With so many personal brands today, how can you position yourself as a top person in your city and make money off of your passion? The answer is through personal branding photography. In this article we discuss What is Personal Branding Photography and Why is it Important?
Personal branding is about you as an individual, and it’s critical. Your brand gives the viewer insight into who you are as a person, what your passions are, what trends you like, etc. Quite simply, your personal brand is the first thing people will notice, and it will be crucial in whether they want to work with you.
Branding yourself with photos is hard, but there’s a multitude of benefits you gain with it. Our goal is to explain what personal branding photography is, why it’s important, and how it can benefit you.
Table of Contents
What is Personal Branding?
A person’s personal brand is his image and reputation in the minds of others. It is about increasing your value to others by communicating and improving upon who you are as a professional. In today’s marketplace, where we all want to be recognized for our unique skills, strengths, and capabilities, your personal brand is the item that sets you apart from your peers.
- It is an effective way to establish your credibility as a serious professional with a desirable skillset.
Personal branding doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t require that you do something drastic like changing your name. The key is to keep your audience in mind and to focus on the reputation that you want to cultivate.
When you take this approach, building your personal brand becomes a natural part of who you are, what you do, and how you interact with others. Your brand will grow organically and without any extra work from you.
- And when you put the time into developing your personal brand properly, your end result will be worthwhile: a powerful reputation and connections in all the right places.
Being aware of your personal style and the lifestyle you want to project can help you determine what projects are a good match for you. But before you get too serious about establishing or enhancing your personal brand, first determine what it is that you want people to know about you – specifically, what skills do you have that can benefit an employer or client?
Is there anyone who might be willing to give you a reference based on your skills? Make a list of your credentials and share it with potential clients. This will keep them from asking for this vital information since they should be more focused on your portfolio.
TLDR; personal branding is how you market yourself in the professional sphere by creating a recognizable name and image. It is certainly derived from your reputation and public perception, but it’s also more than that. It’s a collection of all the personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses that make up who you are as an individual.
What is Personal Branding Photography?
Personal branding photography creates professional photos that help you look more desirable in your field and stand out against your competition. It helps people see why you are different from others and helps them understand what kind of work you do.
The idea is to create a variety of images that portray you in the best light possible, creating a collection of highly desirable shots meant to represent your brand, as well as your individual personality.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that traditional headshots aren’t effective anymore, but for some people, it can be difficult to find the best angle or pose themselves. This is where personal branding photography steps in; the photographer helps you feel more at ease and capture the correct images for you.
- Personal branding photography is an integral part of any business, no matter what size. It is just as important to individuals as it is to any other company. Those who are successful in their field of work have created a brand for themselves that distinguishes them from the rest which helps them build a client base.
Types of Personal Branding Photography
Personal Branding Photography is a completely creative process, making infinite possibilities for the types of brands available. That being said, these are the most common types of personal branding shots that you can take ideas from.
- Basic Headshot Photos – The most fundamental, must-have image for personal branding is the headshot. A simple headshot is a fantastic place to start if you have a restricted budget or are just starting your business. Not only are headshots simple to make, but they are also some of the most important branding pictures you can have.
- Promotional & Advertising Photos – Photographing yourself to sell a product or service is a great way to help potential customers to associate your product or service with real humans. These images help customers visualize their potential and how they will react to what you’re selling.
- Action & Interaction Photos – This category includes any image that displays you offering a service experience or demonstrating how to utilize a product. When a customer understands how your service or product works and will be provided, they can be confident that they will receive the same quality of service if they choose to work with you.
- Lifestyle Portrait Photos – Lifestyle photos allow you to truly express yourself and create something one-of-a-kind. Images that display a person’s face in intriguing surroundings stimulate a potential client’s interest and lead them to pay attention as they browse through their social feeds. Profile photographs, “get to know me” posts, and graphics for products like ebooks, downloadable manuals, and online courses are all frequently used for lifestyle shots.
