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.

PB & J your next branded portrait session

The undeniable importance of good storytelling in your social posts

When I chat with my thought leader clients about their upcoming portrait session... 

...many of them are very focused on capturing powerful and authentic portrait pics that represent their businesses, brands and lives.


When I ask them about the types of stories and thought leadership that they want to connect to these photos, I get a lot of blank stares in return.


Unfortunately, I need to be the bearer of bad news and let them know that before we even think about putting them in front of lights and a camera, we need to hash out this very, very, super very important step a little bit more.


Because your branded lifestyle portraits are visual punctuations - they don’t replace or negate the need to create good storytelling!  

They work in tandem and serve each other to first, gain the attention of your tribe through the magazine-quality image, and then, provide value through the story itself.

Think of the story/portrait pic combo as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich;

Now, could you just have peanut butter without the jelly? I mean, yeah, you can, and I have in the past.

But, when they are paired together, the full-flavor effect and overall deliciousness is too much to pass on - nut allergy, gluten and sugar-free folks aside - I know, I know, but you get the sentiment behind the metaphor, :)

It’s important to think of image content and good storytelling as a killer combo, not a one-follows-the-other method.  

They need to be in sync with each other, and the types of informative, entertaining and inspiring stories you want to share need to be thought out in advance of your portrait session.

Let me be clear by pointing out that I’m not saying that you need months of posts written out, word-for-word, before you take your portrait pics.

I’m referring more to having a deep understanding of not only the types of stories and thought leadership you want to share, but, just as importantly, the tone with which you use to share these ideas.

Let’s take my branded portrait session, for example:

I’m extremely demonstrative when I talk - in person, on the phone, to myself - wherever!

I engage these conversations with a healthy amount of fun and a dash of busting chops sarcasm.  Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll let you know how unsubtle I am in this arena.

As a result, I know that for the posts that include my personal portrait pics, I will leverage my silly and demonstrative style in the copy.

So, before my session, I brainstormed an entire expression/mood list I could refer to that would ensure that I’m capturing expressions that would compliment my stories, as well as the tone in which they’re created:

As you can see, there’s expletives and all kinds of silliness going on in this list - a lot of which was captured in the session (check out some of the portrait pics from the session).  

In order to fully round out my high volume, image library, I also was mindful of capturing images on the other end of the emotional spectrum because I don’t always want to visually punctuate my stories with portraits that have such demonstrative gestures and facial expressions.

Sometimes pensive and still expressions serve me well, too.

As a result of doing all this legwork before the session, I was able to have my photographer friend fire off a ton of images, and I now have plenty to serve my editorial needs!

Did this article bring up some bad memories for you?

Would you want someone to help you through this process to create some images that will punctuate the good storytelling you want to share with your tribe?

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