Capturing the right image
The right headshot can tell a thousand stories about your business and your brand – here’s why…
Thankfully, headshots have come a long way since the days of impersonal photobooths, where everyone ends up looking like they’re on a police identity parade!
Today, headshots have become another way of selling your brand. They are another form of personal marketing that is becoming so important in today’s social media marketplace.
They say a picture can tell a thousand stories, and that’s what photographer Laura Pearman tries to do with her unique form of headshot photography.
Laura started out as a photographer almost by accident after she went travelling with her photographer boyfriend. A dalliance in marketing was followed by the chance to attend a photography course in Newcastle where she gained relevant skills and experience.
This led to jobs in a couple of portrait studios – one great and the other not so great. Realising she had enough experience and the skills to set up on her own, Laura developed a business plan and opened her own studio, focusing on portraiture.
As well as traditional portraits, Laura had clients asking for off the cuff headshots, which she obliged at £20 a go. It wasn’t until one client asked for something extra – something that reflected their business and brand – that Laura thought she might be on to something.
She spent time researching the business and what the client wanted to say in the headshots, then invited them in in for a ‘mad, zany photoshoot!’
Finding your Niche
“It was so much fun,” says Laura. “And I could see how they were going to use it in their marketing plan. I thought this could be a niche business for me.”
Laura slowly got rid of her other photography work and niched right down to offering a more personal approach to traditional headshot.
And it worked.
“I jumped on the wave of personal branding,” she explains. “You can’t hide behind a logo any more – you have to be the brand itself now. Everyone now has the ability to see what the people behind a company looks like.”
Laura’s real passion is for large scale, on-brand headshots where there’s a full day of photography, with a three-month lead-in where she can really delve into someone’s brand.
“It’s about knowing that when I give images over to a client they have a really clear idea of where they’re going to use them so they can get a real return on investment,” she says.
Having the right headshot can say a lot about your personal brand and business. In today’s market, it certainly pays to get it right.
Here’s how to capture the right image:
Tell a story
The right headshot can tell the story of your brand. Think about the background, show the audience where you are and what you are doing. Choreograph the shoot so it speaks to your audience
Choose the right photographer
You need to find someone you click with, someone you feel comfortable spending money with and being in front of the camera with. Take time to chat with three or more photographers and go with your gut feeling
Change your image
Ideally, you should change your image at least every two years. This helps to keep your content fresh and means you are constantly adding to your image library. Even if you have images on rotation, it gives different visual clues to your business
Listen to your audience
This is what helped Laura to set up her headshot company in the first place. But she has since been listening again when she noticed clients who were petrified of being in front of the camera and uncomfortable spending loads of money on it. This led to the creation of a 5-day challenge, giving tips on how to take the perfect selfie, with #loveyourselfie.
How to take the perfect selfie:
Take 20 shots:
Take a shot then turn 5 degrees and take another. Repeat this until you have 20 frames. As you move around, the natural light will hit in a different way – look objectively at the 20 frames and see what the light is doing and choose the most flattering.
Do the Brucie:
Also known as ‘turtling’ in America, it’s where you push your chin forward and down. Take your phone out and take a selfie with your chin at that angle. It feels weird and will look weird from the side but it looks incredible from the front.
Share your selfie pics with Laura on Instagram at lpearmanphotos
Get more tips and advice on Laura’s You Tube channel which is uploaded with fresh content every Friday
For more details on the top tips of a personal brand photographer listen to the full Podcast at : http://www.simply-marketing.net/2019/10/11/confessions-of-a-personal-brand-photographer-laura-pearman-episode-38/