THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO
BRAND PHOTOGRAPH Y AND BUSINESS HEADSHOTS
 IN SCOTLAND

The Ultimate Guide to 

Brand Photography and Business Headshots 

IN SCOTLAND

Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner in Scotland who knows your brand visuals are frankly a bit rubbish? 


Who knows you really can't get away with this for much longer if you're ever going to really grow this business of yours? 


You've thought about getting "proper" photographs ...  one day ... but really, you'd rather clean the toilet (again) than try than  figure out how to get all this photo stuff done. 


Lucky for you, then, that I've put together the complete guide to getting the best brand photography, business portraits, and headshot photography in Scotland! 


So put the toilet brush down and read on. This is worth it.

HALLO AND WELCOME!

I'm Donna Green

I'm a brand photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland with an equal love of Gaelic profanities, bagpipes, and '80s hard rock. Unless you're freaked out already, you can find out more about me here. (Whisky and ice cream feature too!)

In this guide I'm going to show you how professional brand photography helps you get visible, get confident, and get booked. You can see my services for brand photography in Scotland here

What IS brand photography?

Woman on floor with laptop

A brand photographer is a commercial photographer who photographs all or some - or even just one - of these different aspects of business.

Brand photography is simply an umbrella term for brand photography, personal branding photography, and headshot photography.

What is a commercial photographer?

Commercial photographers photograph anything that's for sale and they photograph everything from food to products to buildings to people. It's a vast spectrum. 

Branding photography Scotland - journal photographs

Here's some examples of commercial photography for you. I photographed these for Kirsty at My Happy Journal a couple of years ago, and I haven't done any commercial photography since as I find it so blooming boring. 

It's okay, I'm allowed to say I found it boring - Kirsty eventually became a good friend after she booked several photography sessions with me, and she knows I find photographing products only like this utterly soul-sucking. Someone's gotta do it, but it's not going to be me, just so's you know! Products as PART of a brand shoot? Absolutely. Products only? Nah. 

What is a brand photographer?

A brand photographer gives a business a collection of bespoke images carefully designed to represent that company visually for marketing purposes. It doesn't usually focus on a business owner herself, but rather the brand as a whole. 

Business portraits in French cafe Edinburgh Scotland

This is a non-alcoholic drinks brand where the brief was "cafe culture" and "friends socialising enjoying the drink". I photographed these in Café St Honoré in Edinburgh - French cafe in Scotland that really DOES have a great French feel. The people in these images are stakeholders in the company but the focus is not on them personally.

What is a personal branding photographer?

Personal branding photography represents individual business owners or entrepreneurs who ARE their business, and as well as representing the service provided, it gives a glimpse into who the entrepreneur behind the business actually is. It's brand photography ... But more personal.

Brand photography Scotland business portraits garden designer collage

These photographs show my client working in her home office, at her drawing board with books, and with her beloved dog who's a big part of her life. When planning her business photographs, we looked at the themes of how she works and where, and what she's like as a person - she's a huge dog lover so that was an important one to capture!

What is a headshot photographer?

Business headshot photography is generally used for professional and business purposes.

A professional headshot should be sharp, well lit, and show one person looking directly into the camera.  A traditional business headshot is tightly cropped in to show head and shoulders only, but increasingly now, the term "headshots" encompasses half body shots too. 

Business headshots Scotland female entrepreneurs

These are my favourite kinds of headshots! I like using the background to add a little extra interest, and if we can get the background to say something about the business owner too, even better! I photographed all these fabulous female business owners in Edinburgh, Scotland, except two ... Where I ventured to the wild west of Bathgate and Glasgow!

What are business portraits?

Any of the above where there the focus is primarily on people! You can find out more about what this looks like on my services for brand photography in Scotland here.


What's the difference personal branding photography and headshots?

Woman in red and white striped top

A headshot is like your business is saying hello to someone; personal branding photography is like continuing the conversation.

A good headshot shows what you look like, but it only hints at your personality and who you are.

Personal branding photography goes so much further than a headshot. It shows not only what you look like, but it conveys and illustrates:

  • Who you are - the best version of the REAL you 
  • What you offer
  • What your brand values are
  • What it's like to work with you
  • The environment you work in so your customers and clients can imagine themselves right there with you
  • Why your ideal clients should book you over your competitors

Professional headshots are a great start, but nowadays they’re the bare minimum any business needs to succeed. 

