When I first moved to Hawaii, before my elopement and branding photographer days, I was helping plan and coordinate weddings. Sometimes, when going through photo databases of the weddings we coordinated, I would come across Aislinn with Wilde Sparrow Photography. Aislinn is a full-time family photographer whom I eventually got to assist on a few of her shoots!
Over time, I got to know Aislinn as not just a colleague, but also as someone I look up to. She played a big role in the beginning of my photography career in Hawaii.
When I saw Aislinn’s inquiry for a branding photo shoot come through my website, I was so excited! Getting the honor of having your mentor ask you to take their photos is everything. Aislinn offers incredible education resources for photographers, so I felt privileged to be able to work with her on her branding photo shoot here in Hawaii.
Wondering what a branding or lifestyle session entails? You may be on the hunt for headshots, too! First, we begin with a pre-shoot prep call as a part of your branding photo shoot package. This is kind of like an onboarding process!
What sets myself apart from other headshot photographers in Hawaii and beyond is that I love to ask a LOT of questions. The questions that I ask aren’t solely about what kind of photos you want, but also about the story of your business! One of the key parts of marketing and branding is figuring out your “why” and what sets you apart from others. If we get that point across in photos, and communicate your “why” visually, that can help people choose YOU.
Your onboarding phone call will last about 45 minutes, but don’t worry! You don’t need to bring anything or specifically prepare for our call. I want to make it as easy for you as possible – let me interview you and really get your story.
This call was really helpful in regards to Aislinn’s shoot, because I learned how much of a role her own family plays on her shoot days, so we decided to incorporate her daughter and husband into the shoot after her initial headshots.
For the start of Aislinn’s headshot photo shoot, we took to our good friend Whitney’s house for some crisp, clean content. Her recently remodeled house, with a Scandinavian feel, served as the perfect backdrop for headshots.
When we completed headshot photos, we shifted into what I consider the process portion or “behind-the-scenes” portion of the branding shoot. This is where we get to show you in your element and highlight the unique parts of how you create an incredible experience or product for your clients!
To truly capture Aislinn’s full-process, we decided it would be best for me to join her as soon as she pulled up to the parking lot with her daughter, Josie, and husband, Matt, who come to most of her family sessions to play at the beach. I wanted to tell the whole story of the entire shoot so that families who work with her can relate to her as both their photographer, but also a fellow parent!
Aislinn is SO good with kids, and loves what she does because she is passionate about family in her own life, too! Now that she has a daughter, Josie, it’s fun that she can be involved! I think my favorite part of this shoot was when Josie wandered over and sat on Aislinn’s lap at the very end of the shoot! Josie loves to make friends with Aislinn’s clients, while Matt looks on.
Armed with a fannypack of lollipops (but not before getting permission from parents!), Aislinn makes herself approachable and goes above and beyond for her clients. She even has bandaids for accidental scrapes. Aislinn truly is a master of her craft, and I feel honored to have been able to capture that and get her “why” across.
Branding headshot sessions and lifestyle photo shoots can be an amazing addition to marketing your business. You can use lifestyle session photos and branding shoot photos for your website or social media – and if you have a certain aesthetic or editing style you prefer, I take great care to make sure your content is cohesive. You want your branding session to work for YOU, after all!
For more information on what a branding or lifestyle session can do for your business, check out What Is a Branding Session?
If you’re looking to freshen up your business photos with a lifestyle shoot and headshots, KoLab Hawaii offers opportunities for branding sessions to truly elevate your business and craft! KoLab Hawaii has a gorgeous vibe, and is 100% woman-owned and inclusive. There is a $20 day-use fee for utilizing KoLab’s adorable space.
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Branding sessions can be very valuable to an artist or small business. As a maker, if you’ve ever:
Then a branding session may be for you! Branding sessions can create a cohesive style, and contribute to product sales. There is so much content to be had from booking a branding session for your project!
I like to think of a branding session as a one stop shop: benefitting artists, creators, makers, and artisans from every sector and walk of life! When clients book a branding session with me, it typically is split up into three parts:
These three parts can offer a lot of variety for social media, but this is not a “one size fits all” situation! Every brand is different, and some might need more or less of any of those parts. I like to do at least two really in-depth phone calls to help determine what it is you need out of a branding session. It is my job (and passion!) to communicate your values and story effortlessly. My approach is never to just show up and begin taking photos. When designing your branding session, I love to get the big picture!
I am passionate about hearing your “why” and listening to your needs. Your brand/business is your baby, and I want to tell your story through the branding session photos!
During our first call, I get a sense of your needs and help you develop a vision for the shoot, narrow down locations, figure out if you need models/props/etc.! For our second thorough phone call, we chat after booking to get more of your story, and to identify priorities and shot ideas. My goal is for you to feel like you have received value out of the shoot!
The meat of a branding session for me is the “process” portion: there can sometimes be a gap between seeing the final result up against the process! How do we communicate the process without giving everything away? That helps show value, variety of skills, the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and the passion/attention to detail that many artists have. The “process” portion of a branding session can really relax the maker because you are in your element: it really starts to feel natural!
We can get the most out of your time by treating your branding session like a cooking show! Having some finished items, some items prepped, for a variety of stagings and scenes. It is totally worth your investment if we can stage different parts of your process! Make sure your space is tidy, but don’t worry too much about everything looking perfect because we will gradually move things around as we create your scenes. As long as you have your materials prepped, the shoot moves efficiently! And you will have content for a while, how worth it is that?! Heck yes!
My approach to headshots is utilizing movement. We can use different backgrounds in a studio, or venture out into nature. It’s up to you! Wondering what to wear? Bring along 2-3 different outfits: something professional for headshots, and you can wear what you usually wear when you’re producing your products so it feels natural! Different outfits can make it feel like various different shoots in one! All about that content for YOUR brand. Don’t worry about feeling awkward: I like to use guided movements, and during the “process” stage, you will naturally feel more comfortable because you’ll be in your element!
Being able to really tell your important narrative of your brand, art, or passion project means everything to me! There is something to be said for people getting invested in your story! When we share snippets of what goes into your brand and products, people find it compelling and really get to know you. Seeing the person, process, and products behind the brand is everything!
I have such a soft spot for branding sessions, lifestyle photography, and taking brands to the next level with headshots. Enter: Coastal Designs. Coastal Designs is the brainchild of Lindsey: who was inspired to begin her own jewelry line after frustrations with “gold fill” jewelry tarnishing. Lindsey wanted Coastal Designs to be functional jewelry that you can wear into the ocean!
Lindsey learned to solder taking a course in Oahu, which is where we set off for this branding session! Hopping from island to island is super easy, and a part of what makes life on the islands fun!
Whenever she would journal, Lindsey began doodling a little symbol of a wave and shark. Sharks being her favorite species, this little doodle became the logo for Coastal Designs.
Coastal Designs prides itself on being connected to the environment, which is why they donate 10% of proceeds to ocean organizations. Lindsey has a degree in marine biology, so caring about the sea comes naturally!
When planning for this branding session, Lindsey gave me quite a bit of creative control, which can be hard for makers and business owners! The end result felt very special to me, because Lindsey knew that she was heard, and that I took great care in making sure her vision came to life. Helping plan and execute this lifestyle shoot/branding session was extremely meaningful to me!
Coastal Designs is near and dear to my heart because it is a sustainable, women owned business. Lindsey uses recycled materials in her work, and you don’t have to worry about taking your jewelry on and off while you’re enjoying the beach!