People invest in people. As humans, there’s nothing we love more than being able to actually put a face to a name.
Whether you’re selling a product or service, there’s only so much legwork your website and social media can do without high quality photographs to back them up. Your audience wants to see you.
Personal brand photography allows you to tell your story visually, gain a deeper trust and connection with your audience, and attract those all-important dream clients.
And then… the photo ‘ick’ kicks in.
You know the feeling – the sheer horror at the thought of having to awkwardly pose in front of a stranger. That’s completely natural. But your reluctance to nail your branding photography could be what’s stopping you from elevating your business to the next level.
Finding the right branding photographer plays a huge part in this process. If you’re in the safe hands of someone with experience who makes you feel at ease, you may even find you actually enjoy yourself (yes really!)
You might find yourself desperate to go straight for the first photographer you stumble across on social media to get the dreaded photos done and dusted. However tempting that may be, don’t rush the decision. You need to feel genuinely comfortable with them, and thrilled to use the finished photographs to represent yourself and your work.
Not sure how to find your branding photographer soulmate? I’ve got you covered with a few top tips – pop the kettle on, put your feet up and let’s dive in.
Let your individual style shine through
Your branding photography should feel like a natural extension of who you are and what you do. The aesthetic style you go for is important. Sure, the photos have got to be Instagram-worthy – but they’ve also got to convey your personal style, experience and professionalism in one fell swoop.
Branding photographers will each have an individual style. Some may opt for more natural and outdoorsy style shoots, whereas others excel at stylised fashion photography. Having a digital flick through some portfolios and social media profiles will give you an indication of the photographer’s style. Make sure you find a style that most closely reflects your own and the image you want to put across to your audience.
A quick tip: don’t be swayed by current editing trends or styles that are super popular at the moment. Social media moves quickly and trends are often short-lived. Go for a timeless style that won’t date.
My personal branding photography style is expressive and editorial, capturing your personality & professionalism without you needing to worry if it will look out of date in a year or so.
Are you on the same wavelength?
After you’re happy with the style you’ve chosen, it’s important you find a photographer that gets you. I don’t mean you need to spill all your deepest darkest secrets and become their best friend for life – I mean they need to truly understand your business and be marketing-savvy.
Opt for a photographer that understands exactly what you’re trying to achieve, and knows the best way to connect with your audience. Ideally, they need to have a wealth of branding knowledge and plenty of experience shooting professionals in your industry.
Before setting up my photography business in 2008, I had years of marketing and branding experience under my belt, giving me an insight into what truly works (and what doesn’t!)
Put your comfort first
If you’re anything like me, this is arguably the most important factor to consider.
There’s no two ways about it: you need to feel comfortable.
You can choose the most experienced photographer in the game, but if they don’t make you feel at ease it’s not going to be a pleasant experience – and that will speak volumes in the final photographs.
When you turn up to the shoot, you shouldn’t be expected to have an array of supermodel poses in your repertoire – they should be able to direct you into simple, flattering poses and know all the best angles to capture you at your absolute best.
A great way to suss out if you’re likely to feel at ease with your chosen photographer is to watch videos of them working on their social media, or grab a chat on the phone with them before you commit to booking.
I have over a decade of branding photography experience and have photographed hundreds of female entrepreneurs, and I pride myself on making my lovely clients feel instantly at ease. You can watch a video of me at work here and hear from a few of my clients.
Do some sleuthing
Think you might have found the one? Don’t rush into anything just yet. Make sure you’ve seen a good selection of the photographer’s work. It’s easy for them to pop one amazing image from a session on their IG feed, but make sure you’ve seen at least 20 images from a range of different shoots to ensure they can consistently deliver amazing results, rather than being a one-trick pony. Have a look through some of my blog posts featuring full branding sessions.
By doing a little bit of background research on them, you’ll also be able to figure out where they tend to shoot – do they shoot in locations that are on-brand for you?
If you’re still struggling to make a decision, reviews are your best friend. Read up on the feedback and testimonials they get, and have a look at their Google reviews to gauge how pleased their clients are with the results. (You can see my 90+ 5 star Google reviews here)
The boring (but necessary) bit
Time to get serious. If you’ve whittled it down to a couple of choices, check out the legal side of things.
Are they insured, and do they provide a contract prior to working together? Make sure you know the usage rights of the images to ensure you’ll be able to use them however you’d like.
You can find out more about how their process will work by asking questions like:
- How quickly will you be able to view your image gallery, and are your chosen images edited and retouched?
- How will they help you prepare for the shoot, and do they offer styling advice?
- Do they offer a clarity call before the session?
If all this information isn’t readily available on their site, drop them a message and make sure you’re clear on everything before you part with any money.
One of the most important questions to ask is: does their pricing suit your budget? If a photographer seems too cheap there’s generally a reason why, and they might cut corners somewhere. Ensure you know what’s included in the price you’re paying.
I hope this has given you some food for thought! Finding the right branding photographer is a serious decision for you and your business, and you want to make sure you’re happy with your choice before you part with any hard-earned cash.
I offer personal branding photography & headshot services. If you feel like we’d make a good fit, head over to my branding & headshot photography page to find out more.
PS. Would you love to get my 8 tips for preparing for your branding shoot? Just enter your details below and you’ll get immediate access to my free guide.