Why you should hire a Branding Photographer | A Guest Blog Post with Hygge Design Co

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The Branding Experience

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I'm a NC based brand photographer (but I love to travel for work+fun). Joanna Gaines is my spirit animal, and in another life (maybe this one) I'd probably move to Waco, TX!

I'm always down to try a new local coffee shop (even better if they have lavender latte), and working on mastering the perfect at home brew recipe. 

I'M MADALYN!

Hey friends! I am so excited to start the Guest Brand series starting with Ida Winstead of Hygge Design Co! If you’ve been around, you’ve most likely seen me talk about her as a friend and as a business BFF. Today she has a lot of great advice about why you should hire a branding photographer! In addition to Ida walking us through her thoughts, there will be Q&A from her most recent experience too! Let’s dive in …

Why Hire a Branding Photographer

Brand photography was one of my first real investments in my business. I tried getting my husband to take some photos of me but after looking through one photo blurrier than the next, I realized hiring a brand photographer is something worth investing in. 

I actually did my first branding session with Madalyn in the Spring of 2019, it truly seems like a lifetime ago! Since then, I’ve been in front of her camera on several occasions, and it’s always so fun! 

When Madalyn asked me to participate in her case study to show off one brand and one entrepreneur in both her mini branding session and her full branding experience, I was all in!

Ida sitting on the floor with her laptop
Photo from Spring 2019 – The beginning of branding photography.

A brand photographer versus a photographer …

Before diving into the difference between the branding mini session and the full branding experience, I wanted to touch on the importance of hiring a true brand photographer to get strategic images for your brand. The first time I worked with Madalyn she was mostly a wedding photographer with experience from in-home newborn and family sessions, but by no means a brand photographer and I can’t tell you how much more efficient and strategic the images from this time around are. 

As a brand and website designer, I’m pretty familiar with my brand photography needs (where to have white space, what types of shots I need for specific parts of my website, etc), but I truly didn’t have to worry about any of that during the branding experience with Madalyn. It’s so evident that she’s spent time studying this craft to understand the various needs of business owners and how to best capture a full gallery with versatility! (If you’re interested in learning more about Branding Photography & its foundations, I definitely recommend Abby Grace Photo for education! I’m so grateful for her!)

A Mini Branding Session versus the Full Brand Experience

Having gone through Madalyn’s mini branding session and full branding experience about a month apart, I feel like I have a good basis for comparison. My business is still in the same season, and my photo needs were similar. We did the mini branding session first, followed by the larger branding experience session at my house a couple of weeks later! Yes, we used my house and we had so much variety!!!! (If you want more tips about finding the perfect location for your branding experience, check this blog post out that Madalyn wrote! :))

When I received my gallery from my mini branding session, I was thrilled! I truly felt like Madalyn captured such an incredible variety in such a few photos. And the timing was great since I was just about to announce The Hygge Hour Podcast and really needed some new imagery to show off the microphone and podcaster in action. 

I really thought I had a well-rounded gallery that was gonna be really helpful! We even had time for a quick outfit change (just swapping out the top) to help make it look like I don’t just wear one outfit every day. 

But then, I received my full branding experience gallery a couple of weeks later, and I’m still obsessed.

As happy as I was with the mini branding session gallery, I haven’t opened it as much since I got the full experience gallery. 

The full branding experience gallery included several different chapters, allowing me to share a variety of storylines that help visually explain who I am and what I do, and then some fun stuff about things outside of design and podcasting like house flipper, dog mom, and more!

While both sessions were extremely beneficial to my brand, I think that a full brand experience gallery will provide the most versatility and foundation to a brand. That can then be expanded upon with mini sessions for seasonal or launch-specific imagery. 

Q: What stage of business would you recommend someone being in should they be interested in investing in a branding experience?

A: Honestly any stage. I think images are great early on in business!! They help you grow. But maybe mini for the first 6months-year. Then, I say a full once you’ve worked with some clients and have your process and offerings really figured out!

As a website designer, I’m always looking to my clients to have those staple images that help tell their story. I truly believe that the full brand experience can provide the best! While the mini branding sessions are great for supplemental imagery for social media, headshot updates, and very specific storylines! 

Q: Do you feel like the images showcase your personality and work well with your brand? 

A: Yes, absolutely!! They really help showcase my expertise, and I feel like they’re going to be huge in helping me get those higher paying clients!

Do I have to do all the planning?

Another important thing to note on the differences between the full branding experience and a branding mini session is the involvement of Madalyn. For the mini session, the prep was basically all up to me to figure out what I needed to bring, what to wear, and hair/makeup! I brought extra props so that Madalyn could choose what would be best the day of, but overall it was a lot on me to organize.

For the full branding experience, on the other hand, Madalyn guided the process a lot more. The process was still up to me to deliver on the props, but she had tons of ideas and also came up with the chapters and suggestions for props to help bring those to life. As a solopreneur with tons on my plate, it was very helpful to be able to just go through the list and gather the things we had talked about!

Q: Did you feel prepared before the shoot day? Like were all your ducks in a row? If yes, did Madalyn’s process help you with that? If no, what could have been done differently?

A: Yes! Madalyn literally showed up and just made it all happen. I had random outfit pieces and props everywhere and while I was getting my hair and makeup done, she laid it all out for me, got the office all ready for the shoot, and scouted my house for the best corners. It felt so seamless and efficient I honestly thought she only took like 20 images, but my gallery is FULL of super strategic and intentional photos.

I don’t know about you but I loved putting together this blog post for you! Hearing Ida’s perspective has been helpful for you and me! This allows me to continue to grow and nurture the areas that need TLC or just continuing to do well!

So, I’ve decided to turn this into a two-part series because well, Ida has so much to share & I don’t want you missing out on it! Stay tuned to next week’s post when she shares why a brand experience is right for you!

xoxo

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