Take your personal brand to the next level through images

October 11, 2014


The importance in today’s market to brand yourself in order to achieve career success is becoming more and more paramount. This is called personal branding.

Identify and then communicate what makes you unique, relevant and different for your target audience. Utilize your strengths, skills, passions, and values to stand out from your competitors.

The images you choose to represent yourself and your brand are one of the most important aspects of personal branding. Personal branding images are designed for your social media profile photos and for your marketing collateral such as website and brochures.

These images are designed to reflect your authentic personality and attract clients. They are a higher quality and more effective option than your standard headshot. And whether or not people are conscious or willing to admit it, the images you choose to represent yourself make an impact on how you are perceived by others.

A writer chose her photo shoot in a library.

A writer chose her photo shoot in a library.

That said, the images should reflect how you want to be viewed by potential clients, employers and partners. It’s important to know who you are and what the best qualities are that you bring to the workforce.

Professional photos are essential for success because we are an image-based society in 2014. The photos could be someone’s first impression of you, and don’t you want to make a great first impression?

As a photographer, it is my job to make sure my clients are proud to share their images with the world. I provide my clients with a personal branding session to achieve just that.

Here are some important tips that will help you in planning your photo shoot and achieving images that take your personal brand to the next level.

Tip 1. Pick the right location.

Pick a location that is reflective of you as an individual and that compliments your business. Studios are great for images that need a very precise type of lighting or when the weather is not great.

Focus on picking a location that has meaning to you. The location should be somewhere you feel comfortable and where you unwind to let your true personality shine through.

Tip 2. Request formal and candid shots.

Formal portraits are when you are posed and your eyes are towards the camera. Candid shots on the other hand are images captured when you are most comfortable and you are talking or laughing, for example. These shots show more emotion.

Make sure you request a mix of both, whether it is 20% formal and 80% candid or 50/50. Remember, having a mix of posed and candid images is a great way of allowing potential clients to get to know you even more.

This life coach choose to have her photo shoot done by the water.

This life coach chose to have her photo shoot done by the water.

Tip 3. Trust your photographer.

As a photographer, I feel privileged to get to know you and take your photographs. Make sure you pick a photographer whose portfolio you’re attracted to, someone that you trust and one who will make the experience easy for you.

There are plenty of photographers to choose from, so you need to pick one that resonates with you and that makes you feel comfortable. Be open to trying new things and have trust in your photographer.

Tip 4. Relax!

The final tip is to let yourself relax. Many of us feel awkward with someone pointing a camera at us. It is important to come with an open mind and forget about your tiny imperfections and let the photographer capture the best side of you.

Your body language is so important. Leaning back too far, titling the head a little too much, or lips sealed too tightly all greatly affect the outcome of a photograph. Work with your photographer to portray an open, comfortable and confident facial expression and body language.

Try to do whatever it takes to laugh and have a great time! The experience should be memorable and stress free. You are finally going to have some beautiful pictures of yourself that you will proudly share.

Image credits: SaraElisabeth Photography.


Sara Shirley

Sara Shirley is a passionate photographer who loves what she does and wants to help people with her images so they can attract more clients and make more money. She works with each individual client to create a unique experience. You can view her work at www.saraephotos.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.