Have you ever looked on the website of a group of lawyers, bankers, or other large office-based organisations? You'll probably stumble across a page of corporate headshots within that website, letting you know who-is-who.
Did you notice how all the shots seem to look the same? Shoulders turned 45 degrees (for slimming effect), chin lifted slightly, and an awkward smile of sorts? Well, that is an example of what personal branding is not.
Their branding decisions come from multi-million-pound think tanks. They do not need the photographs of their CEO to look dynamic and exciting. It does not need to tell the story behind the individual running the brand.
But for entrepreneurs and small businesses, how the public perceives the people behind the brand can be make-or-break for the business's success. And that is where personal branding photography comes in.
What is personal branding photography?
Personal branding photography arises from the need to help entrepreneurs and small businesses differentiate themselves from their competition, building their public image, which helps to create trust and boost revenue.
The photography needs to tell a story, bringing the viewer into the professional's world. Consider, for example, the two images below. Both are great images, but only one tells you anything about what service the subject might provide.
Images licensed from Envato Elements
A personal branding session is about showing the client's character, or the persona they wish to portray to the public, combined with what makes their brand special. This can be a 1-on-1 venture or involve a team consisting of make-up artists, hairstylists and wardrobe designers. Depending on the subject's organisational level, marketing specialists and multiple other professionals may be present.
No matter how complex the shoot may be, the intended outcome of the session is to produce branding photographs that tell the brand story.
Who is personal branding photography suitable for?
Typical clients come from small businesses, often run by a single person or a duo partnership. Writers, musicians, life and fitness coaches, social media influencers, and a whole host of other creative types seek out personal branded photography. Even we photographers will take time to plan and work out our branding for a photography session, though it takes a while to coax us to the other side of the lens.
Image licensed from Envato Elements
What should I wear for a personal branding shoot?
Evidence shows that people respond best to well dressed, healthy, and happy looking individuals. It is important to wear fitted clothing that enhances your body shape. Baggy clothing might look and feel great in real life, but they do no one any favours when locked inside the frame of a photograph.
One of the great advantages of a personal branding session is that there is time to try out multiple outfits and backgrounds to help enhance the results. Once clothing and location are decided, the next decision is how you, the subject, will behave.
The idea of a personal branding shoot is to be authentic to who you are and what your brand represents, though playing to clichés is always an acceptable move. We find that most women portray themselves as smiling and happy for their session, while men are more evenly split between beaming smiles or brooding moodiness. If it fits with the brand and feels like the real you, it is perfect for the session.
Why you should have a personal branding shoot
Remember, you are your brand. And first impressions matter. Clients will determine your competence, professionalism, and demeanour when they lay eyes on you or your photograph. That impression can be the difference between landing a huge client or being left with nothing.
The images you put out on the internet showcase your personality, which helps build trust. An open and inviting photograph of you encourages visitors to your site or social media to engage with you. Your business has grown from something you love doing; therefore, you are the brand. There is no need to hide away behind cold, lifeless pages. Share your photographs and be proud of the business you have created. It makes sense to be seen engaged in the activity that you promote, as this too helps clients to understand that you know what you are talking about.
Image licensed from Envato Elements
Personal branding is great for social media
Social media is not a place for hiding behind slogans and product images – or at least not for long. Eventually, you have to come out and show yourself as the proud voice behind the channel. Why? Because evidence suggests that posts containing images of individuals perform several times better than those without them.
Your audience is waiting to get to know you, and once they do, they are more liable to be loyal and supported than if you remain an anonymous creator.
How to book a personal branding session
The first step to booking a personal branding session is to get in touch. We are available by email, phone or contact form. We will reach out to you and arrange a phone call where we can sit down and discuss your needs and the outcome you are looking for.
We'll discuss what makes your brand unique and how you stand out from the crowd. This will include establishing how you want people to feel when they view your images. By establishing who your perfect client is and where you see your company going over the next few years, we can produce images that help to align your photographs with your vision.
We can create the perfect images to project your brand image with a little planning. We can't wait to work with you. You can get in touch with us here.
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