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DOP Branding Photography: The ACORN Retreat | Baltimore Brand Photographer | Small Business Photos

Last summer, Des got a text from her friend Krista who asked if she would be interested in coming to an event she was hosting to take headshots of the women attending. Krista is a business coach and the founder of the ACORN Method. The ACORN Method is a 5-step system that helps business owners get clear and confident on who they are, what to say and how to say it and then helps them package that into a marketing and sales strategy. The event she was hosting was an exclusive, 3-day event for members of the ACORN Academy. Des had never done anything like this, but thought that it would be a really fun and exciting opportunity.

Flash forward to late September... All of the attendees started day 2 of the retreat with professional make-up by Kim at NVS Salon and then each of them had a 15 minute mini branding sesh with Desiree. What Des thought would be just some quick headshots, actually turned into a little bit more. Because the retreat was held in the cutest neighborhood in downtown Baltimore, Maryland, Des took the girls all over the area to make sure that the photos they got matched their brand's personality and style. And while shooting, a lightbulb went off!

The experience the women were having was so similar to Des' seniors. They were having so much fun. They were blown away at the pictures as Des shared some of the images with them from the back of her camera. They kept saying, "oh my goodness... I can't believe that's me." Their confidence instantly lifted. It was such a pivotal moment for them AND for Des.

Des has done branding sessions in the past, but this one really made her discover that branding photography was something that needed to be part of her day-to-day offerings.

So why have branding photos done? First and foremost... let's chat about branding. Did you know that Des spent eight years working in sales and marketing with Black & Decker right here in Towson, Maryland. She spent the last 5 years of her career in brand marketing specifically, so her love for branding runs deep. Branding is so much more than just your logo. Branding is a visual representation of your brand. Whether you're a small biz owner or a fashion blogger, YOU are part of your brand and your audience wants to meet YOU. Who you are and what you stand for. Why do you do what you do? What is your vibe, personality, and style? ALL of this can be captured in photos! You heard that right. Quality branding photos can bring your business to life! The photos we take during your session can be used on your website, on your socials, on your newsletters. You name it! The larger your photo library, the better. No one wants to see the same old headshot used over and over again on every piece of marketing. To better explain my process and show off some of my brand work to date, head on over to my new BRANDING tab on my website! And if you're ready to schedule your sesh, contact me!

As for the Acorn Retreat, Krista knew that adding in a photoshoot to her retreat was crucial and all of the attendees are still raving about their experience. So, who better to hear from than the women themselves? Here are the incredible girl bosses from the ACORN retreat...

"Before this event I knew Desiree was talented because I had seen her work, but that day I truly understood that her magic isn't just in the photos she produces, but also in the way she makes you feel while taking them! She has an innate ability to 'read the room' so to speak. After just a few minutes with each of our retreat participants, Desiree was able to quickly identify their vibe and tailor a photoshoot that not only highlighted their special sauce, but also make them feel comfortable and confident while doing it. Women who had never liked a photo of themselves before walked away with a finished product that they are so proud to share! "

- Krista Demcher

And what was even more fun about this event, was Des and her photo bestie Kalyn Michelle Photography joined forces for this project. Krista asked Des if she knew anyone who could assist with a brand video and Des knew Kalyn was the right girl for the job. I just love the video Kalyn designed so much that I've asked her if she wanted to work together more for projects like this and the answer 1000000% YES!! So, when you're thinking about your branding session, consider your video needs, too and the two of us can deliver both photos and videos usually in the same shoot!

"Desiree is an amazing photographer! She gave great advice on how to pose, best lighting, and really knew how to set me up for success. I don’t love having my picture taken and in all honesty have low expectations because I am picky. She nailed it!!! I wish she didn’t live so far away or I would use her on a retainer business!"

- Jennie S., owner of CALYgirl STYLD

"I was very nervous in the time leading up to my brand photo shoot with Desiree. I hadn’t worn a face full of makeup, had my hair done or worn real clothes in well over year thanks to the pandemic. Since I was an emotional mess I didn’t envision this being the best experience but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Desiree was incredibly thoughtful, patient and understanding. Her years of experience shined through and she guided me through the photo shoot without pressure or any sense of judgement. Instead of being in the room with a stranger with a camera it felt more like I was with my closet girlfriends. I was so impressed with the outcome that I cannot wait to work with Desiree again."

- Rene K., owner of Savvy + Style

"Desiree made me feel so comfortable. Within a few minutes she got my personality and talked me through shots that reflected who I really am. I love my finished photos."

- Stephanie G., Style+

...and that's a wrap! If you enjoyed reading about this branding session + event, make sure to like this post and comment down below your fav photo. Stay tuned for more portfolio posts coming soon. XOXO!

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