- Behind-the-scenes Photos – These photographs provide you with the ability to take visitors behind the scenes and share exclusive footage that gives them a closer look at your process. Attractive behind-the-scenes imagery includes photos of you gaining inspiration for a new painting or working on your computer while writing a new blog. These photos are great for any website page or promotional document where you want to provide a more detailed look at your method.
- Team &/or Business Partner Photos – Group images of you and your team are vital to have on hand if you have workers and/or a business partner. People appreciate seeing who they will be working with or purchasing from, and displaying photographs of your staff with your brand allows clients to know both you and the people with whom you operate. Potential clients and consumers will gain trust from seeing photographs of you and your team together; think of these images as a means to introduce all of your company’s personnel to your audience.
Why Is Personal Branding Photography Important?
Through the following points, you will understand why personal branding photography is so vital.
1. Develops Brand Identity
Developing a cohesive personal brand identity is an important part of personal branding. It will help you become more confident in what you do so that your finished product benefits from your experience and expertise.
The best brand identity design will include more than just a single photograph. It will incorporate other elements, such as typography, color palettes, and photographs of other people to liven up the design and make it more interesting.
Without a recognizable identity, you can’t find an audience or generate income. Branding needs to work in tandem with your budget, and your budget needs to be based on what you are trying to use your brand name for.
Businesses come and go, while brands live on. Being memorable is key in building a personal brand that will last, and photography helps you achieve that.
2. Catches Your Consumer’s Attention
Individual photographs just don’t get as much attention as they used to.
It’s not just Millennials, either – the number of likes and comments even sunk for some of the “traditional” brands’ images. Forget about individual social media posts, you need something more engaging than that if you want your photographs to be seen.
Creatively photographing yourself can help you draw consumer attention in the face of bigger brands. Any artist can replicate someone else’s idea, but not every artist will be successful if they do so. As consumers continue to spend more time on the internet, it is imperative to please them through personal photographic branding (alongside marketing and improved quality control of course).
3. Build Your Visual Identity
A great visual identity is the foundation of a successful brand. It grabs people’s attention, draws them in, and turns them into clients. It creates a consistent and professional appearance that clearly represents your personal brand every time.
There are a variety of factors that go into branding and building your visual identity. Choosing a name is just one place to start, but there are many other elements that can be considered when establishing your visual brand.
Think about what stands out to you. Who are you? Are there any concepts or thoughts that make you stand apart from others? Or are you just looking for a general theme? The most important aspect of establishing a visual identity is making sure it’s absolutely reflective of who you are and what your work is about.
For a start, you will be developing a logo/catchphrase that embodies what you stand for, visually. Additionally, all of your photos must be edited to perfection in post-production so that a client doesn’t need a second glance to be amazed by them.
Take a look at successful personal brands that are doing things you like, and figure out what makes them so visually distinctive.
The development of your visual style will define the difference between being a brand and being a person that talks about being a brand.
In today’s marketing world, we need to be able to create visual identities for everything from events and products to blogs and portfolios. If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should invest in building your own visual identity, the answer is that you definitely should!
4. Identify Your Customer Needs
Most of the problems that people run into stem from not being aware of what the customer needs. The best brands will always focus on meeting those needs, and they never forget that it’s their job to make someone else’s day just a little bit better. It’s not just about producing good images – it’s about creating experiences and memories for others too!
Consumers are driven by their emotions and intentions, but for the most part, they are unaware of your services. Personal branding photography helps you inform them but more importantly, helps them understand their needs. Once you understand what drives them, you will be able to determine a gap in the market.
The better you understand customer needs, the easier it is to provide solutions that customers care about. Thus, identifying customer needs lays the foundation for commercial success.
5. Helps You Use Authentic Images
Aesthetically, there’s a lot to be said for using your own photos because you have full control over your brand’s visual language. Authentic images are exciting to see, creating energy and mood that are hard to replicate.
