I know. We are photographers because we like to be BEHIND the camera, not in front of it. But, hear me out here…
Your community, your followers, your future potential clients NEED to see your face. They need to see the face behind the brand. They need to see the face behind the stories you share and the beautiful images that you post.
Why? Because it is really hard for someone to get to know you when they can’t see you.
Social media is like one big online dating site. Everyone is getting to know one another. We make friends. We learn who we like and who we don’t like. We choose to click “follow” when we find a new account that inspires and uplifts us. We unfollow or ignore the accounts that are not right for us or make us feel bad.
A big part of this game is actually SEEING the person behind the feed. Sure, we watch videos of each other on Instagram stories or through Facebook Lives. Sure we take all the selfies with our dogs and our kids. But y’all there is nothing that can replace a beautiful, PROFESSIONAL photo of yourself!
Gone are the days of the stiff “headshot” session. I mean, okay sure you can still have one of those done, but why would you? Branding sessions are the new version of this. When you hire a photographer with the right vision for you and your brand, the results can be amazing!
When you are starting to think about a branding session, there are a few things to consider:
Hire the right photographer– The photographer you choose should have a body of work that matches your vibe. Or they must be ready and willing to recreate it for you. For example, if you don’t realize this already, I am fun, colorful and laid back. So naturally I want my branding sessions to reflect that. As you can see from the examples below, the photographers I have chosen to work with achieved those results in their work.
Think beyond the headshot– Make sure that the photographer you hire is going to get a variety of images beyond a headshot. You want to make sure to get both up close and full-body shots. You want to get details and pullbacks. You want images holding your camera and any other special “accessories” that feel on brand to you.
Plan it out– Work with your photographer to really plan out your session. Make sure your outfits, locations and the accessories you pack are all well-thought-out. I have found that the easiest thing to do is to either head to Pinterest or Instagram and start saving images as an inspirations board.
Relax– I know, it is SO hard to be in front of the camera. And the first few minutes will definitely feel awkward. But just play some music, take a deep breath and dig deep from your confidence well. Fake laugh, play with your hair, pull out your inner supermodel and rock it. When in doubt, talk with the photographer. Be conversational. This tends to be the thing that can help you relax the most. That and having a glass of champagne before the session starts:)
Consider hiring ALL the professionals– Yes, I am talking about hair and makeup. I know, hiring a photographer for a branding session is super expensive as it is, and hiring hair and makeup artists just add to the costs. BUT, these added costs will also add to your confidence level. If having professional hair and makeup done is not your jam, at least consider treating yourself to a good blow out.
Before I go I want to leave you with some examples from past branding sessions. I hope that these inspire you to hire someone for your own session. I have the photographer all linked below so that you can reach out to them directly.
And for fun, a few behind-the-scenes shots from the session with my friend Jodie (Reverie Photo Co). My daughter was at the session with us and she played photographer to capture what the experience felt like.