Watch this episode of Mwah TV on how to convey self-branding in photography
How to convey self-branding in photography in this week’s episode right here:
In this episode of Mwah TV, I’m gonna be thinking about one of my favourite Aristotle quotes, and that is,
“Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man.”ARISTOTLE
I’m looking at this today to help us start thinking about how you can go about creating a really strong self-brand. Make sure that you have some top-notch personal branding in place, which will ultimately affect the success of your personal branding photography when it comes to documenting your business journey.
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WHY DON’T YOU SUBSCRIBE?
You should think about subscribing to Mwah TV if you like to keep things open and honest when it comes to the authenticity in your personal brand. Here I cover all of the tip and tricks that you need to know to make sure that we slay your personal branding photography, and achieve your wildest business dreams.
THAT MAGNETIC VIBE
If you’ve always wondered how some people seem to have this powerful, magnetic effect on their ideal audience to help them grow their business, but you haven’t really experienced the same sort of great results in your business, then by the end of this episode, you’re gonna know exactly how to self-brand yourself, your business and then ultimately your business photography.
WHERE IS YOUR SELF-AWARENESS AT?
Now, this really all comes down to a level of self-awareness. So the more that you understand who you really are and you accept that, the better your self-branding and your branding photography will be. You’ve got to be able to feel really comfortable with your personal branding photographer at the beginning of your relationship together.
DE-BRIEFING YOUR TRUE SELF TO A PHOTOGRAPHER
This way you can share exactly who you are. Why you are this way and what parts of that you want to share in your photography.
When you’re having a conversation like this, of course, they’re gonna be making judgments about who you are as a person. But that’s a kind of normal, isn’t it? When we all have conversations with different human beings, it’s safe to say that they are making judgements about you as you’re speaking to them.
But what’s different about a photographer conversation like this, is they’re gonna be investigating ways that they can go about conveying this through photography for you. So it’s really important to be as open and honest as you can at that stage of planning your photos.
In fact, the more open that you are, the more creative fuel you’re gonna give to your photographer.
TOP TIP NUMBER 1
This leads me onto my first top tip of today.
Even if you are really open and honest and self-aware about who you are as a person, and how that affects you in the way that you do your business. You don’t need to worry about it ending in a literal weird way in your photos.
Let’s say you have a conversation with your photographer and it’s very clear early on that you are an incredibly ambitious person. And you’re very aware of this and you’ve done some work on yourself about this. You share with your photographer that actually, the reason you are so ambitious and driven is because of a relationship that you have with your father and that happened in a tumultuous childhood. Your photographer’s gonna be able to understand more about what makes you tick. You don’t need to worry that the photographer is then gonna place all of these little fatherly figures in every single photo at the end result. It’s never a literal interpretation.
So you don’t have to worry about all of your dark secrets being aired on a photograph. It should never look like that as the end result.
HOW TO PREP YOUR BRAND BEFORE SHOOTING
We’ve already talked a little bit about this on this episode of Mwah TV.
In this episode I talked about all of the things I think you need to have prepared in your brand in order to make sure that your photographer is correctly primed. Make sure they’re given everything that they could possibly need to make sure that your personal brand photoshoot goes really successfully.
Now one of the things in that episode is talking about your brand personality. If you haven’t seen it, go back and take a look, I promise you you won’t be sorry.
Documenting living a truly authentic life can be really scary for a lot of people, but really all it’s just being honest about who you really are as a person. The very best personal brands are beautifully in line with the reality of who you are. They include all of your flaws as well.
For instance, think about Gary Vee. Now people love him and people hate him. And I think that the people who love him would agree that the way that he develops his salty rants and gets really irate about certain things, all blends in beautifully to the background that we know about him. It’s in his culture (he says), to hustle and grind and work really really hard. And in Gary’s case that has worked really well for him, he’s a very successful man.
Now, you’re either gonna absolutely love that about him, or you’re not, you’re gonna hate it.
Think about Beyonce. So you might really love Beyonce as I do, and you might really respect how she has been able to craft the way that her personal life is off-limits. She doesn’t open the doors to her home life. She’s very private about her children, and all of that stuff is off-limits. I like to think that this enhances the impact of her songs and her creativity. When she talks about her feelings and she shares them through her art, through her music. Now you might really love that about Beyonce and think that it makes her a better artist. Or you might really hate that. You might not like her and you wish you could see her on all of those celeb pages.
But you can’t.
And bringing it back down to Earth then, this has actually worked really well for me as well.