Why do you need brand photography?

Woman reading Brene Brown book in garden

So why is proper brand photography so important?

And why is it such a vital investment in your business that needs to be made early on?  

It positions you properly in your market place

Brand photography makes you look expert, relevant, current, professional, and it attracts your ideal client. 

It positions you in your market as the best choice for the people you’re working so hard to attract. The people you love working with!

Your photography visually communicates what your brand is all about - and your brand is one of the most important pieces of your business in the modern world.

It shows people who you are, what your business stands for, how it’s the right choice for them, and is currently a HUGE differentiator between you and your competitors.

Your visual communication is critical

Long before people are going to read what you write, they’re going to make judgements on what they see. If your pictures are top notch, that suggests what you’ve written will be worth reading.

Each photograph must serve a purpose and it must sell for you. Your images need to make people think about you and your business the way you WANT them to think. Great brand photography directly influences how people perceive you and your brand. 

When you get professional brand photography, your brand visuals are consistent. And consistency in your visual communication makes people trust you. 

You come across as reliable, decisive, and unwavering in your purpose. People know what to expect from you. They don’t need to waste too much mental energy in having to think because they know what they’ll get from you.

Following you is then nice and comfortable - an easy option - because your consistency in visuals and your messaging makes them feel safe. And they don't have to think too much. What’s not to love?

Spot on visual communication shows you value your business, you value your clients, and you value yourself.

It helps you stand out in a sea of noise

It's busy out there …

You have to stand out and be noticed amongst all these other business owners. According to the Scottish Government, in Scotland in 2021 there were:

Customers served! 300000 private sector businesses IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY
Customers served! 300000  businesses in THE CITY OF Edinburgh alone
Customers served! 300000 SMALL BUSINESSES IN EDINBURGH WITH FEWER THAN 50 EMPLOYEES
Customers served! 300000 private sector businesses IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY
Customers served! 300000  businesses in THE CITY OF Edinburgh alone
Customers served! 300000 SMALL BUSINESSES IN EDINBURGH WITH FEWER THAN 50 EMPLOYEES
Customers served! 300000 private sector businesses IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY
Customers served! 300000  businesses in THE CITY OF Edinburgh alone
Customers served! 300000 SMALL BUSINESSES IN EDINBURGH WITH <50 EMPLOYEES

And that's just for local businesses. If you're an online business? You need to stand out from the rest of the WORLD!

My free checklist and workbook on “5 ways to get your business visible, fast” will help you do this:

It saves you time

Personal branding photography and professionally taken business portraits saves you time in figuring out what to post on social media and trying to source images.

Have you ever spent hours trawling stock image websites, only to finally use it then find out later the same photograph is on about ten of your competitors’ websites too? Ugh! 

On the other hand, taking your own photographs, particularly if you’re not a professional brand photographer, can lose you DAYS of time every year. 

If your expertise isn’t in photography, you really won’t do your business justice. You might want to have a think about how selfies on your website destroy your brand

Bespoke brand photography is completely unique so you don’t need to worry about looking like everyone else. It’s very quick to dip into your own image bank and find exactly the right image for your social media posts. 

Often, even the act of scrolling through your online gallery of business portraits and brand images sparks content ideas for social media and your blog.

Feel more than just confident in your online presence - be proud of it!

Your website and your social media are your shop windows. So you need to dress them properly!

Are you a bit embarrassed about how you appear online?

You know you’re highly skilled at what you do and you provide a staggeringly good service to your clients, but you’re not quite sure your website and social media posts show that. Bummer! Imagine if you fixed that ... 

Wouldn’t it be great to invite people over to your digital home and feel proud of it? And know that what people see truly reflects who you are and what you can do?

Be ready for opportunities

You’ve just been called by a journalist who’s interested in what you do and wants to feature you in a publication.

If you can't at LEAST give them a professionally taken business portrait or headshot, you’re going to blow this opportunity.  

Create yourself a proper media pack which includes some top notch photographs of yourself so you’ll be ready for anything.

Where can you use your brand photography and business portraits?

Woman at wide computer screen

Everywhere you promote your business, pretty much!

Brand photography is an investment in time, effort, and money, but look at all these places you not only CAN use your new photos, but you SHOULD use them. 

Here’s a quick list ... Have I missed anything out? Let me know!

