Personal branding for photographers: let your personality shine!

When it comes to personal branding for photographers, I think I know a thing or two…  I have been a professional photographer myself for over 12 years. During that time I’ve got to know the photography industry inside out and I understand what it’s like to run a photography business. I have also worked with many fellow photographers during that time on their own personal branding images.

My photography journey began in my teenage years when I used document everything I got up to with my friends (not that exciting since I was a real geek!) I went on to study Fine Art photography at Westminster University and graduated with a 1st class degree in 2010. I set up my wedding photography business the following year when I was planning my own wedding (stressful move on my part there!) My speciality soon became happy and colourful wedding photography for relaxed couples.

I started doing personal branding photo shoots in 2019 in collaboration with web designer Gemma from That’s Her Business. I carried over my vibrant and informal style into my personal branding photography, working with clients who are often creative types themselves. And the rest is history, as they say!

Personal Branding for Photographers

Personal Branding for Photographers

As you can see from my own story, running a photography business is very personal. We all have our own motivations for working as a photographer… We often must do all the tasks within our photography business… Developing our photography style and way of working is down to us. Our unique vision and personality are the things that our clients buy into. Put simply, us photographers are our brand.  

I often say the number one top skill for a wedding or portrait photographer is being a people person. You can be the most technically proficient and creatively brilliant photographer in the world… But without people skills, you’ll get nowhere!

We’ve all been there… I bet you’ve had that moment when you’ve had to wrangle 100 guests into a group shot whilst balancing on top of a ladder? As well as beating that fear of heights, you needed people skills to make that work! Warmth, kindness, patience, and the odd cheesy joke are the ingredients that build our characters and help us to connect with our clients on a personal level.

All of us are different of course, and how we achieve great photographs (often under pressure) will vary. Whilst some photographers may be bubbly, loud and laugh-a-minute jokers, others may be more caring, sensitive, and calming. I think the best photographers can strike a balance between these things depending on the situation and what the client needs from them emotionally in that moment.

Showing Your Personality

So, what’s your superpower for getting the best shots of your clients? What are your own unique personality traits that your ideal client can relate to?

Spend some time considering the above questions before you even book a personal branding shoot. A great exercise to do is asking a group of friends and peers to write down three words that describe you and your photography style. Or even better, ask your past clients!

It’s also valuable to spend some time thinking about who your ideal client is… What clients have you had in the past that you have felt connected to? The kind of clients whose images are pride of place on your Instagram account AND you’d be happy to go for a drink with! Think about what they valued in you as a photographer and what drew them to you in the first place.

Once you’ve worked through these ideas, communicating your personality through photographs of yourself should be a breeze! Enlisting the help of a fellow photographer (like me!) will help to bring your ideas to life and ensure professional consistency across your website and social media channels.  

Top tips for personal branding for photographers…

  • Show up!

No hiding behind the camera and not showing your face! Remember having a photo shoot yourself can help to build empathy for your clients as you’ve been in their shoes.

  • Update your headshots regularly

Part of the reason for putting your face online is so your clients can recognise you on the day of their shoot! Make sure your headshots are up to date and reflect your current appearance. If you’re someone who likes to change their look often, my personal branding subscription service would be perfect for you!

  • Choose colours carefully

Consider your brand colours and choose your clothes and location(s) accordingly to fit with the vibe. Vibrant outfits and backdrops indicate energy, excitement, and fun. Muted tones can communicate a more calming presence.

  • Plan your outfit

Dress in what you might wear to a wedding or photo shoot (for at least some of the shots) so your clients know what to expect on the day. Don’t forget to choose an outfit that shows off your personality. For more tips check out: What should I wear to my personal branding shoot?

  • Pose with your passions

Bring along your pet to your personal branding shoot, show off your hobby or accessorise with your favourite cocktail… Your ideal client will relate to your passions and interests.

  • Plan some action shots

Some photographs of you working with a client, or posing with your camera can illustrate what you do and add variety to your shoot. On my wedding photography Instagram, I often post photos of me dancing at weddings taken by my second shooters. It’s fun and gives my clients an insight into what to expect at their own wedding!

  • Don’t forget to smile!

No matter what your style, it’s a given that you want friendly and engaging photos. Nobody wants to work with a sour puss, so don’t forget to smile!

Personal Branding Photographer Cheshire

If you’re a fellow photographer and you would like to work with me, I would love to hear from you. I’m a personal branding photographer Cheshire, based in Sale. I offer headshots and branding shoots all around Manchester, the North West and further afield. Simply get in touch with me to find out more about how we can collaborate.

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Picture of Cassandra Lane

Cassandra Lane

Cassandra is a creative personal branding photographer specialising in personality-fueled shoots in Manchester and beyond. Her mission is to ditch the boring, stuffy headshots and help her clients feel confident to show off their true selves so they can expand their reach and make a positive impact on the world.

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