Whether you are setting up a tripod, having your husband take some iPhone photos, or hiring a photographer, going into your personal brand photo shoot with a plan is a must! I have clients call me thinking they are just going to stand in front of the camera for a few headshots, and then are blown away with the amount of planning we do ahead of time to make the photos turn our natural and effortless looking! Trust me, there is actually a lot of effort that goes into that look! But, it’s fun, and here are tips we used on Darla’s (speech pathologist and Teachers Pay Teachers creator) personal brand photo shoot!
You have one, right? If not, create a PDF, an ebook, a quiz or something similar so you can offer value and start collecting email addresses! Capturing a photo of you with your lead magnet makes the offer so much sweeter!
Darla had a friend’s daughter come “play” with her on the photo shoot to showcase products she developed when in therapy and how she uses those products, toys, books, etc. with the preschoolers she works with on a daily basis. These images give her audience a “sneak peek” into the behind the scenes of her work. When your audience sees what you do, they can put themselves in the picture, so to speak, and envision working with you!
Darla enjoys writing letters. This especially took off during the lockdown and she wanted to showcase this part of her. What hobbies, outside of work, do you have? Make a list! Believe it or not, there is a lot we can show your audience in a personal branding session. Maybe we can’t show you traveling in Europe, but perhaps you can have an Eiffel Tower prop on your desk, or your passport, or even using a local airport hanger to take some pictures at. The sky is the limit! Be creative!
On Darla’s job, she is with preschoolers all day. What do you have to do to keep their attention? Act silly of course! It may feel a little awkward in front of adults or the camera, but let loose and show your playful side! When people can see multiple dimensions of your personality, they can relate and connect with you even more!
On other occasions, Darla presents at national conferences. As an expert in her field, she needs to also portray her more serious and professional side as she did here. Still approachable and friendly, just another dimension of who she is.
You’ll always need a good headshot. It’s especially important for branding reasons to keep continuity across all platforms. Having a consistent image that you love and you can post on your website, to your newsletter, to your social media builds brand awareness.
You know those pictures when someone looks like they are “caught in a moment”? Yeah, those! Maybe walk casually with your purse and pretend you are waving at a friend! Or you could look off camera and laugh down at your elbow! Yes, I know, it seems crazy and feels weird! But, that’s how you get those “natural” looking moments! Comb your hand through your hair. Lean from your tummy and laugh out loud! Just whatever you do, don’t look at the camera!
To keep your brand consistent, make sure your wardrobe aligns with your branding. You don’t have to wear the exact colors in your branding, but be sure your outfits and accessories don’t clash. Keeping everything clean and consistent brings continuity. Plan your personal brand photo shoot wardrobe ahead of time! Don’t wait until the night before!
This is my favorite tip of all because there is so much you can do here! This is also something that is easily forgotten if you don’t hire a brand photographer. Most people and general family photographers don’t leave room on the side because it is too much empty space for a portrait. But, it is perfect for all your branding messages! You can use these in so many ways! Announce a sale. Announce a giveaway. Share valuable information for your clients. The possibilities are endless! Look at the second image to see how Darla creatively made an Instagram graphic!
If you plan on showing several aspects of what you do in one photo shoot and are not shooting in your home, pack up! You can use a suitcase, a wagon, or any other way to transport your clothing and props and keep them organized.
If you want liked these tips, you may also like this post about four ways to use your personal brand images.
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You can also download a free checklist to get you started on your photos.