5 Branding Photo Session Must Have Shots with Christine Gosch

Do you know what kind of visuals that businesses of the past needed to stay relevant? A logo, a color palette, and maybe a website. Oh, how I long for that kind of simplicity.

These days, your business is practically dead to the world if you don't have a website. This is a digital age, and if you're not searchable on Google then you're losing out on potential clients & income. Social media is right up there in importance, if not more important, than your website. On social media and your website, engaged followers (or better yet, potential paying customers) are looking for 2 things: well-captured, quality content, and visual answers to their questions.

When working with a branding photography client, I ask them what some of the most frequently asked questions are that they receive. That can be a huge tell as to what your brand photos should be visually answering for your followers. Do you make a physical product? How do you make it? What tools do you use? Or perhaps you provide a service. How do you work with your clients? What steps do I take to book you? What do you offer? These are all questions that can be visually answered during your brand session. Today we're talking about 5 Branding Photo Session Must Have Shots.



1) What you do

Simple enough. You need photos of you working, and a good photographer (and possibly a stylist) can help you achieve a beautiful, presentable, well-lit workspace whether you take your brand session photos in your office or workspace, or in a rented studio space. Pictured: Stylist Emma Natter shown styling a client's work.


2) How you do it

This helps you show clients what you're doing to get the work done, your way. What makes you special? Are you a ceramicist sitting down at your wheel, throwing clay? Are you a photographer shooting a newly engaged couple at their engagement session? Plan a faux situation of how you would really work and have it photographed at your brand session. It gives potential clients a glimpse into what their investment is paying for. Pictured: Brand coach Katie O. Selvidge sits down for a meeting with her clients.

3) The tools you utilize

These kinds of images are similar to the 'how' photos listed above, but they just get a little more specific. We know you've got the talent, now we want the details! As a calligrapher do you use nib holders and nibs, or brushes? As a florist do you prefer working with floral foam or chickenwire? These kinds of images also give you the opportunity to educate your followers and open up discussion within your social media platform, inviting an active and interested following. Pictured: Graphic designer + calligrapher Suzzanne Gamboa using her tools to calligraph a piece of paper.


4) Stock photos

If you had to use images to represent your brand without utilizing any photos of you, those would be your stock images. Photos of your workspace, your gear, locations you frequent, or other objects that could represent your brand visually. They're perfect as filler content, social media conversation starters, or eye candy on your website! Pictured: A corner of a charming Billy Reid storefront.


5) Headshot

Depending on your photographer's style, some shots of you may be a little less traditional. Regardless of how artistic you want to get with photographs of you, you MUST get at least one solid, professional headshot. Look at the camera and smile! Potential clients tend to trust a brand more when they see the faces behind it. Pictured: Katie Webb in the comfort of her home, supporting the cozy and organic style of photography she offers.


When you're equipped with quality, professional, to-the-point photos that convey the faces and tools behind the scenes, it helps your brand stand out. Now get out there and make it happen!


Written by Christine Gosch. You can find more of her work here:
Website | Instagram

Kristen Giles
An Interview with Taylor Lange
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What do you do to take care of yourself during the busy wedding season?

I try to get as much sleep as possible and make time to cook healthy delicious meals.

Aside from camera related items, what are your wedding day must-haves?

I love to bring peppermints with me to have on hand for my couples’ nervous tummies before they walk down the aisle. Tissues are great to have on hand for anyone who may get teary-eyes. Hand sanitizer, because I’m a germaphobe. A lighter, to light candles for detail shots. And water & snacks to stay hydrated and energized.

What is your absolute favorite part of the wedding day?

My favorite part of a wedding day varies from wedding to wedding. Sometimes it’s the getting ready, others the first look, the vows, the grandmother hugging her granddaughter in congratulations after the ceremony, the first dances, and sometimes when the reception is hella lit I can’t help but dance and sing along with everyone else while I snap photos.

What is your go-to wedding outfit and why?

I love to wear dresses when I can. And my Sorrell boots are life savers for being on my feet all day on all kinds of terrain.

What is your worst fear that will happen on a wedding day?

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That the timeline will run so far behind that I don’t have time to get the formal photos for my clients.

Could you tell us a bit more about the gear you use? Favorite lenses on a wedding day?

My absolute favorite lens is my Canon 135mm L-Series II. It’s so beautiful 😍

Kristen Giles
Our First Workshop
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After months of planning and preparation the very first Rooted Workshop is complete! We set out to create an intimate, conversational workshop that would allow the attendees to feel like they could take what they learned and run wild with it. A true community over competion vibe.

