3 things that’ll guarantee you get the professional photographs you want - and still connect with your audience
I get it. You’re looking for photographs for your business. You know exactly what you don’t want:
Something stiff, cold, arrogant where you stare down the barrel of the lens, arms crossed. Authoritarian.
You smiling over a coffee cup - you love coffee but that’s not your reality: your coffee is inhaled running from one meeting to the next, or sipped without tasting as you work through your never ending to-do-list.
You sitting at your laptop. You’re on your laptop all the time but that’s where your administration, marketing and finances get done - that’s not who you are; not what you want to project about your business and it absolutely does not tell your story.
When it comes to what you do want. That’s more of a challenge.
What are the possibilities?
When you opt for a brand photography experience, possibilities are endless. And they depend on you.
My recent client, Deborah, needed photographs to relaunch her commercial media company, Deborah Welsh Commercial Media.
Unlike many, she knew exactly what she wanted:
Photographs which would project her as a professional, a leader in her field but which would show her approachable, human side too.
Photographs which made her feel good about herself - she wanted to look at her images and see the woman she is.
High quality, authentic photographs for her social media channels, primarily LinkedIn, her website and PR.
A few images for her key marketing platforms - she didn’t want to be overwhelmed with hundreds of photographs.
There is a common misconception that if you work in media, you naturally feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. I’m finding this is rarely the case and Deborah is no exception. Having spent years reluctant to have her photograph taken and avoiding her gut feeling: she needed professional business photographs.
As someone used to taking control, it was a challenge for Deborah to step back and be led - especially given her feelings about the camera but she did and the results are sensational.
She told me what she wanted
Deborah was able to give me more than just “business headshots” or “photographs.” She explained exactly what she wanted and why. It’s too easy for a photographer to say, “Ok” in response to vague answers and this is what leads to generic headshots which don’t speak of you.
It may be the case that you don’t know what you need and so phrases like those above are all you do know. That’s why before we even start talking locations, outfits and shots, we have an informal chat. This can last up to an hour and the rationale behind it is for me to find out about you. It’s where I can tease out specific information about who you are, what your values are and how this aligns to your business and your messaging.
It might feel like just a chat but in the background my brain is making connections between what you’re telling me about your business and what you’re telling me about you and then re-framing this for and to you. By the end of our chat you will be able to tell me exactly what you want from your photographs because you’ll have clarity over what the possibilities are.
She trusted me
I know I provide a great service because I’ve spent time researching, planning and adapting it to ensure it works for my clients. By the time you’re standing on the lens side of the camera, you know me and you’ll have a sense of who I am and what I stand for. This is vital.
Deborah and I chatted on the phone initially and then via text message - when do you really associate text messages with business? I don’t - other than those pesky junk ones that make it into my inbox and rare security code notifications. We bounced ideas around, chatted about clothing and make-up choices and even used messages to discuss our Pinterest board. When I walked into the Hilton Glasgow, I felt like I was meeting a friend for a coffee (despite my oversized bag!) That doesn’t mean I take things less seriously; it means I’m warm, bubbly and inviting.
The impact of this is incredible.
When you believe in someone, you give yourself the space to trust them and the freedom to relinquish control. My approach helps you to believe in me from the very beginning.
Trust is maintained and further enhanced during our photoshoot together. I show you your photographs as we go. This helps in a few ways. Firstly, it lets you see how you look. For some, as with Deborah, this is entirely positive and it lifts any remaining anxieties or tensions; for others, it gives insight into poses and helps to further clarify my directions about what’s needed to make the images perfect. Secondly, it allows us to work together in our choice of positions for you, what we’ll use as our background, the best way to light it for the effect you want. I often find myself saying, “this is great for when you want to post about X,” “that’s perfect for the homepage image because it shows Y.” Being able to see your photographs means that we can constantly come back to the reason you’re having images taken at all, ensuring that what we’re doing is exactly what you need. Finally, it builds your enthusiasm and excitement, increasing your energy levels and confidence. The more you see, the better it is and by the end of your shoot, you can’t wait to see them and share them with your audience and on your website.
She didn’t hold back
There’s no doubt that being in front of the camera can be intimidating; embracing it and enabling yourself to become vulnerable results in the best possible portraits.
Obviously, that’s easier said than done. It relies on building a relationship with your photographer, on having the time and space to relax and feel at ease and accept that your photographer isn’t there to judge you, rather they want to find and unveil the real you; the you who speaks to, engages and connects fully with your audience.
In a nutshell, the 3 things that’ll guarantee you get the professional photographs you want - and still connect with your audience are:
Tell your photographer what you want. If you don’t know, talk to them, explain what’s in your head - it doesn’t need to be polished but simply out in the open.
Trust in the photographer you’ve chosen.
Don’t hold back who you are.
Following these 3 things will result in incredible, professional photographs which will flaunt the real you.
If you want to chat more about how I can help, click the "Book Now" button below to arrange an informal chat with me.