Helping you get comfy is part of my job.
Getting in front of the camera can feel stressful, especially if it’s not something you do often. I know I’m someone who spends more time behind the camera than in front of it (shocking, right?) so I can relate to how difficult it can feel to try to be yourself. But… being yourself in your brand photography session is a massive part of connecting with your future clients. Luckily for you though, It’s part of my job to bring out your personality while we’re in the studio (or wherever) together! So I’ve collected a few steps you can take to feel as “you” as you can during your session!
Top tips for Being Yourself in Brand Photography
1. Ensure your branding is well balanced.
The role of the pictures that we take in your branding session is to represent your business on your overall presence. You know this already. They’re probably going on your website, your social media, and your printed client materials at absolute minimum. You might even be placing them in paid ads as the ad creative, whether online or in print. And all of that means you need to have your branding aligned to what your clients expect from a company that does what yours does. But here’s the thing: in order to ensure that you can feel comfy during your session, your visual brand has to address more than just those client expectations. *YOU* have to be taken into account too!
My favorite example:
I’m going to use myself as an example here, because I love some solid anecdotal evidence. If you’re here on my site, picking up what I’m putting down, you’ve seen my brand. It’s colorful. It’s bright. It’s quirky… even a little bit in your face, at times. My badass brand elements (if I do say so myself) like my logo and my palette are supposed to speak to you, my client, and tell you that not only do I know what I’m doing, I’m *fun*. Even though we’re creating something professional as hell for you, no matter what style it’s in, we’re both going to have a great time in the process. But… that fun, quirky branding?
It’s also about me. I genuinely love my brand. And when I try to imagine myself creating images for my own brand that lacked pops of color, or without an artistic twist on what’s ordinary and expected, I cringe a little bit inside. The overall setting for my images helps me to be myself during photo sessions. Because let’s all be honest here, I have bright orange hair, and although I could make more subtle sets work, I feel natural amongst creative chaos. So that creative chaos has become a hallmark of my brand.
Why does this matter?
If you don’t feel comfortable in the set that we create for you, you’re not going to love the images we create. And as a result, you might struggle to be yourself during our session. This means that balancing your visual branding so that it includes elements that you love, and that make you feel at home, will help allow you to truly be you when we’re in the studio (or ya know, wherever.) We’re going to talk about this before your session, but this is a step you can think about ahead of time too. Address your overall branding, if it already exists! Ask yourself if you can imagine wearing your brand palette colors, for example. If the answer is no, we might need to think outside the box to create a set that you truly feel at home in.
2. Think about how you want your clients (or customers) to feel about what you do.
During your session (especially at the very beginning) it’s easy get distracted thinking about things like where to put your hands. As I’m sure you can imagine, being yourself in brand photography gets exponentially more difficult if you’re busy thinking about how you’re holding your body!
Of course I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure the poses we use are comfortable for you, but I have a favorite trick to share. Instead of thinking about you, where you’re putting your hands, or what facial expression will make you seem most approachable (or not approachable, I don’t judge vibes I just make them happen) – I want you to think about how you want your clients/customers to feel about what you do.
Settle into the feelings
How do you want them to feel when they walk into your yoga studio? Confident? Cared for? Strong? Energetic? Feel those feelings. And when you get distracted by hand placement, think back to the feelings. If that’s what you’re thinking about when we take your images, it’ll show in the final product, which is exactly what we want! But as a bonus, it’ll help to make you feel at home in the images we’re creating together.
Because just as much as you’re doing this for you, you’re doing it for them too. The magical people who you help find a new home, or make more comfortable in their body, or entertain on a fun evening out. If you’re thinking about the people you work with, a ton of the awkward melts away.
3. Let me handle the pressure for you.
This might sound like a cop-out, but I want you to hear me out on this. I know you’ve invested in your image set. I know you’ve done your research to decide on a photographer, and I know that with everywhere you’re going to put these images… there’s a lot riding on this. And with that comes pressure. Lots, and lots of pressure. It’s easy to imagine that pressure falling on *my* shoulders, but… the reality is most of it is actually felt by you (sorry to break it to you.) Pressure to choose the right wardrobe pieces. Pressure to pose the right way. Pressure to make the right face, point your toe, tuck your chin, and what was that thing your friend mentioned last week? Something about “smizing”?
My point is, it might feel like there’s a lot to remember. Especially since being yourself in brand photography is so important. But I want you to know that it is literally my job to remember all of those things for you. You get to relax, think about your clients, think about your passion for what you do, and be your badass self. If you need to “smize,” I’m going to tell you to. If you need to point your toe, I’m going to tell you to. Of course feel free to self-direct, I love when clients get involved in their own posing. But if you need direction, I’m 100% going to give it to you. So all that pressure? This is your permission slip to let it go.
Ready to get STARTED?
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