  • Banners at exhibition stands
  • Blog posts
  • Business cards
  • Case studies
  • Client reviews
  • Digital or hard copy book covers
  • Email newsletters
  • Email signature
  • Facebook cover image, profile photograph, posts
  • Gift vouchers
  • Instagram profile photograph, posts, stories, reels
  • Landing pages
  • Lead magnets
  • LinkedIn cover image, profile photograph, posts
  • Media/press kits
  • Networking and speaking events
  • Pinterest pins
  • Podcast covers
  • Posters
  • Press releases
  • Printed brochures and marketing materials
  • Product catalogues
  • Twitter cover image, profile photograph, tweets
  • Video graphics
  • Website banners and photographs
  • YouTube channel cover and profile photograph
Brand photography Scotland shoot planner

How to create your perfect brand photographs

Woman flicking pages in notebook

Right. You now understand why proper brand photography is so important, don't you?

Let's now dive into how you actually get yourself some of this vital stuff! We're going to cover: 

1

How to plan your brand photography

You know that old saying, "prior planning prevents p**s poor performance?" Yep. That. This guide will sort you out. 

2

How to create your brand photography

What do I wear? Where do we  go? What do I DO? Help! (Don't worry. I'll show you here.)

3

How to prepare for your brand photography

What do you need to do to get ready for your brand photography shoot? Find out here. 

1

How to plan your brand photography

Woman reading book at desk

This is really what separates an exceptional brand photographer from an average brand photographer - more work goes into the planning than the actual photographing.

Any half-decent portrait photographer can take photos which make you look good, but a proper brand photographer will analyse your business, your messaging, your positioning, and come up with a strategic plan for representing all this in images. 

You COULD have some “nice” images of you which make you look good, but that’s only a very basic starting point.

A small handful of nice portraits of yourself will show people what you look like, but if there’s no solid strategy behind the creation - and the display! - of your brand photographs, you need to really consider whether it’s a worthwhile expenditure at all.

Read on to find out various aspects of visual communication that a good brand photographer will dig into with you...

Identify your values

More and more nowadays, consumers are using their buying power to support or boycott brands whose values they do or don’t align with. Buying is often now a political act, a statement, and we as consumers are well aware that brands can have an important role in effecting positive change.  

You can’t - and shouldn’t - appeal to everyone, but if you’re dead clear on your brand values and you know what’s your why, it’s so much easier to hone in and attract the people you really want to work with. 

Your brand photographs and business portraits play a crucial part in this, and a good brand photographer will take the time to have a really good dive into your brand values so he/she can come up with a solid plan for translating them into your images. 

Before they read anything about you, your blog, or business, or otherwise, your potential customers and clients will see your brand ethos expressed visually and you better believe they’ll make judgements on it.

Read more about the importance of your brand values.

  • VALUES, eg:
  • Order
  • Expertise
  • Autonomy
  • Kindness
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity

My brand values

Branding Photography Scotland - brand values - autonomy

Looking at my own brand values, I reckon "autonomy" is probably the word I keep coming back to most.

Because I believe that when more women have autonomy in their lives, including practical and financial control of themselves and what they do, the world will be a better place. 

As a branding photographer I play a part in this as I help female entrepreneurs in Scotland achieve success.

You can read more about why I'm a personal branding photographer - does any of resonate with you?

If "autonomy" is one of my primary brand values, the sentiment I keep coming back to is "Don't be a dick."

I could word it more politely, perhaps. But this is the phrase that I hear in my head, so why change it?

And I don't just mean not being a dick to others. Don't be a dick to yourself either. Or allow others to be one to you. There's a pretty high chance you don't actually deserve it. 

I think this is a GREAT rule to live by! What do you reckon?

Find out more about my brand values

Branding Photographer Scotland - brand values

  • BRAND ARCHETYPES
  • THE INNOCENT: Aveeno, Dove, Innocent
  • THE EVERYMAN:  Ikea, Tesco, Lynx
  • THE HERO: adidas, Nike, FedEx
  • THE OUTLAW: Virgin, Harley-davidson, diesel
  • THE EXPLORER: North Face, Jeep, Patagonia
  • THE CREATOR: Lego, Apple, Adobe
  • THE RULER: Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz, Rolex
  • THE MAGICIAN: coca-cola, disney, dyson
  • THE LOVER: Alfa-Romeo, Chanel, Victoria's Secret 
  • THE CAREGIVER: Unicef, World Wildlife Fund, Toms Shoes
  • THE JESTER: M&Ms, Old Spice, Dollar Shave Club
  • THE SAGE: Google, BBC, University of Oxford

Find out your brand archetype

You as a small business owner have probably created an “ideal customer avatar”, but have you ever done the same thing for your brand? 

