Business Tips

How To Plan A Personal Branding Instagram Photoshoot – Outfits, props, and the perfect shot list

January 31, 2020

As a Nashville branding photographer, I know the importance of showing your face online and connecting with your potential clients through photos! It’s no surprise that I need my own branding pictures and I plan personal branding photoshoots for my business at least two times each year. 

I’m going to walk you through exactly how I plan my own brand photoshoot so I successfully end up with all the branding pictures and content I need for that quarter! (Spoiler alert! This is the same technique and method I use for my own branding clients in Nashville!)


Setting the Intention for your Branding Session – The Shot List and Content Themes

The first thing I do when I plan my branding photo session is look at my calendar and determine what I need brand pictures for. When I’m able to see what upcoming launches are planned, blog posts are drafted, and what pictures I need for different pages on my website, I start creating a shot list.

My branding shot list includes any “must have” pictures I need first (like a wide image for my website with white space on the left side for text). Then I go adding in creative and fun ideas that showcase my personality and message themes! I always need a good mix of vertical and horizontal images, so I tend to keep that in mind during the branding session!

Your image needs are probably going to be a little different for your website vs. social media. If you’ve followed along for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of message or content themes for your social media platforms! (Not sure what I’m talking about? You can find my free social media guide here!) I keep my content themes in mind when planning my branding photo session and always include a few shots for each content theme on my shot list! For me, this typically looks like pictures with my dogs, books I plan to read or have read, and office supplies or business related props that I can use to create posts with business tips or business education.


How to Find The Perfect Location for your Nashville Branding Photography Session

When I’m looking for a spot to take my own brand pictures, I typically want a place that offers variety and plenty of natural light! I’ve used my home office, restaurants and coffee shops, Airbnbs, and co-working spaces!  Your photoshoot location will set the tone for all your brand imagery, so it’s important that it reflects your brand and is cohesive with your style. 

The most recent branding photos I planned for my business were at an Airbnb in East Nashville that offered a lot of different spots for photos! Keep your eye out for different kinds of furniture, wall patterns, and home decor as you search for the perfect location for your branding pictures!  This makes it really easy to create variety in your pictures and when you go to post your images, it doesn’t look like they were all taken in one day! 


How Picking the right Props for Your Personal Branding Pictures will help tell your brand story and show off your personality

Props are one of the best ways to play up your brand photos and show off your personality! You can incorporate any items you’d like, but I love to keep my prop list as on-brand and ”me” as possible! 

You can choose props like tools you use for work (laptop, daily planner, phone) or fun personal items that can give your followers a glimpse into who you are! The best props will be ones that can give your audience an idea of what it’s like to work with you. 

My prop list for my most recent branding session included:

  • Styling boards I use for flatlays to show how I style items and photograph them for my clients
  • My camera and camera bag to get pictures of me packing my gear
  • My Simplified Planner because I knew I wanted to write a blog post about burn out and boundaries
  • Books I plan to read so that I could post about them on social media
  • Post It notes and office supplies (these kinds of images tend to work well for me for business blog posts)
  • Balloons for celebratory pictures when I have a business win to share
  • Laptop, phone, coffee mugs and a # sign as filler props (great items that can be incorporated here or there to change up your branding images and add more variety to your final gallery)


What to Wear for your personal brand photo session

For a lot of ladies, choosing the outfits for brand photos is the hardest part! I totally get it! While picking my outfits has become a lot easier over the years, it can still be hard to coordinate that perfect look!

For personal branding pictures, I love seeing women coordinate their outfits with their brand colors. Your outfit will be a reflection of your brand and personality. It’s important that you’re comfortable and feel relaxed in your choice. I’m a big fan of wearing my brand because I believe it can create brand recognition across my online platforms and result in a cohesive look on my website.

For my branding photos, you’ll often find me in a cute dress or pairing jeans with a blouse or top for a casual and relaxed look! In order to create more variety in my pictures, I love choosing a base piece (like a Chambray shirt) and changing the look of my images by adding a few different sweaters or changing my jewelry.

I typically bring along 1 dress, a couple of jeans, and 4-5 tops that can mix and match with other layers!

Here is my exact clothing list from my last branding photoshoot!

  • Paris necklace and Gold Heart necklace(totally on brand for me)
  • Blue jeans with LC pink top and mustard shoes
  • (Change to) green top
  • (Switch to) light pink top
  • (Change to) floral top
  • +add grey sweater to all options
  • Dress and mustard shoes
  • Black jeans with chambray shirt and mustard shoes
  • + add sweater


There you have it! This is my step by step guide of how I plan my own personal branding photography sessions! I’ve seen the huge role branding pictures play in my own business! So I hope these tips can help you as you plan your session! 



Want to see Creative Headshots and Personal Branding photography sessions in Nashville? Click here!

Want to read more Personal Branding and business tips? Find the tips here!

Ready to book your Personal Branding session? Learn more here!

Click here to download 20 free, curated stock images for girl bosses!

Click here to learn about the Social Media strategy that transformed my business!



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Nashville entrepreneur, personal brand and wedding photographer, and digital marketing consultant. I'm on a mission to empower and encourage women in their current season of life, whether that is business and entrepreneurship, marriage, or motherhood. 

I'm Mandy


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