Whoa, so many photographers out there and feeling overwhelmed by all the choices? You work so hard, and if you’re like me your business is your baby! It’s hard to stand out from the crowd. So, if you’re going to invest the time and money into brand photography you will want to avoid these common mistakes in the hiring process.
While there are plenty of photographers who can take beautiful photos, or a nice headshot, very few traditional photographers understand how to transform your personal brand into images and content. They may expect you to have all the ideas, or they have generic ideas – I’m talking laptop with a mug of coffee in hand shot!
A personal brand photographer takes the time to understand your brand and your audience. They work with you to create stories that have commonality with your audience. These story style images help to connect, engage and more importantly, build that trust factor.
A first-rate personal brand photographer will conduct a consultation and go through a series of questions to figure out what stories you will photograph, plan the logistics of the photo shoot, and ensure that they create content for whatever platforms you may be using. Having a solid plan will guarantee your success and make the most out of your photo session.
Typically, portrait photographers shoot in vertical format, which can be challenging to use as website banners or Facebook ads. It’s also important to hire a photographer who shoots with lots of space around the subject. Close-up images just don’t leave enough room to add text or other graphic elements to the image. A good personal brand photographer will ask which platforms you are using and often supply the images formatted to that platform. Making your life, just a bit easier!
If a photographer doesn’t have a contract, you might want to ask if they understand the needs of an entrepreneur. Contracts help to protect both parties and lay out expectations. It’s best to sign a contract to fully understand what is included, not included and allowed for the photo session and usage of the images.
Most professional photographers do NOT allow you to use their images commercially. Instead, a typical portrait session will allow personal usage rights. If you want to use images in your business, you MUST have a commercial license. This allows you legal rights to use the images to advertise you and your business. Since you’ll be using the images to grow your business and make money, you should expect to pay more for these images than you would for a personal use photo session.
This can be a really touchy subject for many photographers. Most do NOT allow any editing or modifying of the image. They are the artist and creative visionary and are often hired because of their editing style or look. Customers usually don’t need to edit photos if they are for personal use. However, with personal brand photography and advertising, you will likely need to edit or modify images when cropping, adding text, or even filters on Instagram. Ask your photographer, if this is something they feel OK with and make sure it is spelled out in the contract!
Majority of professional photographers who shoot for personal use will allow you to use images online, if you credit them, use a watermarked image or even link to their website. It’s important to hire someone who understands that it’s not always appropriate for you to give credit each time you use of their images. Having distracting watermarks, or linking to another page can hurt your conversion rate and make your content less effective.
Don’t worry, many photographers are focused on creating raving reviews and will give you lots of opportunity to share your recommendations if you are happy with their services and product.
I sincerely hope this has given you some insight into hiring the right personal brand photographer. Please share these tips with any friends or colleagues who might find them helpful.
If you have any questions about personal brand photography I would LOVE to hear from you! Chatting about brand photography is my jam! Contact me here
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