Back in the 1940s, Swiss psychologist Carl Jung developed a set of common personality archetypes: categorisation of behavioural patterns, values, and motivations all wrapped up into a “persona”. 

So what’s this to do with your small business and why should you know what your brand archetype is? 

Your business should clearly present its own distinct personality, and when it aligns with a certain brand archetype, your ideal clients and customers should subconsciously recognise it right away. Your business will more quickly, easily, and deeply resonate with some people the minute they come across it, whilst others will move swiftly on. 

Which is EXACTLY what you want. 

You can discover your brand archetype here, and a good brand photographer will draw on your archetype when creating images which properly represent your business so they’ll attract your ideal clients. 

It’s not only your visuals which hugely benefit from the influence of your archetype though - so do your words. Copywriting becomes more focused, and even writing social media posts and blog posts becomes easier when you use your archetype as a guide. 

Knowing your brand archetype is also a very useful filter for you when making business decisions as you can ask yourself “does this option align with my archetype”? 

If you’d like to know more about this, I recommend you get hold of “The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes”. It’s a staple on my business bookshelf.

Identify the pain points you address for your ideal client

Your photographs need to visually convey your solutions to clients’ problems. Your service or products may provide the perfect answer, but words on their own aren’t enough - you need to make sure your brand photography and business portraits show what you do and how it will help.

Your photographer should make sure he/she has a solid understanding of your ideal client in order to craft images which will show instantly why YOUR solution is the best.  

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What problems do you solve for your clients?

Can you answer these questions? 

  • How do you solve your ideal clients' problems?
  • Why should they come to you instead of anyone else? 

Dig really deeply into your business 

The strategy and planning process you go through with your brand photographer will identify all this and clearly lay everything out so this information can be represented in photographs which will help you sell. 

Think about personal boundaries

There’s definitely a continuum of how personal you want to go when putting yourself and your business out there. Are you the type who’s pretty unfiltered and are happy showing yourself warts and all?

Or are you more considered and guarded in your approach and only want to let people to see certain aspects of who you are and what you’re all about? 

Some small business owners are happy to show photographs of themselves and their family in their messy kitchen, or of them belly dancing with aaaaaall the jiggle, or share some deeply personal stories with accompanying images to illustrate them. 

There’s no right or wrong. But you really should have an idea of where your limits are, and stick to them. Sharing these limits with your photographer will make the planning process easier as he/she won’t waste time coming up with various ideas for shots which you’re just not comfortable with. 

Consistency is what you're after!

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HOW MUCH OF "YOU" ARE YOU HAPPY SHARING IN PUBLIC?

Moving on to the visuals ...

You've done a lot of hard thinking about your brand strategy. 

Time to start contemplating the type of visuals that align with your business. 

Woman sitting at laptop

Trawl Pinterest for ideas

Ohhhh, Pinterest! That glorious (or hellish? Your choice!) rabbit hole … 

Get yourself a cup of tea, and set a timer for how long you’ll allow yourself to search for ideas for your brand photography and business portraits. 

Create yourself a new Pinterest board and call it something like “My personal branding photography inspo photos”. (Top marks for originality - but you might as well be clear!)

A good place to start is searching for “personal branding photography for [what you do; eg, copywriters, business coaches, yoga instructors, etc]".

See what comes up and just save the images that jump out at you to your new board. Don’t think about them too deeply at this stage. 

The key here is to use Pinterest only for inspiration and ideas - you absolutely shouldn’t attempt to recreate exactly any of the shots you see on Pinterest, because remember, you and your business are unique! 

Let all these things you’ve pinned percolate and marinade for a wee while then when you go back to them later, you’ll no doubt be able to bin a load of them as you’ll know they’re just not right for you.

And you’ll feel slightly clearer on what sorts of things ARE right for you.

Create your own mood board

Once you’ve had a play (or spent days - don't blame me!) on Pinterest, it’s time to make a proper mood board.

I’ve written an article on mood boards for personal branding photography which gives you all you need to know about how to do this and why.

Mood boards are really important in the whole process of getting brilliant brand photography for your business so don't skip this!

