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7 tips On Picking a Personal Brand Photographer
  • Michelle Harris

7 tips On Picking a Personal Brand Photographer

Finding a photographer that specializes in Personal Brand Photography can be difficult with all the different genre. If you know what to look for and the questions to ask it can make the task a bit easier. Check out the 7 tips on picking a Personal Brand Photographer below.

You want to make sure that every piece of information that you put out in on brand, that should include any images you use. All of your images should share your story.

“Branding demands commitment to continual reinvention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions' and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful." Sir Richard Branson

Running a business is hard. You are the CEO of the brand "YOU". You are in charge of every aspect of your brand and want to make sure that every piece of information that you put out matches your vision and send the right message.

When the time comes and you are ready to up level your online presence the images you use should be the first place you make changes. All of your images should be on brand and give a consistent and cohesive appearance across everything you do both online and offline.

When looking for a photographer it can be overwhelming. Photography has many genre and personal brand photography is one of them. Personal brand photography is a mix of genre. It incorporates portraiture, product photography, lifestyle and styling of the products. The most important aspect of personal brand photography is being able to communicate a story through images that reflects your business and personality.

Weeding through all the photographers out there is difficult and if you Google personal bran photographers or brand photographers you may not find a single one in your area. There are many that advertise they are brand photographer when in reality that is not their specialty. My goal here is to help you narrow down the field a bit to the ones that can help you the most.

7 to Ask When Hiring a Brand Photographer

To help you narrow down the never ending list of photographers I have put together a list for you to consider. Personal brand photography requires different services and time frame considerations. Before you start looking for a photographer put together a list of how you plan to use the images and the time frame you need to have the final images done. #storytellingimages #brandphotography #personalbrandphotographer #tellyourstory

1. What type of work is showcased in the portfolio

Take a look at their portfolio to see exactly what type of images they are showcasing. The portfolio should give you an idea of the quality of work and their photography style. Both of these are just as important as the other. Obviously you want high quality work, but the style of the photographer should be one that fits your brand. If the photography has bright, light and airy images it might be great for a wedding or family portrait, but not for your music image. Also, when you are viewing the images look for creativity and the ability to tell your story. You need to ensure they are able to get the point of the story across easily in their images.

Don't be afraid to ask a photographer to see an actually client gallery. Seeing a clients full gallery will give you the opportunity to see the number of images you would have to make your selection, but also gives you a deeper view into telling a specific story.

2. What services are offered?

When considering what services a photographer offers you must first know what you need. Do you need someone for hair and makeup or wardrobe styling? What type of images do you need; products, custom flat lays, lifestyle images, head shots, etc? What type of image license will you need (to cover most business needs you will need a commercial license)? Not all photographers offer all services, but they may be able to find someone to help in the areas that aren't included.

Another consideration is the type of image retouching offered. Does the photographers only offer basic color correction and basic retouching? Are they able to do advanced editing? Also, ask if they include cropping and image sizing so they are ready to use when you receive them.

3. Where are you located? Does the photographer travel?

Personal brand photography/brand photography is a relatively new genre (or should I say mainstream) and finding a specialized photographer in your area may be difficult and you will need them to come to you. You may be a speaker and want images of you during a speaking engagement that would require them to travel. If travel is going to a necessary part of the arrangement you will want to discuss this before making a commitment to the photographer. Most brand photographers are willing to travel for their clients, but the distance or type of travel may have limitations. If additional travel will be required expect for this cost to be passed on to you. Every photographer handles travel fees differently, so make sure the fees are outlined for you to ensure no surprises.

4. What is your availability and what is the turn around time

Before starting any project it is a good idea to have a projected timeline. This is very important for both you and the photographer to know in advance. Find out from your photographer what their availability may be and an estimate of how long it will take for them to complete the project.

You also need to ask when you can expect to receive your completed images to ensure the photos are ready when you need them. If your project has a quick turnaround (one shorter than their standard) don't be surprised if the photographer increases the fee. Also, if your timeline is very short make sure your photographer is able to focus solely on your project. The reason to mention this is if a photographer has several projects close together their quality of work could decrease.

5. What is the pricing and what is included?

We all have budgets to work with and is an important consideration when selecting a photographer. I recommend letting the budget take a back seat until you have narrowed down your photographer list to your top five (unless you know they are way out of your price range up front). By doing this it will allow you to focus on what you need from a photographer and their quality of work.

For businesses you will need to make sure the fees being charged includes everything you need and not have an added surprise later with extra charges. Some of the items you will want to make sure are included in your quote will be commercial licensing (allows you to use the photos for all of your marketing, advertising, website, and social media), the number of finished photos you will receive, the time allotted for the project, rental of space, hiring of models, purchase of props and make sure they tell you up front what travel expense are to be expected.

Ask what type of payment methods are available. Do they offer a payment plan or take credit cards. Keep in mind that many times payment plans cost a bit more than when paid in full.

6. Is a contract required?

Ask your photographer if a contract is required. Contracts are important for all parties involved as it gives everyone extra protection. The following items should be expected to be part of the contract: fees, payment method. model release, cancellation policy, and timelines. As for the model release you can deny them the right to use your images or specify how they can be used.

7. Do they have testimonials?

Most include testimonials on their website these days, but if not don't hesitate to ask to see them. This is a good way to learn about the experience of the past clients.

One thing to bare in mind here is only the best testimonials are going to be shared with you.

"Your brand perception is being formed constantly, with or without your input. You can help shape that perception or leave it to chance and mediocrity." Hilary Hartling

Share Your Story

Selecting the right personal brand photographer is an important process. You want to make sure you hire a photographer that you trust to capture your story. Remember, you are hiring someone to work in your time frame, capture your story and personality. This is one time it needs to be all about you and your needs. This is your brand and the images are capturing what you are all about in order to share it with the rest of the world. Know what you need and don't settle for second best.

        Winston-Salem, North Carolina                 336-408-0804       



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