Headshots vs Branded Photoshoots
Updated: Jan 28
One thing I am noticing within the local small business community is that while yes, they have amazing products and services, a lot of them have one common thing missing... A few good photos of the creator and their team! As we all know, your social media photos and website are essentially your business' first impression online, and as we have heard, first impressions matter! While product pictures, engaging content, and a good bio are definitely vital components to up-keeping your digital presence, we can't forget about one very important piece to this puzzle; YOU.
So, what's the best way to showcase you and your brand online? Branding photoshoots and business headshots are a great place to start! Read more to find out why you need to do this for your business.
Let's start with the basics: Definitions
Branding Photoshoot: Brand photography is a variety of professional images that represent your business visually, and fit with your visual identity through the use of colors, tone, props, sets and more. A branding photoshoot is a strategic photoshoot where you receive a variety of professional photos that showcase you, your business, and your personality (Makerandmoxie.com)
Business Headshots: Business headshots are portraits often used for engaging in social media, the about us page, and industry specialty sites. Generally speaking, it's a photograph of an individual with the simple purpose of showing what they look like (Headshotlondon.co.uk)
To put it blunt: A branding photoshoot showcases the entirety of your brand and your personality through a creative lifestyle type of photoshoot (left and right), whereas a business headshot showcases only you, typically in 1-5 photos, dressed in uniform, and shot from the chest up (middle).
While headshots are perfect when your goal is to simply introduce someone, personal branding photography is needed when your goal is to attract ideal clients and develop deeper connections and followings in order to ultimately convert and sell.
Right to left: Steph, Owner of Grazing With Steph. Larissa Leath, Owner of The Floral Standard & The Ultimate Wedding Experience. Bella, Owner of Que Cute Events and Mobile Bartending
To showcase the beauty behind the brand!
Believe it or not, people do actually want to get to know, and enjoy seeing, the person behind the business! What I have found is that, at least in the small business community, making a personal connection to your clients and customers has major benefits. Not only does it make you more real to your customers, it also allows room for a deeper level of trust between you and your shopper, which in turn, evolves into customer loyalty. Headshots are a great way to show your audience who you are, and branding photoshoots are a great way to show your audience what you do and how you do it.
Consider this: From a consumer perspective, it's really hard to shop with a small business when you don't feel connected to the brand or the person(s) running it.
Emily Howell, Owner of Emily Grace Designs Co and Elysia Collective Co
How can I use these pictures?
Headshots are great for profile images, introducing your team members or employees on “meet the team” webpages or throughout social media. Branding photoshoots are great for article features, eye-catching social media content, "about me" pages, and advertisements.
Pro Tip: I would highly suggest keeping your business headshots up to date, and re-taking your professional photos every six months. If you are someone who changes their look often, getting new headshots twice a year can ensure that you are showing a relevant and up to date version of yourself to your potential clients and customers. For branding photoshoots, I would recommend taking new pictures every season, or four times a year. Doing branding shoots decently often is great to keep your content engaging. By doing it every season, you can use the shoot to highlight seasonal collections or share exciting news!
Maja Koziara, Personal Stylist and owner of By Maja
My Top Tips
Bring simple tops to wear - little to no design at all
Wear a company branded shirt for a few photos
Ladies, come wearing makeup you would on the job
Fellas, cut your hair
Bring equipment used (ex: microphone and headset for podcaster)
If shooting with team members, coordinate colors (ex: all black)
Bring multiple varying outfits (ex you're a baker: apron look, suit look, and semi-casual look)
CC Mack, Owner and Host of Peeling Off The Layers Podcast
How do you know which style of shoot is for you? See chart below
Now, don't get me wrong, you can have a very successful brand with a great digital presence without ever attaching your face to it, I've seen it! However, I have also seen that establishing a face to the brand makes your company look more relatable, approachable, and authentic; qualities that small business shoppers cherish. And let's be entirely honest, one day, you'll look back at yourself and your business and wish you would've gotten out of your comfort zone and documented yourself, not just the business, during your journey. So, moral of the story, take the damn pictures!
If you or someone you know is looking for branding or business headshot services, please click the underlined words to learn more and schedule.
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