Branding: Textured Storytelling for Portraits

Man in baseball cap and black jacket and jeans holds championship wrestling belt

Every great portrait tells a story. And using storytelling for great branding photography is the premise for every one of my shoots. It’s what keeps my passion alive for portrait photography. 

Before I became a professional photographer, I was a journalist. Telling stories was my love and my vocation, and I lived and breathed my craft for more than two decades. Words, grammar, syntax, and punctuation were the tools I used to develop each story idea from rough idea to finished product. Now, however, as a professional photographer, I use light, angles, lenses, and posing to bring each portrait to fruition. 

Meet John

When John, a former executive with WWE, stepped into my studio for an editorial headshot to accompany an upcoming feature interview, I did my homework ahead of time. When he walked in, I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Broad-chested, masculine, and confident, this was a client whose portraits needed to communicate his persona as tough, unflinching, and no-nonsense. So I put my custom branding photography strategy into action.

While I often select seamless paper backgrounds for professional headshots, in this case, I selected a textured medium gray fabric backdrop. This choice allowed me to add more edginess, grit, and mood to the portraits. I also paid particular attention to my lighting. In this case, I opted for a few more shadows than I might typically create in a classic headshot. Because I knew the final outcome was meant to be editorial, rather than corporate, I knew these choices would serve me well. 

In the end, I was really pleased with these portraits. The mood, the posing, and the lighting all help tell the story I wanted for this editorial, branding photography session. The portraits portray a gentleman with obvious gravitas and confidence. And best of all? John loved them too. 

Let’s tell your branding story

Want a portrait that steps out of the cookie-cutter mold? Let’s talk, so we can create branding photography plan that helps you to cut through the noise and stand out in a crowd.

Man in black jacket with hands in pocket
Man in black jacket poses for headshot seated
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Deb Scally Photography

Headshots| Branding | Modern Portraits

Nashville / Franklin, Tennessee

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