What you can get out of a personal branding session.
“A personal branding photoshoot? I’m not ready for that!”
It’s all too common! So many of us feel self-doubt and can relate to ‘impostor syndrome’. Many people don’t feel ready to have a professional photoshoot, or simply believe they’re not worthy. And if it’s not this then it’s an array of excuses like “I would like to lose a bit more weight”, “I’m not photogenic” or “I just don’t have time – it’s not a priority”.
These feelings are real and common. It’s understandable. Most people’s formal experience in front of a camera comes from their school photos. 10 seconds in a chair, the photographer doesn’t care that your fringe wasn’t sitting right or that you had a double chin. Nor will they even let you look at the photo. They’re not great memories from my end either.
But forget the school photos. A personal branding photoshoot isn’t (and shouldn’t) be like this at all! Because a personal branding photoshoot is about capturing you – and you’re not going to achieve that with a 10-second mug shot. So I’m going to tell you exactly what you can get out of a personal branding session, and convince you that you’re ready, and you’ll be fine.
A great way to connect with your clients:
Do you have a business page on Facebook or Instagram? If you’ve noticed a lack of engagement on your posts, you’re not alone. And while we can all scream about the ‘algorithm’ and ‘paid ads’, the simple matter is this:
People are actually interested in other people, believe it or not. Now I don’t mean that we all care what Uncle Jim had for lunch. I’m talking about showcasing yourself on your journey behind your business. Think about Humans Of New York. The Facebook page of portraits filled with in-depth captions of people’s stories. The fans of that page don’t know the hundreds of people around the world showcased on the page, however, it has high engagement – and people are fascinated.
So believe it or not, content, photographs, images of you, that tell your story, communicate who you are – these are what people love to see. I could see a hundred different posts about random hand made products. Sale offers, graphics and banners. But it’s the photo and story of the person making the objects that I’m less likely to scroll past. Not only this, but it offers me insight into the business, and allows me to start liking and trusting that person. Remember: people do busienss with those they know, like and trust.
So even if you’re not a lawyer or real estate agent, it doesn’t mean you should dismiss professional headshots or a personal branding photoshoot. People really do like learning about what you do. So when captured beautifully, a personal branding shoot is a perfect way to connect with your clients, increase engagement and grow your business (no matter what field you’re in).
Not only will a personal branding photoshoot allow you to connect with your clients, but it’ll give you content! Fresh content, that can be used across social media, in your marketing emails, across printed fliers and cards, and all over your website.
Fresh content keeps things alive. It also shows people you’re an active business. Ever click on someone’s website/Facebook page/Instagram and find it hasn’t had a post since mid-2016? We’ve all definitely felt that defeated by the digital world, but don’t cave in! Keep posting, keep being active and refreshing your content.
A personal branding shoot can be planned properly. It can allow you to capture a whole range of things: from headshots, mid-length and full-length portraits, to candid moments, detail shots, photos of your space (if that be a studio, office or shop).
A full branding photography package can set you up with a whole range of images that you can use to show off your business. Jump onto Canva and add some text. Incorporate them into your sale campaigns. Add them to your Google Business Listing. The opportunities are there, and you’ll see a great result from your investment.
More images mean more content. And more content means more activity online (and offline).
When you have a library of great, personalised and on-brand images, you have the opportunity to get your brand out there in front of the world. It could be a flyer pinned to a local noticeboard. It could be a collection of images on Instagram, or in your Instagram stories. Or a paid advertisement across Facebook. If you can get your own personalised library of images, that flaunt your style and capture your essence (and brand), then you’ll start to gain brand awareness.
Think about the colours you use in your brand, the images you share already, and how you interact with clients. Look at the design of your website, the set up of your workspace and the language you use in emails. All of these things can be used to capture the ‘vibe’ of you. So all you need to do is sum it up to your photographer, find some example shots you like, and start planning. If you put in the work beforehand, you’ll walk away with images that capture your band and help create brand awareness.
The goal for your branding library is to become recognisable. And the best part about it is the images will only be used across your business. They’ll be unique – not generic stock photos!
One of the best things that can come out of a photoshoot is the confidence boost afterwards. It can certainly be a daunting experience, but photography for me has been a big part of learning to self-love. If you can look at the photos of yourself as an opportunity to connect with your clients and show off your business, then you’ll see the amazing person you actually are.
Honestly look at yourself the way your friends and family look at you. Through your mother’s eyes, your lover’s eyes or your children’s eyes. The parts of us we wish we could change are not things our admirers would want to change. And they have to look at us all the time! So if you can look at yourself through eyes that aren’t your own, you can forget your flaws and see them as the pieces that make you up for being you. The special characteristics.
A personal branding photoshoot should celebrate everything about you. It should build you up, and you should leave feeling over the moon.
Are you ready yet?
Find a photographer who has work you love. Chat to them about your brand, and what you need. Then just dive right in, and have a great time with it!
Julia Nance is a headshot and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Her vibrant creativity is inspired by her experiences. From photographing whales underwater to travelling in Europe. With a vast background in a range of photographic areas, it is Julia’s natural ability to connect with her subjects that ultimately drew her to the art of portraiture.