They Told You What About Brand Photography?
Contrary to popular belief, (or what you may have developed into your own personal belief), head-turning personal branding photos are not as unattainable as you might think. In fact, if you're telling yourself that you don’t need photos of you on your website because your words speak for themselves, or perhaps you're thinking that you can attract the clients of your dreams with that selfie headshot taken back in 2008 at your corporate job, well, I’ve got news for you...you're lying to yourself (I know that was a bit harsh but I owe it to you to keep it real with you at all times). The reality is, your ideal clients want to get to know, like, and trust, THE REAL YOU. How can they do that if they can’t see your face? (That was retorical, you already know the answer to that). So what I've done to kind of help you out is provided a list of the top four myths I've come across as a personal branding photographer. Hopefully this will eliminate that unwanted outside chatter and give you a fresh perspective on how personal branding photography can actually elevate your business.
Myth #1 - You Need to Be Photogenic
This by far is the most common myth perpetuated about personal branding photography that I hear. When you see branding photos of people who look like they were born to be in front of the camera, most of the time it’s more about how the photographer has made the subject feel than any innate ability of the person to look good on camera. This might come as a surprise to you but, SPOILER ALERT, almost everyone is uncomfortable in front of the camera, no matter how many times they’ve done it. A good brand photographer however, will know how to make the subject feel and look as comfortable as possible to capture that one of a kind shot. One of the things that helps me as a photographer is getting to know my clients which helps them to loosen up during our shoot. I promise you, with a few good tips, a few laughs, and even some music (yes music, more on that later), even the most awkward shoots can become legendary.
Myth #2 - You Need to Spend a TON of Money
Listen, do yourself a favor and save your money! You absolutely do not have to spend a fortune scouting the perfect location for your photoshoot, splurging on a high-end wardrobe, and hiring an entourage to keep you looking your best all day. Sure, do you want to look your best, yes. Shoot in a picturesque location, of course. Desire to hire a good photographer (and not just your cousin’s friend who “takes photos on the side”), I mean who wouldn't ? However, you can achieve a lot of this on a minimal budget and still get the results you want. Your sole responsibility is to simply be ready to shine in front of the camera and let your photographer handle most of the details. With all this in mind, there are some things that you can do to prepare yourself for your next shoot. For starters, treat yourself to a good pedicure and manicure. Have your hair and makeup done (although this might be included, so check with your photographer). Don’t spend an arm and a leg on clothing. No one will know what brand you are wearing. Inexpensive clothing looks just as good as expensive clothing on camera. Also don’t worry about a fancy location. Talk to your photographer about what look you’re going for. They just may have the perfect location in mind. Trust me, the simplest of places can make an image look amazing through the lens. Don’t stress that you can’t do your photoshoot in Italy. You don’t need to. (But if you’re already going to be in Italy, well, go for it, and bring me with you!)
Myth #3 - You Aren't Good Enough To Be the Face of Your Brand
I mean don't sell yourself short so fast (or at all for that matter). I'm sure when you scroll through Instagram, you're comparing your 'seemingly' boring life, dull posts or unattractive photos to those that seem to have it all together. Does this mean your life is SO BORING? Of course not. Everyone's life is filled with mundane, unfulfilled moments, with sprinkles of awesome, once in a lifetime, I can't believe this is happening moments. This is what makes life unique. Truth be told, anyone can find simple moments that can be made to look fabulous. A moment where you are writing down your thoughts to someone else could look boring, but to you is a fire starting moment that catapults your business into the WOW zone. But when you hide your face from potential clients, they don’t get a chance to get to know you or what it took for you to become the awesome brand that you are. So get out from behind-the-scenes. You have a fire within you. Channel that energy, and I promise you, you will be just as interesting as those lives you scroll past on social media.
Myth #4 - My Product-Based Business Doesn't Need a Personal Brand
“I don’t want to distract my customers from my products by putting my face on my brand.” I've heard this a time or two (or three or four, maybe more now that I think about it), and it always baffles me every time I hear it. Listen, here's the most simplistic way I can debunk this myth: people don’t interact with brands, they interact with PEOPLE. Apparel brands, Cosmetic Lines, Toys, and any other product based brand you can think of are ran by people who make decisions on a daily basis that affect their customers. More so, they all require people to promote and advertise their products. Think about it, when is the last time you bought a shirt without seeing it on a person? Our impulses to buy apparel come from seeing it on other people! Ladies you can attest to buying makeup is in large part influenced by how it looks on someone else. Point is, the more you can step in front of your customers and get to know them, the more they will trust your products.
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