As a brand photographer, you are tasked with more than just capturing pretty pictures, your job is to become a personal branding expert. This allows you to tell better stories, capture more authentic emotions, and conceptualize unique personalities.
Our client’s brand photos do no not exist in a vacuum, they are a piece of the larger puzzle they are trying to solve, which is how to bring attention and awareness to their brands so they can gain more clients and ultimately reach their ideal of success.
To put it plainly, our photos are created to help our clients make more money.
To that end, we as brand photographers need to do more than simply photograph our clients in a good light, we need to also be a guide for them on their brand journey.
We need to be brand experts.
In order to truly be the experts our clients trust to help fulfill their goals, we need to understand what branding is, and how it works to bring our clients more revenue and success.
The Transformation of Commercial Photography: The Age of Personal Branding
For anyone who was on the fence about building a strong online presence, the pandemic and global shutdown taught everyone the importance of having some form of digital real estate.
And in the digital landscape, who you are is just as important, if not more important than what you do. Even national brands recognize this as they shift to highlight more and more of their values in their marketing than ever.
This element of personal brand building is why our genre has grown so much and why it’s more important than ever that we are well-versed in the why behind building personal brands, not just the how.
This is done by learning more about branding and what makes branding as a whole valuable for your clients. In this way, you not only build a foundation for better capturing your client’s brands, but you are also more credible and capable of being a part of their brand journey.
Bridging the Chasm: From Photographer to Personal Branding Expert
To set yourself apart from the crowd and establish yourself as the go-to brand photographer in your area, it’s more important than ever to bridge the gap between being a photographer and being a personal branding expert.
Here are a few ways that building your personal branding expertise will build your authority in the industry.
- You’re Able to Guide Clients on Their Brand Journeys: In your role as a personal branding expert, you become a guide who assists your clients in navigating the intricate landscape of their brand journey. You help them discover their core values, uncover their unique stories, and define their distinctive visual style.
This collaborative journey empowers you to create images that resonate deeply with their target audience. It also helps them develop a better understanding of their brand foundations that they can then take with them to other branding professionals, like their web designers and copywriters.
- You Help Them Craft More Authentic Brand Narratives: By understanding the nuances of your client’s brands, you’re better able to craft authentic brand narratives through their visual brand. This allows you to conceptualize their imagery to fit their unique personalities and brand stories.
Doing so takes your work beyond a prescribed set of poses and locations and differentiates you from your competition. You go beyond simply capturing images; you capture the very essence of who your clients are and what they stand for, creating a profound connection with their audience.
- You Elevate Your Industry Authority and Credibility: As you build a reputation for your expertise in personal branding and your unique ability to serve your clients with more than just photos, you naturally elevate your authority and credibility within the industry.
Clients seek your services not just for your technical prowess but also for your exceptional ability to transform their brand vision into a vivid, compelling reality.
How to Build Your Personal Branding Expertise
Now is the time to go out and build your expertise. Here are a few ways you can elevate your status as a personal branding expert.
- Study the Concepts of Personal Branding: This includes understanding how individuals use their personality, skills, and experiences to differentiate themselves in their field. Books, online courses, and workshops on personal branding can be very helpful.
- Marketing and Business Knowledge: Learn about marketing and business, as personal branding is closely tied to these areas. Understanding the business goals and challenges of your clients will help you create images that effectively communicate their brand.
- Networking and Collaboration: Build a network with other professionals like marketers, graphic designers, and content creators. Collaborating with them will provide a more comprehensive branding service to clients and deepen your understanding of how photography fits into the broader context of personal branding.
- Portfolio Development: Create a portfolio that showcases your ability to capture different aspects of a brand. Include a variety of styles and subjects to demonstrate your versatility and understanding of personal branding needs.
- Continued Learning: Stay updated with trends in both photography and personal branding. Follow industry leaders, attend relevant seminars and workshops, and participate in online forums and discussions.
- Specialization: Consider specializing in a particular niche within personal branding, such as entrepreneurs, authors, or artists. This will help you develop deeper expertise and become known as an expert in that specific area.
- Social Media and Online Presence: Develop a strong online presence to showcase your work and thought leadership in personal branding photography. Social media platforms, blogs, and professional websites are effective tools for this.
Building Your Personal Brand as a Brand Photographer
Just as you help your clients construct their personal brands, it is equally important that you dedicate time and effort to cultivate your own personal brand as a brand photographer.
Your personal brand represents your unique style, approach, and values within the realm of brand photography.
It serves as a beacon that attracts clients who resonate with your vision and approach.
The Transformation of Brand Photographers into Brand Architects
By understanding the compelling power of branding and seamlessly integrating it into your work, you do more than just create captivating images. You significantly contribute to the success and authenticity of the brands you have the privilege to serve.
This transformation not only elevates your authority within the industry but ensures your continued success as a brand photographer who goes beyond the camera, crafting visual narratives that leave an indelible mark.