Eva Blake Photography, a Wicklow based business, is one of the few photographers in Ireland that is helping SME’s, particularly female entrepreneurs, to tell their business story through personal brand photography, a relatively new and increasingly popular corporate photography style.
With a steady increase in start-up’s and in particular female led businesses, Eva discovered she has a lot in common with her clients; ‘I set up my own business three years ago. Like a lot of women in business, I wanted greater flexibility and a better work life balance. I moved from a well-paid career in marketing pharmaceuticals to pursue photography and I haven’t looked back! This helps me understand the concerns my clients have starting their own business including a fear of putting themselves out there and of getting their photo taken!’
Eva works directly with clients to prepare them for their photo shoot and preparation is key as Eva explains; ‘This style of photography differs from the more formal posed head and shoulders photo many people will be used to, and dread! Instead, I focus on natural light-filled imagery showcasing my client’s personality. Personal brand photography is about telling your business story through imagery and communicating your personality and values. My clients understand the importance of communicating who the person is behind the business. This gives them the freedom to authentically express what they do. And this freedom has led to a lot of fun photoshoots in great locations including beaches, in clients’ homes, offices, up mountains and in the sea!’
So where do you start and how do you ensure you get value from an investment in personal brand photography? Eva shares her top 8 tips for preparing for your personal brand photoshoot…
- CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WISELY Do your research, seek out recommendations and find a photographer that takes the time to understand you and your business. There are a lot of different types of photographers from press to wedding to lifestyle photographers. They are all different skillsets so ideally, look for a photographer who specialises in personal brand.
- GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING You will know after talking to the photographer if they are a fit for you and your business. This is important as you want to work with a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and confident so your authentic self-shines through. This comes down to the right advice during preparation, posing you to look your best and keeping the day fun and relaxed to get those natural shots!
- KNOW YOUR BRAND Get clear on your brand. Consider what you want your images to communicate. Images that represent you authentically, are true to your business purpose, values, and your unique offering. They say attention is the new currency. Nothing grabs your attention more quickly than an image so make sure the message it conveys is completely on brand and working hard to connect you with the right people.
- WHO ARE YOU TARGETING? Know who you want your images to resonate with. Keeping your ideal client in mind at all times will keep you on track. Understanding exactly who you are selling to, what their specific problem is and positioning yourself as the solution can be achieved through imagery with a little extra thought and consideration, are you telling a story your ideal client wants to be in?
- MAXIMISE THE OPPORTUNITY. This is a big investment for your business, it is important to make the most of it. The right location is key. Keep an open mind. Just because you may not have a business premises or an instagrammable home does not mean you can’t have a photoshoot for your brand. The options are endless! There are so many fabulous spaces, studios, restaurants, air bnb homes, beaches, urban streets and beauty spots to consider. Choosing the right back drop to tell your story can be a fun but also critically important step to set the tone for your brand.
- BRAND IDENTITY – your images are an important element of your visual identity. There needs to be consistency across your brand palette, style and the values of your business. Your photographer can help you make sure this happens with the right clothes, colours, energy, props and use of light. Considering the destination of your images at the beginning of the process can help too, which pages on your website will they be used, the colours they need to be and the unique purpose each image may have.
- GO PRO Have fun but take it seriously on the day. Don’t scrimp on professional hair, styling and make up, the right clothes and props or you will regret it. It can make or break a shoot if you end up not liking how your hair looks or an outfit sits.
- Body Confidence – if you are not feeling overly body confident, it is worth pausing and looking at ways you can boost your confidence before the shoot. How to dress your body shape, understand your best colours and optimise the condition of your skin can really help you embrace the best of you. If you are not in a good place with regards your body, it is possible that you may not be happy with your pictures. Feeling good about your authentic self is the magic ingredient that yields the most loved pictures.
After what has been a very difficult period for photographers and small businesses generally, Eva is positive about the future; ‘To go from flat out busy to being stuck at home for such a long period during the various lockdowns was incredibly difficult. I am delighted restrictions are lifting and I can now safely work with clients again in their offices or on location. I have exciting projects coming up working with a diverse client base from creatives to consultants to medium enterprises. They are all amazing and my job is to get them to realise this by the end of the shoot!”