“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” Buddha may not have been an entrepreneur, but he certainly had a slew of wisdom that applies to one — in this case, related to the power of intentions. These are views that direct your thoughts, your decisions, and ultimately, your actions. Intention-setting is the practice of using your thoughts to shape your realities. Through this practice, that which you focus on will be reflected in your life. Having spent twenty-five years in marketing, I learned that setting the right intention is crucial to advancing in your work, connecting to your ideal client, and growing as a business-person.

What does an intention look like? It’s an affirmative statement that is clear and expresses an outcome that you wish to experience. An important feature of intentions is that they are present tense. Even if the statement is not yet true, express it as if it were. As you grow and evolve, so will your intentions, forever transforming as you advance personally and professionally. They encapsulate what you wish to accomplish and how you wish to perceive yourself. Knowing how essential this practice is in professional success, it is an important step in my process as a photographer and branding expert, as well.

One of the first steps in preparing for your Personal Branding Session or Headshot Party is to think of three to five adjectives that you want to convey in your photographs. What is your essence? What values do you want to come across in your image — values that represent both yourself and your business? Just as our intentions become realities through the law of attraction, these descriptors are personified in the photos as my clients focus on them.


Check out these Richmond leaders & the words they chose for their photoshoots:

While I ask my clients to provide words that express their essence, I, of course, have my own adjectives: “authentic,” “beautiful,” and “playful.” By keeping these words on my mind, I work to embody them as I continue moving the needle for improvement, setting my bar high for excellence, learning, trying new techniques, studying angles, lighting, and branding.

Setting intentions is essential to developing an authentic and consistent personal brand. Without them, it’s easy to stray from your path, professional or otherwise. They provide purpose and keep you focused on positive outcomes, rather than limitations and difficulties.

Give some thought to your own essence, values, and goals. Choose three to five adjectives that you want to convey in your life. Hold those adjectives in your mind. Write them down if you’d like. Take it a step further and construct your own intentions. Create them for your personal life, for your business or professional endeavors, and for your next photoshoot. Doing this will reinforce your priorities, encouraging you to use your time wisely and in line with your values and goals.

I’d love to hear what you chose for your adjectives or intentions, so please share in the comments!