We started with a few presentations covering everything from branding to building our own creative communities. The intimate setting allowed for everyone to ask questions not only from the speakers, but from each other. Less talking to the attendees and more talking with them.

We were all able to learn from the experiences of others. Which is how this workshop started in the first place.

Dani doing what she had to do to get the shot during our mid-day bridal shoot.

We left with new friends, a bigger community and so many lessons learned.

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And now some images from our attendees:


Allison Bolin | Website | Instagram


Bridget O’Connor | Website | Instagram

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Kirsten Doering | Website | Instagram

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Dani Liville | Website | Instagram


Ann LeCompte | Website | Instagram

Kristen Giles
An Interview with Kristen Giles

What do you do to take care of yourself during the busy wedding season?

I have always been the type of person that creates so much work for myself and waits until I am sick to stop and take time for myself - which is something that I am constantly working on. I try to make a conscious effort to step away from my phone and keep “business hours” which helps tremendously!! Physically, I practice yoga pretty regularly and keep up with my water intake. Those two things, for me, keep a good balance within my emotional/physical state during the busy season.

Fun fact, I can not close just my left eye. Therefore, I either have to shoot with both eyes open (which I often get made fun of for) or shade it with my hand like this. Either way, I am extra special.

Fun fact, I can not close just my left eye. Therefore, I either have to shoot with both eyes open (which I often get made fun of for) or shade it with my hand like this. Either way, I am extra special.

Aside from camera related items, what are your wedding day must-haves?

Applesauce squeeze pouches are my go-to for snacks on a wedding day. They are portable and healthy and a great boost when I get a bit hungry before dinner starts. I also bring Alpha Brain - its a supplement that I found that heals with concentration and sustainable energy. It’s not a stimulant so I don’t crash at the end of the evening, it just helps with my focus during a busy wedding day.

What is your absolute favorite part of the wedding day? Besides dinner? Just kidding (kinda). My most favorite part of the wedding day is documenting the bride and groom getting ready. I love that I can feel the anticipation from both the bride and the groom. I get to witness how much they are looking forward to all of their hard work finally pay off. We have a unique experience as wedding photographers in that we are some of the only people that get to see both the bride and the groom preparing for the biggest day of their life, simultaneously. We get to tell the story of their last moments before they stand in front of their family and friends and say their “I-do’s”.

What is your go-to wedding outfit and why?

My go-to wedding outfit is my high-waisted black pants and a nice top. I have tried dresses, but I am way more comfortable in pants. Shoes are the biggest thing that I have yet to perfect. I think I am going to invest in a pair of Taylor’s Sorrell Hiking Shoes. I have tried so many different varieties and I am still on the search for pain-free feet at the end of a 8-10 hour day.

What is your worst fear that will happen on a wedding day?

Probably my worst fear is that I will have the date wrong in my calendar and miss the wedding. For this reason I am always double checking-triple checking dates. I have had legit nightmares about it.

Could you tell us a bit more about the gear you use? Favorite lenses on a wedding day? First of all, I shoot Nikon (Canon shooters - insert eye-roll here) ! I love Nikon and the dynamic range that their cameras have!! Every wedding I shoot with 2 Nikon D750’s and my go-to lenses are my Sigma 35mm Art and my Nikon 85m.

Kristen Giles
What's in our bags?

For our first blog post here at Rooted, we thought we would give you a little insight into what exactly we bring with us on wedding days. aka: what’s in our bags? There are basics and a few fun items that you might not have thought of.





Canon 5D Mark iv
Canon 5D Mark iv (I shoot on two so I can shoot on two different lenses at once)
Canon EF 35mm 1.4
Canon EF 50mm 1.2
Canon EF 85mm 1.2
Canon EF 100mm 2.8 Macro
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
MagMod + Diffuser + Gels
Holdfast Moneymaker
32 & 64GB SD & CF Cards
AA Batteries

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Snacks! - More than are pictured here, because I recently ate some and I need to restock.

Ear plugs - to protect my ears after so many weddings.

Tissues, cough drops and Aleve cause you never know who needs it!

Mrs. Box Ring-box - Sometimes brides have their own ring box they want photographed, but I always carry a green velvet ring box that matches everyone's wedding colors (bouquet's always have greenery!). It has come in handy many, many times.

Clear Umbrellas - I keep a pair in my car in case rain strikes during portraits! I did shoot a wedding during Hurricane Harvey, and they were clutch!

