March 19, 2019
When Meredith and I start planning her branding portrait session, we came to the ultimate pain point for every one of my clients: where do we take these pictures? Meredith is a commercial photographer that wanted to portray a brand image of, “Professional, easy to work with, collaborative, sophisticated, but fun. Means business but doesn’t take herself too seriously. Casual-cool (but still sophisticated and professional).” That’s an amazing brand – so what location would get us there? Without missing a beat, Meredith suggested White Wall Studio in Woodstock, and I’m so glad she did.
Tucked behind the main street of Downtown Woodstock, White Wall Studio is this unassuming space located in what looks like an apartment complex with shops on the base floor. Other than the massive bay door style windows, you’d never know it was there.
The space is a gorgeous all white, natural light studio. Allie runs the place, and she’s absolutely fantastic. The studio includes various pieces of furniture like a queen-sized bed, various modern-era chairs, sofas, and a chaise. There’s even a white desk table where clients can be “working” for their portraits. Amenities include large bathrooms to change clothes in, free wifi, complementary refrigerated water, a full sink, and access to a Bluetooth speaker. I highly recommend checking it out if you need a studio time!
I like starting my branding portrait sessions with a couple of headshots. I do this because most people are in their heads and are worried about posing initially. By starting with the headshot, we eliminate the need to worry about hands, feet, clothing, and 80% of my subject; therefore, we can begin to slow and get everyone comfortable. Headshots are straightforward: it’s a simple light set up and a conversation to bring out my client’s personality. Meredith was pretty relaxed to start, so it was super easy to get rocking right away.
“I loved how collaborative you were with me. I felt that I really knew what I wanted, and you helped me bring it to life rather than try to push me into a style or shot that wasn’t aligned with my vision. I was nervous about certain body parts, and I could tell throughout the shoot you were attentive to making sure I was in flattering poses.” – Meredith
After that, it was a matter of going down the list of images and using the studio space to our advantage to make them happen. While Meredith would change outfits, I would get set up for the next series of images. Honestly, we’d shoot a bunch, one of us would say something regarding business or gear, and I’d have a flash of inspiration for the next set of images. I love working like this because it’s creative in the moment and fun. Having a loose structure for an image set allows you to play around and try different things within that framework. It’s constrained enough to give you a destination but open enough to make the journey fun and spontaneous.
While we were shooting, I made sure to keep asking Meredith questions about her business and her life. Anything that would spark her personality, provide an idea for the next image, or genuinely influence how I set up and shot a series of pictures so that they would better reflect her brand and vision as best as possible. I think one of the essential traits in a photographer is the ability to ask questions that lead them to get the most out of their clients and the images.
It was a whirlwind session, and we had a blast working it. Arguably the best compliment I received was after I delivered Meredith’s pictures, and she had shared them, one of her friends said, “When I think of Meredith in my head, this is what I see.” Nailed it!
As per Meredith’s feedback- “Mike is a fantastic photographer. Not only does he know the technical stuff, but he made the process collaborative and fun. I had a very specific vision in mind for my brand photos and was worried that another person wouldn’t be able to understand it. Mike listened to what I wanted, asked questions and made suggestions that helped me articulate it, and then made it come to life! I am over the moon about my brand photos because they are EXACTLY what I wanted, and more! I can’t wait to see how they impact and improve my business and brand.”
Meredith is a brilliant entrepreneur and has a couple of platforms. Be sure to check each of them out!
Website – Merrily Creative Co
Instagram – @merrilycreativeco
And if you need a fantastic studio space in the Woodstock/Atlanta area- give Allie from White Wall Studio a call!
Website – White Wall Studio Woodstock
Instagram – @whitewallwoodstock
If you’d like more information about shooting your portraits in a studio, check this post.
If you need some new portraits and think my style of goofy matches yours, then check out my Portraits page for more information.