How to Photograph


In today’s special episode, we reflect on our powerful interview with photographer extraordinaire, Nick Onken. Not only was he a great guest, but he also drove home important points that we sometimes overlook in our brand building endeavors. Some of our main takeaways from the interview include the role that photography plays in connecting with people online, how elevated realism makes your pictures jump out, and the importance of having cohesive pictures and captions.


Along with this, we consider other important points from the conversation, such as the malleability of your online identity and the power you have to create and recreate your digital self, why being human and vulnerable fosters connection, and strategically planning your photo-graphs’ emotions. Be sure to tune in today!



To learn more about how to build and monetize your personal brand, click here to request a free strategy call





Photography Tips


Key Points From This Episode:


  • When people see photos of you online, it’s a key part of how they connect with you.


  • A recent friendship AJ struck up with someone who had been following her for a while.


  • Why Nick’s concept of elevated realism stuck out to Rory so much.


  • Your pictures and captions need to make sense — Nick’s simple but powerful advice.


  • How packaging affects prices and the relationship it has to personal brand photography.


  • The pictures you have create the perception of how you want to be viewed.


  • Show who you are online; people want to see that you are human!


  • The importance of picking the right kind of photographer that suits your brand.


  • Why you should plan for the emotion you want to be represented in a photo beforehand


and so much more!



See Also: Truly Connecting with and Growing Your Social Media Audience with Sazan and Stevie Hendrix



Tweetable Moments

“Make sure that your pictures and your captions make sense.” — @aj_vaden [0:07:00]

Make sure that your pictures and your captions make sense. — @aj_vaden @nickonken #personalbrand #audience #influentialpersonalbrand #photography #photographer #podcast Click To Tweet


“You are creating the perception of what you want people to see you as.” — @aj_vaden [0:11:02]

You are creating the perception of what you want people to see you as. — @aj_vaden @nickonken #personalbrand #audience #influentialpersonalbrand #photography #photographer #podcast Click To Tweet


“What is the emotion or energy that I am trying to convey?” — @roryvaden [0:16:24]

What is the emotion or energy that I am trying to convey? — @roryvaden @nickonken #personalbrand #audience #influentialpersonalbrand #photography #photographer #podcast Click To Tweet


To learn more about how to build and monetize your personal brand, click here for our free video course


About Nick Onken


Nick Onken is a world-renowned photographer, host of NIONradio podcast, and creative entrepreneur devoted to inspiring the world to create their moments.

Nick has photographed personalities such as Justin Bieber, Tom Hanks, and Jessica Alba. He’s been featured in Fast Company, Huffington Post, and MTV. Nick has traveled to over 60 countries and 7 continents and is the author of the travel photography book, PhotoTrekking. He has photographed global campaigns for international brands such as Nike, Coca Cola and Adidas and his work has been published in magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire.

On his podcast, he’s interviewed celebrities such as Usher, Scooter Braun, Donna Karan and many others. He is the founder of the lifestyle brand, NIONlife and has been a featured speaker for Adobe on activating creativity. He also photographs for the charity, Pencils of Promise as he believes that education is the root problem solver of our world.


Links Mentioned:

Nick Onken on Twitter

See Nick Onken’s Photography Website

Follow Nick Onken on Instagram

Nick Onken Photography on Instagram

NION Radio Podcast

Nick Onken Personal Brand E-Book

Lewis Howes

Brand Builders Group Consultation Call —

Take The Stairs




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And until next time, remember that building a business isn’t nearly as valuable as building a reputation.


Connect With Rory

Rory Vaden | The Brand Builders Group | Branding ServicesRory Vaden is the New York Times bestselling author of Take the Stairs. His insights have been featured in the Wall St. Journal, Forbes, CNN, Entrepreneur, Inc, and several other major media outlets. As a world-renowned speaker, his TEDx talk has been viewed over 2 million times. He is the Co-Founder of Brand Builders Group and the host of the Influential Personal Brand podcast. Visit for more.



Connect with AJ

Aj Vaden Keynote Speaker for The Brand Builders GroupAJ is a million-dollar consultant and international speaker. Over the last decade, she has built and managed multiple 7 figure businesses and is currently the CEO of Brand Builders Group where she uses her expertise and unique talents to both streamline back end operations as well as creatively engineer the company’s front-facing personal brands.



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