Leah O'Connell

brands, for photographers

Brand photo ideas for service-based businesses

I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

Education and articles for family photographers

TOp categories

FAQ's and guidance for stress-free family and newborn sessions 

Essays, letters, favorites

Highlighted family and newborn photography sessions

What do you take photos of if your business doesn’t have products?

If you need some brand photo ideas for service-based businesses, the key is to demonstrate your work in action.   

Your secret sauce is YOU! Showing potential customers a behind-the-scenes look at what you do and how you do it is crucial marketing material for pulling in your dream clients.

People want to know what they’re going to get before investing, and these days, your web presence is like your store window. Customers will always window shop before coming inside. Great storytelling photos can bring them “inside” their experience and help them visualize where they fit and how you can serve them.


Above : Brand photos of a chiropractor office, Atlas Chiropractic, in Charlottesville, VA 


Sometimes this can be a hang-up, too, as many service-based businesses don’t have a physical location. If you’re used to working from the kitchen table with your cup of boring black coffee, a messy bun, and fuzzy socks between school drop-offs — that’s ok! A lot of people are scared to show how they truly work if it isn’t “pretty” — but guess what?

People buy from people.

And people appreciate a good back-story, too.

Don’t be afraid to share whatever part of the journey you’re at right now and bring your customers along —that’s part of why people support local businesses in the first place, so embrace it!

I’ve done brand sessions in the home, a friend’s apartment, an alternate business that let us take down their wall art and shoot in their space, the great outdoors, and the basement of a church kitchen to name a few.

We can always find a location that helps tell your story.


Above : Jessica Norby, Social Media Strategy / As a personal brand, Jess works with small business owners to define and map out their media strategy, all from home with a toddler and german shepherd at her heels – which makes us love her even more, right?!.


Detail shots are part of our main goal with service-based business sessions – aka the tools and the process beyond your typical headshot.

These are great for sprinkling throughout your website to share different levels of your service and sharing more about your expertise. For some businesses, detail shots can be as simple as your hands on a computer or taking notes in a notebook. It can be your favorite mug you drink from while dreaming up designs or supplies for refinishing cabinets.

The Movement Barn – a boutique fitness experience using the gyrotonic method with personal trainer and dancer Casey Turner in a little barn in a field of wildflowers – I meeeeean ?!?


The bottom line:

  • The most valuable thing you can have photos of for a service-based business is Y-O-U

  • Don’t have a location? It’s fine.

  • Don’t have products? Still fine.

  • What do we take pictures of? You doing what you do, how you do it, where you do it. Cause you’re awesome.

Interested in small business brand photos with me? Head here for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.