PERSONAL BRAND PHOTOGRAPHER
You’re making a move to entrepreneurship and are in the process of building a brand and an online presence. You’ve got your website design started and need some photos to showcase yourself as the real and relatable person behind your brand. You need a photographer who can tell a story through the lens. Someone who makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera, and makes the whole process fun and easy from beginning to end. Below are five things to look for in a branding photographer—don’t hire just anyone for this important job; you need an experienced professional.
First and foremost, spend some time looking through the photographer’s website portfolio to make sure their aesthetic and style fits what you’re looking for. Each photographer has a specific style that is innate to him or her. What that means is, each photographer interprets a subject differently, uses different lighting, composition, and techniques while creating images. Ask yourself, are you looking for bright white? Classic and sophisticated? Colorful? Then look for a photographer who has a similar style to your answer. Each photographer can certainly work with you to create and capture your vision. However, it’s best to choose a photographer whose previous work resonates with you.
Most photographers specialize in one specific genre—for example, wedding photography, family portrait photography, or landscapes. Of course, photographers are more than capable of creating photos in more than one genre; however, when it comes to branding portraits, it’s best to select a photographer who specializes in personal branding photography. They will understand how to bring your messaging and vision to life, bring out the best in you to showcase your personality, and will also have a good understanding of design, how to work web developers, and what photos are needed for specific marketing materials.
There’s a lot more that goes into a branding shoot than you think. Make sure your photographer is willing to meet with, or talk to, your web developer. Ask your photographer if they offer a brand strategy consult before your photo session to discuss colors, vision, and give wardrobe advice. Be sure to ask about professional hair and makeup options; does the photographer have a makeup artist they work with, and is there an extra cost? Or do you need to set an appointment with your salon?
You’re probably going to start your photographer search online. Narrow your selections down to the photographers you feel an instant connection to just by looking at their own branding portraits. Then, pay attention to how you feel when meeting with each photographer during your consult. Does she listen to you? Does he understand your vision? Do you feel confident in yourself and her ability to bring out the best in you during your shoot?
Here’s the deal. You’re going to need updated personal branding photos and headshots as your business evolves. You may even get to the point where you need quarterly or monthly branding photos for posting on social media. Let’s face it; you’re going to be spending some time with your photographer; each session takes about four to six hours depending on the number of outfits and number of locations, so be sure to select a photographer you like and can have fun with!
I’m not saying you’re stuck with the same photographer forever, of course, you’ll find a new one as needed, but it’ll save you, in the long run, to spend some time finding a photographer you really resonate with so your photos have a cohesive look throughout your online presence for years to come. Once you build a relationship with your photographer, each session will be easier and more fun for you. It’ll feel like you’re hanging out with a friend and you’ll feel more and more comfortable in front of the camera.