FAQs On Personal Branding Imagery
What does Personal Branding mean?
Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself to others. Business owner or careerist, everyone walks through life establishing their brand. From how we dress and speak, to how we engage with customers or hiring managers, all of it comprises your personal brand. The ‘personal’ aspect is key because it is personal to you. Even entrepreneurs know that they are the face of their organization and that its brand reflects their core beliefs and values. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see in you.
Who is Personal Branding for?
In this digital age, I believe attention to branding and how you brand yourself is absolutely essential to anyone who is public facing. Whether you are a middle manager seeking to become a VP, a business owner trying to grow your customer base, or a public speaker trying to establish authority in your field, we all need to nurture how we present ourselves and the message that speaks to our target audience. In many ways, your personal brand is what makes you memorable. It is what helps you or your business stand out from the crowd/competition.
What are Personal Branding images?
From headshots to lifestyle portraits to behind the scenes images, brand images are helpful in showing your ideal clients who you are, what you do and how you do it. They tell a story that reflects your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.
How can I use my images?
All brand images can be used across a variety of online and offline marketing platforms. Such as blog posts, websites, LinkedIn profile, speaking engagements, social media feeds like IG and FB, magazine articles and PR pushes, book jackets, advertising creative, billboards, thank you cards, bus benches, even online dating sites.
What are the differences between headshot and lifestyle images?
Headshot are portraits of a client looking at the camera (the audience), from the waist or chest up. These are direct, engaging, expressive images that should convey a strong glimpse into the subject’s overall persona. Choice of clothing, colors, background tones, and overall style of the images should convey an authentic best for the viewer of this person’s temperament and character.
Lifestyle images are more creative and at times less direct. The subject could be looking off camera caught in a laugh or staring intently out into the “future”. They could be full length body shots or closer cropped with the intent to capture a moment or a feeling in that person. It could also be a shot of a public speaker on stage or a baker laying out their freshly baked pastries. These images help the client expand and build on their brand story to share more about themselves and what they do in order to connect and grow their target audience.
What kind of brand photos do I need?
That depends on who you are, what you do and how you want to use your images.
For example a real estate agent can use a mix of lifestyle and behind the scenes photos to evoke the experience of what it's like to work with her. These can include a mix of images showing her walking a young couple through a home visit. Then headshots that show the agent engaging directly with the camera to convey forthrightness, competence and authority in her field, with perhaps other shots showing her doing an activity she loves that might resonate with clients who enjoy the same activity such as hiking or tennis and now feel a common bond.
In contrast a restauranteur/chef might want shots to show off his restaurant, the menu items and include some environment portraits of him in the kitchen preparing food and interacting with his staff, for example. The options are endless when you’re creating a library of images that are customized to meet your needs.
How often should I be getting brand photos done?
Again, that depends on who you are, what you do and what you need them for.
A LinkedIn profile won’t require updating more than once every few years - so you’ll be getting a lot of mileage on that shot. Other needs such as Instagram and Facebook feeds will probably require a quarterly or bi-annual stream of professional, customized images to keep the business owner and her business engaging with current and future customers.
What should I wear to a branding shoot?
This should be part of the conversation you have with your photographer as to what you want your brand image to convey about you.
I always suggest that my clients consider working with a wardrobe stylist if they plan to freshen-up or modernize their look. If you’re trying to create your brand image from scratch then this should be one of the first conversations you have with your photographer or branding coach. Wardrobe planning should be taken seriously and not left to the last minute. If you’re investing in a professional photoshoot, make sure you invest in the right clothes. It might sound superficial but it’s a big part of how you present yourself to the world.
What if I hate the photos?
I don’t believe in having to pay for something that doesn’t work for you and doesn’t meet your expectations. The more you share with me about your vision, your needs, your goals, the easier it will be to collaborate with you on creating the shots you want and get the results you need.
I don’t believe in pushing my vision on to my clients. These images are products you will be using to sell yourself so you should be thrilled with them. You only buy what you love, it’s that simple.
How do I convey how I envision being photographed? What if I don’t know yet?
Start by researching and collecting images that match keywords that resonate with you. Create a mood board on Pinterest or in Google Drive and collaborate on ideas and choices with your photographer. I love seeing what appeals to my clients, and how they “see” themselves by what they are drawn to. I have created numerous mood boards of different types of portraits that I refer my clients to so they can cherry pick their favorites. The more we can visualize what resonates with you, the better apt we’ll be to execute your vision.
And if you don’t know what you want or aren’t sure yet, then I have a handful of questions to help tease out the right direction for you.
What is a typical brand shoot like?
I believe you should be able to get a variety of images out of a single session, or have multiple sessions laid out across multiple days to create the kind of image collection you will need. If you book me for headshots we’ll also do lifestyle. If you book me for lifestyle, I’ll always make sure to get in some great close up portraits. Your session is unique to you. We can shoot in studio or outdoors. At home or at your office. I believe every client should get a customized experience that meets their specific needs. Your images should be as unique as you are in style and execution.
How can I maximize my investment if I do this?
Commit to doing the work to prepare for your photoshoot. Decide on what you’re looking to get out of the images, what kinds of images you need and how you will use them. Hire a brand coach if you don’t know what your brand is or if you feel like you need to get a firmer grip on it before spending money on photos that don’t support your new brand direction.
Think design in terms of visual use such as vertical, horizontal, square and what format you’ll need the photos in - digital only, print size, billboard, all of this matters to get the most of your investment and get the shots you need. The more information you share the better. As your photographer the more I get to know you and understand your vision, the better equipped I’ll be to help you succeed.
How do I book a consultation with you to chat about my ideas and what I think I need?
You are welcome to just pick up the phone and call me at 310.622.4580. Or if you prefer to schedule a chat, please email me at nicolette@NJPphotography.com