The Day I took Personal Branding Seriously
Being photographed pains me. It pains me as much as pulling my hair while doing 8 hours of data entry. I’m the daughter of a professional photographer and the sister in law of a fashion photographer. I have spent hours of my life striking poses, talking about lenses, filters, digital versus non-digital (when that was a thing), and I wasted hours of my precious holidays waiting for someone that wanted to capture a fraction of a moment in time.
I didn’t recognise the beauty of photography, and I always left it on the side.
Until I started building my own business, and I came to terms with the fact that I needed to create content and share it daily in all the free platforms we have at our disposal in this day and age. I was faced pretty soon with the fact that my homemade shots done with poor lighting, had no competition when compared with glossy pics of ever laughing women on white backgrounds.
There was no way to deny that my brand needed a perk up, and I couldn’t hide any longer behind the “Photography is boring” cover. I needed high images, fresh images, and professional images, as soon as possible.
My Instagram account wasn’t growing, my website was surviving on free images from the net, and my FB posts were homemade pictures of myself drinking a latte. No wonder my followers were getting bored.
Still, the dread oh having someone to do my makeup, my hairs, having to chose what to wear and fit in a 10 hours photoshoot in my super squeezed routine as a mother and entrepreneur were too strong. On top of it, also if I wanted to get some restyling done, where could I go? And how much did I have to pay? And what if the pics weren’t what I wanted to use? It was too much to think about, also when I knew that revitalising my brand and name was the only option if I wanted people to stop and pay attention.
And as sometimes happens in life, when you are ready to receive help, it comes with bells on!
Help, in this case, came under the form of a professional photographer, and also a mama of a toddler; I didn’t have to waste any time describing my tight routine and the ever-changing calendar, as she got it. The first time we sat down for a one o one chat, I was utterly impressed.
She knew what she was talking about, but “can she deliver?” was the question that kept popping into my head.
After that brief meeting made of laughter and brainstorming, she sent me a mood board (which she nailed), and also came over to my house and in less than a cup of tea she had chosen all the dresses I was meant to wear for the photoshoot. I don’t get impressed very easily, but she was going beyond my expectations. Mainly because she wasn’t talking about herself and her photography (isn’t what artists do? Bragging about their art?), but she was listening to what I had to say so that she could portray my essence.
After a few days, she sent me the shoot sequence with timing, locations (which means that I didn’t have to worry about a thing) and change of dresses. All of a sudden, I felt at ease; it was all broken down so I could wrap my head around it; she wasn’t going to show up and do what she felt like doing. She had an idea, she was prepared, and she was not going to “waste” my time.
Still, when the D day came, I was still very nervous; what if I felt awkward, what if she made me parade around town in a t-shirt when there were 8 degrees outside.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, but It didn’t happen.
I had fun. I didn’t feel awkward, not for a second. And she did it all, the arrangement, the thinking, the “smile,” the “don’t smile” kind of thing. In less than 5 hours, I had 400 pictures, and many, many different shots under my sleeve.
After that, everything became easy. I had pictures that I could use for my website, for my bio, for my social media pages; I was taken more seriously than before because people could tell I was putting some effort from the inside (through my content) and the outside (thanks to wonderfully made images). It took me a while to get over my fears of being exposed and potentially judges, and it the end, it was so worth it.
Long story short: if you have booked a photoshoot, and you are getting less than I did, maybe you haven’t found the right person for you. Keep on looking, and if you need any recommendations, hit me!