Beyond Headshots…Guest blog by our own Branding Photographer, Jenny at JB Moments Photography.
What is Personal Branding Photography?
The concept of branding is more important now than ever. With more businesses marketing themselves online in your industry, it’s harder to be seen and heard above the noise. A brand is not just a logo or a set of colours; a brand is the whole business. “Brand” covers everything from packaging to ethos, and it’s how businesses portray themselves to their clients and showcase the goods and services they provide.
Personal branding photography is photography that reflects the spirit of the business.
One of the best ways to define a business is through images. Personal branding photography is thriving right now because people understand the importance of personalising their offerings—whether that be a service or a product.
Personal branding sessions are becoming very popular for small businesses; a single headshot is no longer enough! In the endless search for content, businesses now need to create posts for their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts as well as their LinkedIn profiles and websites. Not to mention flyers, business cards, newsletters, and other promotional stuff!
A comprehensive and well-planned brand session is a great foundation on which to build a consistent brand persona. It’s important to show different parts of the business to their clients. Yes, it’s nice to see a smiling face in a headshot; but it’s also great to see the business owner in action!
What if I don’t offer a product?
For a business that creates a product, clients will love to see the manufacturing process as well as images of the finished product and styled shots of it in use.
If the business provides a service, it’s important to showcase how they interact with clients.
How I Prepare a Client for Their Personal Branding Photography Session
It is essential that I get to know my client or business owner’s needs well in advance. As businesses, branding, and personality are so intertwined these days, it’s important to focus on all aspects.
The best way to do this is to use my personal branding photography preparation guide to find out everything I need to know about my client and their business. Before a session, I will meet with a client or business owner, speak to them over the phone and interact via email to make sure I have all the answers I need.
I will study their existing website, social media platforms, and responses to my questions to get a feel for their brand. Can I help them to portray themselves in a better way?
Although clients understand the importance of a personal branding session, most will need guidance on the best way to capture their product and service. Planning the session together is essential. I use my expertise to collaborate with my client or business owner to show off their work in the best possible way.
Every Session is Different
Each client is unique and has their own set of requirements. No two assignments will be the same. I’ve photographed creators, illustrators, jewellers, rum distillers, and even the Kuka team over the last few years! Each shoot has been approached and planned differently.
How long does a shoot last?
As personal branding photography is so multi-faceted, there will always be many different parts to a branding session. It’s really important to capture portraits of my client (everyone still needs a headshot, right?), but it’s equally important to capture things like:
- my client at work
- interactions with their clients
- products (styled in context and/or as a flat lay)
- work in progress
This can be across a few locations and can take a couple of hours. So sometimes it works best to split the branding session into two shoots if that works best.
How are the images delivered?
Most personal branding clients want their images provided digitally. My clients use their images across all their social media platforms as well as on their websites. So I deliver a curated library of digital images for them to download and use. They are provided in a social media resolution, ready to drop into websites or Instagram, etc. And in a higher resolution for any printed needs, they may have. For example, the jeweller wanted to use her product images on a show banner.
So there you have it. The days of grabbing a stock image of the internet are over (especially those that still have the copyright printed all over them!). Now more than ever businesses need to stand out from the competition online. The best way to do that is with images that convey who you are and what you are selling.