Photographer Hannah McClune from Visible by Hannah explores the importance of personal brand photography and provides us with some tips on how to get started.
Photography is a crucial step in building a strong brand in our digital world. If you want clients to notice you, then imagery that makes you appear polished and professional is a must.
This article will discuss how personal brand photography can be used to gain new clients and help strengthen your brand values. Hannah will also be sharing some tasks on how to do this well, with some key considerations. So, let's get started!
What is personal brand photography?
There is a common misconception that personal brand photography is the same as commercial/corporate, headshots or product photography.
There is one major difference and that is personality. Personal brand photography involves warm, authentic, real and genuine imagery to show the personality of you and your brand.
Often when you imagine business photography it is easy to feel restricted to images of your products or people using your service. These certainly do have their place; however, personal brand photography is a fresh new take on photographing your business with a personal element. It provides a ‘real’ approach that gets who you are across to your customers. If your imagery sets the right tone and has a professional look, you’ll find you can start connecting with your future clients.
Personal brand images usually include more of a lifestyle approach, which makes your brand relatable; people love to see what you do and how you are an expert in your field. Having photographs that present who you truly are, gives an authentic voice to your brand. If your social media and website have poorly taken images it will represent you in an equally poor way. If polished and professional is how you want to be seen, then that is how your pictures must appear too.
You can use your images to build relationships with your dream clients and encourage engagement with your brand. A personal brand is a mixture of your personal and professional self – your personality and your skills and experience. It sums up who you are and what you have to offer.
Do I need personal brand photography?
The simplest way to decide if you need brand photography, is to ask yourself, ‘Do I offer a service where myself or my team personally interact with my customers?’ If so, then yes you do!
The most important reason for having personal brand photos to share on your website and social media channels is it means you can attract customers who align with your personal values.
These kinds of bespoke photographs can give you an authentic visual presence to attract your ideal audience.
Tips on planning your brand shoot
The types of images taken on your personal brand shoot should be carefully planned out with the goal to appeal to the people you want to attract.
If you, your staff or someone you know has skills in photography, then you can take advantage of this. However, if you don’t, perhaps consider seeking help from a professional photographer. No matter how you do it, one of the very first steps before you get photographs taken is completing a detailed brief. There are two questions particularly important to consider: what are your brand values and who is your dream client?
1. What are your brand values?
This will give key direction to your photo session - from locations, to props to outfits. Ensure you consider the photos you are taking fit how you want to be seen and what you stand for.
To grow your business, you need to make it simple for your dream client to be able to see what you stand for and your brand values. Do you know yours?
If not, grab a mug of coffee and curl up on the sofa with this article, a pen and notepad. Let your mind wander to answer what it is that is important to you. What key principles do you want to reflect in your business?
Think deeply here; it is easy to choose wonderful, but vague words. For example, honest, friendly, reliable… they sound lovely, but they are not going to get you noticed. Instead, drill down further into what specifically makes those top line terms unique to you. Once you have a clear outline of your top brand values you need to be able to show them clearly.
2. Consider your dream client
This is all about exploring who you want the images to appeal to. Take some time to really understand and identify your prospects. Note down who they are and their values. Having this overview of them as an individual will be helpful, you’ll be able to understand what kinds of imagery will attract them.
To wrap up
People buy from people they know, like and trust. Building that rapport with prospect clients before they meet you is possible through your photography. It’s perfectly achievable to create professional and personal brand images on your own, but for those of you who are not skilled in this area, then consider seeking an experienced photographer that can understand your business’s values and work with you to bring out the best in you through imagery.
Hannah McClune became a photographer in 2011 and is the owner of Visible by Hannah. Before becoming a photographer, Hannah worked in marketing. Her role involved commissioning photo shoots from the concept and briefing through to using the resulting images in global campaigns. She has a holistic approach to how images fit into a business’s wider marketing needs. She has a degree and post graduate qualifications in Marketing while is also a recognized member of CIM.