2

How to create your brand photography

Woman reading gardening magazine

You and your brand photographer have put the work into identifying the fundamentals of your brand which inform how your brand photography is created. 

Now it's time to design your brand photo shoot - we'll look at props, posing, locations, and what to wear. 

What props should you use in your brand photography shoot in Edinburgh, Scotland?

Props in your brand photography and business portraits really strengthen your story and help your ideal client imagine working with you.


Everything we place in the frame of your photographs should contribute to the overall message you’re trying to convey to your audience. 


Here are some ideas:


  • Tools of your trade
  • Any physical products you sell
  • Personal items which say something about who you are
  • Other people or pets
  • Unusual items with a story behind them that fits your brand
  • Colours are important in the props you use - have a look at the colour psychology section of this guide, and also don’t forget to bring in props in your brand colours. This will make the final images look beautifully cohesive and really reinforce your brand messaging. 

A note on posing in your brand photographs

Along with “what the hell should I wear for a personal branding photography shoot?” is “how the hell should I pose?”


The simple answer is, you don’t need to know that, because a good photographer will direct you easily into the poses which will make you look your best. 


Some poses may feel awkward but there’s a reason for them: they make you look great in a two dimensional photograph, so just trust your photographer and have fun doing it!


Lots of people tell their photographer they want to "look natural". But the trouble is, that often doesn't translate well into a flat image - slumping on the couch is natural, but you're not going to look the best version of you if that's what you're doing when photographed.


BUT ... If ultra natural like that is a big part of your brand, then definitely let it all hang out!

The best locations in Edinburgh, Scotland for business and brand photography

Woman taking selfie on ph one

In a city as unique and beautiful as Edinburgh, finding the perfect location for branding photography is never a problem!

To help you narrow all the choices down, have a read of my guide here: 6 ways to find the perfect location for your next brand photoshoot.

Before you decide where exactly to go, though, think about what time of year your brand photography shoot is going to be in, and whether urban or rural locations (or both!) are a better fit for your brand. 

Here are some suggestions.

Woman sitting outdoors with laptop
Outdoor locations
Urban
  • Calton Hill (okay, semi-urban!)
  • Circus Lane
  • Dean Village
  • George Street
  • Outside modern buildings: Edinburgh Park, Scottish Parliament, Morrison Street
  • Stockbridge
  • The Royal Mile
  • Victoria Street
Rural
  • Arthur's Seat/Holyrood Park (okay, semi-rural!)
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Cramond
  • Dalkeith Country Park
  • Dreghorn Woods
  • Lauriston Castle grounds
  • Mortonhall Woods
  • Union canal
  • Beaches: Portobello, Yellowcraigs
Woman sitting in cafe with laptop
Indoor locations
STUDIOS

If it’s simple studio headshots or something with a plain background you’re after, you can hire Meow Studios in Causewayside pretty cheaply. They're very basic and slightly tired looking, but good for a start.

The Biscuit Factory in Bonnington is a unique looking space which is well worth checking out, whilst Studio128 on Pitt Street just off Ferry Road provides a lot of variety in set-ups.

CAFES

Cafe owners are often amenable to letting you be photographed inside their premises - the key is to book a time when they’re not busy, don't take too long, don’t piss off their customers or staff by getting in the way, and offer them a shout-out on social media. 

Not all of them will agree, but there are soooooo many cafes in Edinburgh, if one cafe says no, chances are that the next one will say yes. 

Consider the type of vibe your photographs need to show. Modern? Traditional? Rustic? Quirky? No matter what you want your location to say about you and your business, you’ll find something to suit in Edinburgh.

AirBnB / short-term let apartments

This can be a bit of an emotive topic. Some people are dead against using AirBnB because of short-term let issues in Edinburgh (and in Scotland as a whole), but if that’s a route you’re happy going down, there is no shortage of properties and you can often hire one just for a day. 

You could always check out:

Co-working spaces

Some great co-working spaces in Edinburgh you could use as a location for brand photography are:

transport and parking in Edinburgh, Scotland

If you need/want to take your car into central Edinburgh, you may already know that it’s not always straightforward. 

There are all sorts of different parking restrictions in different zones, with many streets being impossible (or difficult) to park on because of double or single yellow lines, or residents’ parking spaces. 

You can rent a parking space privately here or here, and find information about public on-street parking here

Or you could take an easier option and just book a taxi to the location for your shoot. 

