Spotlight on Branding Photography

This week I am thrilled to spotlight professional photographer Willy Wilson.  What does photography have to do with your finances?  Well, if you are in sales or a business owner or just want to grow your career with a killer online presence, you NEED branding photography.  When my clients make more money, it’s better for the financial plan, eh?  Herewith, the interview.


Q:  A big part of your business is branding photography.  What do clients get from a branding shoot and how do your customers use these photos?


A:   Many clients come to me with no idea how to represent their brand in images. I work with my clients, well before picture day, to begin to define the visual story of their brand. I help them decide the where, what, when, of their photoshoot and then guide them through the process. On the day of the shoot, I talk my clients through simple posing to look their best.


After the photoshoot is done, clients receive a library of photos that have a cohesive look and feel. These images can be used across a multitude of platforms: from website banner images, social media content, printed marketing materials, digital or print brochures, articles, and more.


Q:  What elements make photos that really reflect client personalities?


A:  There are a lot of moving pieces to bringing together a brand story for an individual. I think the key elements are location, action, and expression.

  • Location – means where you shoot. Even if brand photos aren’t shot in your office, the location can be used as part of the brand story.
  • Action means physical movement. What are you doing in the photo? A brand photo conveys information about you so having action makes a difference in the message.
  • Expression means what’s happening on your face. It’s my job to direct you in both physical action and expression. Depending on your brand story and message, those expressions are all over the emotional range, not just a cheese smile.


Q:  You are also a stellar senior picture photographer.  What time of year is best to book these appointments?  What should seniors bring to or expect from a photo shoot with you?


A:  Well, gosh thank you! I know it seems crazy, but high school senior pictures are usually done BEFORE the student even starts their senior year. Generally, high schools require that students submit their yearbook photos by September or October – in other words, maybe just weeks after the start of the school year.


Getting photos scheduled, shot, proofed, selected, and submitted to the school can take one to two months depending on the photographer. Since tens of thousands of kids need senior pictures at the same time, senior photographers are swamped in the fall. That’s why it’s important to get professional senior portraits booked in the summer before senior year.


Not unlike financial planning, it’s better to get started sooner. Even if you want to wait until July or August for the actual photoshoot, you will be best served to book the appointment early. That way you control your time, rather than hoping for any opening because the photographer has no slots available.


When I work with seniors, I want them to bring lots of clothes and at least one outfit they’d be comfortable getting wet, dirty, or jumping around while wearing.  Oh, and a bottle of water. Trust me when I say that photoshoots are thirsty work.


Willy, thank you so much for a behind the scenes look at how professional photography can enhance your business presence and family memories!  For examples (and some relaxing viewing of beautiful pictures), check out Willy’s website.


Willy Wilson is a film-school trained, award-winning portrait photographer whose work has been published in local and national magazines and periodicals and one book (so far).  Thirteen years ago she founded Life Unstill Photography and has been happily making professional photographs ever since. Willy loves humans, cats, pineapples, creating underwater portraits, and rosé wine, not necessarily in that order.




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