Expert Guide: Get the most out of your personal branding photoshoot

Ever wondered who the photographer is behind the fabulous photos of our CEO Mary? Well, we can reveal it’s the amazing Karina Lyburn who specializes in personal branding photography.

Karina is the photographer Mary turns to for photos that represent her authentically and showcase her at her best. So, we asked Karina to share her top tips and expert insights with you, so you can get the best out of your own personal branding photoshoots.

First things, first…. WHY are personal branding photos so important?

Karina: “Personal branding photography is all about celebrating the very best of you and your business.  It’s marketing YOU, after all, you are your brand and you are your own Unique Selling Proposition (USP.)

In this visual world we live in, you need to make an impression and fast!  There’s a really scary statistic about how it only takes us 1.5 seconds to judge a website!

In business, we all have something called the ‘know-like-trust’ factor. So, having high quality photographs of yourself and your business that feel authentic to you and where you’re going on your journey is one of the most effective ways to quickly develop that relationship and build that trust with your ideal client”

photo credit: Karina Lyburn Photography

How do I find a photographer that’s the right fit for me?

Karina: “Find a photographer whose work you absolutely love. When you see their images you just think, “I want to look that good, that happy, that confident, that AMAZING!”

You need to be excited by their work; the photographs they take will live with you, representing your brand on your website and social media channels. Everywhere.

Next, I recommend checking out the photographer’s social media feeds, see how they come across and interact with people.  Connect with them on social media, or send them an email – you’ll get a gut feeling about how you feel in conversation – do you feel comfortable?  This is super important as you’ll be working closely with your photographer and being able to get on well with, relate to and trust your photographer is essential.”

How do we make sure the photographer knows what I want? What if I’m not sure what I want?

Karina: “My clients are walked through an inspiring process that includes digging deep into who they are, why they do what they do, where they’re going on their business journey as well as addressing any concerns they may have.

By the end of it, they’ve gained clarity around the key messages they want to share with the world which is so useful not just for the photographs but also for them moving forward within their business generally.

I really recommend looking at your website, social media platforms and any other marketing collateral, and thinking through how you could use images and what kinds of images you’d like to have.

Look at the people who inspire you and see how they’re using photographs and feel free to show your photographer the kind of thing you like and are looking for to see if it’s achievable.

Ultimately, my biggest piece of advice is to stay true to yourself.  When you’re in a place of authenticity, you’ll automatically attract the clients that are right for you.”

photo credit: Karina Lyburn Photography

What else should I think about?

Karina: Think about venues you like. Where would you like to be seen in your photographs?  Is it enjoying a cozy coffee and a good book in a cute café in a quirky corner of town?  Or perhaps working in your home office with a faithful four-legged friend by your side?

If you have ideas of locations that you’d especially like to include in your shoot that’s great! Otherwise I’ll look at the stories you want to tell and will find and suggest great spots around the locality that I feel will best represent you and your brand.

I also really recommend working with a make-up artist.  I work with a fantastic make-up artist who’s an absolute wizard.  She can take the pressure off on the day of your shoot – the right make-up prep for your skin, the right colour palette, uneven eyeliner flicks (we’ve all been there!), she’s got you covered!

You might also want to consider working with a brand stylist (someone like Carrie Montgomery!) to help you get clear and confident about what to wear to show off your brand at its best.”

How do I build trust between myself and my photographer to get the best photos?

Karina: “Talk to your photographer.  They’re there to support you, and the more you can invest in the preparation process, talking clearly about what you really want from your photoshoot and also raising any concerns about being in front of the camera, the better your shoot will be.

It’s a collaboration and it’s imperative that you’re on the same page so that your photographer can design the shoot to best suit you.  So by the time of your shoot your photographer isn’t a stranger with a camera, rather somebody who’s on your team, in your corner and ready to help you show the best face of your brand and business.”

photo credit: Karina Lyburn Photography

How should I prepare for a shoot? What should I bring with me?

Karina: “When it comes to styling your shoot, we want to show your personality and having a diverse colour palette gives your photographs seasonal variety to last all year round.

Think about different outfits to illustrate different sides to you and your business – personal branding photography is all about approachability and ‘relatability’ as well as appearing professional and dependable.

Having a suite of appropriate business props is a must, such as your phone, a laptop and any inspirational books that are aligned with your business and values are the basics for building beautiful ‘at work’ type images.

Above all else, you want to look and feel your best on the day of your shoot, and you want to be able to look back on your personal branding images with pride.”

You can find out more about Karina and see more of her work here: www.karinalyburn.co.uk/

Resources I recommend:

  • Article: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone by Karina Lyburn – worth a read if you’re feeling a bit shy in front of the camera!
  • Our latest podcast episode from The Simplifiers, featuring Carrie Montgomery – Simplify Your Style to Match Your Personal Brand:

What do you want your ideal photographs to say back to you and the world?


Have you subscribed to The Simplifiers Podcast yet? Find all of our episodes HERE!

*photo credit of Karina with camera: Nick Dunmur

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