, stick around.

In this post, I’m pulling back the curtain on my signature process and sharing all the details – from the initial discovery call to the final image delivery. 

Plus, I’m spilling my top tips for professional photographers who want to dive into this niche and start creating brand magic of their own.

What is Personal Brand Photography?

Personal brand photography is a unique subset of brand photography that focuses on the individuals behind the business. 

Unlike classic commercial brand photography, which often features hired models and lifestyle imagery for printed catalogs and online stores, personal brand photographers capture the story of the business owner and their process. This helps humanize their creative brand and allows them to better connect with their ideal audience in an authentic and profitable way.

Personal Brand Photography Niches

Even within personal brand photography, there are various niches depending on the type of client you want to work with. 

Different niches within personal brand photography

Some brand photographers work exclusively in beautifully lit studios or rented spaces, crafting polished portraits and styled images. This approach works well for businesses without a designated space, such as real estate agents, coaches, and bloggers.

However, my passion lies in on-location brand photography for creative businesses.There’s just something about the challenge of working in workshops, studios, and shops that gets my creative juices flowing. I thrive on tackling those tricky environmental curveballs head-on.

Sure, many photographers early in their career might lose sleep at the mere thought of non-ideal lighting situations. But after almost 15 years in the industry, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. 

Bring on the challenge, I say!

The grit and texture of these authentic spaces can’t be replicated in a studio, and it’s essential for capturing the true story of the business. This is why I enjoy working with creative businesses like designers, artists, and makers in their “natural habitat.”

My Brand Photography Process

I approach personal brand photography differently than many of my peers, with a unique and intentional process that revolves around telling the story of the brands I work with. This allows my clients to confidently step in front of the camera and showcase what makes them, their offers, and their one-of-a-kind process stand out.

Want to learn my exact process for finding clients, planning for a brand photo shoot, and serving my clients so they can confidently leverage their branded photos in their businesses? 

Keep reading.

I’m about to tell all!


If you’re interested in adding brand photography to your services as a professional photographer, you’ll need to lay the foundation. Before you can snap a single photo, you have to market yourself as a brand photographer

Here’s the deal: You could be the most talented photographer, but if your dream clients don’t know you exist, you’ll never be able to experience your business’ full potential. 

So, how do you get your name out there and attract those perfect-fit clients who can’t wait to work with you? It all starts with understanding your unique brand and the value you bring to the table. 

Here’s what I focus on to attract my ideal clients:

  • I’ve defined my unique selling proposition (USP) – what sets me apart from other photographers in my niche (hint: it’s my process and my expertise). This helps me communicate my value to potential clients.
  • I’ve identified my target market (creative business owners in the New England region) – I know who my ideal clients are and what industries they work in. This allows me to create marketing messages that resonate with them.
  • I’ve built a strong online presence with a professional website and engaging social media profiles. This helps potential clients find me and get a feel for my work, process, and personality.
  • I network, collaborate, and attend industry events to expand my reach and gain referrals. Building relationships with other businesses that serve my target market has been key.
  • I create valuable content that demonstrates my expertise and attracts potential clients. From blog posts to behind-the-scenes videos, I share insights that position me as a go-to resource in my niche so I’m always top-of-mind.

By consistently showing up, providing value, and building genuine relationships with my ideal clients, I’ve been able to grow my personal brand photography business over time.

Pro Tip: Doing this foundational marketing work for yourself will help you do this for your clients too!

marketing on social media _ nicole Bedard photo video


Before every discovery call, I conduct preliminary research by reviewing the client’s website and social media platforms. This helps me understand their business, identify branding gaps, and prepare for our conversation. Doing my “homework” shows my clients I’m invested in their brand before we’re officially working together and helps me ensure clients are a right fit for me and my business. 

Discovery Call

During the discovery call, I ask the client about their business and how I can help with their branding. (check out my latest video all about brand photography packages to sell to brand clients) I gather information about their story, current offers, and future goals. Instead of sending a branding questionnaire, I ask key questions during the call to build rapport and make clients feel more comfortable in front of the camera.

Strategy Meeting

After the discovery call, I create concept boards based on the information gathered. During a Zoom strategy meeting, I present these boards and collaborate with the client to refine the vision. We discuss logistics, lighting, props, and how the images will support their business needs.

zoom meeting with client_ Nicole Bedard photo video

Photo Shoot Prep

Prepping for the photoshoot is crucial for success. I present my client with a full photo shoot day plan, covering everything from the types of shots we’ll take to the outfit colors that’ll make my clients feel most confident. I address their concerns about feeling awkward or uncomfortable in front of the camera by reminding them of the value of showing their face and helping their ideal audience connect with them on a deeper level.

I go above and beyond to ensure my clients feel like the best version of themselves, offering wardrobe recommendations, referrals for hair and makeup, and more. 

I also make sure we have all the necessary materials on hand, schedule mock clients if necessary, and scout the perfect locations for each shot.

If you want your photo shoot to feel structured, organized, and fun take it from me – prep is everything. And with a little bit of planning and clear communication, you’ll set yourself and your client up for shoot day success!

Pro Tip: Take the guesswork out of clothing options for your clients and snag my ‘Brand Photo Shoot What to Wear Guide’ here.

