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.

How do you not bore the hell out of your tribe with your portrait shots...


How do you not bore the hell out of your tribe with your portrait shots...


branded lifestyle portraits high volume image library.png


The key to it all lies in having a high-volume, image library stocked with unique portrait shots...

Tell me if this story sounds familiar:

You hire a photographer to create a series of branded, lifestyle portrait shots that you want to spread out over the next couple months. Once the session is done, the photographer emails you a link to the album and you are free to choose your final, selected images.

Only there’s one problem.

All of the portrait shots look basically the same!

Ugh, jeez - what the hell are you going to do now?

Well, aside from call up another photographer to clean up the mess, the most important takeaway from that experience is to realize that your photographer must be on the same page with your goals in order to not just create a high-volume, image library, but an effective, high-volume, image library.

So, what exactly constitutes an effective, high-volume, image library?  There’s a couple key factors to help facilitate this diversity and versatility in the looks of your branded lifestyle portrait shots and other image content.

Effective Portrait Shots Key #1 - Include diverse facial expressions

This is the bread and butter of any effective high-volume, image library, because the first thing people’s attention is driven towards in a portrait is your face.  

And, when it comes to visually punctuating the stories that you want to share with your followers, your facial expression has a lot to do with setting the tone.  

This is why it’s absolutely vital that you have a rapport with your photographer prior to the session in order to be loose and comfortable in order to reveal several authentic aspects of your personality through your facial expressions.

If you are stiff and uncomfortable, guess what? Every shot will reflect that and your face will look exactly the same from shot-to-shot.

No bueno, folks.

Effective Portrait Shots Key #2 - Multiple outfit changes

The more outfits that you bring to your session, the better.  When you change outfits often, that gives the viewer the impression that not every photo was taken on the same day, in the same place, which is a good thing since you don’t want your portraits to feel stale and boring.

I often recommend not only unique outfits, but, outfits with layers.  


Because if you’re wearing a suit, take the jacket off, that’s another outfit.  Take off a scarf or vest, and that’s another look. Remove the cape, and that’s yet another look.

And, I haven’t even mentioned accessories, yet, :)

Although changing constantly throughout your session serves to help with creating diversity in your dress, it is important to remember one thing - all of these looks need to be authentic to you and your brand.  Don’t go out and buy a whole new wardrobe for the sake of the session. It is more important to be confident and comfortable in your outfits that truly represent you and your personality.

Effective Portrait Shots Key #3 -  Location changes

This goes hand in hand with outfit changes. In fact, a location change usually signifies to the client and stylist that it’s time for the next look.

Now, when I say “location,” I don’t necessarily mean a wholesale change, like walking out of an office and heading to the park across the street.

A location change can simply refer to moving from your backyard to the living room, or if you work in a co-work space, from the office space to the common area.

Basically, all we’re doing when changing locations is changing the background of your images so that it enhances the diversity in the look of the images.  

Of course, sometimes it does include packing up shop and making a move somewhere else in town, but, it certainly is not the only way to skin that cat. 

Sometimes, simple is better, :)

Effective Portrait Shots Key #4 - Different types of image composition

Now, this one is all on the photographer.

It is his/her job to vary up the way they capture your branded lifestyle portraits. They need to have a good handle on the variety of wide shots to close ups.

If your photographer is making you dizzy from moving all around you, capturing images from high, low, close and far, then you know that you are getting the type of compositional variety that is necessary for an effective, high-volume, image library.

This is a great way to really keep your tribe engaged with your content because having images shot from a variety of vantage points keeps the images looking fresh and diverse.

Effective Portrait Shots Key #5 - Don’t just capture photos of you!

Although I know that your branded portrait session is your special day, but, even on that day, some of the shooting should not just be about you!

During your strategy call with your photographer, think about all of the relevant props that you can leverage during your session.

I’m talking books and manuals, microphones, laptop/phone/tablet, or even knick knacks that not only hold some emotional resonance for you, but they would serve as an inspirational lesson in some way for your tribe.  

By adding props to your high-volume, image library, you are extending the value of that one portrait session, because those images are evergreen - meaning they can be used more than once, since your likeness is not involved.

Not bad, right?

Needless to say, there are many factors involved with creating an effective, high-volume image library.  With some prep work and constant communication with your photographer throughout the session, you will be able to create a lot of versatility and diversity in one session.

And you won’t bore the hell out of your followers, which is always a plus!

Speaking of high-volume, image library, how’s yours lookin’ these days?

Need some help figuring out what to include in yours?

I know someone who knows someone who can help you out, if you’re interested, :)

Schedule a call and let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together!


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, :)