Let's get real, IT MATTERS WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. And I'm not saying that in a shallow "pop those extensions in, slather 18 layers of foundation, contouring and powder, finished off with lash extentions" kind of way. (Though, I am wearing all of that with the exception of only one layer of foundation.) I am talking about how you portray yourself on social media, your website and any branding collateral you use. In the world of small business owners, we are often the face of our brands, we are the ones attending networking meetings, coffee dates and are the ones giving mad quick elevator pitches as we try to sell ourselves and our business in the least pushy way possible. Needless to say, people are going to take notice of what we look like, and it's important that what you display online looks like you and represents who you are as business.
Now, most business owners start with the "I will get a headshot done!" plan, and they book a photographer for headshots and come out with one or two images they can use on their LinkedIn or their business cards (for certain industries). Which is great if that is what you are looking for! But more often then not, there is some confusion in what you are getting when you book the photographer with the varying terminology of branding headshots, branding photos, corporate headshots or anything else. It is extremely important to make sure you clarify your expectations with your photographer to make sure you are getting what you are expecting!
Headshots and branding photography are VERY different things.
Branding photography, the kind that I get done by Jessica Waugh Photography, is alot more than a headshot. They are a series of images that capture what my business is about and the feel of the woman behind the business (that's me!) and are then used in a variety of ways across my social media, website, blog and print collateral. Afterall, in a one woman operation, I'm selling my skills and expertise, as well as my personality and it's important that personality shows through. Branding photography can also include flat lays, product photography and anything else that represents your business.
After my shoot this morning with Jessica, I asked her for her advice for people who are looking to get their headshots or branding photos done.
Here are some of her top tips!
1. Make sure you do not drastically change your look for your image (ie new hair color or a huge chop or super long extensions that you aren't planning on maintaining etc)
A large part of branding photos is to be recognized as yourself, large drastic changes that may be changed back, reduce the chances that your photos will be recognized as you, which kind of defeats the purpose when you are trying to build a brand reputation.
2. Be authentic and professional. Practice posing and getting comfy in front of the camera by trying stuff out in front of a mirror. Knowing your "good side" is key!
Getting your photo taken is always awkward at first, one of the best ways to get over that is to practice (though it does feel kind of silly at first!) Practicing your poses, sides, and "looks" goes a long way in making a shoot short and successful! That comfort shows in the photos and helps make you look confident and professional.
3. Dress to Impress (Not Distract!)
Clothing should be brand free, print free and check with a color wheel to choose a top that complements your eyes. The eyes are the focal point in a great headshot.
If you get stuck, call your photographer and ask for their advice!
A good photographer can help you pick clothing that will show up well, as well as aid in posing you for the most flattering angles. Just like you would use a mechanic to fix your car, you should use a photographer for you branding shots. They know what they are doing and are better skilled at getting you the results you want. And being recognizable in your social media, website and blogs are great way to gain exposure and connect with your followers. Building relationships whether online or in person, does start with first impressions, and it is especially important as a business owner that the first impression is a great one!
Should you need an amazing photographer, this lady is THE LADY for branding photography and headshots (she also does amazing family photography and couples)
Now it does take a bit of effort for me to get myself set for photos, so BIG SPECIAL THANKS TO THE LADIES WHO KEEP ME LOOKING GREAT!:
Lorri at Lorri's Hair Den on Kerr (for keeping my hair fabulous and matching my extentions perfectly)
Holly at Lashes By Holly (for giving me those gorgeous lashes that I would never be able to acheive naturally)