A few weeks back, you may remember we took you behind the scenes of a photoshoot with Personal Brand Strategist Kristen Cullen. She talked about how to select a professional photographer, what to look for, and how to prepare for the shoot. Today we get to see the final product as Kristen shares more tips on selecting the best photos and what to do with them once you have them.
Within a reasonable amount of time, your personal branding photographer will set up a photoshoot reveal with you to go over all of the photos taken during your shoot. Most photographers will take literally hundreds of pictures with the hopes of being able to present a varied assortment of photo options for you to choose from. They will typically preselect the best of the best for you beforehand. Heike Delmore, who took my photos, sets up a Zoom video meeting for those clients out of her area to do a photoshoot reveal, as do many traveling photographers.
The Selection Process:
Depending on your package, you will have the opportunity to select the ones you like the most. It is important to remember a few things:
- You want to have a varied selection of outfits and settings
- You want to select not only the smiling photos but the more subdued, melancholy and serious ones as well. (Think ahead about how you are going to use them). Most people’s natural state is happy and smiling but you have to remember that the topics you may cover may also include some serious topics. Make sure you can properly represent that.
- Headshots and full body shots that are generic in nature, as well as situational photos. For example:
- Podcast settings with a microphone and headphones
- Writing in a journal
- Health and wellness/nutrition settings staging a workout and/or in the kitchen or garden with fresh foods
- If you are a speaker, presenting in front of a group of people
- Are you a coach? Photos of you interviewing another person (in person and on your computer.)
- If you are an aspiring or established author, some pictures of you holding a book that can later be superimposed with your yet to be released book cover and of course if you have the actual book, use it as a prop) and so on…REMEMBER TO SET THE STAGE!
- Variety, variety and more variety! These photos will be repurposed. Your followers will see your posts on a daily basis. Purchase the biggest package they offer or negotiate a monthly or quarterly photo package to be able to build out your options.
No photo is “perfect” even with the best photographer, the best lighting, professional hair and make-up. With that said, no person is perfect as well. In the age of digital enhancements, photoshop and a multitude of photo filters, leave the enhancement touches up to the professional. They are trained to make a photo look the best it can without making it look like any touch-ups have been done. They will automatically enhance your photos, as you are paying for that service; just make sure to go through each and every selected photo with them and make any specific enhancement requests to avoid any miscommunication.
For example, there may be lint picked up on a photo or a wrinkle or a crease in a dress, ask to have those fixed. If you aren’t pleased with your wrinkles, bags under your eyes or maybe you have a photoshoot stress blemish, have them enhanced. Just make sure you look like yourself (and your age). Note: This is important to see ahead of time and one of the reasons why it is important to check out the professional photographer’s photos and enhancement/editing quality before you book them.
Let’s Post Away! (Not so fast):
So now you have a plethora of fabulous photos of yourself. You are feeling pretty good about yourself right about now. Even if you are a person who really does not like getting their picture taken or typically don’t like pictures of yourself, if your photographer did their job well, you are IN LOVE with your personal branding photos! You are excited to share them with the world.
NOT SO FAST! One of the hardest parts of building your personal brand is having to wait. A LOT! Patience is an integral part of your personal branding journey and this is why: Unless you are ready to do your BIG LAUNCH, hold off using those pictures. The idea behind this strategy is to make a big impact on the world when you actually launch your personal brand (or relaunch your new and improved personal brand!). This would be the same advice with regards to any of your visual branding, including new logos/colors and website in addition to your photos. You will be tempted to, I promise.
Look at it this way: the investment of time and money into your visual branding isn’t a small one. It has worth. Savor it. Plan it out. Look at the photos you have and the content you have planned and pair them up. Remember you will typically have more content topics then photos, so repurpose them mindfully.
Note: over time you will continue to add to your personal branding photo file to have at your disposal moving forward.
Where and How to Use your Personal Branding Photos:
Change all of your profile pictures on all your social media platforms. It is okay to use the same one across all platforms. Make sure you zoom in on more of a headshot (or crop a favorite full shot) so your image can be clearly seen in those small icons.
Choose the photos that you will use on your homepage and throughout your entire website. Remember to select one for your BIO/All About You page that really captures you best.
Your media and speaker’s kits are typically multi-page. The cover page would be a headshot, a full-body shot midway, an action shot of you speaking if you are a speaker and another photo for the back page.
THEN use the remainder of the photos for your social media posts, print promotions, guest speaker promos etc…
And one last tip:
Don’t forget to add professional pictures to your professional personal branding photo file on a regular basis. And of course, if you radically change your look (ex: hairstyle and/or color, shave off or grow a beard/mustache, lose/gain an extreme amount of weight etc…) make sure you update your photos to reflect who you are in the present, not the past.
Remember the reason why professional personal branding photography is so important to properly and professionally represent your personal brand is that it is the first contact people will typically make with you. If your photos are not representing the best version of who you are and not in alignment with your brand characteristics and offerings, then you will lose an opportunity to connect with those who need you with clarity and leave a lasting impression. How you present yourself (your packaging) is no different than the packaging for a retail brand; the difference between name brand packaging versus generic or no-name brand packaging…you ARE the name brand! We all have negative self-talk, part of the photographer’s job is to put you at ease and feel good. Heike is a pro when it comes to creating a safe and comfortable space for her clients. Have fun with it all!
Do you want to learn how you can make a greater impact with your personal brand? Request a Free Personal Brand Strategy Call. Get clear on who you want to become and how you will make more money.
Kristen Cullen “KC” is a founding member and Personal Brand Strategist with Brand Builders Group. Working with NYT bestselling authors, health and wellness experts, award-winning and internationally recognized attorneys, physicians, lifestyle mentors, and 7-figure influencers. She speaks and writes on resilience and the power of never giving up, on yourself or others. As a part of that effort, KC founded a cancer advocacy program. That program focuses on facilitating patient-centred care in centers around the country. KC has a specialty in helping entrepreneurs and startups uncover their brand identity and excel in their marketing journey. She has a listening heart and free of judgement. KC is dedicated to helping people live a life they truly love.
Happy brand building!
Photo Credit: IG @heikedelmore and Facebook Heike Stoecker Delmore of Delmore Photography
Makeup Credit: IG @mmbeauty_windsor
Hair Cred: IG @trayellehair