Because Amy spends a lot of time in the public eye, she is well-aware of the power of a headshot. She was photographed by Katie for her own personal branding imagery and some personal portraits that hold a special place in her heart for her family.
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Emily Breedlove is not your everyday entrepreneur. In fact, she is more engaged in the entrepreneurial community of western NC than any 4 people could hope to be. She’s what you call “plugged in”. Cat Ford-Coates created her new personal branding campaign at Studio 828 Photography.
Jaime came to Cat Ford-Coates for to create new branding materials for her new resilience coaching business. What she realized was that in her portraiture, she is more than just a headshot.
Personal branding photo shoot on location in Venice, Italy for destination Portrait Photographer, Katinka Tromp.
Personal branding photo shoot for western North Carolina wedding and portrait photographer, Adriane Etheridge.
Alexandra’s smile just won’t quit. I LOVE that about her. We had so much fun during her shoot. One of the greatest things about our story together is that I spoke with her earlier in the fall and she decided that it wasn’t the right time for a personal branding session. Alexandra is a realtor with Keller Williams and placing herself in the luxury market here in western North Carolina but was concerned going into the winter here, that it might be better to wait until the Spring.
Well, about a month later, a gentleman calls me and he is researching photographers for his wife. Her real estate business is taking off like wildfires in California (sorry Cali, no offense) and she needs new branding images. She’s been using the same head shot for about 10 years and, like all savvy entrepreneurs isn’t looking for the “same ole head shot”. He was drawn to my work because of our message in connection and empowerment, as well as our imagery. It is anything but run of the mill.
Oh, and did I mention that he went on, gushing about his wonderful wife for a good twenty minutes, telling me how much he adores her? Yeah. After about ten minutes it dawned on me that I had already spoken with his wife and kablammo! I was even more thrilled to be photographing her! She must really be pretty incredible if her husband has gone on in his admiration to a complete stranger. Yes, she is. In fact, if you’re in the market for real estate here in Asheville, I highly recommend her. We talked shop a bit and, she knows her business inside and out.
Hair and Makeup: Wendy, Blush Asheville
“Turning Dreams Into Realty”
Did I mention that one of the things we are offering our branding clients is more than a string of head shots. We are also using the images they love the most, and incorporating them into seasonal Facebook cover photos for their businesses. Remember, the point of your branding session is to ensure that you have cohesive imagery for your marketing efforts throughout the year. Social media is, like it or not, a HUGE component for your revenue. Nurture it. Care for it. Leverage it for your own business.
Want to learn more about how Studio 828 Photography can update your professional image to build your business? Let’s grab a coffee and chat about it! I love supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs here in western North Carolina. I would love to support yours too.
Being Your Brand: I spend a lot of time with clients discussing how cohesive imagery impacts their brand. I also spend much of that time discussing how self-hate can play a big part in when you book a portrait session, what you will choose to wear for your photo shoot, and how you want to be portrayed. I am no exception to that rule.
In 2016, we have some really great opportunities that are coming up for us and I wanted to come into this new year strong. Part of that plan included a photo shoot with Wendy from Blush Asheville to promote a really exciting event we have coming up later this month with the Special Olympics.
During the shoot, of course we had fun and laughed a whole bunch. I even got super excited about my hair and makeup.
SERIOUSLY Y’ALL, WENDY BLOWS ME AWAY ALL THE TIME. I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU. YOU JUST HAVE TO EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF.
And then I found myself really getting down on myself about the weight I’ve put on over the past couple of years. Don’t get me wrong, I recognized it, in a big way a few weeks back and am making the effort. Walk/running, putting the pizza on the back burner, more water, the whole shebang. That doesn’t mean it isn’t disheartening. But luckily, Wendy looked at me and said “Girl, you are a WOMAN, you have curves! Embrace it!” and she was absolutely right. It isn’t about having the perfect body. It isn’t about looking the way I did five, ten, even twenty years ago. It is about loving me for who I am today.
I am so incredibly lucky to be a portrait photographer. It is my job to help women feel good about who they are, right now. It is never about trying to be anything other than better than we were yesterday. I am grateful that my team understands that too. Thank you, Wendy.
So, how do you go about “being your brand” exactly? In my world, almost everything that I do involves my brand, somehow. It is all about choices. What to wear, how I spend my time, who I spend my time with, what luncheons to attend, trips we take, purchases throughout the year, and opportunities that present themselves do so based on HOW your market perceives you.
Me personally, I love a ripped jean. Like 1992 ripped jeans. I am a child of the 90’s so, the grunge era and I, we go way back. As much as I LOVE some Pearl Jam I simply cannot, as an entrepreneur dress at that level of comfort any longer in my life, at least not publicly . Haha! Does that mean that I can’t incorporate some fun into my style? Of course not but, if I am going to be ready for every great opportunity that COULD be available to my business then I had better be prepared to run with the big dogs and so should you. What does your brand look like? Mine is urban, chic, powerful, and honest. With that kind of vocabulary, you won’t catch me at a photo shoot, or even on the street in a lazy anything. Does it mean I will be in a suit? Nope. I gave my last two suits to Goodwill about a month ago. They lived in my closet for five years and I never. wore them. once. My warpaint now is glamour. Plain and simple. Am I a goofball? Sure! That doesn’t mean White House Black Market isn’t all up on my vision board and my leather pants…they are here to stay.
I am living my brand and so should you. Be prepared for success, it just might work out that way.
Personal branding for the inspired professional.
Meet, Maggie Marie.
She was an absolute joy to photograph! As a small business owner, she is rebranding her copywriting business and was interested in showcasing her own persona as the face of her business. As many of you know, your first impression is not made on the consultation or the work, or even in the delight of your current client base (though, that absolutely helps!).
