I wanted to take this time to talk to you a little bit about how to select a professional personal branding photographer, what to look for, and how to prepare for the shoot. I’ll take you behind the scenes of my own personal photo shoot with professional photographer Heike Delmore.
First of all, when people work with Brand Builders Group, we give a series of action items at the end of their brand strategy days. These action items are customized to where each person is in the process. The most common of all the things that are not already in place (or need enhancing) is visual branding. This is your logo and color schemes, personal branding photography, and also selecting a website designer and having that website done.
Where To Start
In the space of personal branding photography, you want to look for a photographer who has actually done personal branding photography before. It’s a very different approach than a bridal photographer, a sports photographer who does action shots, or a landscape photographer. You definitely don’t want a photographer who only specializes in still items or food.
While you are looking for that photographer, you want to look at their work. Make sure that they have a visual brand of their own. You will want to look at their Instagram, Facebook and website. Is it up to date? What’s the quality of those photos? You want to get comfortable with them and recognize their style.
Scheduling the Shoot
Most personal branding photographers should offer different packages and some may offer a monthly package if you are local or they are easily assessable where you would have ongoing photos done over a period of time. Could be 3, 6, even 12 months in different locations and different outfits. So that’s really a personal preference and based on your own budget. This is a great option though because you can collect these headshots and full body situational photos to use in your brand. For example, if you’re a podcaster use props like your microphone and headphones. Or if you are an author or an aspiring author, take photos with a book in your hand – you can superimpose the cover of your own book in the future.
You want to think ahead. These are some of the things we at Brand Builders talk you through – questions that your ideal client may have. Look at those questions, look at the answers you have for them. Play that into your photography so that when you do posing, you can use those photos effectively and so that it represents whatever that topic is that you’re speaking about.
If you are a Brand Builders client, you will have a workbook. Provide that workbook to the photographer ahead of time so they can get to know your brand intimately and best prepare for your photo shoot.
Make-Up and Hair and What To Wear
One thing that is highly recommended is, if you’re a woman, definitely include hair and makeup. A personal brand photographer will usually have someone they can recommend. Makeup that you wear every day is very, very different than makeup for photography. If the makeup is done appropriately, you have a lot less photo editing that will need to be done.
To prepare for the shoot, they ask you to come with washed and dried hair, and clean moisturized skin, free of makeup. Heika recommends against spray tanning because it shows up on film to be somewhat cakey or uneven. The photographer can adjust your skin tone on film in post-processing. You want to make sure that your hair, if you get your hair colored and highlighted, that it’s freshly done, within a week of the shoot because you really want to put your best face forward. You want to represent your brand in a professional way.
Heike recommends four to five outfits and accessories including shoes. She says you don’t normally see the shoes all that much in the photos, but when there’s a full outfit, you feel better! She is incredible with screening her clients and getting to know them. We had three prep calls for this shoot so that she’s really clear what it is I want to capture and what it is I’m going to be doing in the future.
Now you just have to make your way to your photographer (or some of them will come to you.) Heike travels all over the world, so she’s for hire, everywhere, which is so nice. She actually is a preferred vendor with Brand Builders. So if you have an interest in working with her, we can connect you through our brand implementation services team.
With your personal branding photography, you would create a subfile that you would put in your brand book. A brand book is where you house all your visual branding. Your logos, your fonts, your photos, your colors – right down of the Pantone colors. All of that would be in an easily assessable file for you to use when you’re doing your social postings, promotions, or updating your website. Whether it be for you or a marketing team or if you’re working with our brand implementation services team, where we can manage your brand for you. It just makes life so much easier. Having easy access to a file where everything is housed.
Always make sure that if you have an extreme change in your appearance or if your photos are outdated, do new photos. You want your photos to be current and represent who you are today. Not 10 years ago, not 5 years ago. If you cut off your long hair and dyed it red and you used to be blonde, you’re going to need new photos. You want to make sure people can easily recognize you!
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.