2013 was the first time I fell in love with creating a set design with prop details matching colour schemes and style. I would work with artists, designers and stylists to create a more interesting scenery to the story of images created. Each time a new project was booked it was exciting because all the ideas in my head could come to life with an email to my favourite creatives and a simple “Can you help me design or make this?” (I’ll add you to my Pinterest vision board). You may not find or see many of these photos posted on my social media or portfolio page, only because they work for my clients brands, so today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite styled photos. So much thought goes into the details. Already months in advance, a big project scheduled for the end of October beginning of November, I am pulling ideas, props and sourcing months in advance.
A few months ago I had the pleasure to work with branding agency House Republic and stylist House of Rue. Honestly working with a branding agency is lovely because they do all the hard strategy prep work with their clients and I get to show up and be mrs. creative on photo shoot days. Photographing Limestone and Cedar Co. candles was a delight and I love how their candles have been carefully handcrafted in Bermuda using recycled amber bottles, natural soy wax and cotton wicks. With this photo shoot I had a chance to work with opposite theme lighting techniques from light and bright to a moodier style with dark shadows. Bonus was smelling all the variety of candles when we lit them up for some shots.
Understanding your personal brand can be as difficult as marketing your business. It takes time to curate a cohesive style and understand the kind of clients/customers you want to serve or sell your products too. Personally I’ve been through so many changes with my business and often change my website look and feel about every 3 to 6 months. I’m sure many of you feel like your website is not perfect and you wish you could hire a magical website wizard to take over the frustrating task of creating a design that looks good not only on a desktop version but also on a mobile device. However, before you go hiring a professional, ask yourself the following questions below. If you dig deeper with who YOU are, it becomes very difficult for others to copy. Also, defining your personal values will help you stand out, re-define your brand and personal style.
Where do you find the most inspiration? Is it art, music, interior design, fashion, news, parenting?
What is the main focus of your business?
What makes you unique and what do you do best compared to others?
Who is your ideal customer/client? If you only served one person who are they?
Whenever I’m creating a photography mood board on Pinterest for my clients, I find understanding an ideal client brings more purpose and meaning to my projects. Overall it helps curate photos that will resonate with their audience.
How to create a collection of custom images? Try working and thinking about how you would design a room in your home. Experiment with colour palettes. Certain colours represent different moods and feelings. I could probably dive deeper into colour theory, but it’s easy to find creative courses that highlight colour strategies for branding. Try Skillshare or Creative Live for more in-depth content. I know executing your vision on camera can seem overwhelming, so as a wise cartoon character tells her students, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” Foster your concept and ideas with visualizing a story and or a theme. For example, with my branding I wanted a sense of modern, organic and simple lifestyle look inspired by fine art film imagery. I would travel, source certain brands or businesses who’s aesthetic best fit and complimented my style. And, if all of this does not seem to work for you and your still struggling to pull together consistent imagery, it helps to attend workshops with per-conceptualized styled shoots. Workshops are great for inspiration but it is still important to invest in your own photo concepts and ideas for your personal branding. Your business is part of you and that means creating something more than what you think looks good.
When thinking about writing this blog, I decided to ask in my Facebook business group how hiring a professional branding photographer helped them and their businesses. I received a couple of comments below:
“I think branding photography is so important because it’s a way to visually communicate to potential customers something that they might not have the time to go read about. Most people judge a book by its cover. So good branding is a good cover. “
“The work that she has done for me gets me published in magazines and allows me to charge more for my products”
Hope these strategies help you on your way to a more purposeful brand for your business. If you are finding you’re exhausted with creating content on social media, and trying to figure out what will connect with your audience, I’d love to personally help you. I’ll look at your brand and give you personalized recommendations.
This past year focusing on my personal branding has helped me connect with like-minded clients who do not question my value as a creative entrepreneur and most recently opened opportunities to be published/recognized internationally in Belle Lumiere’s magazine.