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What is the difference between a portrait session and a brand session?

December 23, 2020


I often get asked what is the difference between a brand photo session and a portrait session. Here I will share a bit about what I do and a few big differences. I started brand photography before brand photography was a word or a thing. No one really knew what it was but, I knew the importance of it. Five years ago I was doing business coaching with creative entrepreneurs and would do website and social site evaluations for their businesses. There I would see that very few of them had images of themselves and if they did they were YEARS old. I saw a huge need for beautiful images of my clients to showcase who they are, what they do and convey all of that in a series of images. This is how The Branded Boss Lady was born!

I have worked with a range of clients from doctors, architects, interior designers, therapists, artists and more. I have worked with them on brand voice strategy sessions to get to know their brand personal style, ideal clients and customer as well as creating a cohesive shoot to showcase their brand. 

There is a bit of a pricing difference between a brand photographer and portrait photographer because of all of the planning that goes into a brand session. It is typically 4-6 weeks of planning for a brand shoot with lots of conversations and time spent planning with your brand photographer. below I wanted to share the biggest differences between a portrait and brand session. 

A few big differences between what a brand photographer and portrait photographer do.

Difference of images

Portrait session: Images of you, more lifestyle look. 

Brand session: Strategically thought out images that will connect with prospective clients. These are typically photographed in your working environment showing what you do.

The process of the session

Portrait session: Just show up and shoot.

Branding session: Months of planning props, locations, outfits, accessories, styling, hair and makeup and the image content.  

Type of images you will receive

Portrait session: Images of you looking cute. 

Brand session: Intentional images with purpose and consistent brand message. 


Portrait session: Typically priced $400-600

Brand session: Typically priced $1000-2500 

Amount of images your receive

Portrait session: 20-30 images 

Brand session: A custom branded library full of beautiful imagery. Some brand photographers give a specific amount of edited images and charge a lower price while others will give you all the images and charge a higher rate.

Session time

Portrait session: 30-60 minutes

Brand session: 3-6 hours depending on locations, outfit changes, pricing and photographer


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