Flashback eight years when I was setting up my own photography business for myself. I was really scared that people wouldn’t think I was a real professional photographer, despite being experienced and qualified. It was a really big fear that I had, that people wouldn’t think I was legit.
I put all of my energy into trying to prove that was I real and legit and professional. So much so, that I completely let myself go, I lost focus on who I am as Laura Pearman. I didn’t look after myself, didn’t eat right, didn’t sleep right. I started wearing all these shabby, really cheap clothes, ’cause I didn’t have any money, and I totally let myself go.
Flash forward just a little way into me setting up the business then. And I used to get involved in a lot of these TFP collaboration shoots.
And all that means is “Time For Print”,
nobody actually gets paid money when they’re involved in this. But every single person on the shoot can take a copy of the image for free and use it as a portfolio piece to show how good they are at the thing that they do.
Anyway, I was on this TFP collaboration shoot, and the makeup artist who was involved in that showed up late. When she showed up she looked like a dog’s dinner. By this, I mean:
- her hair was greasy,
- she didn’t have any makeup on her face,
- and her leggings were see-through!
Everyone on the photoshoot was talking about it and it made me really embarrassed and really really angry. I think the reason I was so furious is that at that time, I was focused so much on trying to prove that I was professional. I felt like if I was being associated with this person who wasn’t very professional in my eyes, it was gonna drag me down in some way.
But I couldn’t get over this anger about it and I went on for a while. I thought, “okay, Laura, check yourself, why is this making you so angry?” And actually looking back on it now, the reason I was so furious about it, is because I was projecting all of my anger about me and the way that I looked onto this makeup artist.
So moving forward a little bit, I started to niche down my business, and that was when I really saw a turning point. That was when I really noticed that I was able to dress a little bit more vintage. I felt like I had given myself permission to be more of the real me. Instead of trying to be this professional photographer.
BEING MORE ME WITH SWEARING
Once in a while if a swear word would drop in a conversation, it was fine. That’s who I am as Laura Pearman, and that’s what you’re gonna get when you hire me as a photographer. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m unprofessional.
BEING MORE ME WITH MUSIC
I was a lot more open about my real passion for music and how that can massively affect my creativity and mood. I just started being more me. Letting it run in tandem to the way that I wanted my business direction to go.
BEING MORE ME WITH MY BOSSINESS
I let myself open up and be my naturally bossy forthright self with clients and with suppliers. People seemed to really enjoy that about me.
BEING MORE ME WITH ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
Being open as well for the first time in my adult life about my own experiences with anxiety and depression. I wasn’t oversharing about it. If it came up in a conversation in a professional setting, I was open and said, yeah, that’s something that I deal with too.
I found that people were a lot more connected to me as a result of that. Over time then, at networking events, and small conferences, I found I was becoming more memorable. People would come up to me and start conversations as if they already knew me. People would drop into conversations, “oh, yeah, it’s fine, I know who you are.” “I know what you do, I’ve heard about you”. I started thinking that it was working well for me, and it seems to be going good so far.
Now I am fully aware and I’m really accepting of the fact that all of me opening up like that and being more genuinely Laura was probably repelling certain people away. But I’m quite happy about that. I’ve noticed since making that change in my business, and with who I am as a photographer, I have a lot nicer clients now.
- I don’t have people who are really unreliable,
- I don’t have people who seem to complain. Or who want to make an issue of every single little bit of a photoshoot.
- People don’t question me when I give them advice, or I give them consultancy anymore.
- People like what I’m about, and they trust me for it. So it’s worked really well.
TOP TIP NUMBER 2
Time for my second top tip of the day though. It’s important to remember, even though I’m sharing about all the ways that I open up, or the way that it’s worked really well for Beyonce, the key to remember about self-branding, is that it’s not about the oversharing.
- don’t think that you need to just flick the switch and start documenting every single meal that you eat,
- or airing your relationship drama on social media,
- or even talking about this weird allergy that you have that might be quite freaky
If that doesn’t work for you and your business, it’s probably better to go with carefully curated sharing. Now that is very strategic and sometimes the fact that it’s strategic can make it feel a little inauthentic, but it’s not. It’s 100% honest about who you are, but you’re only sharing certain things about who you are.
DEVELOPING STORYLINES IN YOUR BRAND
Now back on this episode of Mwah TV, I go into a lot more detail about developing storylines and themes with your personal branding.
So if you’re finding on the back of this tip that you’re not really sure where you want the scales to balance, I thoroughly recommend you go back and take a look at that episode. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, be open with me in the comments about where you feel that you are when it comes to self-branding.
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