I'm Ali - a photographer who built her business from the ground up and wants to help others do the same.







Choosing A Location For Your Branding Session

April 12, 2022

Once the shot list comes together, the rest begins to fall into place, including location selection. As you answer the “Who are you…” questions (we will discuss these soon in another blog post, but for now I will give you a quick run-down of what they are!), places will naturally come to mind. Some “Who are you…” questions are as follows:

  • Who am I as a business owner?
  • Who am I as a photographer?
  • Who am I as a spouse?
  • Who am I as a mom?
  • Who am I as a _____________ (something unique to you and your brand)?

For example, if you want a lot of shots with your son or daughter playing with his or her favorite toys, you will likely want to make home one of your locations. These are “story lines” that we are going to create for you so that you have consistent content that continuously attracts your ideal client.

But let’s get back to location selection! Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that I receive from my clients when it comes to location selection:

How many locations should I choose?

This depends on the session and the photographer conducting your session. I say generally 3-5 locations can encompass a complete representation of who you are as a person, photographer, spouse, parent, traveler, etc. Be sure to calculate travel time between each location because that will likely count into the overall time your session is supposed to be.

With that being said, I have done entire five-hour branding sessions at one location, and delivered a TON of variety that my client was able to use for over a year. Chances are your photographer will be able to style spaces to look slightly different in order to achieve different (yet consistent) aesthetics all in one place!

My home office is hideous…what do I do?

That’s okay! I would look for an Airbnb or see if there is another creative in the area that has a styled studio/office space where you are able to shoot. There are actually entire website devoted to promoting styled spaces for creatives. Some other great options are:

Home Studio List

You can search these by your geographical area to find studios near you. One main difference between sites like PeerSpace/Home Studio List and Airbnb is that PeerSpace and Home Studio List are usually hourly rentals, whereas Airbnb is typically a nightly rental.

In the past, I have contacted Airbnb hosts to see if they would be open to a one-day rental during the week for a branding client session and I haven’t been turned down yet as long as they have availability! It’s great additional income for the host on a day that may not otherwise be booked.

What if I want “pretty” locations?

This is personal preference, obviously! I think it is okay to have at least one jaw-dropping place included in your shot list, especially if it is just for headshots. I would strategically choose that location though, like a local high-end wedding venue where you would like to shoot so that you can tag yourself at said location!

Many of the studios on PeerSpace and Home Studio List are styled, which means they have impeccable decor and usually multiple areas within the same home or condo that are shoot-ready. And if you don’t believe me, take a look at this listing for a studio in my home state of Virginia! It is exquisite.

Like I mentioned last week with choosing outfits, we want it to be believable. There’s something to be said for authenticity in today’s day and age of social media and smokescreens of making things look more appealing than they really are. So let’s toe the line between professional and still believable to make your dream branding session come to life!

If you have more questions about finding a location for your branding session, please drop them below! I can’t wait to hear from you.

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