Personal Branding Photography

What NOT to do in your personal brand photoshoot

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March 28, 2022

I’m Alison.
I live for chocolate, usually wearing three layers (I feel the cold), and can't wait to travel overseas again.
Oh...and my obsession is creating beautiful, quality imagery that helps you communicate your personal brand story.
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A professional personal brand photoshoot is one of the smartest investments any entrepreneur, influencer, or small business owner can make. Great personal branding photos cement your personal brand the way nothing else can. They communicate your intent, attract your ideal audience, and help you visually portray your best self to the world. 

But in order to get all of those amazing benefits, you’ve got to have a totally successful personal brand photoshoot first.  You need to feel comfortable jumping in front of the camera and be confident that you’re going to get images you’ll be proud of.  You don’t want to have that annoying feeling of spending a whole lot of time and money doing a photoshoot only to get photos you’ll never use! 


So don’t risk making these common mistakes that undermine the power of your photos!

Here’s what you DON’T do in your personal brand photoshoot.

DON’T be someone else

Your personal brand photoshoot should be just that — PERSONAL.

Everything you bring, wear and do should be a reflection of your unique story and personality. If you wear glasses all day every day, then wear them in your photos.  If you have gorgeous, naturally curly hair then really think about whether straightening it for a shoot is going to be showing your authentic self.

Don’t just wear an outfit because you think it’ll make you look professional.

Dress like you!

I’m not encouraging you to wear daggy sweatpants if that’s your at home work attire (hey we all do it!), we do need to up the ante a bit for a photoshoot, but at the end of the day, we want people to recognise you! 

Wear clothes that you would normally show up in to meet important colleagues and clients or if you had to give an important presentation at an industry seminar.

If your brand is modern and edgy, maybe you’ll wear a leather jacket and killer stilettos. If your brand is more classic and feminine, consider choosing soft colours and fabrics. 

Just do you! 

DON’T do a makeup look you never wear

I always recommend having your make up professionally done for a personal branding shoot but if you go over the top (e.g. wearing big fake lashes and bright red lipstick when you never or wear very little makeup through the day) you won’t feel like yourself! 

Makeup should be natural and enhancing and give you a lovely confidence boost, not make you feel like a clown!

Having your make up professionally done will ensure it’s appropriate for photographic work but that it’s still you looking at the camera.

DON’T come unprepared

If you’re going to have a successful personal brand photoshoot, you’ll have to do a lot more than just show up and look pretty. You’ll need to do some thoughtful homework.

Ask yourself: what are your goals for the photoshoot? What’s the story behind your brand? What colours best represent your personal brand? What shots do you want to make sure you get? What props might help you better illustrate what you do? 

A personal branding photographer that offers a pre-shoot planning session will be able guide you through this and will most likely have some planning resources that will help you identify the type of images you need to create for your personal brand and ongoing marketing and promotional activities.

Here’s one I use with my personal branding clients – How to Plan a Personal Branding Shoot

DON’T bring just one outfit or prop

Having more than 1 or 2 outfits is really going to provide variety in your images, allow different stories to be told and avoid that “I wear the same outfit every day” look! 

Likewise having a few props to pose with will give you something to focus on, hold or allow detailed images to be shot, which will help to create more content after the shoot.

DON’T bring wrinkled clothes

It seems obvious but it can trip up even the most organised person.  You pack up your clothes the night before your shoot and when you pull them out to get dressed they are wrinkled. 

This is not great look for your brand, and you shouldn’t expect there to be a steamer/iron at the shoot to fix the problem – often during personal branding sessions we are shooting on location and outside! 

Wrinkles are a pretty tough fix in photoshop too so expect to be charged extra editing fees, or to just go with what you get – yikes! 


Always iron/steam your clothes the night before the shoot and put them all on hangers!  DON’T pack them into bags.

DON’T think there’s only one way to do things

If you’re planning your own personal brand photoshoot, chances are you’ve looked at a lot of other examples for inspiration. There are so many great personal brands out there — but there’s only one you. It’s okay to look to successful brands to get some ideas, but make sure you’re staying totally true to yourself.

DON’T skimp on the smiles

There’s always people that don’t like their smile. 

But here’s the thing…

You look so much more friendly and approachable when you have a smile on your face! 

You need to remember who it is that’s looking at these images – it’s your ideal clients who you want to attract into your world.

Let me tell you, this audience is far more likely to feel connected to you when you look approachable.  So make sure you get those good feels happening and show us your smile – at least in a few shots!!

DON’T forget to have fun with it!

Get creative. Think outside the box. Be a little silly in front of the camera. The best personal brand photos communicate who you really are — all of your skills, charms, and quirks. So be yourself in front of the camera and make sure your personal branding photos are true to you.

Still feeling a bit nervous about stepping in front of the camera.  Get a confidence boost with my free guide Look and Feel Confident In Every Single Shot

Do you need some help with your next personal branding photoshoot? I would love to hear from you…just get in contact!

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