12 Tips To Build A Personal Brand with The Right Photos
Captivating photos are a must for business owners who try to build their brand. These images can represent the most important aspects of your company and create strong associations with your products or services thus letting you get more customers.
According to statistics provided by MDVAdvertising, text content with the right picture is 6.5 times more likely to be remembered by potential clients.
As a rule, branding photos convey a company’s vision and message. A consistent design features a similar color scheme, tone, voice, and visuals. Business owners should publish such pictures on their business web pages, LinkedIn profiles, and social media platforms to build a visual brand identity.
1. Define the Aim of a Photoshoot and a Platform
Before organizing a photo session, you should define its goals. Think of what you should achieve with your personal branding photo shoot and where you are going to use these images.
You can publish such content on websites, sales pages, blog posts, and social media as well as use it in newsletters and online courses. Besides, it can be used for creating business cards, e-books, podcast promos, etc.
The choice of the platform defines the types of images you need to capture. Your task is to decide on their orientation and size. Other specifications that you need to consider are the type of background, the level of detail, etc.
For instance, if you need branding pictures for social media marketing platforms you should consider the image size requirements. For Instagram, it’s 1080 x 1080 pixels, for Facebook Stories – 1080 x 1920 pixels, for LinkedIn – 1200 x 627 pixels.
Besides, it is important to decide what you want to achieve with these visuals. For instance, if your company is going through a rebranding, you need to use newly captured images. Such pictures will also come in handy during a new product or service launch.
2. Create an Inspiration Board
An effective method for organizing your thoughts and ideas is to illustrate them on a paper vision board, which can facilitate the complicated process of developing a new project.
Such services as Pinterest are also helpful for gathering material. You can take inspiration from other images, the theme of which is related to yours, as well as use videos, quotes, etc.
3. Create a Detailed List of Ideas
Before conducting your photoshoot, define the main components that build your brand identity. The style-forming elements that help you visually communicate with customers are the brand’s colors, fonts, images, taglines, headings, image formatting, logo, target audience, and packaging. Besides, pay attention to props, style of pictures, etc.
Create a short list using Google Sheets for structuring your ideas. Your electronic document should contain the following vertical columns.
- Shot #
- Shot Description
Then insert your ideas into the columns indicating specific details for each category. Of course, you can customize the sheet according to your requirements.
For instance, if your brand photo session focuses on some particular product, it is necessary to add an extra column with the title ‘Product Featured,’ so you will know exactly what the object of your photo shoot is.
4. Make a List of Locations
Another tip on how to build a personal brand with the right photos is to make a list of locations, which are great for capturing your branding pictures. Try to choose such places that can help create associations with your company.
For this purpose, go on a short trip to discover the most optimal spots in your neighborhood. To accelerate your search, take advantage of location guides on Loaded Landscapes, Flickr, or ShotHotspot.
Among my favorite spots are a coffee shop, home office, garden, high-rise building, Airbnb rental, park, woods, the beach, etc.
5. Provide Appropriate Lighting Conditions
If you want to organize your photo shoot outdoors, start capturing pictures at sunrise or sunset. During this time of the day, the light is soft, which is ideal for snapping images of excellent quality.
Besides, you won’t even need to use flash. Remember that natural lighting is the best alternative to professional studio lighting when it comes to taking branding pictures.
6. Select Appropriate Props
Props can either ruin your photo session or help you take exquisite pictures. A variety of such accessories are available on such platforms as Amazon, eBay, Overstock, and others. Focus on the things you use in your daily professional life and use these props during your photo shoot.
Such accessories vary according to the product or service your business is selling. For example, the owner of a jewelry store can use bracelets, rings, and other supplies, whereas photographers should think of a camera and a laptop, etc.
Of course, you should not limit your ideas, and if your day is impossible without a cup of coffee, use it as a prop when taking branding images.
Surprisingly, even stationary in your brand colors can enhance pictures. Sometimes, even paint chips you’ve purchased at the hardware store can make wonders.
