This week, I wanted to take you behind the scenes on a personal branding photo shoot I recently did for a client, Jenni Comer. Jenni runs Jenni & Co., a thriving residential real estate firm in Richmond, Virginia. Realtors have long known that personal brands are priceless. People do business with people they know, love and trust. That’s why Jenni and my other realtor clients have always made their personal brands a priority.
I wanted to walk you through step-by-step how we prepared for and conducted the personal branding photoshoot. That way, you know the best practices and latest trends in personal branding shoots and can be ready to do an amazing shoot when it’s your turn!
The Pre-Branding Consult: You and Me Getting Clear on Your Goals
I always do a consult with my clients before their personal branding photo sessions. To help my clients achieve their goals, I want to know what they want to achieve. After all, capturing a great smile and a great pose from my client is just an element of what my clients get when they work with me. My goal is to give my clients images that capture their personal brand and the essence of who they are and their mission. The pre-branding consult is essential for my clients and me. Which brings me to my next “behind the scenes” example of personal branding photography best practices: branded words.
Branded Words: Your Magic Words that Sum Up Your Personal Brand
Before I launched my photography studio, I was a professional marketer. One of my signature techniques is working with my clients to pinpoint their “Branded Words”: the 3-5 magic words that sum up their personal brand. This helps my clients and me get clear on what mood, emotions and energy we want to convey in the shoot.
Jenni’s branded words are:
According to Jenni, she wants her clients and colleagues to really enjoy working with her. Trust me: Jenni is a magnet for good vibes! This is what she had to say about working together:
Kim Brundage has it ALLLL figured out. From the hair, makeup and outfit coordinating, she made the stress I always have when getting photos done…NON STRESSFUL! Her business model is so perfect…bring all the professionals together to make you pretty and then take fab pics! I absolutely love my new headshots…thanks, my team will be in soon for their own “personal branding images.
Location, Location, Location
I have a gorgeous studio where many of my clients conduct their personal branding and “Anchor Image” sessions (AKA their signature headshot photos). But sometimes, as in the case of Jenni, it just makes sense to do the shoot on location. As a realtor, Jenni wanted a home-like environment for her backdrop. High quality and excellence is such a big part of Jenni’s brand, and being relatable. The location checked those boxes perfectly!
Negative Space (Is NOT Negative!)
I always interview my clients to understand how they’ll use their personal branding images: for example, on a website. That way, I compose the photos using negative space so that text can be overlayed on top of the photos. While I always give my personal branding clients plenty of images to choose from, I make sure my clients get close-up images AND photos that they can use with type on the images.
Flat Lay (a Must-Have for Your Personal Brand Image Collection)
Flat Lay is a type of photo that is often shot from above, looking down, on items that arranged or styled on a flat surface. You see a TON of flat lay photography on Instagram. Flat Lays are great for Instagram and Facebook posts because they help complement your personal brand, tell a story and showcase your products or items that are iconic for you. In Jenni’s case, I wanted her to convey her design gift, which comes in handy when she’s helping to stage a client’s house!
The Dream Team Does it Again!
You know I love to brag on my Dream Team of hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists! Too often, I get clients who didn’t invest in hair, makeup and wardrobe and were disappointed in how they felt and looked in front of the camera. That’s why my clients always get the Dream Team treatment!
Makeup by Holly Beauty Partner, Kara made sure to give Jenni the red carpet treatment for hair and camera-ready makeup. Megan met with her the day before at the mall and they did some efficient shopping in just one hour. We had talked to Jenni about changing the logo colors of her brand from a masculine black and white to more of a navy blue, pink and green. Megan was able to find clothing that supported Jenni’s new brand colors.
Leveraging Your Personal Branding Images
I always like to consult with my clients and share all the amazing ways they can leverage their personal branding images. For Jenni, she first used her Anchor Image (headshot) on her For Sale sales and her moving truck! Jenni also teaches other realtors how to be better at their work with the Richmond Association of Realtors. In her coursework, Jenni uses her branded images in her materials. With her new branded images, Jenni is going to the next level and use her photos on her website, social media and presentation decks for clients and prospects.
Whether it’s your headshot or a personal branding session, I hope this article gave you ideas and insights to nail your next personal brand investment. Jenni knew what she wanted to achieve from her photo shoot, but I have many clients who like to brainstorm with me to identify their goals and how they’ll leverage this important investment. Don’t hesitate to contact me for a consultation.
It’s Your Time,