The whole concept of personal branding photography can seem like a bit of an enigma: it’s more than a portrait but not solely about advertising.
So in this post I’m going to break down exactly what branding photography is and why it is potentially one of the most important things you can do for your business.
It’s more than just who you are
Stripped back to the very basics, personal branding photography is about capturing you. Not just the physical you but the culture and ethos of your business – the common values and ideals that you share with clients. It’s about having imagery that is consistent, that complements your brand, and ultimately gives you a clear and unmistakable identity.
Now this might all sound very vague at this point so it helps to think about it as a series of simple components. Personal branding photography goes beyond just having a nice headshot. Yes, this is undoubtedly important but what you look like is just one aspect of your brand.
It is also about the type of images you associate with your business. How they look. Colour schemes. The style of editing. The mood they create.
Imagine the website of a sophisticated tech company. How would you describe the kind of imagery associated with its brand? Clean. Clear. Minimalist. White.
Now consider the Instagram feed for a local independent coffee house. What words would come to mind? Homely. Earthy tones. Muted colours. Brown.
This is what personal branding photography gets to the heart of: creating an identity that is communicated clearly and consistently in all the imagery associated with your business, no matter how large or small it is.
Visual is the king of communication these days. Potential customers will make a decision about your website in a matter of seconds, irrespective of the quality of your product or service. Their decision to stay or leave may ultimately come down to the impression your brand makes; if it is in sync with your target market they will most likely hang around.
What images do you need?
Personal branding photography is a worthy investment. An initial session will provide you with a sufficient amount of imagery to launch your website or for several months of social media posts.
So what photographs do you need to kick things off?
There’s no definitive list that make up a personal branding shoot – it’s totally subjective – but it helps to do some planning beforehand to have an idea of what it is you want to achieve. Mood-boards are great for inspiration or simply jotting down descriptive words that you associate (or want to be associated) with your brand. For more tips check out last month’s post on pre-shoot planning.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Consider photographs or your local surroundings: town landmarks, the beach, woods, your home, or your shop, studio or office. This works particularly well for small businesses looking to connect with the local community.
Product photography doesn’t just mean taking photos of items you are selling; it can be items that are associated with your business. This could be as simple as creative shots of a laptop or a notebook. Or, continuing my coffee shop example above, macro shots of coffee beans or details from the espresso machine.
These are candid photographs of you, with or without clients, in your natural working environment. It could be in your home office, a factory, or the studio. Wherever they are taken, these action shots are an effective means of quickly communicating exactly how you operate.
The classic headshot is always a good starting point – a photograph that can be utilised across different platforms. And it doesn’t have to be too formal! It should merely represent you as the professional you are.
If you’d like to learn more about personal branding photography and the services I can offer to support your brand, get in touch and we can start discussing ideas!