Personal Branding

I used to hate head shots. I’d get the email, “Hey I need some head shots for work. I keep putting it off because I hate getting pictures taken. What do you charge?”

Ugh. How inspiring, right?

A blatant feeling of dread hung like a cloud over those emails, for both the client and myself. So for the beginning of my career, I only did head shots as a last resort.

Then I launched the Luxe Portraits offering at Mitzi Starkweather Photography in 2015. These shoots have always given me life – I get to ask “How do you dream of being photographed?” and then play dress up with my amazing clients and show them portraits that make them cry. It’s basically a dream come true.

So naturally, soon after I launched Luxe I started to rethink headshots. I started to ask myself why people hated them, why I hated them, and then found myself wondering how I could make them better.

I realized then that this is what I’d done with the Luxe experience: I’d taken the portrait process and made it fun. I’d added planning, preparation, one-on-one attention, not to mention professional hair and makeup and a dreamy wardrobe. The issue wasn’t the portraits — everyone wants an amazing portrait! The issue was the uncertainty. People simply don’t know what to do. And that makes sense! My portrait clients aren’t professional models.

So, I started thinking about headshots in the same way. Why do people hate them? How can I make this better? And then I realized that’s what makes Personal Branding different. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for headshots. They are efficient, predictable, and necessary for professionals. But since I work more and more with creatives and entrepreneurs, I’ve realized that people need images that reflect their brand! This takes planning, preparation, a long consultation over coffee, and then it produces precise, customized, and powerful imagery.

Take Ivy for instance. Her custom jewelry business, TarnishedCharm, is a rich and unique brand. Ivy would be doing disservice to her brand and professional image to put on a white collared button-up and black blazer, be photographed, and then expect that image to show people who she is. Personal branding is important because there is no one-size-fits-all type of portrait! 

For professionals (realtors, artists, actors, and everyone else) who want to get creative, stand out, and effectively portray who they are and what they offer through imagery, I cannot stress how important quality branding images are! You can have high-quality photographs of your product, work space, and employees, but that’s not enough. Those images need to be intentional – the content, the shooting style, the locations, and even the editing.

What do you want your ideal client to see when they see your imagery? What do you want them to feel? What to do you want to inspire them to become? These are the real questions you should be asking. If you want to dream up a branding shoot (or portrait shoot) with us, send us a note here!

Talk to you soon! I have a boudoir blog post in the works that I can’t wait to share with you 🙂