I’m delighted to be guesting here on Claire’s blog! I have loved reading her recent collection of expert advice when it comes to branding knowledge. If you don’t know me already hi I’m Laura and I’m a branded headshots photographer, pleased to meet you!
In this blog I’m going to share with you some of my top tips to get thinking on when it comes to headshots within your brand.
WTF Is a Branded Headshot?
The term branded headshots is being used a lot within the headshot photography world right now. Let’s get down to business on what that little word means and how it affects your headshot creation.
The Traditional Headshot
The classic headshot became popular in the 20s. You would see Hollywood starlets posing in quite a stark way. Search through time and you can recognise the quick casting call Polaroid headshot behind-the-scenes on catwalks fashion go says and also for the movie business.
Skip on through to the 80s up to present day and the traditional headshot still has an important purpose. Sporting stars, actors, models and into the world of, commerce and entrepreneurs are all rocking the traditional headshot.
Technically speaking a traditional headshot is precisely lit, sharp and it shows all of the distinguishing features of the subject a.k.a. the person being photographed.
In short this is a professionally taken photograph that gives you all of the identifying information you need about the subject. You may be a casting director, you may be an employer, or you may just be a fan. You need to know what that person looks like. No more no less.
The Branded Headshot
What makes the branded headshot so very different to the traditional headshot starts in the planning. There is way more planning between photographer and client to determine the purpose and brand message, then, the personal story that needs to be told through the photograph.
Instead of having a client stand in front of a plain backdrop beneath beautiful lighting there has to be a soul-felt conversation sometimes a few of these need to take place. Investing this level of creative emotion before a camera is picked up takes time and what I like to call “the creative sparks”.
On a lot of my branded headshots sessions I add creative support from my Mwah Mob. This mob of beautiful freaks is made up of stylists, special effects geniuses, hair and make-up artists. Together, we interpret our client’s brand and business message to create a coherent headshot session to tell their story.
Picking The Right Headshots Photographer FOR YOU
Now I really want to advise you that finding the right headshot photographer you need to begin a journey. Don’t just go to LinkedIn, type in “photographer” in the search bar and book the first person that comes up. Even if it is me!
You need to be able to be fully open, vulnerable and completely honest with your photographer. Pick your top three from an online search and request that you meet with them even if it is online and drill them give them some serious questions and interview to find the right match for you.
It’s Cool, my Brother is a Wedding Photographer
Let me share a little secret with you. Creatives have a hard time sticking in their lane. When I first set out as a professional photographer I was the girl who would photograph anything if it meant I could increase my turnover. Three years of working like this resulted in me being stuck in hospital with exhaustion wondering if I even like photography anymore.
What had happened was I had spread myself far too thin. Creatively speaking, this meant that I was fully tapped out. I had no more ideas for anyone or anything.
Taking some time to reflect resulted in my deciding to specialise and I haven’t looked back. Hiring a photographer who is trying to make a living as a Wedding Photographer extraordinaire will actually sully their brand as a wedding expert if you ask them to pop off a few quick headshots for you. I would be happy to bet money that your headshots from this metaphorical wedding photographer would come out looking like exquisite bridal style photography. Now even if you are in the wedding industry, this style of photography will not do you any favours. You will look like an out of place bride or groom who also does business zero brand message. Imagine if you’re a butcher! Oh the humanity!
A really common question that we field here at Peary HQ is about price. As a Headshot expert we have a series of different packages that range in level of service as well as price.
Try not to think about your headshots as a nice “extra vanity/ego” purchase but instead as a part of your marketing budget. When planned correctly and thoroughly you will see a strong return your investment and you will have the measurements in place to be able to work this out.
Another reason to hire a specialist.
What About Selfies though?
For the last year I’ve been really fascinated with phone photography and the continued selfie phenomenon. Take a scroll through your Instagram feed and you will find some powerful influencers in your industry who are able to magically document their lives through a series of beautifully shot selfies.
How do they fit together?
The selfie is a powerful way to visually document your day-to-day life doing what it is you do in the way that you do it. In one of my professional talks I show this in the following slide it possible to see how a selfie supports a headshot and vice a versa.
How To Love Ya Selfie
I will be back this month with another edition of Love Ya Selfie. This is a 5-day FREE challenge to work with me and learn how to wield power of the camera inside your phone.
Whether you just got some fresh headshots, or this is a goal of yours for 2019, you should still be informing your fans and followers online of what it’s like to be you day to day.
Is a great way to try me out for free before committing to some next level head shots and it’s a beautiful way to build up your self-confidence and narrow down your personal brand goals with phone-ography.
I look forward to seeing you there, let’s get you loving ya selfie!