What Exactly Is Personal Branding Photography?
A term that you hear a lot these days on social media or podcasts, for sure. But beyond the latest catchword for entrepreneurs, personal branding photography is actually one of the most powerful tools a small business owner has in their arsenal. Personal branding photography is how you showcase your radiant, unique self to your ideal client, and give them an instant chance to connect with you on a deep level in the age of quick scrolling and too many options.
Is Personal Branding Photography Right for Me?
Most definitely. Whatever your profession, whether you’re a lawyer looking for a fresh and updated look to set you apart in your field or you’re a blogger, coach, or some other service-based business owner looking for bright, eye-catching photos to draw clients to your web presence, personal branding can absolutely help elevate your business.
Even if you own a physical business and don’t feel like you personally have a lot to do with the brand, putting yourself in front of the camera and in front of your clients can do wonders with creating an emotional connection between your clients and your brand. Everyone wants to get to know the person behind the idea or product, after all.
A personal branding session is your chance to capture the attention of your target audience, and easily funnel them into an inquiry on your website. It’s your way to set yourself apart from the masses, and to immediately position yourself as a true expert in your field.
How Would I Use Personal Branding Photos in My Business?
Everywhere, and for everything! I have quite a few clients who book personal branding sessions once a month, because they find the sessions that valuable to their business!
Your personal branding images can go anywhere from business cards to billboards. They can be used to update your Instagram, Facebook, website, and ads. There are a lot of different opinions on how often you should show up personally on your social media + emails if you are a primarily web or service based business, but I like to pop my face in once every nine or so posts on my Facebook and Instagram, and maybe once a month or so on my email list, just to give people a little reminder that they’re dealing with a real person, not just a screen!
Another important element of personal branding photos is that in a full personal branding session, you’re not only going to get amazing photos of you in action, but you’ll also get incredible photos to fill the headers on your blogs and websites. A personal branding session is so much more than just you smiling at the camera, instead it’s meant to completely showcase everything about who you are and what you do. Your website and social media should be fully equipped to tell the complete story of you and your business, and a good personal branding photography session gives you exactly the tools you need to get that done.
How Often Should I Do A Personal Branding Photography Session?
The answer to that question is totally up to you, your budget, and your business needs! In a perfect world, we could all hire photographers for personal branding sessions once a week, and just have a constant overflow of fresh content for our marketing channels… but budgets exist, and that’s not happening. So, realistically, how often should you refresh your personal branding images?
If you have a physical business, like a restaurant or a shop, you realistically probably only need to refresh your personal branding images once or twice a year, unless you make any big changes. If you can work it into the budget, I highly recommend going with twice a year, so that you can focus on making sure your images match the seasons and promote what is fresh and current. For a chef at a local restaurant, you’re not going to be best served by posting pictures of yourself stirring soup in the middle of summer, and for a retail location, photos of you in a tank top and shorts at your shop won’t do much for your customers in the dead of winter! When you plan for shoot, try to prepare the most current elements of your business (product, food, etc), and also plan to dress for the season you’re currently in as well as one coming up next. This will help you get the most lasting and efficient use out of your photo content.
If you have an online business, or a business that you’re promoting solely online (you’re a graphic designer, a health coach, a blogger, etc), then you may want to invest a little more frequently in personal branding photo sessions. I personally justify the cost like this: it’s the rent that I’m not having to pay for a physical space. I chose a business that can exist on this digital space alone, so instead of paying for physical rent and driving foot traffic, I’m paying my digital rent into something that will drive digital traffic. Many of the bloggers, influencers, and other digitally based creators that I work with choose to do monthly personal branding photo shoots to keep their content fresh and consistent on their blogs, websites, and various forms of social media.
Lastly, How Should I Prepare For My Personal Branding Session?
This totally depends on what your goals from the session are – SO, I’d say the first thing you should prepare for your session is a list of goals you hope to achieve during your personal branding session. Are you wanting to create a massive stock of photos of your friendly, approachable, and beautiful face to use on your website and social media? Are you wanting to create visual content for your next five blog posts? Do you want photos of yourself in action, being your awesome business-doing self?
If you’re wanting blog post content, then make a list of the posts you’re hoping to fill and what you’d like your viewers to see – pro tip here: if you’re a food blogger, go ahead and make the dishes right before your photographer gets there! You can always stage some cooking shots, but don’t waste your precious session time with cooking, unless the process is a big part of the photos you’re hoping to get.
If you want plenty of photos of your beautiful face for your marketing, then plan to bring plenty of different outfits, complete with accessories for each. Also, I recommend bringing a hairbrush and some light makeup to refresh your look mid-session, since you may be doing a little bit of walking around for different backdrops.