4 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Personal Brand Shoot

Creating epic visual storytelling photos that reflect your brand takes

After working with countless brands, I've come up with four mistakes you want to avoid when planning and preparing for your brand shoot.

#1 Unclear Direction, Look and Feel

My personal favorite way to help clients get super clear on the direction of their brand shoot is to create a mood board. Pinterest is my favorite way to do this, but you can use whatever works best for you.

Create a mood board titled 'My Brand Vision' and start pinning images related to your brand. Try not to restrict yourself; you want to gather as many pictures as you can. Once you have a fair amount of photos pinned in your mood board, you'll want to take a step back and check for consistency.

Are their photos that do not make sense? Does your mood board feel cohesive? You want to fine-tune your vision for the shoot so that the shoot has a coherent direction.

I always recommend creating two sections within your mood board POSES and VISION.

Sometimes we pin images because we like the pose, but nothing else about the photo relates to the brand. Creating a section just for poses ensures that the direction of the shoot stays on brand.

A little aside: As womxn we often feel pressured to show up in untrue ways to be successful. What a load of BS! You are worthy of a thriving business, just the way you are. All you need to discover is what that looks like for you. Creating a section for posing will help you better understand how you want to be seen in the world.


You and I may never love getting in front of the camera, but there are some ways we can make it feel way more comfortable!

First up, practice posing at home. Using your pinned poses from your mood board, get in front of the mirror and practice, practice. TRUST me will make a world of difference in your confidence on the day of the shoot.

Second, let your photographer know your insecurities. SAY WHAT?!

Yup, you read that right. If there are angles or parts of yourself that you know you don't like, let your photographer know before your brand session.

We are not here to judge your insecurities. We are here to help you create amazing on-brand images that you love.

Third, have fun and show up boldly! On the day of your shoot, remember to have fun.

Create a playlist, bring a beverage, and let yourself unwind.


If this is your first ever real brand shoot, then you'll likely find yourself thinking you need to do EVERYTHING you've ever imagined for your brand. Pump the breaks, friend!

How much you can get done in one session depends on one major thing session time. In most cases, you will find that photographers have structured their packages to include a certain amount of time for the session and the final number of images.

Depending on your package, be sure to communicate with your photographer on what to expect. Trying to cram a bunch of ideas into one shoot is not a good strategy.

Think quality of quantity. A clear direction for the shoot will ensure that you are not trying to do too much at one time.


Planning and executing a brand shoot takes thoughtful preparation. If your photographer doesn't provide you with a prop checklist, make one yourself.

Waiting until your brand shoot week to gather your props and organize your outfits is the ultimate mistake to avoid!

If your brand shoot requires fresh items like flowers or food, you'll want to prep those items the day before. And for all things that matter in this world, make sure that you have opened and removed tags from any recently purchased items.

The night before your session, pack your car with anything that can be packed that evening. Be sure to check your list and mark off all the items as you pack them.

Get a good night's rest and wake up with plenty of time in the morning so that you are awake and excited for your shoot!

So there you have it, the four mistakes you need to avoid when planning your next brand session. Building a brand takes time and a whole lot of work but the payoff is so rewarding!

Did you find this article helpful? Let me know your biggest takeaway in the comments below!


Hey friend!


I'm LeeAnn a Pittsburgh-based personal brand photographer helping womxn and queer-owned businesses create memorable brands with unique captivating photography.