Keep It Real – How to Make Your Personal Branding Photos Feel Authentic

We’ve all been there: You’re mindlessly scrolling social media and an image catches your eye. It’s someone who looks interesting, likable, and professional. You click on their profile to see what they do. With one image, that entrepreneur caught your attention. That’s the power of personal branding photos!

Your brand photography is your opportunity to show the world who you are. You can say soooo much about your personality and style with your photos, so it’s essential your imagery is true to you! 

Here are my tips for making your personal branding photos feel authentic and letting what makes you special shine through.

Know Your Brand

Before you do just about anything with your branding, you have to get really clear on your business’ identity: who you serve, what you do, and how you do it.

Who You Serve

Understanding who your audience is and what they are searching for is key to making your personal branding photos feel authentic. That’s because when you know your target clients, their interests, and their pain points, you can plan content that appeals to them. Figuring out who your audience is will help you decide what aspects of your personality you want to put it on display, or what elements of your business you should highlight.

What You Do

It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many business owners struggle to say exactly what they do and how it benefits their clients! It’s great if you offer more than one service in your business or you’re a multi-passionate solopreneur. But when you’re thinking about your personal branding photos, the more specific you can be about what you bring to the table, the easier it will be for you to decide on details for your images.

How You Do It

Are you all about flowing creativity? Organized execution? Personal touches in your services? Your brand photography is the perfect place to set the tone for what clients can expect when they work with you. Use your personal branding photos to give your audience a sneak peek at how you run your business!

A split shot of a gentleman standing and sitting. Personal branding photos are important to marketing your business. Philadelphia photographer Ann Blake specializes in personal branding photos.

Show Up

I work with a lot of clients who tell me they don’t love having their picture taken or posting images of themselves on social media. Give them 10 minutes at a session with me coaching them from behind my camera, and they’ll feel relaxed and look confident! I get it, though. It can be hard to show up, but it’s essential to making your audience feel connected to you and your brand.

It might be tempting to use stock photos instead of images of yourself, but think about it this way: Wouldn’t you rather do business with a person? Your potential clients will be happy to see and get to know the person behind your brand

That’s why authentic personal brand photography is so important! When you do show up, letting people see who you are with images that highlight your personality helps them get to know you. Then, they can take an interest in the real you and start to recognize and trust your business.

Plan Your Shoot for The Stories You’ll Tell

Will the shoot for your personal branding photos be fun? Of course! But it should also be strategic. Deciding what stories you want to tell with your images will help us come up with a well-thought-out shoot plan that gives you the authentic images you need. 

Need a few ideas? Here are a few stories you might want to tell with your brand photography:

  • A day in the life in your business
  • Meeting with a client (in person or over the phone)
  • You in your signature role (ex. If you’re an artist, sketching! If you’re a real estate agent, walking through a staged home. Or if you’re a podcaster, you speaking into a mic. See what I’m saying?)

When you have a plan for your images and what you want them to say about you and your business, we can create a shoot to capture them all.

Choose Your Backdrop and Outfits Wisely

The environment for your personal branding photos and the clothes you wear play a big role in how your audience will perceive you. Make sure you choose a location and outfits that paint you in your best, authentic light.

If you’re an upbeat and lighthearted business owner, a formal office setting might not create the idea you want people to have about you. On the other hand, if you’re a more serious and analytical entrepreneur, a bright and colorful backdrop may not feel like you.

A real estate agent smiles into the camera. A brand photography experience with Ann Blake, Philadelphia photographer, will help you find your confidence.

The same goes for your clothes! Plan outfits for your brand photography that make you feel your absolute best. It’s not the time to try to look more professional than you generally do or to try a new trend. Instead, focus on outfits that feel like “you,” and that you’ll be comfortable and feel beautiful in.

Bring Your Team

The great thing about personal branding photos is that they’re personal. Your brand photography is a great way to share the people, pets, and props that are important to you. 

Maybe working from home with your kids is a big part of your life, and you want to include them in your photos. Or, your dog is your Zoom-call companion and brightens your day. Whoever or whatever you want to include in your photos, featuring them will help your audience get a feel for your personality.

Have Some Fun

Last but most definitely not least, have fun with your personal brand photos! You can look professional and polished in your brand photography and enjoy your shoot. When you genuinely smile or even laugh, it will show in your images.

You might say, “I’m nervous, though, I’m worried my smiles will look fake.” One of my favorite parts of my job is helping people get comfortable in front of the camera and capturing their authentic personalities. As long as you show up ready for a great experience, you can count on me to help you relax and enjoy your shoot!

Book Your Personal Branding Shoot

Now that you know how to show up authentically with your brand photography, let’s plan your shoot! Contact me to learn more about my personal branding sessions and how I can help you show up like a boss in your business!

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meet ann


Hello & welcome to the ABP blog! I’m a Philadelphia based portrait photographer creating beautiful, light-filled images for families looking to create lasting memories and women creatives excited to grow their busineses with branded photos. On the blog,  I’ll share my most recent sessions, travels,  photo tips and more. So grab an iced coffee and . hang out a while!

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