Happy New Year! It's 2024!

Now that we're a couple weeks into the new year, I thought it would be nice to jump back into the blog posts! I want to do more session breakdowns and sharing some of my creative process while showing you what we were able to create. I feel like I'm sitting on so many galleries with photos that I shot last year, that I can share on here and give you proper insight into how we created these images. My very first session of the year was shot in a studio and it was a branding session for a hair and makeup artist here in Dallas, TX.

Candy Martinez is the fabulous owner of DLC Artistry! I've had the absolute joy of being done up by her and I cannot sing her praises enough. Needless to say that when she inquired with me, I was so honored and so excited that she wanted me to shoot her branding photos. We started with a basic questionnaire asking what her vision was, what outfits she was planning to wear, and where the wanted the setting to be. We decided to go with a studio with a more blank space so we could create exactly what she needed to suit her brand. After browsing some studios and their availability, we ultimately went with Light Box Dallas.

For the first look, Candy wore a white top with a black blazer and jeans, as well as some nude heels. We went for a classic business casual look that would be perfect to sprinkle through her social media and website. One of the things I tell my clients shooting branding photos is that these photos don't just have one purpose, they represent you. When you're looking for photos to share who you are, how you represent yourself, and promote yourself - I want them to be able to be utilized in all of those instances.

We took some half and full body shots in front of the molding on the wall for that more office or home look. This gives her photos a very neutral and basic backdrop which really accentuates her as the subject of the photo which sends the perfect message for business or professional headshots. We played around with the blazer and some hand placements with the standing shots. Against the plain white wall, I created a basic desk setup with a white desk and black chair. We wanted to keep it clean and refined but sprinkle in some props. We used her laptop, her phone, as well as a few pieces from her makeup kit for some of those detail shots. I loved playing around with these and I had her swatch some of the makeup to get the closeups because you can never have too many of those! They make really good filler or content photos for slower seasons and days.

Moving on to the second look, I wanted to keep it more elevated and showcase her as a glam girl. She brought this gorgeous black dress with a cute halter neck and paired them with her nude heels she was already wearing. We added a pop of color with this mustard and gold chair, and I moved the desk to be side facing so it looked more like a vanity or glam room setup. We pulled some palettes out, a case of brushes, and she even brought this small handheld mirror which was perfect for some detail and close up shots!

When deciding how to pose we first started with her sitting in the chair and kept it natural. I just had her sit and pick up an eye brush or two to do her makeup with, and then I moved her to tuck the chair in and sit on the corner of the chair and check herself out in the mirror. I loved some of these shots the most because it really centered her with the black and the chair, the shoes, the makeup all accented her as the subject and complemented her so well. I wanted to make sure to get as many detail shots as possible so playing with the handheld mirror as well as the palette mirrors were so much fun to try to get an amazing shot of her putting on blush or eyeshadow. Lastly, I wanted some glam girl "on the go" shots so we moved back over to the wall with the molding and I had her roll her case back and forth to create some movement.

For the final outfit, we wanted to showcase Candy just completely in her element. This is one of those times I try to pose less and prompt more, and I let myself work around my client because I'm capturing them working. I made sure to alternate with the wider shots and the close ups, I got her to move when necessary just to stage it a little better but for the most part she was truly at work. One of my main purposes in a branding session is to show what it's like to be working with my client, what their audience's POV would be. So I'm so glad she was able to get someone to come and stand in as a model, and she even went the extra mile to do her model's hair and makeup for the shoot.

We moved the desk and staged the entire setup in front of the molding on the wall, which I thought gave the background more depth, it felt like you were in a home. I got a barstool that matched in color and in texture so that it wouldn't stick out too much. Candy wore a pink top for that pop of color with some black pants and sneakers - this is what she typically wears when she works and I thought it was perfect. I worked around her as she sprayed and teased, as she blushed and bronzed. As someone who is an artist, I love watching another true artist at work. Candy is so personable and has such great energy, she's always one of the people I refer my clients to whenever they need a hair and makeup artist. I loved being able to capture some of those close shots with the brushes, the comb, and the spray, it really just makes you feel like you're in the space with her even just by looking at the photos.

I hope this rounds out what shooting a branding session with me is like, whenever clients tell me what they envision and show me the inspo photos, I immediately build a vision board around that and see how I can take it to the next level. Inspiration photos don't just inspire you, they inspire me too. They act as a guide for me to visualize how I want to stage the setups and deliver the essence of who you are, which I'm so grateful I was able to do here for Candy (please check her out, her work is absolutely stunning and I cannot recommend her enough to anyone in the DFW). I hope you guys enjoyed this session breakdown post, I'll see you all soon!