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.

Share your inspirations to inspire others


Where do you seek inspiration for your thought leadership?


Share those inspiration sources with your tribe.


Although your branded lifestyle portrait session is a very special day for you, it’s not all about you.

I know - what a sassy, snarky thing to say, right?

It’s not the first and won’t be the last time you hear that tone from me, folks, :)

Anywho, what do I mean by that exactly?

Well, when it comes to producing a truly successful, branded lifestyle portrait session, the image content portfolio that you create needs to have image content that doesn’t involve your face and likeness.


Because the last thing that you want to be is predictable when it comes to your posts, and you don’t want to bore the hell out of your tribe with yet another portrait image.

As a result of this, one of the big topics that I address with my clients in their pre-session strategy calls (aka The Brand Image Elevation Plan), is to find out what types of props they can leverage in their sessions.

Now, there are a lot of ways that we can go with this, and I have with past clients, but, the main types of props that I stress for every client to bring to their sessions are books.

And, not just any ol’ book they can pop open and “read” in front of the camera - I’m talking about the books that inspire them to show up in the world the way they want, as well as foster and enhance their thought leadership.

Know all those books that you constantly refer to? The ones with the highlighter marks from cover to cover, with the post-it notes flagging amazing passages that deeply resonate with you?

Yeah, those are the books that need to be photographed!

Specifically, it’s those passages that need to be photographed.


Well, if that sentence, paragraph or chapter title resonated enough with you that you felt the need to highlight it, that means you can share interesting stories about that specific content.

And if you have the image of the actual passage or sentence, then you’re visually punctuating your story directly with the source of that story!

Now, could you just take a picture of the cover and talk about the book as a whole, sure - that's what the photo at the top of this article was for.

But, as someone who has been telling stories visually for almost 20 years, I can tell you that it is much more personal, when you actually crack the book open and work with material in there that you’ve physically marked and highlighted.  

These types of images will translate as a much more authentic share to those who view it, because you have your fingerprints on the book and it shows the research and the work you’ve done to create your unique, thought leadership.

This is the juicy shit that will resonate with your followers, folks.

Remember, these people follow you because you help them overcome whatever is holding them back in their lives, and, by opening up the vault to let them have a peek at what inspires you, it gives your followers a deeper sense of who you are and why you serve them specifically.

That strengthens the trust between you and your people, which only leads to deepening your relationship with them.

Not a bad ROI for the extra effort of lugging a couple books in a suitcase to your session, if you ask me.

What do you think of this idea? Have you incorporated books that mean something to you in your branded portrait session before?

Please share your experience in the comments section.

In addition to books, I ask clients a ton of other questions during their pre-session strategy call/Brand Image Elevation Plan, that are meant to unearth who they are, who they serve, what are their motivations, what work looks like to them and what services they are promoting - it’s usually about a 2-hour marathon call!

From there, I am able to map out a shot sheet of branded lifestyle portraits that will visually illustrate their answers and complement the stories they share with their tribes on social.

Sounds like something that would benefit you?


Set up a time to chat with me and let’s make sure 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, :)