7. Think Through Your Subject’s Look
Your branding images are likely to feature some model (your or someone else), so it is reasonable to pick up the appropriate clothing, accessory, hairstyle, and other details to make sure the subject’s appearance resonates with a brand.
If your company is known as a powerful and strong business, it would be appropriate to wear a leather jacket, for example. In case, you are more on the soft and feminine side, wear a cute dress in the colors that represent your company. You can also make an accent with some sparkly accessories like a necklace.
Clothing in dark colors looks elegant and strict at the same time. Light-colored attire will add some whimsical and soft touch to your pictures.
Besides, the right clothing can beautify your body making it slimmer, for example. The fabric of your outfit also makes a difference. Choose lace, sequins, or soft textured fabric to look like a star. Off-the-shoulder, deep V and boat necklines can emphasize your gracefulness, etc.
I do not recommend putting on wool sweaters or other garments from a rough material as they often look worn in images. Too many ornaments also look distracting. Bulky, flowy, or shapeless clothing is a bad choice as well.
8. Find Your Own Backdrops
The custom background helps make your brand pictures consistent thus creating a stronger association with your brand. Besides, sometimes such backdrops do not even cost a penny. It is up to you whether to use colored or monotone background. It depends on what you want to showcase in your picture.
One of the simplest ways is to use a colored poster, but if you need some long-lasting accessories for future photo sessions, select a seamless photo backdrop. My personal life hack is to use wrapping paper or a simple sheet of colored paper for shooting tiny objects.
Creative people can try to paint the backdrop on their own. A few sheets of hardboard, paints, a small roller, and a tray are all the necessary things to produce a 2-in-1 backdrop in colors associated with your brand.
To create your own backdrop, use the following things:
- Diagonal two-tone
- Natural materials (such as marble and wood)
- Textures (such as fabric, walls, and rugs)
- Prints and patterns (such as fabric, wallpaper, wrapping paper, and collage images)
9. Turn to a Professional for Help
In some cases, even people who have some photography experience could benefit from hiring a professional. Thanks to it, they don’t need to learn how to shoot product images, portraits, etc.
If hiring a professional shooter is not an option, check out Fiverr which gathers talents who provide services at a moderate fee. Before contacting a photographer, check out their portfolio to make sure that the style of their shots corresponds to your brand. Do not be shy and ask for prior consultations and reviews.
Besides, you will probably need to hire other professionals like a stylist, brand strategist, hair and makeup artist, etc.
10. Plan Your Photo Session
Once you feel that everything is ready, you should organize your shoot. Such daily planners as Todoist, Any.do, and Google Calendar will come in handy. If you are going to conduct the photo shoot on your own, choose one date or select two different days to do mini sessions.
It would be also a great idea to arrange a branding photoshoot several times a year to spice up your themed photos and renew your collection.
11. Prepare Image Enhancement Tools
If you are wondering how to build a personal brand with the right photos, make sure to edit your images using popular software, such as Lightroom and Photoshop. There are also free tools like Picmonkey, which offer a rich set of features and intuitive tools.
Canva has many templates of different sizes that you can use to create digital and print photos. You can also address photo editing services to get perfectly edited images to represent your company. The experts provide high-quality photo retouching services that will help you make your pictures look flawless.
12. Add a Logo to a Photo
I recommend adding a logo to your photo for several reasons. According to Zippia statistics, 75% of people recognize a brand by its trademark. A logo reinforces the key message you want to convey.
In addition, it can be used when you need to create the design for offline marketing materials, such as coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, and T-shirts.
The cost of an effective logo can reach thousands of dollars. You can find a designer on such sites as DesignCrowd, People Per Hour, or Upwork. If you want to design a logo by yourself, use such programs as Adobe Express, Free Logo Design, or Tailor Brands.
So, High-Quality Photos Matter?
The main purpose of your personal branding photo shoot is to create a memorable story through images that have a strong association with your business. A customer should recognize your brand when looking at such photos. Consistent pictures of excellent quality will help you promote your company and increase its income.
About the Author!
Eva Williams is a New York photographer and software journalist working for FixThePhoto. She conducts photo sessions, consults brands, and reviews programs and apps designed for newbies.