One of the best ways we keep busy all year around and increase our revenues is through Personal Branding Photography. In this article, we are going to discuss our top considerations you need to know before expanding your photography business into personal branding.
I think in its simplest terms, personal brand photography is a style of photography that is aimed at showing who the client really is. For this article we will be focusing on where you can really make an impact with personal branding … THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER. As social media has taken over our lives, more and more small businesses are forced to use it as a way to connect to potential clients. Clients read your facebook or instagram posts to see who you are. More people are developing RELATIONSHIPS with your brand online than ever before. In fact according to Sprout Social
73.4% of users follow a brand because they’re interested in the product or service the business offers. In addition, 30% of Millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month.
Now, if the business owner does not have images to show a clear brand image how will they generate new leads through social media?
Personal branding photography is really focused on the story so visitors can connect with them. This aspect of personal brand photography gets a little distorted depending on the photographer you talk to. Some photographers view telling a story as a creative headshot or product shots. But, this doesn’t tell the whole story. To really get into personal branding you have to really dig and get to know your client. You have to know their likes, talents, hobbies, their WHY statement, mission, vision, family lifestyle, mission, vision and just about anything else you can think of. To give an example, a client we recently booked who owns a stationary company is branching into home goods. Part of their personal branding shoot was in the kitchen not to show her products but to show off how her and her husbands love of cooking. We are trying to show different aspects of the company and family to paint a whole picture.
Corporate shoots are usually very different. In most of our corporate shoots, the company has a very tailored idea of what they want and most of the time we get very little autonomy to inject our creativity into their vision. Now in full respect, the corporation may need a very specific shoot for a specific advertising campaign they have planned since the beginning of the year. Their focus is not telling a story but trying to gain traction in a certain market for that period of time. A good example could be a seasonal promotion for Christmas at Target. This type of photography is still very prevalent in our society and is very important for corporations. The big difference between the two types of photography can be conveyed in their focus and message they want to convey.
The legal verbiage and expectations for a personal branding photography contract are way different than normal wedding or portrait photography. But when you think about it, it has to be. Most of your clients will only give you 2-4 months advance on a project so you may have to look at payment schedules and things of that nature. The other big difference is that you have to be very specific about the services you provide. We even have to go so far as to specify exactly how many images we will give. Our advice is to get a base contract from the Rachel Brenke, with the Law Tog for commercial use and licensing and then go seek a lawyers counsel to make sure your contract is compliant with your state.
YOU DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR COPYRIGHT, PERIOD!!! The only way I do is if the client pays me an obscene amount of money. Your copyright is your right to own your work and use it. With that said, your client will get some type of a license agreement from you to use the images in a manner that suits their business. Please keep in mind, you must let your clients know what is acceptable and how they are to use your images. Obviously, you want the use to be ethical but can they enter your photos in contests, or even profit off of them? These are just some things you need to really specify.
As wedding photographers, our clients can’t do anything to their images without our expressed permission. But with branding shoots you will have to let this go. Clients have to be able to use your images in their marketing material and on their website. This may involve some cropping or filters. Don’t get upset over this. Use it to your advantage by offering to apply the filter for an up sell.
Part of telling the clients story is editing according to their brand not your brand. Knowing how the client likes their pictures edited will allow you to deliver a product they can use almost immediately. Keep in mind this is not your branding shoot, this is for your client. Having a cohesive branding editing style really helps with instagram. In fact, Thomas Sanocki and Noah Sulman’s study on color relations looked at the effects of color harmony on short term visual memory. They found that people could memorize patterns when the colors were harmonious. This applies to this situation because if all of the images are edited the same, your clients customers are more likely to remember their brand when they look at their instagram page.
Bottomline, you need lighting equipment. If you are a natural light photographer you need to learn flash if you want to do personal branding photography. There is no other way to say it. Most personal branding photography is done inside with varying or mixed lighting conditions. Not to say you can’t use natural light to photograph some of the personal brand shoot, but again it comes down to the client and their brand. A good example is recently we did a shoot for a local mixologist. This shoot was done for branding shots and a cover shoot for her upcoming book. With that purpose in mind, we shot it in a way that matched her brand which was edgy, with a little romance. We also edited in a way that gave her more dark and contrast like images while at the same time giving some lighter ones so the publisher of the book could have multiple options. Now, if you look at our photography website (https://meredithryncarz.com) we don’t edit or shoot like this at all. But, this shoot is not about us it is for our client and their use.
In order to start marketing for personal branding you have to ensure yo know the pain points of your ideal client. Two of our clients biggest pain points are website images and Instagram posts. Your website is your first impression of you so why are so many owners website pictures out dated? In fact just talk to some business about their website, one of the first things you’ll hear is “oh I haven’t updated that in so long”. Imagine coming to the rescue on a white horse and saying I will give you all of the images you need and all I need is a couple hours of your time. This also plays well when dealing with the world of Instagram.
One of the most hated things to do among most business is to curate their Instagram feed. It is time consuming and most small business owners down’t have the know how to do it. One of the most successful pain points we use is too tell people we can give them a years worth of Instagram images in three hours. We have seen some people almost cry just over that.
In today’s post we have given you our top things to consider before you get into personal branding photography. Among these include what it is, differentiating it from corporate work, challenges, and marketing pain points. All of these tips are tested and proven in our business. The key is, before you start personal branding photography, make sure you do all of these things.
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