Itch stick. I have a wedding curse of stepping in ant piles. I once got 35 bites at one time! But alas, I never let it stop me.

Lastly, Starbucks - I've made it a part of my pre-game ritual to get a Tall Iced Caramel Macchiato on my way to a wedding. I also listen to Thunderstuck.


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Canon 5D Mk III
Canon 6D (backup)
Canon EOS Elan 7E
Kodak Potra 400
Sigma Art 24mm f/1.4
Canon 35mm L-Series II f/1.4
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 85mm f/1.4
Canon 135mm L-Series f/2
Canon 600 EXRT
2x Yongnuo YN560 III
Yongnuo YN-300 III LED Video Light
Magmod flash attachment
3 Canon batteries
Water-resistant card case with SD & CF cards
Peak Design camera strap


Snacks, in case dinner runs late or for long wedding days where there might be a long stretch in between meals. 

Water - to attempt to stay hydrated.

Copper Pipe, Prism, and Chandelier Crystals - For when there’s time to get a little creative with some rad in-camera effects.

Storm Jacket Camera Cover - In case of rain, to protect my camera and shoot in any kind of weather

Nice Hanger - I keep a nice hanger in my trunk in case the bride only has a cheap plastic hanger.

Tissues - for peoples’ tears….sometimes my own, because I can’t help but cry at weddings. 

Surefire Ear Plugs - DJs and bands are LOUD! Protect your long-term hearing with some good quality ear plugs!
I get the kind that are designed for shooting firearms so that I know they’re good enough to protect my hearing.

Travel-sized liquor - Sometimes people get nervous on wedding days. I keep a small liquor bottle on me in case of nerves for the bride, groom, parents of the couple, etc.

Lighter - For lighting candles in centerpieces for detail shots.

Epi pen - because I’m allergic to bees.

Splenda - because I love sweet tea at weddings!

Hand Sanitizer - Because I’m a germaphobe


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Snacks, lots of snacks - I am someone who always needs to eat and when I don’t I cant focus on what I need to do. Therefore, I bring lots of snacks like: almond butter packets, epic bars, applesauce squeezey-packets, fruit leather, etc.

Starbucks - I always stop by Starbies on the way to a wedding, always. Get yourself a Nitro Cold Brew and the rest of the day is set up for success!

Copper pipe - sometimes the sunlight begs for a good ol’ ring of fire shot so I always have my copper pipe (from Lowe’s) on hand for a creative shot. If you aren’t familiar with the ring of fire shot here it is and maybe a tutorial will follow in a later post.

Rain cover - I first used the rain cover on a trip to Iceland so that I didn’t miss out on any epic shots because of the waterfall mist. These covers are cheap and go a long way to protect your camera from light misting/rain. Don’t get crazy and take your camera out in a downpour though.

Wood hanger - I always keep a nice wood hanger in my trunk for dress shots when the bride only brings a plastic one. This really makes a huge difference.

Kristen Gilescamera gear
An Interview with Leah Leftwich
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What do you do to take care of yourself during the busy wedding season?

I make sure to take time for myself! If I have an off day, I do what relaxes me the most. Usually that is spending time at home, or getting a massage. It’s important to know your limits and take time for yourself!

Aside from camera related items, what are your wedding day must-haves?

An itch stick! I have an unlucky habit of stepping in ant piles, so I always keep one on me. I also keep a green Mrs. Box in my bag at all times for detail shots, and oil blotting cloths!

What is your absolute favorite part of the wedding day?

It is really hard to pick only one, because it really depends on the couple and the wedding. I do really enjoy the getting ready portion, because you can really feel the anticipation and nerves. It sort of comes to a head until either the first look or the ceremony, but being able to see both the bride and the groom all nervous beforehand is so much fun!

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What is your go-to wedding outfit and why?

I vary between a black jumpsuit and a black maxi dress. When it’s cold I add a scarf!

What is your worst fear that will happen on a wedding day?

Oh goodness, this is terrifying to think about. That somehow all of my equipment will malfunction at once. Luckily I bring backups, AND a second shooter that also has backups, so it’s highly unlikely that it would ever happen. But if I’m being honest, that is my biggest fear.

Could you tell us a bit more about the gear you use? Favorite lenses on a wedding day?

I shoot on a Canon, and my favorite lens is my Canon 85mm - L series. It creates the most creamy images. Which I understand is a weird word to describe a photo, but the photos that lens takes are just beautiful!