The term, “be authentic” is thrown around a lot in the world of business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s true that it’s the best way to connect with your ideal clients so there’s no confusion between who you are online, and can lead to attract your tribe. But when is it authentically you and when is it “faking it? Here’s how I approach keeping mine own brand as well as my clients’ brands elevated but still authentic!
The Best Version of Yourself
When helping my clients look and feel authentic to themselves, their brand, and the images they’re wanting to put out there, it’s important to remember to think of it as showing the best version of yourself. Do you like to get done up to go out on the town or before a super important client meeting? Does a little extra sass kick in and give you a boost of confidence before a meeting? Do you psych yourself up, listen to Beyonce, and then make your sales call?
We cannot be this version of ourselves all of the time, it’s impossible. But the convenient thing about a photoshoot is that you can step in these roles throughout and that’s the confident, best version, that everyone loves to work with!
Save the au naturale look with no makeup and a sweatshirt for your Instagram Reels and Facebook Lives. Your professional photoshoot should definitely be elevated.
Hair and Makeup
I approach this topic with clients like this: Great lighting washes out your skin, including the every day makeup (or even going out makeup) you normally wear. I use professional makeup artists who also style hair so that everything holds up throughout a photoshoot but also highlights the best of you!
Homes are a great way to capture a more personable brand, especially when you work out of your home a lot (but you don’t necessarily have to have a home based business to capture that personable feeling a home can have). Now that we have that home location in mind, here are some reasons why I choose AirBnbs and hotels:
- Your personal residence may not be indicative of your brand vibe or style
- The lighting in your home may not be suitable
- It’s extremely stressful to clean your home for a photoshoot
- An AirBnB or hotel is already clean, styled, and ready to go
Using Location and Wardrobe as a Vision Board
As a branding photographer, I help my clients visualize and conceptualize all the ways they can actually use their brand images as a visual representation of the woman they are wanting to become in the near future! Choosing a higher end home, hotel, lovely, upscaled wardrobe, all help to see yourself as that woman you are destined to be. It can even mentally take your brand and yourself to that next level. What you show is what you sell! Not to mention, seeing yourself in the best light possible is a huge confidence booster.
*pro tip: When I talk about thinking of that vision board, I mean the goals you have for yourself in the near future, not incorporating a private jet you plan on having in 10-20 years. That may feel too inauthentic at this point unless you are close to that milestone.
Staging Action Shots
Love a good glass of wine or other beverage to unwind? It’s okay to stage that situation, as long as it still feels authentic to what you would do. For example, if you are an avid tea drinker, but you feel like you need to show yourself drinking coffee because that’s what your followers or others in your industry do, resist the urge. That would be faking it.
If you are a business coach, life coach, or you work in person with clients in any capacity, it’s okay to stage that meeting or training session rather than showing a real life situation. When you’re talking for real, it’s not always the most attractive looks captured in the moment when you’re forming words. I’ll guide clients through pointing, giggling, and we get those personable looking images that are authentic to what you do and the way in which you do it.
*pro tip: When bringing in a person for staged action shots, it’s ideal to work with friends or perhaps a client you’ve been working with a long time that you may have a personal relationship with, as apposed to a real life client. Also, think about using someone who looks like your ideal client.
Curious about your own branding photo shoot? I am a traveling branding photographer! Contact me to set up a chat and see if we’d be a good fit for having worked together: https://melissaraelynnphotography.com/contact
Branding photos in this post are Lily and Co Creative, web designer and brand strategist. Check out her work here: https://www.lilyandcocreative.com/
Melissa is a Florida based Personal Brand photographer who has helped hundreds of women in business create cohesive online brands with polished photos that feel authentic to them. You’ll find her traveling to cities across the United States, photographing highly motivated women ready to elevate their website, socials, and other marketing.
Melissa saw a need to further educate the busy professionals she photographed. She created The Intuitive Brand Course through this journey where she goes deeper than knowing what photos to have on your website. This education has needle moving messaging strategies that helps you stand out in today’s market. This can all be done in an intuitive way that doesn’t feel salesy.