John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

I think I'm ready for my close-up! :)


'Bout time I shoot portrait images of myself!

Gotta practice what I preach, after all!

I’ve spent the past year advising thought leaders and other entrepreneurs who want to create immense impact with their expertise that they need to share that knowledge with those who need to hear it most through posting portrait images consistently on social.

Well, recently, I realized I needed to listen to my own advice and create a high-volume, image library of my own, so I can leverage these portrait images for social media and blog posts.

Unlike when I collaborate with clients, where a large portion of the work is dedicated to making sure they have an awesome experience, these photos were for me, so I could give a shit about experience - I just wanted to make as little a mess in my apartment as possible.

All I had to do to prep this “set” was take a couple pictures off the wall, move my couch back about 1 foot and set up the light - ahhhh, if it were only this easy for every branded lifestyle portrait session!


Once I had the lay of the land set up, I then created a very detailed shot sheet - or, in my case, an “expression” sheet, meant to inspire me to create all sorts of unique facial expressions for my mood library. Since I don’t have me barking at myself to do certain things, the list was the next best thing.

Jd shot sheet v2.jpg

I gaff taped it on my shelf right next to where I would stand so I could easily refer to it.

At first, I was going to set the camera up on a tripod and just shoot them as selfies, but, I decided to call in a videographer colleague and photo enthusiast, Mike, to snap the portrait images as I explained to him exactly what I was looking to achieve.

So, once I locked in the camera settings I use for this type of shoot, I handed off Anthony (my Nikon D5) to him, and off we went for a couple hours.

Yes, I am a clown, let that not go unsaid, lol

The same way that I direct my clients is the same way that I inspire myself to provide authentic and fun portraits that represent my personality and brand.  Here are some of the portrait images we captured:

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me in person, a lot of these expressions and my demonstrative body language is nothing new.

I wanted to make sure that I captured as much of that as possible since it is exactly how I roll when I talk to people, especially when I’m passionate about the topic, like branded lifestyle portraits.  

And, when these portrait images are paired with a thought or phrase in my tone of voice, it will make the overall messaging pop even more.

Going through this process was a very educational experience.

By creating that mood sheet for myself, it inspired the idea of incorporating a customizable version for future client work, which I’m very excited to share.

In addition, the session has also given me the idea to incorporate more hands and body language into my client sessions since they helped create mood just as much as the expression.

All in all, I was super ecstatic with the results and am looking forward to sharing these portrait images over the next couple months on my social feeds and blog posts.

How about you?

Can you see how a set of branded portraits like this could help propel your thought leadership out to those who need it?

Set up a time to chat with me and let’s see if I can help you out with this.

PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)