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.

A lil' preparation goes a loooong way, folks


A lil' preparation goes a loooong way, folks…


invest the time into your session and you will be rewarded handsomely with a pile of amazing images.


If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again a million times - the most effective way to ensure a successful, branded lifestyle portrait session is to do the heavy lifting before the session by strategizing and preparing all of the variables in advance.

I’ve been working in this way for over 2 years now, and to think back to when my client and I would show up to a location and freestyle an entire session seems utterly ridiculous.

But, we live and learn, people - that’s what growth is all about, right? :)

Nevertheless, I recently had a branded lifestyle portrait session with Kate, a former corporate employee at a financial firm who now specializes in Feng Shui.

Kate has the distinction of being my first client that not only went through the lengthy, pre-session strategy call, but also worked through my Idea Nugget Incubator program, which focuses on idea generation and content creation the moment the photos are delivered to her computer.

So, we put in approximately 6 hours of strategy prior to her session, and, truth be told, I’ve never shot so many lifestyle scenarios in the amount of time allotted.

Rather than spending time explaining why I wanted to capture certain scenes from different angles and frames, Kate knew exactly why I was doing it and encouraged the diversity in the images because she knows precisely how she wants to use these image assets for her social media and blog posts.

It was refreshing and energizing to me, and allowed me to channel this added creative energy to focus on the images we were capturing for her.

We were laser focused on the specifics of what she needed, and since we were working out of her home, she was able to put together a diverse and eclectic range of outfits that truly adds a versatility and uniqueness from shot to shot.

While she was getting her makeup and hair done, I took the opportunity to shoot some photos of her space - since her entire house is Feng Shui’ed out, I suggested that these images of her home would be great visual punctuations to stories that specifically illustrated her expertise on the subject:

Once she was ready to go, I then captured some candid images of what work looks like in her life, both working alone and consulting clients in person:

Then, Kate and I wanted to refresh her profile pictures and speaker submission photos, so we did two rounds of headshots outside her home and ended up liking these two shots the most:

One of the biggest factors that contributes to Kate’s self-care involves meditation, and we talked about this at length during her strategy calls, so, we decided that capturing some images of her in her meditation space would also be a great addition to her image content portfolio:

Lastly, Kate is an avid reader and consults several books daily in order to find inspiration for her thought leadership in the Feng Shui space.

Similar to what I do with every client I work with, I asked her prior to her session to pull a few of these books and we’ll find a space for her to sit and read while I worked around her to capture that action:

As we sat down to look at the images and pick the final ones that would be delivered to her, we both were amazed at the amount of stuff that we captured in that amount of time. It’s a testament to preparation and setting goals in advance of the session, and, as a result, we plowed right through it.

Of course, she was ready for bed the moment I left and I was passing out in the car ride home, but, it was absolutely worth it because we both knew she was set up to produce some amazing content that will resonate with her followers and develop a connection with them beyond the work itself.

In addition to the images shown here, Kate has hundreds more that she can leverage for months on end, with a variety of activities depicted in the images - not to mention a variety of expressions on her face that will be able to visually punctuate a wide range of topics that she will share with her tribe.

Mission was accomplished, :)

Now, I turn to you…

How’s your image content portfolio looking these days? Is it time to do a refresh similar to Kate’s session so that you have the types of portraits that will visually punctuate the stories you want to share with your audience?

I know a guy with a camera and, you know, he likes to take care of that sort of thing for his clients…

Set up a time to chat with me and let’s see if we’re a magical fit to work together, :)