Your first impression is made when your potential client somehow connects with you, with your image, with your brand. In a single image your readership will judge whether you’re professional, delightful, quirky, lazy, friendly, ambitious, and yes, authentic. What does your current head shot or branding profile say about you?
I loved every second of working with Maggie. Her work is inspiring, her words are crafted and her spirit is limitless.
Thank you Maggie.
Are you interested in taking your branding to the next level? Please feel to reach out here for your personal consultation to design the brand you want for your presence.
Recently, to our portrait menu we have added an option for personal branding. “Personal what?” That’s right, personal branding. As a photographer I am quite aware of the impact of my craft however, many people pass over their branding with the hopes that it will take care of itself or, if they just get a quick and dirty head shot session in with any photographer they’ll be covered and will “deal with it later” and then, later comes.
I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to photograph Alicia Sisk-Morris. She was in need of updated head shots as she had recently re-branded her business website and she does regular speaking engagements on accounting and empowerment of small business owners throughout WNC.
For her consultation we discussed what exactly she needed her imagery to portray? Yes, she’s a CPA but so much of entrepreneurship is about being able to connect with your clients, potential or existing before they even pick up the phone. For Alicia, she of course needed them to portray her approachability but also that she is a professional and friendly and can carry her brand with her image. She is the face of Sisk-Morris CPA, LLC.Even in our western North Carolina town, that’s a big deal. She wants her clients to understand that not only does she have the experience, education and staying power that any CPA should have (I mean c’mon, they’re responsible for our taxes here) but also that she is a real person. In my experience, Alicia is funny and charismatic not to mention she knows her stuff!
She was a guest speaker for a women’s group that I chair about small business owners and taxes (I know, you are really wishing you were there aren’t you?) and she gave not only a well thought out presentation but each of us was able to connect with the information. I don’t know if you know many creatives but when it comes to money, numbers, and organization, that can be quite the feat. Alicia made it painless, easy to understand and was open to questions and gave comprehensive answers. That to me, is better than gold.
I am incredibly grateful to have photographed you Alicia. I am also thankful to know you. I love that you specialize in small business and in women owned businesses as well. Thank you, more than you know.
I’ve invited her to write a guest post about her experience with our studio. These are her words.
Personal Branding is a Sign of Leadership
As a female Certified Public Accountant (CPA) located in Asheville, NC, I work with a lot of self-employed individuals and small business entrepreneurs. I advise my clients that it is especially important to be mindful about how you are presenting yourself to your clients. The message you send should be consistent in both the written and visual form. A part of that imaging is creating a logo, website, and social media profiles that share a consistent message. Your message should include a solid professional head shot and a logo that matches your company vision. Many of us, myself included, are the faces of our business and we should always put our best face forward. If you are comfortable in doing your own branding then by all means, save yourself some money and do it yourself. But if you are like me, you may need some help in the design department.
According to a Forbes magazine article written by Glenn Llopis “Developing your personal brand is essential for the advancement of your career and development as a leader.” When you represent your company, you want to make sure that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light.
I recently upgraded my website design and felt I was in need of an updated head shot to accompany the refreshed text. I was fortunate enough to have met Cat Ford-Coates, owner of Studio 828 ,at a local networking group. Cat is a local photographer who specializes in photographing women. Having seen some of her work online, I felt Cat would photograph me in a professional light.
Cat’s process is, in my opinion, quite unique. She requested that I bring as many outfits as I would like along with jewelry and accessories. She took the time to go through my selections and chose the outfits that would photograph the best. She also hired a professional make-up and hair stylist to help prepare me for my shoot. We all know that make-up for camera lighting is often times quite different from we might wear for every day uses. I really appreciated their extra help. They both listen carefully to my styling requests and they gave me exactly what I wanted. I also have deep respect for Cat’s attention to detail while photographing me. She knew what poses would be most flattering to my body type while still being mindful of my branding goals. A head shot is so much more than just a photo of what you look like. It sends a message to your potential clients and you want to make sure that message fits within your personal brand. As Glenn Llopis stated “Your personal brand is an asset that must be managed with the intention of helping others benefit from having a relationship with you and / or by being associated with your work and the industry you serve.”
Thank you Cat for listening so well to my requests and giving me a head shot that I will proudly post on my website and use for upcoming literature and public speaking engagements.
As small business owners, we often opt for the fast head shot session with that one photographer that is just starting their own business, in regard to our own branding for the sake of saving the almighty buck. And then, as the evolution of our brand takes hold we often realize, that head shot we had taken two years ago out in a field in the middle of the day…it just isn’t communicating the way we need it too. Often times we didn’t even make it outside (or we did…at noon, on a lunch break) and ended up being photographed while sitting on a wrinkled bed sheet with bad lighting.
So tell me, now that you have your feet under you when you really look at that head shot with the clarity of experience what is that portrait saying about you and your brand?
Is it saying?
- She is detail oriented?
- She takes her business seriously?
- She seems friendly and approachable?
- She is authentic?
- She is professional?
Or is it saying:
- She is operating her business on a wing and a prayer?
- She is just starting out?
- She is inexperienced?
- She is off-putting or worse yet, mean?
What you’re looking for in a photographer is one that will not only photograph you in such a way that you have great lighting or a studio to be photographed in but one that will take the time with you to:
- tailor your photo shoot to your own branding needs
- handle your hair and makeup styling with a professional
- pose you in a myriad of ways that flatters you
- give you several options in wardrobe so that you’re able to create cohesive branding throughout the year that you can release for different events and marketing opportunities and speaking engagements and not just the “same old head shot”
- customize a Facebook cover photo to you and your business
If you’re considering “new head shots” I invite you to experience our personal branding sessions at our Asheville photography studio. Ask about how we can tailor your photo shoot to YOUR branding needs. We would love to photograph you.