Personally I wouldn’t fancy getting a bus to a personal branding photography or headshot session, but if you’re all right with that, you can find information on Edinburgh bus services here

What to wear

Woman selecting clothes from rail

This is probably the number one question I as a brand photography specialist get asked! 

There are two simple answers: make sure your clothes support your brand messaging and wear what you feel fabulous in.

In most cases, we want to make YOU the main subject of your photographs, not what you're wearing. Your clothes shouldn't be the star of the show - your face should.

Your choice of clothing should align with your location, unless a juxtaposition is a deliberate choice designed to provoke a reaction. 

For example, if you lean towards the bohemian in your choice of clothing, then an edgy urban streetscape could just confuse your audience.

What do you want your clothes to say about you?

When you’re trying to come up with ideas for what to wear, don’t just Google what you think someone in your line of work should wear but think about your whole brand and your values.


For example, a business coach you spot online might be photographed wearing a tailored jacket to illustrate success and power.


But you might prefer your images to show you in your favourite jeans and baggy jumper to embody relaxation and the work-life balance that you help your clients achieve.

Start by identifying the themes you’d like to feature in your photography session and base your outfits on those. 

You might want your photographs to show you at work, getting stuck into a hobby, or relaxing and just doing your own thing at the weekend - after all, your audience wants to see the behind-the-scenes of you and your business, not just what you look like when you are working.

Your clothing choices will be influenced by the themes your photography will illustrate.

Attention to detail

Underwear lines can sometimes be seen through clothes which can ruin a whole image and make it completely unusable.

Stray threads, any unnoticed marks, holes, tears, or bits of fluff on your clothes can spoil an entire photograph, and whilst some of these things can be fixed in Photoshop afterwards, this can take quite some time - which you may need to pay extra for. 

A good branding photographer will spot these things before pressing the shutter, but it will save a lot of time on shoot day if you check and sort all these wee details in advance. 

What works and what doesn't

Your brand photographer should give you a client clothing guide (I do!) but here are some quick tips on what to wear for your brand photography:

Logos and writing - avoid logos/slogans/writing on your clothes unless there’s a good reason for it. Clothes like this can date badly and distract the viewer’s eye from your face. 

Choose similar tones for your top and bottom halves (both darkish or both lightish) so that one half of you doesn’t look bigger than the other half.

A light top and dark trousers can sometimes make your top half look bigger whereas light trousers and a dark top can make your bottom half look bigger. Of course, you may want to work with that!

Think twice about big, bold, contrasting stripes - they don't always look so good in 2D photos and can often add bulk where you might not want it .

Check your clothes don’t clash with your background - but check you don’t blend in too much with your background either. 

How to find a personal stylist in Edinburgh, Scotland

Check back here soon if you feel you need some wardrobe help from a personal stylist, as I’ll have some recommendations for you.

A note on colour

Colour works at a subconscious level, faster than words or images, and creates an instant gut response.

By understanding the feelings and thoughts different colours evoke, you can now decide what the predominant colours you wear should be. You’ll possibly want to wear one of your brand colours but here are some other ideas for colours to consider:

Psychology of colour chart

Don’t forget though, if wearing your brand colours make you look like the walking dead, it’s absolutely fine to use that colour elsewhere in your photographs - you don’t NEED to wear them. 

If you’re positively allergic to wearing orange, for example, but you want to convey playfulness, warmth, and vibrance in your images, how about having various orange props? Or walls? 

Colour psychology in branding is a vast topic and you can read more about it here

How to "get your colours done" in Edinburgh, Scotland

Having colour analysis done by a professional is something many people find transformational. 

In a colour analysis session you’ll discover whether your unique skin tone suits warm or cool tones and find out whether bright and vibrant colour mixes lift your whole look or whether softer tonal colour harmonies are more you. 

Armed with the knowledge of exactly which colours look great on you and which make you look like crap, you’ll look even more stunning in your brand photographs. 

Some colour analysis stylists in Edinburgh you might want to check out are:

3

How to prepare for your brand photography

Woman making loose tea

Share logistical arrangements with other people involved

Who else is involved in your brand photography shoot?

Make sure the shoot plan your photographer creates for you details the time they should show up. 

Buy new clothes if you need them

Lay the outfits you’ll be wearing for your brand shoot out on your bed where you can see them all together. 

Visualise an entire collection of photographs with these items sprinkled throughout. Are you happy with your choices?

