Why I Invested in On Brand Headshots for my Small Business

Claire Jenks: Graphic Design and Creative Artworker Headshot

The Before

You’re working on your social media schedule or website and you’ve hit a stumbling block for what image or headshot to use? This was happening time and time again for me. Using stock imagery and photos of my desk purposely arranged just weren’t hitting the mark anymore. They didn’t say anything about who I am, what I do or tie in with my brand values at all. I was starting to blend in with other creatives in the industry and become a faceless freelancer.

Larger agencies using images of their work space or teams in action told a story. They gave an impression of what clients could expect when working with them. I could see how these images took their marketing to another level. Not having a permanent office or a team myself, this approach wasn’t going to work for me but conveying my personality and ‘remote’ working could.

I needed to start showing my face and representing myself in my marketing instead of hiding. After all, people buy from people.

As most, I’m not a fan of being in front of the camera and even the best ‘selfie’ was never perfect. The lighting, the framing, and the unnatural way I was looking at the lens didn’t work together at all. So avoiding this approach I was back to using anything else that would work. I had one photograph that I had been using for a while, which was part of a Christmas present from a friend; an experience of being a model for the day complete with makeover. It is a nice photo, taken professionally, but is a few years old and not taken with any business purpose in mind. Using it because ‘it will do’ or because I wasn’t in a bar maybe weren’t the best reasons.

The Photographer and the Team

I then met Laura Pearman at a local networking event. Getting new headshots done were in the back of my mind but investing in ‘me and my business’ always ended up at the bottom of my list. After finding out more about Laura and the way she worked, getting my headshots became more of a priority. There are plenty of styles and photographers to choose from, with varying prices. If I was going to invest I wanted to do this properly and find someone who could capture my personality and my brand. Especially as I am my business.

Laura spends the time to get to know you and your brand and is full of ideas on how best to capture this in the photographs. Right away I knew she was the right photographer for me. She has a few different packages but I chose to go with her ‘Sch-wham’ session. With this session I got an afternoon of shoot time including all the planning done for me. I also had Nichola English as my stylist and Marie from ND Make up as my MUA. This was an investment but I saw it as that. These photos were going to help me stand out, convey my personality across my website and marketing, making me more recognisable in my field.

Knowing that I didn’t have to worry about doing my make up and hair or what clothes to wear on the day helped me relax. So much was planned pre-shoot to make sure that we really got the photographs we needed.

 

The Day

The day of the shoot took us to Blyth beach for the afternoon, which is local to where I live. The Northumberland coastline is beautiful if you’ve never been to visit. It is also the location of Blyth beach huts that we hired out for day. I’ve said my dream office would be a beach hut overlooking the sea so was the perfect setting, a balance of both relaxed and professional. I love how relaxing beaches are, and how the fresh air (which is fresh in Northumberland!) can clear your head and help to inspire you to think of new ideas. If you’re interested in joining me for a meeting on the beach complete with ice cream or chips on me, get in touch.

Throughout the afternoon we had a few outfit and hair changes as well as make up touch ups, which were all thought through prior to fit in with my personality and the feel we wanted to capture. The last shot was taken finishing with an ice cream and the sunset, it was a great way to end such a fun day on the beach.

I am absolutely over the moon with my final photos and had so much great feedback already. I would highly recommend Laura and her team if you are looking to invest in new or revamping your old headshots.

Want to find out more about the day?

Laura creates her own content too. She did a brilliant write-up of her experience of the Sch-Wham Shoot from the photographers view! This is a great honest account from her.

 

 

And from a Stylists point of view, Nichola also wrote about her experience of the day too!

 

The Reasons to Invest

Headshots are an important element to think about in your brand strategy. Do them well and they can really help you stand out and be recognised. Your brand isn’t just your logo, but everything else that goes along with it in order to make your customer feel something. Photos are a great way of capturing the essence of you and your business visually. Using these images consistently in your marketing strategy you’ll start to be recognised more and build a following which ultimately leads to trust.

These images can also be used professionally if you’re speaking at events or on podcasts or webinars. They help you to look more professional, more knowledgeable and people will notice you’ve taken the time and money to invest in yourself, which is so powerful.

In a nutshell, there are various reasons to invest in headshots for your business. Here are my top 5:

  • You can create them on brand to reinforce and take it up to the next level
  • Look professional and stand out from others, replacing the awkward ‘selfie’ images
  • Have consistent images across all platforms and material to build trust and recognition
  • You won’t always need to rely on sourcing free or bought stock photos that everyone else is using
  • Adds personality and context that your customers can buy into

 

The New Headshots

And here is a selection of the final shots! I’ve got each outfit in various formats so they can be re-purposed for many different areas. Having different options to use depending on the message you want to convey is great. As a graphic designer it’s always helpful to receive images that have been considered so that text can be overlaid or cropped to fit different purposes.

Claire Jenks: Graphic Design and Creative Artworker Headshots

Claire Jenks: Graphic Design and Creative Artworker HeadshotClaire Jenks: Graphic Design and Creative Artworker HeadshotClaire Jenks: Graphic Design and Creative Artworker HeadshotClaire Jenks: Graphic Design and Creative Artworker Headshot

 

 

 

Photographer – Laura Pearman
Hair and Make Up – Marie @ ND Make Up
Stylist – Nichola English
Location – Blyth Beach, Northumberland / Blyth Beach Huts, Active Northumberland
Ice Cream and Chips – Cicarellis at Coastline Fish and Chips, Blyth