Every brand and business are unique and different – they represent the values, vision and the soul of the people who build them. When it comes to offering your own services and expertise that means that your brand is essentially yourself.
You might be a consultant, speaker, coach, writer, designer, etc the point is you are the soul and the face of your work and business and when you want to share your vision with the world you’ll have to show yourself as the embodiment of what you believe in.
With the growth of the internet images have become the language we communicate in – they represent our moods, our values, our preferences and lifestyle and when you are an entrepreneur they also represent your brand and business.
Building the online image of your brand is a combination of visual material and words you skillfully combine to communicate your message.
If there’s one thing I have experience with over the years it is images so here I am going to share some tips on how to select and create yours.
Choosing the right photographer
First of all, let’s cover one essential point – you need a good photographer to take your brand’s photos.
Now, if you look in social media you can find lots of them – from hobby ones to professional celebrity photographers, so …
How do you choose the right photographer for you?
I was recently facing the dilemma if I should choose a personal branding photographer for one brand photoshoot or just a regular one. Personal branding photographers do charge more than the regular ones but indeed there are some reasons why they do so.
Figuring out how you want to represent yourself and your business is a very important part of your photoshoot. That’s exactly why a personal branding photographer can give you some good advice and make sure your photos do represent your brand in the correct way.
Usually you will have a meeting with them before the actual photo session where they will help you clear your vision, advice you on your outfit, look and location and get to know you a bit in order to best capture you on your photos. It’s a whole experience and you get lots of tips and active engagement on your mission to create the best images for your business.
If you book a regular photographer, on the other hand you will probably still have a good time but you’ll need to have done your homework before in order to create the images you want. Most likely the photographer will just do what you ask them to do, without helping you clear your vision or come up with great ideas. You’ll need to know exactly what and how you want it. They will follow your lead.
That’s a good option if you have plenty of experience and know your angles.
So, at the end the choice is yours – if you have little experience and ideas, the personal branding photographer will be a great guide for you. If you’ve done many photoshoots before and know how to pose in front of the camera, you might be just fine with a regular one.
Mood and outfit
You’ll have to decide the vibe of your brand – do you want to have a strict business look with darker, more neutral colors and professional setting, do you want to look casual and light with the sunshine behind your back and lots of smiles or do you want to look confident, bold and daring?
Once you decide your mood it’s easy to pick the matching colors, outfits and setting.
My advice is – prepare a few different outfits in order to have more variety. You don’t want to end up having hundreds of pictures with the same clothes. You’ll need to mix it up a bit. That way you can create different moods that you can later use for different purposes.
Also take some accessories with you – could be scarfs, jacket, hat, some flowers. You can create a lot of variety using them.
Should you make studio photos, outdoor or indoor ones?
It really depends on your business. I myself am not a great fan of studio photos unless you aim for clean portraits. I much more prefer lifestyle photography where you’re shown in a more natural and friendly way. You can use a park, the city, a café, cozy sofa, office building, fancy hotel room or why not rent a design apartment.
Of course, studio photos are good if you later want to use them to make posters or specific graphics but if you don’t, some lifestyle setting will make you look more friendly and appealing.
Preparing the right makeup is an important part of
Not long ago a friend contacted me to express her disappointment in her recently taken photos.
I was rather surprised to hear that because I knew the photographer was very good. I asked her to send me the photos to see what the problem was and then I realized – she went to the photoshoot with no makeup at all.
Even if you like to look natural it is better to create a natural look with a little bit of makeup – use some foundation, mascara and lipstick at least.
The truth is that makeup looks way less on camera than a person has applied. That’s why makeup artists use more pigmented products when it comes to video- and photoshoots.
If you think you are wearing a lot of makeup chances are on the photos you will look like you are wearing just a little, so don’t worry, no one will notice if you have put too much eyeliner.
It’s useful to make a research before your photoshoot and find some images you like. Some people make mood boards to get inspired. That will help you gather some ideas and show your photographer what you are looking for. You don’t have to replicate the photos but get some general idea about mood, lighting, outfits and possible poses.
For great poses it’s important to relax and be natural. When you are happy photos will always look better. Use motion, listen to music, talk to your photographer. You can also bring a friend that cheers you up and can help you feel relaxed in front of the camera.
Experiment with different poses. You can make some photos with motion, which means you can move and do something like walking down the street, dancing, reading something or drinking coffee.
Photos with motion look way more natural and professional than static photos where you simply stand and look at the camera.
Most importantly have fun and don’t worry about the results. The worst thing that could happen is that you make new friends and learn new things.
But I am sure that if you just enjoy yourself you’ll have enough great photos that you can use to proudly represent yourself and your brand’s image.
Photo: Flor Blake Photography