Selecting The Ideal Location for Your Personal Branding Photoshoot

One of the most important steps in planning a personal branding photoshoot is selecting a venue. The location you choose sets the tone for your photos, helps communicate your message and style, and can elevate (or diminish!) the look and feel of your brand. It’s important to select a setting that is complementary to your brand and ultimately reflects the story you want to tell. Let’s look at what to consider when choosing the perfect photoshoot location.

Shooting On Location vs. In a Photography Studio

By default, many personal branding photographers, including myself, will offer an in-studio photo session for no additional cost. My photo studio is located in Sanford, NC, and is very convenient for taking client headshots and timeless personal branding imagery. For many clients, the blank canvas of a photo studio is sufficient for their immediate needs. For those looking to tell a more dynamic story through their branding photos, an on-location shoot may be a better fit. 

If you’re unsure of which option is better for achieving your specific vision, ask for your photographer’s professional recommendation—after all, that’s what they’re there for!

Photoshoot Venue Selection Criteria

A few questions you’ll want to ask yourself when scouting venues for your personal branding photoshoot include:

  • Does this space reflect my brand?
  • Are there restrictions on using the space?
  • Are there sufficient props to support my vision?
  • Is there an extra fee for using the space, and if so, does it align with my budget?

The three biggest factors to consider will be fees, timing, and travel. Especially if you are planning a photoshoot that involves multiple vendors, such as hair and makeup artists, stylists, and your photographer, you’ll want to take everyone’s travel distance and associated fees into consideration.

Read: How To Select A Killer Outfits for Headshots and Personal Branding Photos

How to Choose a Photoshoot Location

After evaluating your budget for venue rental, think about the type of clientele and projects you want to attract. It’s important to think about not only your own personal preferences but also the aesthetic that will resonate with your ideal client. 

For example, if you are an interior designer, revisiting a space you designed would be a strategic location for personal branding photos. Make sure it is a recent project that is complete and has the appropriate staging.

You may have a past portfolio piece you’re proud of, but if it’s not reflective of the design style you want to continue to promote, you should choose a different location. 

Choose something you can see yourself using in your portfolio for years to come and that will appeal to your current target clientele.

Read: 4 Interior Photos to Elevate Your Brand Photography

Personal Branding Photoshoot Location Ideas

I have taken personal branding photos in many different locations over the years. Some of my favorite photoshoot locations are the ones my clients have a personal connection to, such as a past design project or real estate listing. 

Gretchen Coley real estate agent portrait photography Raleigh NC

A few years ago, I took personal branding photos for Gretchen Coley (The Coley Group) inside one of her premium real estate listings in Raleigh, NC. We were able to capture the essence of the home as well as the lifestyle of the homebuyer Gretchen was trying to reach.

Gretchen hired a team of stylists to help her with hair, makeup, and outfit selections that brought our photoshoot vision together.

Check out this post for more examples from her gallery.

I recently shot a similar but equally unique branding session with real estate agent Marianne Mansour (Compass) inside one of her favorite luxury listings. These photos ended up creating such a buzz around Marianne’s personal brand that she immediately reached out to tell me she’d never had so many engagements on a post. 

The location she chose immediately elevated the look and feel of the shoot and positioned Marianne as a leading luxury real estate agent in her market. 

Pros and Cons of Shooting in a Photo Studio

When you want to execute a smaller-scale photoshoot or a simple brand refresh, a photo studio is your best bet. It will be equipped with the lighting, props, and interchangeable backdrops you need to capture timeless images that you can use in a variety of ways. 

And because you have more control over the environment, there is less of a risk of them feeling overused, outdated, or tired. 

A blank backdrop will give you creative freedom to play with different poses and props and allow you, the subject, to be the focal point. The transparency of photo studio rental rates and, oftentimes, all-inclusive pricing are also advantages. Photo studios are great for basic or first-time branding sessions, branding refreshes, or capturing specific announcements or milestones.

Some of the drawbacks of using a photo studio include space limitations and backdrop variety. 

Pros and Cons of Shooting on Location

When shooting on location, there may be a new feel or vibe around every corner that can inspire you and give you a lot of creative options to work with.

Your line of work may also give you access to a unique location, such as a real estate listing or your own personal office or studio. In that case, using a location you have a personal connection to will add authenticity and uniqueness to your photos.

In that same vein, shooting on location gives you the freedom to dial in your vision and produce a very specific look and feel for your photos.

On the downside, certain venues can charge steep rental fees for limited use of their space. You can easily blow a huge chunk of your photoshoot budget just by securing a space.

Additionally, travel fees for the vendors involved in your shoot can add up quickly and eat into your overall time.

Overall, it’s important to start the conversation with your photographer early on so you have all the information you need regarding additional fees or location restrictions that will affect your personal branding photoshoot.

More often than not, your photographer will have a list of favorite locations they’ve used in the past and can recommend depending on the vision you have in mind.

Headshot Mini Marathon Sessions

For clients looking for a quick and simple headshot session, I recently introduced a new service called the Headshot Mini Marathon. Once a month, I host a limited number of mini sessions that include hair and makeup as well as on-site image culling. You’ll have the opportunity to view your photo proofs immediately after the session and select the ones you love.

This is a great way to dip your toes into a personal branding photoshoot and experience a luxe in-studio session.

Tips for a Successful Personal Branding Photoshoot

Small business branding photography, personal branding photos, and professional headshots are so crucial for elevating your brand and growing your business. Whether you choose to host your photoshoot in a studio or another venue, spend time making sure the location you choose is aligned with your brand and business goals.

Black clothing rack holds various pastel colored workout clothes on hangers

For more inspiration and photoshoot tips, head over to my blog. And if you’re ready to book your next session, use the form on my contact page to get in touch and tell me more about your vision! 

Selecting The Ideal Location for Your Personal Branding Photoshoot

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