Get your hair done

Make sure you don’t do this the day before shoot day, particularly if you’re going for quite a radical change.


You want time to get used to it, so a week’s usually good. 

Hair and make-up on the day

There’s really no right and wrong as to whether you want your hair and/or make-up done professionally just before your shoot. If your personal or business brand leans towards the highly polished, then this might be an option you’ll want to consider. 

Check back soon for my recommendations for hair and make-up artists.

Get your nails done

Again, this isn’t for everybody, but if you feel it’s something you should go for, again, I’ll have some recommendations for you soon so come back and check later.

Just remember that if your nails are an exceedingly vibrant colour, they may take attention  away from your face in your photographs. That's fine, as long as it's a deliberate choice.

Buy any props you need

If you’re buying online, make sure you give yourself a few extra days in case deliveries are delayed. Things in this regard aren’t quite back to normal yet. 

If you’re going shopping in Edinburgh, give yourself extra time in case you need to return/exchange anything before your brand photo shoot.

Good sleep and loads of water

I know. It sounds such a cliche ... But it's true. This helps.

In the week leading up to your brand photography session, make sure you get lots of sleep and drinks loads of water so you look the best version of yourself you can. 

Essentials to bring with you

It’s usually a good idea to take some make-up with you so you can give yourself a wee touch-up if/when needed. 

Hand cream is … handy .. too. Sometimes a wee smooth down with handy creamy hands on flyaway hair works even better than hairspray does. 

Flyaway hair is a bit like clothes with bits of fluff on them - it CAN be fixed in Photoshop but it’s a complete pain and can take a lot of time, which you may need to pay for. 

You might also like to read my article on 6 ways to prepare for your headshots and business portraits.

Pulling it all together

It’s all very well coming up with this brilliant information about you and your business which will inform how you’ll be represented in photographs, but it’s not much if it’s all over the place.

Your brand photographer should give you a proper work book where you’ll note all this information down and pull it together.

Often just the very act of compiling this gives small business owners a whole new clarity on lots of different aspects of their brand that may have felt a bit vague and disjointed previously. 

Having this new clarity makes it much easier for you to move ahead successfully in your business as well as forming a solid foundation for your brand photography.


How much does brand photography in Scotland cost?

Woman gazing out of window

"How much does brand photography cost?" and "How much do headshots cost" are very common questions, and there's not a standard answer. 

Generally, brand photography in Scotland can cost anything from around £250 to about £3,500, depending on the level of service you need. 

You really do get what you pay for, and with the explosion in numbers of businesses online now, and with high quality photography everywhere, it’s not so much a question of whether you can afford to have your business photographed properly but whether you can afford NOT to. 

Basic headshots and mini sessions start at the cheaper end of the spectrum of professional photography and really are the absolute bare minimum today’s business owner can get away with. 

There is a place for headshots - if you’re employed, for example, and are looking for your next job, you’ll need headshots for LinkedIn. Or if you’re doing online dating, you’ll need some basic headshots for your dating profiles. 

Mini sessions, where you book a certain time slot on a certain day in a batch with other people,  are slightly more useful than headshots in that they tend to show more of you in a particular location and can sometimes incorporate props. 

However, for headshots and mini sessions, your brand photography specialist will not have spent time rigorously examining and analysing your business to come up with a bespoke shoot plan for you which is strategically designed to support your marketing messages. 

And the strategy is what produces images which will make you proud of your online presence and help you sell. 

If you have your own business, even if you’re starting out, having your business professionally photographed is a vital investment which will elevate public perception of you and your business right away. (And help you sell!)


If you choose to work with me ...

My prices start at £250 for business headshots and £1,195 for brand photography - have a look at my services page.


You can find more about me here and take a look at my portfolio here.

Woman with long black hair in woods

What do you get when you book a brand photographer in Scotland?

What you walk away with obviously depends on which photographer you’ve booked, and the level of service you’ve chosen.

I offer all these optional extras, depending on which package my clients go for.

The minimum you should expect

  • An online gallery with your fully edited images, ready for you to download
  • Images in different sizes/orientations according to the platforms you use
  • Commercial usage licence and rights to do what you like to the images (other than sell them on), with no requirement to credit the photographer

Optional extras

  • Payment plans to make the investment easier for you to manage
  • Action plan/checklist from a Visual Content Audit
  • A “What to Wear” guide
  • Shoot plan for your approval
  • Brand clarity and shoot design workbook
  • Video footage for you to use in shortform video or your website
  • Branded graphics incorporating your new images for use across your social media channels

  • Post-shoot support consultation where your photographer gives you guidance on how to use your new images and maximise your investment

I offer all these optional extras, depending on which package my clients go for.

