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Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding

Wondering what it’s like to get brand photography for your business? You’re in luck! Because today you’re getting a behind-the-scenes look at one client’s branding experience—in an all new series where I take you behind the scenes of my client’s brand transformations!

In this video you’ll get to meet Amy, a university professor and licensed professional counselor, who hired me to help turn her dream of becoming a published creative writer into reality.

Check Out: Amy’s Logo & Brand Design

Welcome! If you’re new here, I’m Moriah, the owner and creative director of Moriah Riona Branding—helping creative female entrepreneurs build brands with confidence and success.

If that’s something you’re interested in, then be sure to subscribe to my channel—and click the bell icon—to make sure you’re the first to be notified when I upload new videos!

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes With This Author Branding

Author Branding: Project Background

Amy first reached out to me via my contact form on my website—and sent me the longest, most articulate and detailed message I’ve ever received from a potential client—I was seriously impressed!

As I mentioned, Amy is a university professor, and she was looking to build an online literary magazine. Her ultimate goal is to be a published creative non-fiction author.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

Amy decided to start this literary magazine as a way to gain exposure as an author in hopes of finding a literary agent and getting a book deal.

She wanted me to design the brand for her new online magazine. So we met via video chat for a consultation to discuss the project and Amy decided to book her brand collection as well as a brand intensive.

Brand Intensive

The Brand Intensive is my 2-hour one-on-one brand strategy session, where I help clients dig really deep to understand the core of their brand. 

It’s always a very transformative experience for my clients—and this was especially true for Amy.

During my research, leading up to the Brand Intensive, I determined that it would be more impactful and more beneficial for Amy to actually NOT launch this literary magazine she’d hired me to design, but instead, create her own personal brand as an author.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

You see, Amy was really fixed on this idea of getting an agent and getting a book deal. But through her brand intensive, we decided that it was actually better to brand “Amy, the Author.”

That gave her the power to build a loyal following and tribe—and really grow and expand beyond “just a book deal.”

Amy loved the idea, so we dove right in.

The Brand Collection

The next step in the process was designing Amy’s Brand Collection—which is her logo system, brand colors and typography.

Brand board and color palette for creative writer Amy O'Hana. Soft, feminine and elegant brand design for creative non-fiction writer. #branding #logo #writer #author #blush #creativewriter #entrepreneur #graphicdesign

I have kind of a unique approach to my design process—I only work with one branding client at a time, so I can really focus and be fully immersed in their brand. Which means the whole process moves very rapidly—for Amy’s project, it was completed in a matter of days.

Because of the work we did through her Brand Intensive, we were now very clear on who Amy’s ideal audience is: Female Christian millennials, who are mothers, with very specific values, aspirations and pain points.

Knowing this foundational brand information made it very clear to me how the brand should be designed.

I created the logo and brand system to be soft, feminine and elegant, while also being strong and resilient. All values Amy wanted to exemplify through her brand.

Brand Photography

At the end of her brand collection design experience, Amy told me she was very interested in working with me on brand photography as well.

I was thrilled!

Having worked as a wedding photographer for nearly a decade, I love the opportunity to use my photography skills, now for my branding clients.

And more than that, it’s so special for me to get to interact with my clients in real life. Most of my clients now are located in other states, and even other countries. So we’ll do their whole branding experience via video chat—which is great, but it’s always so fun to get the opportunity to meet my clients in person as well!

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

Planning The Brand Photography Shoot

I immediately began planning Amy’s photo shoot, based on the brand collection I had just designed. And Amy began planning her trip to my Colorado Springs studio.

For each one of my brand photography clients, I create an in-depth photo shoot style guide. This has a detailed outline of each look we’ll be doing, including wardrobe recommendations, prop and styling recommendations, and even hair and makeup.

That way my clients are able to bring clothing and props that help their brand really come to life via their photographs.

I also work closely with my favorite salon here in town, Prodigy, and they offer a special hair and makeup package specifically for my clients. And I’m able to send the style guide over to them as well, so they know the look we’re going for.

Brand Photography: The Big Day

When the time came, Amy flew to Colorado Springs from the West Coast. My assistant and I were busy that morning, prepping my studio, and also preparing a little surprise for Amy.

I’m always so grateful when clients not only trust me with their brand design and brand photography, but also make the effort to fly across the country to work with me on a photo shoot at my studio here in Colorado.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

So I wanted to do something a little special for Amy, and I decided to create a welcome bag of things she could enjoy during her trip. I got her some snacks, and some toiletries, and a book by one of my favorite female entrepreneurs, Emily Ley.

When the time came, my assistant and I drove to the salon to pick Amy up. 

The Looks

For Amy’s photo shoot I decided on 3 different looks, which would offer a lot of versatility for her to use throughout her brand and social media.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

Look 1: Elegant + Professional

The first look was elegant and professional. We set Amy up at a table/desk setting where we could catch her “doing her thing” in a very stylized way. All of her clothing and her props were selected because they matched her brand colors and her brand style.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

Look 2: Sophisticated Casual

For the second look we moved Amy to a couch setting and changed her wardrobe to be slightly more casual, but also very stylish and elegant. For this look I wanted to really pull out that signature blush pink that is such a big part of her brand—so we used that gorgeous blush jacket that she brought with her. I also hung these foil prints that I made a few years ago, behind this couch because I thought they’d be perfect for her look.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

While my aim is to really focus on the entrepreneur during these photo shoots, I also think it’s important to get a few styled images of just the props. This helps my client have a well-rounded photo collection that they can pull from for their brand, whether that’s for their website, social media, blog posts, or whatever. 

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

I certainly want the entrepreneur to be the focus, but I also know that they’ll need some photos that don’t have their face in them. So while I was photographing Amy, my assistant was able to get some of those important detail shots.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

Look 3: Casual + Comfortable

For the last look, we moved to a bedroom setting. We actually used my master bedroom, which I utilize a lot for these casual bedroom shots. The master suite in my house is huge, it’s got fantastic natural lighting, and I’ve decorated in fairly neutral colors. So it works really well for all of my clients—especially when they bring a few “signature” prop pieces that really pop with their brand colors.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

Because Amy’s brand has a very strong nurturing and mentoring vibe for her ideal audience, it was important for me to include this very casual and comfortable look for her brand photo collection. It just speaks to Amy’s warmth and her approachability.

Brand Photography: Go Behind The Scenes Of This Author Branding | Get ready for a peek into my process—including Amy's brand strategy, logo design, and lifestyle photography session for her author brand. You'll see how we selected the perfect clothing, props, and poses to bring her creative brand to life! #brand #branding #marketing #author

And even though the look is “casual,” you’ll notice that it’s still very elegant and on-brand for Amy—because of the wardrobe and props that were selected.


Well I hope you enjoyed this look behind the scenes at my branding and photo shoot process. If you’d like to see more of these “Behind The Brand” videos, be sure to give me a thumbs up, or let me know in a comment down below!

And if you want to learn more about how I create these stylized and on-brand looks for my clients and myself—be sure to check out is video: How To Build Your Personal Brand With Your Wardrobe

Be sure to subscribe to my channel—I post new videos every week. So hit that button down below and I’ll see you in the next video!


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i'm moriah

I’m your visual branding BFF, an award-winning graphic designer and I’m legitimately obsessed with your success. Check out these links for more ways I can help you elevate your brand!

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