Branding is more important than ever in today’s bustling business world as we embrace the importance of a digital presence to capture new audiences and hold the attention of existing ones. The way you represent yourself and your business will make a huge difference in many things, including your bottom line. One way to quickly cement your brand presence is by doing a professional photoshoot. With the right planning, outfits, and shots, you’ll be sweeping your audience off their feet in no time.
Sure your smartphone takes amazing photos and it’s tempting to use it, but a professional photoshoot can ramp up your visibility and make you stand out in the increasingly competitive corporate world. Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn photos, anyone? How about a professional shot when you’re seeking media publicity? Yes, you’ve got to be ready with a great photo that you can be proud to share when you get featured in a news story. Besides, if you use your photo as a screensaver or get it printed, it will be the gift that keeps on giving. It’s there on the tough and uninspiring days when you need a reminder of who you really are and the many accomplishments you have under your belt.
When I launched my PR firm, Oasis Integrated Communications, I was excited about creating a brand that was visually and emotionally appealing. I wanted a brand that would connect with people and speak for itself. As I set out to build momentum, I knew that I had to present a strong image that aligned with my business. Right off the bat, I knew a corporate photoshoot was a foundation to getting me to that goal. I have planned and directed countless photoshoots for corporate and C-suite executives over the years, removing the pain of logistics, and taking the reins in capturing the essence of each business owner and manager to help them put their best foot forward.
I recently applied the lessons from my corporate photoshoots and successfully planned and coordinated my own. Here is my personal checklist to make yours an unforgettable one:
- Do your background check. The first step is to think of all the photographers who you can work with to create the magic that is your new look. The goal here is to look at the photographer’s portfolio and see how well they have executed their previous photoshoots. If they are event photographers, that doesn’t mean they are good at branding and corporate shots. Here are some questions to consider: Are they creative? Have they taken the types of shots that you’re looking for? Do they have a studio that’s easily accessible?
- Reverse-engineer the outcome. Think of the end result you’d like and work the plan backwards. Scour the internet for photos that match the results you need then share the ideas with your photographer to confirm that he or she can deliver. Do you need only headshots or photos that show the vibrance of your personality? Or both?
- Plan your outfits. Will you be showing off your designer blazer? How about branded apparel? And what about those shoes that make you feel like you can conquer the world? Think in advance of your favourite colours and your brand or logo colours and find ways to incorporate them into the look you select. When I did my shoot, I wanted to show off the two main colours of my business logo, blue and yellow, so I went for a blazer that captured both. I’m also a huge fan of red so I found the perfect red outfit and added it to the lineup.
- Focus on your appearance. No bad hair day allowed for your photoshoot. Get a fresh hairdo that complements your outfits and won’t be a hassle to manage between wardrobe changes. Plus, trust me, hire a make-up artist. A make-up artist will help you enhance your features to create a seamless look that will leave you feeling more in love with what you bring to the table. When I chose my MUA, I spoke to her about my likes and dislikes. I wanted my makeup to look as natural as possible with a few enhancements. Red lipstick was a must for me. I explained everything to her and she was right on board.
- Have a proper meal. This might be underestimated in the preparation but if you think of the maxim ‘a hungry man is an angry man’ you’ll know for sure why you need to eat before your shoot. You’ll most likely have a limited time in the studio and you really don’t want to break the flow and momentum of your shoot to have a meal. Besides, it’s a bit unprofessional.
- Be on time. Be respectful of your photographer’s time. You’ll need to be on location to show your outfits and discuss the order and preference of each shot.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Bring extra water or juice for those moments you need to hydrate. Maybe you’ll get a bit weary from the posing or smiling and a quick drink can help to get you back on track.
- Take one, take two… Take 20? Be prepared to pose for long periods of time, to shift, tilt, twirl, anything that it takes to get you that star photo that you’ll be beaming to show off to the world.
- Provide honest feedback. If you’re not pleased with a shot, offer constructive feedback to your photographer and ask how to fix it to get the results you need.
- Shoot your shot! The post-shoot edits are equally important. Which photos will you choose to be enhanced? My photographer took dozens of shots which were all beautiful, so shortlisting some for edits was a bit of a challenge. In the end, I came away with so many photos that I love and feel proud to show the world.
Smartphones these days take great pictures and it’s tempting to want to cut back on costs where photography is concerned. However, DIY images aren’t always the best way forward when you need to stand out with your personal and business branding and magnetise clients. If you take these ten tips into consideration before your photoshoot, and think about the value these new images can bring, you’re well on your way to making it a raving success!
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Kimesha Walters is the CEO of Oasis Integrated Communications, a PR firm with operations in Canada and Jamaica, and a focus on helping businesses to find their paradise. She’s a seasoned PR professional with a passion for crafting meaningful stories that connect with people. An eternal optimist who thrives on perfecting solutions that marry creative brand experience with consumer engagement, she believes in tapping into the core values of a company and tailoring strategies that share their narrative and find affinity. Her experience spans public relations, corporate communications, marketing, social media and advertising across a range of industries. She has executed projects in Toronto, New York, and Jamaica where she has deftly managed some of the foremost brands across North America and the Caribbean.
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