How to find the right brand photographer in Scotland for you

Woman in yellow shirt looking at phone

There are lots of questions you should ask yourself before you start researching headshot or brand photographers. 

These include:

  • Do I want a brand photography specialist? Or am I happy with a photographer who splits his/her time and talent amongst multiple genres of photography? Some people prefer to go to a photographer who’s completely dedicated to the specialism of branding as there’s a higher chance he/she will have more expertise in the strategy of marketing and branding compared to a more generalist portrait photographer.
  • Do you like their style of work? What's their portfolio like?
  • Is the level of service they offer appropriate for your needs?
  • Do you think you’d enjoy working with the person?

If you’d like to find out more about how to find the right personal branding photographer for you, download my guide to exactly that here

Personal Branding Photographer Edinburgh Scotland - how do I make my business visible workbook cover - book a brand photographer cover

How often should you update your headshots or personal branding photographs?

Woman looking down at notebook

This does depend to a degree on the type of business you run and how you market it, but generally you should look at updating your headshots and your personal branding photography once a year at a minimum.

If you’re a local service provider who’s the heart and soul of her brand and you promote your business regularly on social media, you might want to think of quarterly brand shoots to make sure you have a constant supply of up-to-date images. 

If you create and sell your own products, how often you need them to be photographed depends more on your production cycle - how often do you introduce new products and what promotions or campaigns do you have planned?

Questions to ask your brand photographer before you sign the contract

Woman sitting at table looking out of window

RETOUCHING

What’s your position on retouching business portraits? Do you offer any detailed retouching post-production? (Blemish removal, Photoshopping, etc - this question is more important when discussing professional headshots compared to lifestyle branding photos.)

POSING

How do you pose clients - loosely? Highly posed? Documentary? Are you going make me do the teapot? Or stand on my head?


Can you guarantee I won't look like an arse?

DELIVERY

What sizes and shapes do I get the images in? How are they delivered?


If I get them in a gallery, how long before the gallery expires? 

BACKUPS

What happens if I lose all the photos you give me because my computer blows up? Do I have to pay for backups to be restored?

EDINBURGH WEATHER

What’s your policy on outdoor shoot postponements due to bad weather?

NERVES

I hate having my photos taken - how do you deal with nervous clients?

AFTERWARDS

Do you help me out afterwards with what to do with my photos?

PORTFOLIO

What is your experience with branding and lifestyle photography specifically? Can I see a portfolio?

WOULD WE FIT?

What types of businesses do you enjoy working with? Would we be a good fit?

TURNAROUND

What is your turnaround time? Is there an option for a rush fee if I would like my photos sooner?

COMMUNICATION

How do you generally communicate with clients? Email, text, phone call? Will you accommodate my preference? I quite like smoke signals. 

COPYRIGHT

Do I own the rights to the photos upon delivery or is this an additional fee? Who's got copyright?

CREDITING

Do you expect that your clients will credit you when they use your photos for marketing?

SELLING ON

Can I sell the images on to others?

CAN I BRING MY DOG?

My dog's a big part of my life so he should be in some of the photographs too. Is this okay?

Local resources for small businesses in Edinburgh, Scotland

Two women working in cafe on laptop

I very much believe in supporting small local businesses in Edinburgh, or nearby.

Here’s where to go if you need help with:

Branding and design

Business mentoring

Search Engine Optimisation

Social media graphics

Social media management

Virtual Assistant

A bit more about me

I'm a brand and headshot photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I give entrepreneurs and small business owners high impact, strategically designed brand photography so their ideal clients get to know, like, and trust them, then buy from them.

If you’d like to know a bit more about what it would be like to work with me, have a read of my About page and my Services page to start with.

You can also have a nosey at my LinkedIn account here and my Instagram account here. 

Then how about you schedule a call with me for a chat about how we can use brilliant brand photography to really propel YOU forward?

Donna Green Photographer Edinburgh Scotland

Get in touch

If you're serious about growing your brand and connecting with your audience on a deeper level, I'd love to work with you.  Let's talk, and see how we can propel your business forward.