What is Professional Branding?
You’ve probably been hearing me talk about Professional Branding Photos these past couple of months and are wondering what exactly I’m even talking about. Is that just a fancy name for headshots? Stock photos? Something else? Let me try to clear that up for you so you can decide for yourself if this is something that you need for your business.
Business owners know the first contact that most clients have with you these days is online, whether that be social media, website, etc… So how do we show our clients who we are and what we’re about?
Yep, your photos.
If the images you’re putting out there aren’t clearly showing who you are and the story behind your brand, what message do you think your clients are getting? Do you look professional? Trustworthy? FUN?
Are you envisioning your own collection of blurry, dark, selfies on your phone right now? Don’t cringe. Professional Branding Photos probably aren’t something you’ve taught in business school or in any other program so I’m here to give you the low-down on this unique style of portraits and how I personally photograph them!
What are Professional Branding Portraits and who are they for?
First of all, Branding Portraits are different than headshots. Where your standard headshots are typically just a straight-on, from the shoulders up smiling portrait of you, Professional Branding photos take it many steps further and tell a story that’s authentic to you. Branding Portraits tell stories of who you are, what you stand for and what your expertise is. They are for entrepreneurs, creators, and small business owners of any field who want to grow their business in today’s hyper-visual world of social media and online media.
How does it work?
Each session is completely custom to you and your business and is a combination of lifestyle, headshot, product/service stock photos, and documentary/behind-the-scenes images. Don’t stress, it’s not as intense as it sounds and I’ll always guide you through everything.
First, we’ll work together to design a shoot in advance that will target the lighting, props, and mood you want to convey in your business — resulting in high quality photos necessary for your marketing content. From a Facebook cover photo to weeks of consistent and relevant images for Instagram to behind-the-scenes images for your website, you will be granted a commercial use agreement to use the photos anywhere you do business (which is a legal requirement).
Because your brand is essentially you, it’s gotta be multidimensional. Who you are is so much more than what you do for work. We’re going to highlight your personality, what it feels like to work with you, the tools you use, your hobbies and life outside of work, your products, and maybe even your family or dog through a few different stories. What’s a story, you ask? Let me give you some examples. One story may be that you work from home on the couch, so we’ll show you there. Another may be that you love biking with your spouse on your time off, so that’ll be a second story. A third could be that your favorite tools are paint brushes and a palette, so we’ll be sure to highlight those in the third story. See how these stories are designed to show authenticity and to connect you with your audience?
Oh, and you’re going to have a few outfit and scene changes for variety and I’ll have a professional hair and makeup artist to help keep you looking fresh and beautiful throughout the shoot. You’re gonna look awesome, my friend!
What do I get out of it?
Each story will give you images that are consistent, authentic and high quality, ready to be used anywhere you do business! Because branding photos are designed to help you grow your business, I don’t want to distract from that in any way. Your high-resolution images will all come watermark free with no requirements to tag the photographer. I’ll take careful note to create images with the goals we laid out during the planning consult so that some of your images have plenty of space to the left/right for you to throw on words or graphics.
Wanna know what one of the best parts are? Not having to wonder what to post on social media, if it’s a good-enough photo, and how many times you have to hit start on the self-timer as you run to try to take a good selfie. Depending on the package you choose, you could end up with 30 days, 90 days or even a year of photos!
What package is right for my business?
My branding sessions come in a few different packages so that they’re beneficial to small business owners and entrepreneurs based on their needs. If you have an upcoming launch or new product about to release - this is especially when you need at least 60 days of updated branding photo content leading up to the launch, during the launch and following the launch. If you just want to maintain consistency and professional imagery all year long, you may want the collection with quarterly photoshoots. If your business is very new, I’d recommend starting with the starter package for a month of content so you can try it out and see how it works for your business!
Is it really necessary?
I can’t make this decision for you, but I can leave you with some interesting facts. Like the fact that you can get TRIPLE the amount of likes on a Facebook post if you post an image than if you don’t. Or that on average, 40% of people are more likely to like or engage with your photo if it shows your face? You need to show your you and unless your a photographer, that can be difficult to do on your own. Heck, even as a photographer I don’t like taking my own portraits for business use because that’s just stressful, ya’ll. Save yourself time and hire a professional who will just guide you through looking your best, saving you the time and energy to pour into your business where you need it!