Photo Shoot Day

With our plan guiding every move, my client and I are ready for shoot day.  While the plan may inform the type of gear I pack for the day, sometimes I don’t even know what some spaces look like before I arrive. I bring the gear (and the back up gear) to address most situations. 

Luckily I have always found a way to make it work with amazing results.

My sessions typically last 1.5 to 2.5 hours, as the photo shoot plan keeps us efficient. I find that longer sessions can be creatively draining for both me and my client. I don’t book the traditional portrait photographer package of a 1/2 day or full day. The only time it might stretch over a 3-hour period is if there are multiple locations.

Pro Tip: While many photographers don’t show photos until after the shoot, I like to show clients images on my camera as we go. This helps put my clients at ease and builds their confidence throughout the session. It’s taken a lot of time and experience to get to this point, and not all photographers may feel comfortable doing this, but I find it is something unique and valuable about my process. 

behind the scenes_ Nicole Bedard photo video

Editing and Delivery

After the photo shoot, I carefully edit the images and deliver them ready-to-use to the client. I provide a polished final product and empower my clients to understand how to use their images and videos in their marketing efforts. This ensures the images don’t sit in your gallery collecting digital dust and instead can work hard generating leads and increasing sales, maximizing their personal brand photography investment.

Marketing and Supporting Clients

Once the images are in use, I actively share the content to support my clients’ business efforts. This also serves as marketing for my own business, as I capture behind-the-scenes content from the sessions to share on Instagram. My audience, consisting of both photographers and business owners, enjoys seeing how the sessions evolve and watching my process through timelapse videos.

Tips for Aspiring Personal Brand Photographers

BTS shoot with client_ Nicole Bedard photo video

Are you a current brand photographer looking to improve your systems, or an aspiring brand photographer ready to dive into this rewarding niche? Regardless of your experience level, implementing these tips can help you elevate your craft, create meaningful connections with your clients, and build a thriving business. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Build trust with your clients through open communication and a personal approach.
    • Take the time to understand your clients’ businesses, goals, and challenges. By showing genuine interest and asking thoughtful questions, you’ll establish a strong foundation of trust and rapport.
    • Ditch the generic questionnaires and opt for personalized discovery calls. This allows you to gather information while making your clients feel heard and valued.
    • Be transparent about your process, timelines, and deliverables. Clear communication helps manage expectations and fosters a positive working partnership.
  2. Embrace the challenges of on-location photography and use them to create authentic, engaging images and environmental portraits.
    • On-location shoots can be unpredictable, but they also offer unique opportunities to capture your clients in their natural environment.
    • Be prepared for various lighting situations and, when possible, scout locations in advance to ensure you can create the desired look and feel for your images.
    • Incorporate elements of your clients’ workspace or surroundings to add context and authenticity to their brand story.
  3. Develop a streamlined process from discovery call to image delivery to ensure a smooth experience for your clients.
    • Create a step-by-step workflow that covers every stage of your brand photography process, from initial research to final image delivery.
    • Use tools like concept boards and shot lists to ensure you and your client are aligned on the creative vision and desired outcomes.
    • Communicate your process clearly to your clients, so they know what to expect and feel confident in your ability to deliver results.
  4. Actively support your clients’ businesses by sharing their content and cheering them on.
    • Your role as a personal brand photographer extends beyond the photo shoot itself. Show your clients that you’re invested in their success by sharing their content on your own social media channels.
    • Engage with their posts, leave comments, and celebrate their wins. This not only strengthens your relationship but also helps expose their brand to a wider audience.
    • Consider featuring client success stories on your website or blog to showcase the impact of your work and the value you provide.
  5. Use behind-the-scenes content and client success stories to market your own business and attract new clients.
    • Share glimpses of your process, from strategy meetings to shoot day, to give potential clients an inside look at how you work and the experience they can expect.
    • Create case studies or testimonials that highlight the transformation your clients undergo and the results they achieve with your help.
    • Use this content to position yourself as an expert in personal brand photography and attract clients who resonate with your approach and values.

By implementing these tips and continually refining your process, you’ll set yourself up for success as a personal brand photographer and create lasting, impactful relationships with your clients.

Capture Authentic Stories

Brand photography for creative businesses is a rewarding niche that allows photographers to capture authentic stories and support entrepreneurs in their journeys. By focusing on building relationships, embracing challenges, and delivering polished results, you can create a thriving business in this space.

Remember to continuously refine your process, support your clients, and share your own story to attract right-for-you clients and grow your brand photography business.

Ready For More?

If this blog has inspired a new direction for your professional photography business, there’s so much more where that came from! I’m passionate about helping other photographers establish themselves in this industry, and I created my course, ‘The Business of Brand photography,’ to show you exactly how to make it happen.

The Business of Brand Photography course

Join the waitlist here!

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some of my past students have to say:

“This course really helped me narrow down my niche and the path I want to take to become a brand photographer! I have learned so much that I will take with me in my future!” – Rayenne

“Nicole provides a great breakdown of Brand Photography, from start to finish. She has created an efficient workflow that will help both you and your brand clients market and grow with personalized images.” – Nikki

If you’re ready to start or transform your photography business, I’d love to have you join us for the next cohort of ‘The Business of Brand Photography’ course. Together, we’ll lay the foundation for crafting impactful, client-winning sessions, and you’ll gain the confidence and skills you need to succeed in the brand photography niche.

Click here to add your name to the waitlist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.