You’ll be using authentic photos shot by you to brand yourself, which will set you a class above the rest.
However, the more ethical reason for using authentic images in your branding images is to protect you and any models that may appear in your photos from legal repercussions. It allows your personal brand to continue without having to worry about financial compensation or photo theft.
This can help with not only the public’s trust in your services but also their understanding of the value of your brand.
6. Build Your Community
It’s up to you to define how you want to grow our collective. You can sit back and complain about the state of things, or you can be proactive in building the community that you want – which is one of the important byproducts of personal branding photography.
Building strong relationships with other businesses is an excellent way to connect and grow, both as a person and as a brand. For example, experienced members of online business forums frequently use the “give to receive” mentality in order to help people better their work. This is a way that a community can give back, by offering constructive criticism.
Once you’ve been successful in identifying like-minded individuals, it’s important to set aside time to talk, work together, and take photographs together! Collaborative photographic branding leads to the mix and growth of communities.
Even if they turn out to be competitors, you can still grow together in the long run by collaborating and creating “win-win” scenarios.
7. Improve Your Ideas for Photography
As your brand and as your brand grows, it will challenge you to push yourself one step further. Selling to one client will give you the motivation to sell more, thus working more on your branding photography.
This will inevitably lead to an improved understanding of photography since you will be working with many photographers down the line. At some point, you may find that you are the one guiding your branding photoshoots, not vice versa.
Not only will this help you brand photoshoots, but all kinds of photography in general. to take photoshoots of your business, personal life, and so on and so forth.
8. Helps You Gain a Competitive Edge
Years ago, brands had to just offer something unique in order to generate business and stand out from the crowd. And that is still important. But nowadays, it’s all about having the latest tools to give you an edge, whether or not you have originality.
Offers of quick services with highly developed skills made it possible to offer clients a competitive edge – something you can display using personal branding photography.
After all, consumers are likely to purchase what they want if they can afford it, but they need to see it first!
9. Helps You Make Things Convenient
The surest way to achieve customer satisfaction is by trying to make things convenient for them. With the chaos most of us have to deal with in our lives, any time saved is a big deal.
Showing your brand through photography makes your and the client’s life easy as possible. Pictures are easier to remember and often contain a lot more information than plain words can convey.
This can be done by making you/your products/your services look appealing. Also, visually demonstrating the onboarding/buying process makes it simpler for your customers. Showing such tiny details through branding is also a great way to affirm authenticity and quality, enhancing convenience.
Ultimately, the customer is mostly right. They have to be happy, and they have to come back. That’s what a loyal client means for any brand, especially for personal businesses where customer acquisition costs are ridiculously high.
10. Helps You Stay Consistent
If you are going to brand yourself, you have to put time and effort into creating a consistent look for your work. Consistency is important in branding because it signals to your clients that they can trust you to deliver high-quality results each and every time.
It doesn’t matter how small or large your personal business is. It could be one person running everything or twenty-four employees – consistency through branding is a must.
By consistently presenting your clientele with the same motif in your personal branding photography, you create a bond between yourself and your clients. Your clients will be able to recognize, without thinking, what they are looking at as a part of your brand.
Although personal branding has been around for many years, it is only becoming a crucial focal point for those trying to carve out a niche in their market or field.
You might recognize the importance of personal branding photography if you’ve ever looked up top freelancers and found that even though they all produce similar work, they can be separated into categories based on visuals.
Personal branding photography is an ever-evolving concept in the internet era, but it remains one of the most important aspects of a person’s business and/or services. Just make sure it’s authentic and based on your own ethics and principles as a person!
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Jacob Wyatt is the Content & Digital Marketing Head at Clipping Path Studio – one of the best 24/7 photo editing agencies. Alongside marketing, Jacob has been involved in multiple roles like photography, instruction, and branding for 7+ years. Jacob’s expertise helps brands create content that gets them a targeted audience.