Going Beyond a Headshot with A Personal Branding Photoshoot
Personal branding is at the forefront of small and local business marketing. It can help make or break a business struggling to compete in a competitive market. A key aspect of personal branding is making it personal (duh!), and one of the best ways to accomplish this is with a branding photoshoot.
What is a personal branding photoshoot
Personal branding is not just simply branding, it’s branding that helps connect your audience to your brand by connecting them to you. The first step to connecting with someone is, of course to see them. It’s a basic step and one in which many entrepreneurs fail to appreciate. A simple headshot is where most should start but once you’re ready to take your brand to the next level you’re going to need something more.
How to prepare for a branding photoshoot
Who are you marketing to
When preparing for your session there are a few things to keep in mind. First, who is your target audience? Second, in what way will they connect to you? While this seems easy enough, it’s just two questions after all but these questions are key to setting the goals of your branding photoshoot.
Where are your photos needed
Once you’ve answered the two fundamental questions of who your market is and how you’ll connect with them you can begin to make a list of where you need photos. Your website and social media are the most likely places you’ll need photos but you should not overlook print. Flyers, magazines, newspapers, and other print material are still effective ways to reach an audience.
A good personal branding photographer should understand how you will be using your photos and how to achieve the proper look (and proper aspect ratio) for each application. Your website banner and your instagram feed have different requirements for a photo and your photographer should know all of these, this is a conversation you must have with your photographer.
How to dress for your photoshoot
A big part of branding photography is how you choose to dress. If you’re a baker it may not be a good idea to dress in a blazer, conversely if you’re an attorney it makes total sense that you would wear something more professional. Make sure you look appropriate according to your role and brand. Your wardrobe is something you and your photographer should discuss in detail. I suggest having at least 2 outfit options to make the most of your photoshoot. As is always the case when getting a photograph, wear clothes that fit you well.
Align Your Branding with Your Brand
By making sure you and your audience are on the same page you’ll have much more success in reaching them. If your business specializes in providing people with environmentally friendly goods it would make sense to display your commitment to this in all of your branding. If you’re an edgy, contemporary clothing designer you certainly don’t want your branding to look conservative or traditional.
Now that you know who your audience is and how you will connect with them and you have a list of where you would like to post these photos you can collaborate with your photographer on the specific shots you will need.
Making use of your photos
Facebook & Website Banners
Depending on your budget you’re going to need at least a minimal amount of knowledge using social media and your website. We create banners for our clients for their websites and social media pages, if your photographer doesn’t provide this service you’ll need to know how to do this. These banners are the first thing most people see when they come in contact with your brand so you’ll need these to look amazing.
Using these photos for blog posts is another must. This is a great way to keep you as the face of your brand while providing the information your followers come to you for. Some photographer may offer their services in creating these types of graphics.
If the number of images you have is small in comparison to how many you would like to use I suggest using those from your professional photographer in key places, like the blog thumbnail and header image, and supplementing those photos with other photos you take yourself. Wait? What?! Yes, you should be taking photos as well. You don’t need a professional camera, your phone will likely be sufficient.
Here are a few shots from a music store we worked with that would work well within a blog. These are the types of photos you may be able to replicate yourself for your brand. Notice that the photos are clean, simple, and showcase what it is the business does, no need to get overly complicated.
If the thought of photographing your products or environment is too much for you consider a stock photo provider.
After your website advertising should be the main place you are using these photos. Advertising is not cheap so you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Your advertisements are far more likely to have an impact with your audience when you use professional photos.
By utilizing a professional photographer you will set yourself and your brand apart. Your brand will stand out, especially in a local market where many businesses simply use the cheapest options available. Saving money is certainly great but when it comes to your brand you simply can’t afford to cut corners.