Photography is an important part of developing a brand, whether it is your business, your group, or even yourself. When developing your own personal brand, you are essentially marketing yourself as a product, and your customers could be your potential employers, people who you share hobbies with, or your blog readers. You are establishing relationships with your customers, and there is no better way to do that than putting a human face on your “brand”.
To put a human face on your brand, you must get a photo of yourself to represent you. The right photo should not only show people what you look like, but also subtly convey your message to and instill confidence in your potential customers. More importantly, it should depict you as an expert in the field your brand is in, that people could trust you to deliver to them what they seek. Your photos do not have to look very formal, and there is nothing wrong to be a bit casual as long as you don’t look out of place or inappropriate.
Choose Your Apparels
I have seen many marketing experts telling people to be formal when having their photos taken, and I think that is unnecessary. When it comes to choose an outfit for your photo, the rule of thumb is that what you wear should match your brand and your qualification. If you are an accountant or a lawyer, a suit and a tie are most ideal because they make you look professional and experienced in the field. If you are a yoga instructor, you may want to wear your yoga cloths or something relaxing when having your photos taken. If you are an expert chef, a chef’s uniform allows people to perceive you as a knowledgeable chef.
The other thing you need to watch out for is whether your apparels are appropriate. Going back to the example of yoga instructor, although you should wear the clothing you normally wear during yoga practices, things like sports bra or swimsuit may be too revealing to certain people or age groups. You may also want to avoid clothing with strong written or unwritten statements unless your brand was founded to advocate such statements.
Pick Your Locations
Like your choice of apparels, the location where your photos are taken says a lot about you, and it must either associate with your brand or at least be neutral. Generally speaking, you want to pick somewhere you usually conduct businesses for your brand. There may be multiple locations associated with your brand and that gives you plenty of options when getting your photos taken. If you are a professor, you will probably want to choose the classrooms or your office because that’s where people expect you to be. If you are a dancer, a dance studio helps people make the connection between you and what your brand does.
Alternatively, you can find a wall to use as background to have your photos taken. A good background should have solid color or simple patterns so it does not distract the viewers, and should make you, the subject, stand out. You can also have your photos taken at a public park where the natural outdoor light can really light up your face and give you a pleasant aura.
Once you have your photo taken, use it consistently on any forms of media you reach out to potential customers. Put it on your business cards, your online profile, your Facebook, and your blog or website. Make sure your photos accurately show what you look like, and update them as necessary. Lastly, keep in mind that, although your photos help establishing the relationships between you and your customers, it is your skills and dedication to what you do that keep make these relationships long-term.