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Brand Sessions — What are they and why do you need one?

As small businesses, we are living in a time when we are expected to be on all the time — posting the perfect on-brand photos to Instagram, creating compelling blog posts, driving traffic to our website with the most tantalizing email newsletters. What all that pressure to post adds up to is sub-par imagery and — frankly — hollow messaging. Ironically, that’s exactly the opposite of what we are all working to achieve — so how do we fix it?

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There are three tenets some of the best marketers in the business subscribe to:

1. Quality over quantity — always

It’s more effective to have fewer truly compelling, eye-catching and narrative images that tell your brand’s story in the right context rather than a bunch of mediocre photos of your product or service all over the Internet.

2. Batch, batch, batch!

No, the faces of the best small businesses aren’t always camera ready. All humans need sleep. They are getting lots of images that they can use all season in one session. Not only does it save time, but it is how they get consistency in their imagery.

3. A balance of seasonal and evergreen content

Seasonal content is anything that alludes to or reflects a distinct period of time — for example, a 2019 summer trends post, Christmas-related imagery or a one-time promotion you are offering. Evergreen content is anything that can be used to brand your business at anytime — for example, a clean and simple headshot or a blog post about what a brand session is for.

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A brand session is a perfect way to bring your passion to life visually. It can be as simple as an hour-long session capturing you in your workspace or as elaborate as having your whole team styled for some polished headshots and lifestyle candids. However you want to spend your session, you will leave with a grab-bag of images to use throughout your branding that not only look professional, but they are unique to you. No one really cares about a succulent on a random white desk. What they care about is YOU (or at least, YOUR succulent collection on YOUR desk). Plus, when you call the shots, you get exactly what you need. For example, we can create a go-to image that will fit perfectly on all your email banners.

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True, you may not want to become an Insta-celebrity — but it’s still so important to communicate your message clearly with your target clients. That’s why I have built collections just for you — the small business owner or entrepreneur who:

  • needs a repository of compelling images on hand that show off your product or service and illustrate how it works

  • plans to post to social media not just more often, but more authentically

  • needs seasonal content — photos of Christmas-themed products, summer-ready messaging, etc.

  • needs updated headshots of high-turnover employees

  • needs an assortment of image-types: lifestyle portraits, product photos, photos documenting you and your team at work

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Now offering one-off sessions starting at $350 and high-value yearly subscriptions starting at $2,000.

How to survive family photos on your Wedding Day

Tough love time: family photos can take over your wedding...OR or they can be easy as pie — you just have to plan ahead. Here's how to make sure we fly through them on the day-of:

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B & G with flower girl & ring bearer (begin with children first – less stress and we can keep their attention better)

B with flower girl

B with ring bearer

G with flower girl

G with ring bearer

B&G with entire family

B&G with grooms family

B&G with bride’s family

B with her family

B with her siblings

B with her parents (2x if separated or divorced (for step parents))

G with his family

G with his siblings

G with his parents (2x if separated or divorced (for step parents))

B&G with grandparents (2x both sides)

B with her grandparents

G with his grandparents

Generational photos (Grandma/Mom/Bride & Grandpa/Dad/Groom)

B&G with God Parents (if applicable)

B & God Parents (if applicable)

G & God Parents (if applicable)

Other portraits

Keep in mind that your wedding day will fly by! That is why it is so important to be prepared so that things run as smoothly as they can and you can do what you're meant to do — celebrate! And, as wonderful as it is for your mother to have a beautiful portrait of the whole fam for her mantel, it's worth noting that if you opt for 56 combinations of guests, a good number of those will never see the light of day when all is said and done. So, choose wisely and remember, it's the experience that counts!

 

Thanks for reading! Clients of mine receive educational content like this direct to their inbox as part of their wedding collection. If you are interested in learning more about working with me on your wedding day, please don't hesitate to get in touch. 

Mother's Day Garden Family Portrait Session

I did one of my favorite sessions to date this past Mother's Day (don't worry, I celebrated with my mom after!). I have been working with this family throughout this past year, watching their two twin girls, to supplement my income as I've gotten my business up and running. This session came just a month before my last day of work with them, so it was especially fun to document their personalities and generally commemorate our time together. I'll miss this sweet family!

 

 

San Francisco Design District Portrait Session

Heather has about the coolest job I can imagine—she's an independent music distributor. Having gotten my own start in college radio, I can get a little fangirl-ish when it comes to these circles. I like to imagine that means she will be in some documentary in like 30 years talking about who she knew way back when. So when told me she wanted to update her digital presence, we decided something fresh and urban be a nice nod to her industry. I took her out around San Francisco's design district for her portrait session.

San Francisco Botanical Gardens Portrait Session

I've had the opportunity to try a lot of new things lately, and I'm still (and hope to always be) trying to stretch what I am comfortable with when it comes to photography. I have been wanting to do a more stylized session, but since I'm nearly always working for a client, their immediate needs, of course, take precedent to my experimentation. So I decided to "style" a shoot. Luckily I had the perfect subject in mind—one who is comfortable and looks good in front of a camera, loves flexing her own creative muscles, and is pretty much willing to try anything I ask her to try—my best friend of 14 years, Haley. 

I wanted to model the shoot after some photos my mom took while on a backpacking trip to Norway in the 70s, except I wanted it to feel very California. so I took her to the Botanical Gardens in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Something about the combination of all the rain we have been getting plus the light that day really made what I had imagined come to life.