How to Plan a Small Business Branding Session | Boston Small Business Photographer


When we moved to Maynard, I decided that I was done driving more than half an hour to get my hair done. Luckily for me, a new salon had just been opened by a master stylist named Melissa Pease.

Hair in Harmony has since become one of my favorite places, largely because Melissa is one of my favorite people!


Last spring, we were talking about her branding and we decided to put together a photo shoot just for her salon, using people who are her actual clients. We’ve now wrapped up her third photo shoot, and with each one we’ve learned a few more lessons.


Create a Vision Board

When we first start brainstorming a business branding photo shoot, we put together a vision board for the session. It helps us to narrow down colors, begin looking for wardrobe, and to figure out where we want to do the shoot. Vision boarding also helps us to start thinking about which of Melissa’s clients might be a good fit as models.


You can definitely create a physical vision board, but Melissa and I use Pinterest for ours. It allows us both to contribute to the vision over time.


Choose a Date + Contact Models

We begin planning our sessions three to four months ahead of time so that everyone involved can plan early. Since Melissa runs a busy salon that’s open Tuesday through Saturday, we schedule our shoots for Sundays.


Once we’ve identified our desired models and the date of our shoot, we get in touch with the models to make sure that the date we have in mind will work for them. Sometimes we’ll adjust if multiple people aren’t available, or sometimes we choose different models.


And, to be clear, our models are real life clients of Melissa’s, so they have their own lives and commitments going on! Scheduling can be one of the trickiest part of this process.

Curate the Wardrobe

Based on our vision board, we start thinking about what our models will wear. This is an important part of our branding photo shoots for multiple reasons. First of all, we have an idea of what aesthetic Melissa’s clients and potential clients like.


Also, we want the hair to stand out here, not the clothing. So what can the models wear that will act as a backup singer without stealing the show?


And finally, choosing wardrobe together is important because I know what works on camera and what doesn’t. Certain colors will reflect onto the skin, certain patterns “swim” on camera, and some styles move beautifully while others don’t.

Stick to a Strict Timeline on the Day of the Shoot

For outdoor sessions, the best time of day to shoot is during the last 60-90 minutes of daylight. Since Melissa’s sessions are stylized, she and her team begin doing hair and makeup several hours before the models need to be at the location of the session.


We run a tight ship on shoot day because we need to have enough time and light to shoot during the beautiful golden hour. It’s vital to begin shooting exactly when we plan to begin so that we have enough time to create all of the images that we’ve been brainstorming for the last few months.


Are you an entrepreneur? I would love to chat about creating the photos that tell your brand’s story! Let’s have coffee and talk about how I might be able to help you.