A year ago I had my first ever professional photo shoot and it was a pivotal moment for my business.
Up until then I had a website devoid of any pictures of me and my social media was made up largely of stock images and the occasional hideous selfie. Not good for a founder led brand!
My problem was twofold. Firstly, I hate looking at or having pictures taken of me because I am un-photogenic. Secondly, I am terrible at taking photos. This combination was basically paralysing me and holding me back.
I knew I had to do something about it. If I wanted to grow my business I needed to find a way to get in front of my followers so they could get to know me and my brand. I needed to turn up regularly on social and I needed a website that was totally me.
I was introduced to a wonderful, creative photographer, Laura Pearman and last year while on a business retreat in Marbella we had a shoot. I ended up with 15 awesome pictures that I was proud of. Here’s a selection of them.
The reason I am writing a blog about this is because those 15 pictures gave me a confidence that I had previously struggled with. Those 15 photos flicked a switch in my head and allowed me to talk about me, my passion and my business in a whole new way. The pictures allowed me to reach out and connect with my followers in a way I just hadn’t been able to before. The results were awesome. Followers and engagement soared on social and 2 months after the shoot I sold out my Rockstar Program.
The transformation didn’t stop there though. I suddenly found that I was much happier and relaxed about showing up. I started to post more pictures of me just being me. I found doing live video on my social was much easier. I even bought myself a selfie stick and tripod to help me take better pictures! Those 15 photos empowered me to become the founder led brand that I had dreamed of.
This is the age of the founder led brand. Our customers want to buy from businesses and people they respect and love. As indie business booms we are all trying to find our difference, that one thing that sets us apart and makes us stand out and get noticed. I believe deeply that that one thing is you! You need to be seen and recognised. You need to be heard. A great set of photos gives you the confidence and the tools to do this.
Now, I get that finances are tight and photos may not be top of your ‘to buy’ list but your business will only thrive if you sell. To sell you need to get out there, you need to get noticed. You need to talk about your passion, your mission, your beliefs and your products. If you have an awesome set of photos you are proud of then nothing can hold you back. You can get out there and make that investment and more back fast.
If you are thinking about having a professional shoot done then DO IT. To help you get the ROI I thought it would be cool to share my top tips on how to rock your photoshoot. I’m also going to introduce you to my photographer, Laura.
When I find someone who is soooooo good at their job I tell the world because part of your ROI comes down to using a photographer who is creative and can get to grips and understand who you are and what you stand for fast. They then need the skill to capture all your energy and passion in the photos. Laura nails this and I would highly recommend you check out her website and organise a call with her. She regularly tours round the country and is often found overseas so if you are interested in working with her she will be in a town near you soon. Here are a few links to some of the ways Laura can help you.
Now onto my top tips for the perfect photo shoot.
- Work with a photographer who specialises in headshots. Do your research, ask for recommendations and then check out their work. All photographers will have a gallery on their website have a look and make sure you really like what you see.
- Have a good idea of what you want to achieve in the shoot. Photographers are true professionals and they will be able to guide you through the process but it really does help to have a vision of what you want the pictures to capture and how you want them to look. Remember these pictures are your brand and no one knows your brand better than you.
- Spend time with the photographer before the shoot. Talk them through your ideas, let them have a look at your website and your social media. Help them to get a clear picture of you and your vision. Together as you chat your ideas and their talent will come together and the perfect shoot will be born.
- Try and plan a couple of different shoot locations to add variety to your picture library.
- Have a couple of changes of clothing again to add some variety and pay real attention to the details that can make a photo pop, like your jewellery, shoes and handbag.
- Trust your photographer. They know how to get the absolute best out of you. When they ask you to do something and it feels odd just do it. Let them direct you and you will be rewarded with some awesome shots that really showcase you at your best.
- Take a friend along on shoot day. It’s great to share the experience and have some support plus, they can be really useful taking behind the scenes shots that you can use on social and also lending a helping hand if needed. I took John and as you can see from the pictures below he came in very useful holding that big shiny thing that he had huge pleasure blinding me with.
8. Have a really good think about what you want to use your pictures for and make sure you request shots that fit this. So you may want a close up for whenever you are asked for a founders picture or to use as your profile pic on LinkedIn. You may want a picture that would look incredible as a social media banner. Do you want pictures for your website of you formulating and making? A good combination of styles and types provides you with loads of potential for use going forward.
A great set of photos can really transform your business. It can connect the dots, it gives you the confidence to start talking and sharing with your followers. Powerful, beautiful photos provide the tools you need to become the founder led brand you have been dreaming of.
I’m going to leave the last words to Laura as I couldn’t say it any better;
“The best headshots capture who you are, why you do what you do, and how you do it. Every single picture speaks 1000 words. Your headshot can be a beautiful powerful tale.”
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