A picture is worth a thousand words! Personal branding is more important than ever, and it’s time to show the world who you really are. Authentic photography can highlight a brand’s human side and even reinforce the values behind a brand. At Fort Lauderdale- and Aspen-based public relations and marketing agency Durée & Company, we know how important it is to tell your story through photography and that proper photography can show off who you are and what you do.
First impressions stick even after meeting in person and that goes with the first impression from a headshot too. Read on for a checklist of what to consider during a lifestyle photography session. With the right tools and guidance, photos can showcase your unique style and personality in a powerful way.
- Acquire High Resolution Images.
I can’t express how often we see low resolution imagery that media won’t accept! Headshots should be high resolution, about 5”x7” at 300 dpi (1500×2100 pixels). The higher the resolution the better.
- Lighting is Key.
Lights, camera, action! There’s more to headshots than a plain background. When shooting indoors, utilize light from a window or at-home lighting such as table and floor lamps or decorative lights.
Insider’s tip: Find a location with abundant natural light, but not in direct sunlight. If you are shooting outside, the best time to shoot is first thing in the morning, during the golden hour or when the sun is behind the clouds. Take a look at this photo taken right outside of Durée & Company’s Fort Lauderdale office with just the right amount of sunlight.
- Trust your Photographer.
Some of my best photos are taken at the end of the photoshoot because I’ve really loosened up to the photographer and figured out how to get comfortable in front of a camera. Trust the process.
Insider’s Tip: We love working with Ali of Alison Frank Photography. She just gets it. Visit her website and you may just see a few familiar (D&Co client) faces. Here is a relaxed photo of me in the comfort of my own office!
- Don’t Do Anything Drastic.
Now is not the time for drastic changes such as a new hair color or even bangs. Plan any visits to the hairdresser at least a week out to allow for corrections. Keep to your usual look as well. If you must have a tan, do it a few days before so it can settle. Keep your nails on brand and avoid distracting colors.
- Evoke Personality and Get Creative.
Authenticity connects businesses with consumers. Nobody wants to see a business one way online, only to find out that they are completely different in person. It’s important to always remain consistent.
Insider’s tip: Planning a trip? Coordinate a photoshoot in a new location to change things up. Here is a photo from my recent lifestyle photoshoot in Paris. If you are one to dread photo sessions, this can at least make it enjoyable. If you find yourself in Paris, we can’t recommend Pierre at The Paris Photographer enough. Oui!
- Utilize The Brand’s Colors.
Stick to the color palette chosen for the business and use those 2-3 colors in the brand photos. By doing so, branding will be cohesive. When utilizing the same color palette consistently, the brand will become recognizable to its audience.
Insider’s Tip: Showing behind the scenes of what a business does humanizes the company. It also highlights a business’s expertise in the field. If you know me, you know I have two cell phones, a laptop and an iPad. So naturally, this is a photo of me gathering inspiration and working… while wearing pink!
Here is our quick nitty gritty guide and checklist for a successful photoshoot:
I have seen it all and have put together a quick checklist with some dos and don’ts for your lifestyle photography session to make the most of your efforts.
- Tone down neon colors.
- Neon colors attract attention away from the face and may be reflective. Avoid wearing red, green, yellow, etc.
- Avoid prints and patterns.
- No matter how small the print or the pattern, it will become a distraction. In the case of digital portraits, small patterns in clothing (even a small herringbone or checkered pattern) can cause terrible distortions to appear in the portrait that are not originally there.
- Don’t over accessorize.
- Overbearing or heavily noticeable accessories can be a major distraction. Simple and minimal works best.
- Location(s) Ideas
- Indoor – Business Center, Elegant Home
- Outdoor – Elegant Home, Beach, Marina
- Neutral backgrounds
- An ideal photo is one that can be cropped and adapted in many different ways, so look for clean backgrounds.
- Equal amount of portrait and landscape
- It’s important to have composition options, both horizontally (landscape) or vertically (portrait) for various needs. With the rise of high-quality camera phones and social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels and Stories, which favor vertical images, we’ve seen increased interest in portrait orientation.
- Attire – What aesthetic you want your wardrobe to convey in your photos?
- 2-3 Looks/Outfits
- Photos of you on the left side.
- Photos of you on the right side.
- Photos of you in the middle.
- Movement—wind, body movement, background movement. Hands in pocket, reading a book/magazine, on a computer pointing, etc.
- Self-touch—hair, face, arms, legs.
- Non-direct gazing—off the shoulder or side gazing makes a more casual shot.
- Head tilt
- Over the shoulder
- Chin on hands
- Straight forward
- Facing Left/Facing Right
- Be yourself. Inject your personality!
Today, brands have needs that extend far beyond traditional business cards, social media, websites and marketing collateral. We have decades of experience in creating stellar branding, designed to get our clients noticed (and recognized) again and again. Need a photographer recommendation? At Durée & Company, we work with the best in the industry and can work with you to get reduced licensed rates. We are also happy to review any contracts and ensure you own all rights to your photos. We can assist you with any brand’s lifestyle photography to ensure quality. Contact us today to find out how!
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit practice areas for local, national, and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, health and wellness, cannabis and hemp, psychedelics, technology and cryptocurrency, marine and yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.