Personal Branding Photography: Visual Marketing for YOU, Inc.
Updated: Feb 8, 2020
Personal branding photography helps you grow your business image with a library of custom photos that showcase who you are and what you love, so you're irresistible to your potential audience.
You're a business professional and you realize you need high quality images of yourself to use in-house and online, perhaps even in print. But you HATE stodgy, corporate looking head shots.They lack soul and don't tend to communicate your passion. What do you do?
Call me, of course. I’m thrilled the corporate head shot is being replaced by images that showcase your personality across an arc—YOU as boss lady. YOU as master gardener. YOU as dog lover. Whatever your story as a woman or man, you can more effectively convey that story with professional portrait photography that captures your life and style. You can then parlay those images to brand yourself in a polished way that enhances your business, career and personal goals.
According to the Huffington Post’s (https://www.huffpost.com/ ) Tanya Boggs, “Investing in high-quality, authentic photography is required if you want your visuals to play a crucial role in delivering the personality of your brand. Much like eating, we shop with our eyes. We make many purchase decisions based on first impressions. And buying is often an emotional decision more than a practical one. Therefore, your branding is about influencing the way consumers think about you and your business or product. As a result, personal branding photography can have a huge impact your business and your bottom line.”
Boggs even goes so far as to entitle her piece: “9 Ways Personal Branding Photography Can Massively Grow Your Business.” No ambiguity there—she clearly believes in its importance. You can read the full piece here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/9-ways-personal-branding-photography-can-massively_b_59de23b4e4b0b992a821485f
The last several years have seen an explosion of personal branding trends in the United States. Businesses of every size, kind and service are more aware now than ever that friendly branding and relatable marketing are the cornerstones of their success. Marketing budgets now commonly include professional portrait photographers whose job it is to photograph the folks behind the company and make them look approachable, like the man or woman next door. That means unpacking what makes you tick and finding ways to show that visually. Once the images are created, you have a suite of pictures to use everywhere, which saves you and your business time, money and the frustration of never having great photographs you’re proud to show off.
Again, the obvious goal is likability, because people do business with people they like. The not so obvious goal is intentionally controlling your visual image to better tell your story.
“Branding on a business-level is common, but today branding is becoming just as important on a personal level. After all, you might work for a business that works with other businesses, but it’s people working with people and that’s what makes business relationships valuable.” Quicksprout https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand/
So what’s involved with creating a personal brand that works? I call it the Step by Step Personal Branding Design. Here’s how it works in my photography business. After the initial inquiry, I meet you personally at your place of business or home. I want to see you in you own surroundings, where you're most comfortable. I take this time to observe the details: colors, furniture, art style, personal mementos, etc. I ask a lot of questions in conversational ways, because I want to establish a baseline in my mind. Unlike corporate photographers who typically set up their gear and snap away at an entire office in a day, I’m focused on one, possibly two, individuals at a time. And I want to take in everything about you--as much as you're willing to share.
We then talk about styling in great detail—wardrobe, hair and makeup, surroundings & backdrops, message. It’s my job to nail the message visually, and all those elements contribute, each in their own critical way. Finally, we discuss the ways you want to use your images. With all this information, I can plan across multiple platforms with an idea of what would work best for each and map your session accordingly.
Here’s an example from a recent personal branding session, which actually doubled as business branding. Mark Power needed fresh marketing materials for an upcoming workshop he was leading. He and his wife have a vocal coaching business which they operate on their property in the woods, in a refurbished structure with rustic finishes. The business and studio are a labor of love between them and we wanted to feature that heavily in his images.
Mark has a great personal style we highlighted in his session, and we aimed to coordinate his styling with the environment. A suit or anything other than what he wore would have looked out of place. The backdrop here is a wooden pallet wall that Mark and his wife, Kathleen, worked hard to create. It’s beautiful, weathered and perfect for these images.
Custom photographs like these can be used in unlimited ways: on websites, print materials of all kinds, reports, newsletters, social media, business cards—anything you can imagine. Mark and Kathleen opted to use theirs in a custom digital magazine I created for them, along with some custom written content I also crafted, which you can see here:
When you get to a place in your career where you say to yourself, “It’s time to build my brand,” you want to hire a photographer who will take the time to listen to you and ask the right questions about your goals. You can also hire a personal branding agency, which will likely provide the photographer. Local photographers are always best because they’re able to clue in on nuances having to do with speech patterns and clothing that someone not from the area might miss. For example, a Dallas photographer will have very different expectations of styling than someone from the Pacific Northwest. Dallas tends to be the sort of city where people dress up on a daily basis, whereas the PNW is laid back and very casual. And this gets to the most important quality of good personal branding images: being genuine.
“The more obviously a brand is a copycat, the more the audience will call out the perpetrator for it,” says Goldie Chan, contributor to Forbes online. She also says, “Creating the right personal brand will not only help you be known in your field and consistently land work but it could be the difference between ‘who are you?’ and ‘thank you for being here’ in your career.”
Read the entire article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/goldiechan/2018/11/08/10-golden-rules-personal-branding/#7208b27358a7
Personal branding is becoming industry standard for serious professionals who want to convey focused messaging to their individual markets. They understand the best way to do that is through solid, beautiful images that are intentional and well thought out. Images that show who they are, rather than text that tells who they are.
Like I said in the beginning, when you’re ready to take that step, call me. I can’t wait to help you show your story so you, and your business, can grow.
Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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