Five Tips to get the most out of your professional photoshoot (and why you need one).

Beautiful Woman with natural smile - melbourne headshots and personal branding - linkedin headshot photographerWe all have a personal brand. Whether you run your own business or are seeking work, your actions, behaviour, and online presence form perceptions by others. It is these first impressions, whether good or bad, which influences others’ perception of what our personal brand is.

When it comes to making great impressions, the thing that matters most is putting your best foot forward. It means maintaining professionalism when someone writes a not-so-favourable review for your business. It involves creating and maintaining a consistent voice that reflects your character and personality.

Making great first impressions is also about putting yourself out there. Having a face to your name, and a face to your business.

Melbourne Personal Branding Portrait & Corporate Headshot - Blonde woman smiling with an orange scarfA big part of your personal brand is the visual representation of it. This goes beyond your logo design, chosen fonts, and colour schemes. It’s not just your website or the copy you use.

It’s you. Visual images of you, showcasing who you are. The talented, powerful person behind the amazing work you do. Allowing people to put a connection between your business and a real person – with a life, bills, family, emotions.

After all, people do business with people – especially those they know, like, and trust.

Those who add value, and those who they have formed a relationship with (online, or otherwise).

So stop putting it off

It makes sense that you’ve probably put off having professional branding photos taken.

I can guess: it’s not a priority; it’s expensive; I’m not camera ready; I want to lose a bit of weight; I don’t know what to do in front of a camera; I’m unphotogenic…..

I’ve heard it all before. People doubting that they can be in front of a camera, and look amazing.

I’m here to tell you to stop using those excuses.

You don’t need to be a model to look great in front of a camera. There is no need for a whole wardrobe of new outfits. You honestly just need to be you. Yourself. Beautiful & strong. The body and mind that created your business.

I’ve heard many stories from people who have put off having their photos taken for years, only to realise afterwards that the experience has transformed new confidence into them. They’ve put this confidence into their marketing strategies and used it to inspire others, connect with clients, and sell themselves as the face their personal brand.

The fact is: people gravitate to other people.

People will connect to the image of you more than a stock photo.
They’ll connect to the image of you more than the images of your products.
They’ll connect to the image of you more than they connect to a motivational quote.

Five tips on how to get the most out of your photoshoot:

So while you’re getting pumped up to take the leap in 2019, to put yourself out there and get the photoshoot, here are my five tips on how to get the most out of your photoshoot.

Julia Nance Melbourne Photography Studio

1. Find a great photographer, whose work you love

The easiest way to stress-less about the results of the photoshoot is to find a photographer who you trust. Trust that your photographer will be able to capture the best side of you.

The best way to do this is to check out their folio of work. Make sure they have taken shots that you love.

Have a chat with them before you book in. Ask about their process and inclusions. Get a feel for their personality, and make sure it is someone you think you’ll get along with.

Having a connection with a great photographer is going to help you get authentic expressions and poses. You’ll look more comfortable and confident in the photos if that is how you’re feeling throughout the shoot.

Moodboard of Happy headshots2. Plan, Plan, Plan – know what you want and need

Get inspiration! Find example photographs that you love. Get onto Pinterest or Google Images and start finding the images that speak to you. Most importantly, communicate all these ideas with your photographer.

Decide what shots you think you’ll want. Is it just headshots? Is it a great headshot, and a mix of lifestyle branding images? Will you ever need to put text around the images?

Figuring out what shots you need is the best way to get everything you want out of a photoshoot and more.

Male smiling at camera while sitting outdoors - melbourne personal branding photography and corporate headshots3. Practise posing, and know some angles

Once you’ve managed to find some inspiration images, pinpoint the poses that you like the most, and that seem the most ‘authentically-you’.

There’s no shame in having a quick practice in the mirror. Understanding how you look, and what angles you do and don’t like is a great advantage to have, and it can boost your confidence.

Of course, your chosen photographer should take on the job of directing and coaching you throughout the shoot. It will be these interactions that allow you to get some great, authentic shots.

Kathie Melbourne Personal Branding4. Think about colour – planning what to wear

When it comes to deciding what to wear, think about colours.

You can incorporate any of your branding colours in subtle ways (or go all out – depending on your brand and style). Little things like jewellery, props or clothing choices would work. Incorporating colours that link back to your brand can be a really nice way to tie everything together visually. Especially if those images are going on your website, and amongst other marketing material.

If not your branding colours, wear colours and tones that compliment your eye/hair/skin tone as well as the setting.

I find simple clothing best, as it doesn’t draw too much attention away from you (you’re the star of the shoot). Bold patterns can be a little distracting – so keep this in mind.

Ultimately though, dress to your style. Something that you might wear to meet a new potential client is a good starting point, but keep it appropriate to your career and field too.

I have found that big, baggy clothing doesn’t tend to photograph as well as more fitted clothing. Your clothes don’t need to be skin-tight, but baggier clothes tend to look great with movement – whereas a photograph lacks just that!

Man laughing in natural headshot - Headshot photography Melbourne5. Get your pre-shoot routine down pat

Prepare for your photoshoot with a great routine.

In the days leading up to the shoot, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. It’ll help make you glow.

Iron all your clothes the night before, and have any props, accessories, extra makeup all ready to go. This saves the last minute rush in the morning.

Start the day with a great well-balanced breakfast. Think foods that make you feel energised and happy. Avoid foods that bloat you and make you feel ‘blerg’.

Do a few things that help you relax in the morning. This could be sitting down with your partner for a coffee, reading a book, or putting on some great music for positive vibes.

Trust yourself – you’ve got this

2019 can be the year of you. Being confident, putting yourself out there, and making great relationships with your clients.

A professional photoshoot is an investment in yourself and your career.

The resulting images are used beyond the ‘about’ page on your website. They’ll be used across your social media profile photos and content; Within your email application; On your Google account; In your printed marketing material; and as your author bio photo in guest blogs and magazine photos.

So stop doubting yourself. We’re all different and unique, and these are our strengths. People want to do business with you – not a stock photo, not an empty website, not a logo.

Put yourself in the spotlight.

To find out more about my corporate headshot and personal branding sessions, click here.