What Are Your Personal Branding Stories? - Bernadette Marciniak

So you want to book a personal branding session. But aside from the panic of figuring out what the hell you’re gonna wear, you’re wondering, “What are we even going to take pictures of?”

A personal branding session is extremely unique. It combines lifestyle, documentary and portrait photography into one. As an entrepreneur, you are trying to build a community that knows three things. Who you are, what you sell and what you stand for. We answer all of those questions by thinking of a few “stories” you want to tell your audience on a regular basis. These stories are a guideline you use for a consistent stream of content that brings everything together in your social media plan.

There are a few starting points to help you figure out what those stories are and what pictures you want to take during your session.

Your Regiments and Hobbies
Do you meditate daily? Take regular hikes? Enjoy cooking healthy meals? Including photos like this from your sessions will help you build more of an audience with those who share the same values. And when you connect with people on that level, they’ll feel more comfortable with you and more prone to buy your product or service.

Family
If they are part of your why, they should be a part of your story. Get hubs or wifey in for a few shots to tell a story of support and love. If your house is constantly crazy with the shuffle of children, get them in a few shots to show how you’re a Wonderparent doing it all. You will have a world of consumers that can relate with your pains (and wins!)

Concerned about privacy issues with your kids? No problem, we can take the photos in a way that would preserve that (i.e. from the waist down, back views only, kids blurred out in the background.)

Snuggle up with your littles during your personal branding session for photos that not only help your business, but create beautiful memories for years to come.

Snuggle up with your littles during your personal branding session for photos that not only help your business, but create beautiful memories for years to come.

Pets!
I am a sucker for including animals in your photoshoot. If you have a pup who loves to ham it up and is a big part of your life, then let’s include them! Better yet…if you can show your product with them in the photo, you get a double bonus!

Have a pet goat…or three? Make yourself and your business stand out with them!

Have a pet goat…or three? Make yourself and your business stand out with them!

Your Products
Let’s get one thing clear on this suggestion — a personal branding shoot is not a product shoot. Getting some photos of just your products can definitely be part of your shot list, but it’s showing how they are used that will resonate the most with your audience. They want to see how THEY would look or feel buying from you. If you have a clothing line, or sell a line of makeup, show how it is being used by you. Create that bridge between an inanimate product and its user.

Carla Lytle demonstrates applying a lip gloss that she sells in her Avon business during her Charlotte personal branding photography session.

Carla Lytle demonstrates applying a lip gloss that she sells in her Avon business during her Charlotte personal branding photography session.

Business
Ah, the ultimate cliche — laptop open with a coffee by your side. But if you’re doing all your business from home, why not include some shots of your behind-the-scenes? People love seeing how things are made and how others’ creative processes work. This is especially true if you own a service-based business as it will give potential clients a glimpse into how they will be served by you in real life.

Have any other ideas? Let me know and we’ll get them in the next roundup!