Ready for a personal branding photo session?

You’ve dreamed long and hard of a creative business all your own. You’ve worked your tail off to make it a reality. You’ve developed this awesome brand that you’re proud of, and now, you’re ready to take those photos.

The photographer is hired, the date is set. Now what? Now, you get ready to rock that photo session with your personal style. Here’s how:

Emily + Kathleen Personal Style


In our businesses, we talk endlessly about branding, consistency, authenticity, and having our messaging be a reflection of who we are.

So this begs the question: If we don’t know what our personal style is, how can we effectively brand ourselves? The short answer: we can’t.

If we don’t know what our personal style is, how can we effectively brand ourselves? Click To Tweet

Allow me to offer a personal example. I used to be a wedding photographer, and believed that in order to be a success, I needed to develop a brand that was sweet, pretty, and a little bit preppy. I mean, hey… a lot of successful wedding photographers had that vibe going on so it must work, right? Wrong.

The reason that style works for those wedding photographers is because that’s who they are. Their personal style is sweet, pretty, and bit a little preppy. It worked because it was authentic. Potential clients went to their website, loved the vibe, met them in person, and it clicked!

Potential clients of mine liked the vibe, met me in person, and probably thought… Who the hell is this tattooed chick in a boring sweater? Confusing, right? Not a great approach to business or my brand.

I realized that wedding photography isn’t me. I didn’t even like the idea of having a wedding myself. So, moving on. I identified what I really wanted to do and ran with it. 

Defining your Own personal style

A huge part of that was figuring out who I was, owning it, and identifying my personal style. Because you can’t be authentic in business without first establishing those key elements.

To learn how to cultivate your own personal style, check out some of our favorite resources:

In Episode #83: Finding Your Style, Tiffany Ima, a stylist and image coach, shares how you can build authority and confidence with an intentional style that reflects your brand story, message, and personality.

It might not seem obvious, but your values can be a huge influencing factor when you are trying to find your personal style.

Need some inspiration from small business owners or style icons? In the Being Boss minisode, Turn Up The Volume, we share examples of bosses who are being unapologetic about who they are and how that reflects in everything from outfits to lifestyle.

Emily Thompson Brand Photo


What’s your personal style? What kind of locations reflect your style?

  • Is your personal style is kind of alternative and your business has a hip, urban vibe? Then you might want to seek out a cool graffiti wall for your photo sesh.

  • If you’re an earthy sort with a flower child vibe, you might go for a wooded setting or a meadow.

  • Are you fashion forward and the service you are providing is all about being on trend? Then seek out a hip and trendy neighborhood for your shoot.

  • If your personal style is a bit grunge and your business reflects that, find a cool old dilapidated warehouse to take your photos in.

As a photographer, I am a big fan of finding awesome environments for photo sessions. It’s so much cooler than shooting in a studio and reflects your story more accurately.

Nothing says outdated and uncreative like a professional headshot taken in a studio. Also, I recommend avoiding coffee shops. It’s an overdone trend in business photography and won’t help you to stand out like the awesomeness you are.

Emily Thompson Brand Headshot


The clothes and accessories you wear for your shoot should be the epitome of your personal style. They should embody the vibe you rock on a daily basis.

But it’s also important to consider how outfits translate on camera. 

Some fabrics and materials wrinkle and crease very easily. I can assure you that if you have a wrinkle in your shirt in your photos, it will be all you can see.

Keep your accessories to a tasteful minimum. 

Photographs are two dimensional and can look too busy very easily. If you’re carrying a cute bag, wearing a trendy scarf, big hoop earrings, hot shoes, bangles, a fedora…. the eye will have no clue where to go in the photos.

Keep it simple with a few carefully selected, non-overpowering pieces that compliment your wardrobe.

Make sure that your outfit doesn’t cause you to blend in or conflict with your surroundings. 

If you’re shooting in a meadow, you’ll want to wear a contrasting color to make sure that you stand out against the scenery.

If you’re hitting up that graffiti wall we talked about, you’re going to want to avoid loud patterns in your outfit because that wall will be bringing the noise to those photos.

Make sure it’s comfortable. 

When you’re not comfortable—either physically or mentally—with what you’re wearing, it’ll show in photos and it won’t be cute. Select something that makes you feel amazing and you’ll look amazing. Trust.

Looking for outfit ideas or need permission to own your personal style?

A mood board is a great place to start. You can use Pinterest to make this step easy and pin style inspiration, outfit ideas, and images from celebrity style icons. This mood board can also be used with your photographer, hair stylist, or makeup artist when discussing your inspiration.

Brand Photography


I cannot stress this enough.

If you don’t communicate your style, personality, and values with your photographer, how will he/she have any idea how to capture you?

It’s absolutely imperative that this conversation takes place. I’ve heard from one too many entrepreneurs who were disappointed with their photos because they didn’t have this talk with their photographers, and in the end, the photos just didn’t reflect who they are. You can even consider developing a mood board to share.

Your photographer should initiate this conversation, but if they don’t, you need to before the shoot. Most photographers arrive at photo sessions with an idea of what to shoot, how to direct, poses, etc, so you definitely want to make sure your photographer has had a chance to consider your style.


If you’ve invested the money in hiring a photographer for your photos (and you should!), you don’t want to waste it on lackluster hair and makeup.

Unless you’re amazing at doing your own hairstyling and makeup artistry, pick up that phone and make an appointment! Now. Do it.

Oh, and make sure your hair stylist and makeup artist is also clear on what your personal style and business is all about as well. You want your look to be on point.

Emily + Kathleen Brand Photoshoot

Rock Your Personal Style

Last, but certainly not least: ROCK IT. OWN IT. BE PROUD OF IT.

Confidence is far and away the most important thing you should wear every day. Click To Tweet

Be confident in your style and in your business. The fashionistas of today could wear a burlap sack down the street and be confident about it, and the next day burlap sacks would be the latest trend in fashion. Confidence is far and away the most important thing you should wear every day.

Be proud of your style and how it communicates who you are and what your business is all about. Your confidence will translate better in photos than anything else I’ve written in this article. You, my friend, are HOT. Now go get ‘em.


Amy is an editorial photographer helping bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small biz owners create killer visual content for their blogs, websites, and social media sites. Find out more and check out her photography at