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.

Do your homework first!


Be prepared to capture authentic, portrait images...

Tell me if this sounds familiar to your experience:

You hire a photographer to create a branded, lifestyle portrait session, talk exclusively about outfits and location beforehand, show up to the session unsure about the direction of the session, shoot for hours on end, create hundreds of portrait images, and are then left on your own to select which photos work best for your business and brand while being completely overwhelmed by a sea of pictures that all look the same in an online gallery.

If you’re nodding your head, then you certainly are not alone.  Many of my clients unfortunately had this story to tell, and every time I hear it, it drives me more and more insane.


Not only should all of the heavy lifting for your portrait session should be done BEFORE you’re standing in front of the camera, but you also should not be left to figure everything out on your own.

Before every single session I have with a client, I go through a comprehensive, strategy call that is meant to figure out all of the portrait images that they need (website, social, press and ads), define who you are and who you serve, and what makes you stand out from your competition.   

Based on that information, we then create a visual content strategy that will help facilitate you sharing your expertise and thought leadership, so that all the portrait images we capture have a purpose for being in your high volume, image library. 

That strategy is then written down and we use it as our portrait session bible, as we constantly refer to it and make sure we don’t miss a photo.

And, once the session is complete, that’s when we get to the fun part - the review and select session!

We go through every single frame and figure out the following:

  • Is this photo flattering?
  • Does this photo convey your brand?
  • Would you use this image?
  • How would you use this image/what type of story/caption would you connect to it?

Listen, I know it can be an overwhelming proposition to decide on a final batch of portrait images selected from an endless pile of photos, but, this workflow lessens this burden on my clients, and it ensures that they are taken care of from the moment they book the session.

Here’s what some of my clients had to say about this pre-session strategy process:

I really loved the way John conducted our pre-shoot strategy session. I’d done a photoshoot in Europe a few months prior and that photographer, although quite talented, was on the skimpy side with this step which resulted in missing several necessary shots. An expensive lesson. John, on the other hand, was very thorough in understanding exactly what I needed, the various scenarios we wanted, what I might wear — and even down to the range of expressions we’d want to go for.
— Carolyn Herfurth
In preparation for our session, John expressed his… well… his obsession with detail. Each look needed to be specific and each detail of the wardrobe, shoes, rings, earrings would be accounted for. He also understood that I would be using these images not only for the website, but also for future blog posts, social media and events. He was thorough and comprehensive.  The photos John captured for me will allow me to tell my story as an entrepreneur and director for public speakers with ease and expertise for years to come.
— Tricia Brouk

How has your experience been before and after your lifestyle portrait sessions?

Are you planning on investing in a session and are in need of some direction with the types of portrait images that you need?  Want help when selecting your final portraits?  

Schedule a call with me here and let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together.