How Photography Can Improve Your Brand
Are you tired of feeling frustrated with your brand’s photography? We get it – creating a strong brand that speaks to your audience is tough work! That’s why we’re here to dive deep into this topic on today’s podcast episode.
Having a strong brand is essential to the success of your business. It’s what sets you apart from your competition and helps your audience connect with you. But, have you ever considered how photography plays into this equation? It’s not just about snapping a few good shots and calling it a day. It’s about creating a cohesive visual identity that tells your brand’s story and showcases your personality.
Some of the frustrations that come with creating a brand through photography include not knowing how to effectively capture your brand’s message, struggling to find the right photographer, and dealing with inconsistent imagery. These issues can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to take your brand to the next level.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help! Today will cover all the essentials, and we will answer all of your questions to make the process of creating a strong brand through photography easy and fun.
So, if you’re tired of feeling frustrated with your brand and want to take it to the next level, tune in to today’s podcast episode. We can’t wait to make the process easy and fun for you!
(03:39) Instagram and the photos you use
(14:00) The importance of having professional photos taken
(15:01) Kenna’s advice on taking branding photos
(19:02) Great places to take photos for your business
(21:00) Get that perfect lighting with your photos
(23:15) Stock images- yes, no, or sometimes?
(27:22) What to look for when you hire a brand photographer
(34:51) Photos and your website- Make sure your photographer takes this shot
(38:55) What to you wear or not wear if you’re going to a photoshoot
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[00:00:00.780] – Deanna Hinsz
Hey, welcome to From Nine to Five to Self-Employed.
[00:00:04.150] – Kenna Silvestri
I’m Kenna Silvestri, a full-time family photographer.
[00:00:07.770] – Deanna Hinsz
And I’m Deanna Hinsz, a digital marketing strategist. We left our nine-to-five, and become self-employed. And this podcast is sharing the secrets and success stories on how you can create the life freedom you envisioned. Be sure to.
[00:00:21.500] – Kenna Silvestri
Follow our podcast and tune in every Monday for a new episode.
[00:00:28.940] – Deanna Hinsz
Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of From Nine to Five to Self Employed. We are talking today about how to create your online presence, the importance of being consistent, your photography, and your marketing. I am so excited because I have the marketing end of this and Kenna is a photographer and she’s got the photography end of this. This episode is going to be so packed with great information. Now, we know that it’s really important to have a consistent online presence, but what does that mean? What should you be creating and what does that look like? So when we talk about photography, we’re going to start with that. And I’m actually going to start with you, Kenna. And what do you think of as a photographer when you are creating? We’re going to say Instagram, right? Because most photographers are on Instagram. It’s a visual platform, very different from what you would see on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. You guys are using that almost as a palette of a gallery of your work. So what goes into it when you start creating your Instagram profile as a photographer?
[00:01:53.890] – Kenna Silvestri
Yeah, definitely. So a couple of things, actually. But one of the biggest things as a photographer, when somebody comes to my Instagram page, I want them to look at all of my images as a whole, not just one image at a time. And I want them to know exactly what my editing style is. So let’s just say I edit dark and moody. I want them to be able to see that in every photograph. I don’t want one photo to feel really dark and moody, and then they swipe to the next one, it’s like super bright and airy. So the editing style of a photographer is so important and something that they teach you to learn early on in your career because that’s how clients are going to know what to expect from you when you deliver their gallery.
[00:02:47.760] – Deanna Hinsz
You know what? Photography is a huge component of your marketing. And I love that you shared. You are actually coming up with… What you’re posting is strategic. You’re not just posting a photo on your Instagram that, Hey, I just took that today, so I’m going to post it, or I took that this week, I’m going to post it. You’re being strategic of the lighting, the color, the feel, the emotion behind what you’re posting. Is that what I’m hearing?
[00:03:20.300] – Kenna Silvestri
Yeah, definitely. And even one of the biggest things for me to unlearn was feeling like I had to post from every single session. While, of course, it’s always really great as a client to know that you got showcased, if, of course, the client allows or wants that. I had to learn to post the photos that I wanted to continuously be shooting or the esthetic or vibe that I wanted to advertise for my own business. So, of course, I go through every gallery that almost every gallery that I shoot and I’ll say, these are the two photos that I t are the closest to my vibe and those are the ones that I’m going to post. They really showcase who I am as a photographer, the clientele that I love to photograph. So I have to be careful of posting just those ones because before I was posting just anything, and I realized I was getting so many inquiries for things that I didn’t feel called to shoot.
[00:04:25.540] – Deanna Hinsz
Oh, interesting. Explain that a little bit more.
[00:04:29.040] – Kenna Silvestri
I was just getting Well, one of the biggest things I let go of this year is weddings. I was posting some of the past weddings that I’ve done. And so, of course, naturally I started getting inquiries for more weddings. And while I love a wedding day. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been the person watching YouTube videos and crying of some random stranger. I didn’t feel that was my calling to shoot. I feel I really vibe well with families and kids and mothers, especially now that I’m a mother. So that’s what I wanted to shoot. But I was getting all these inquiries for weddings. And so I thought to myself, Okay, what am I doing? I need to revamp what I’m posting because, of course, people think that I want to keep shooting weddings because I’m posting these pictures. So I had to be careful and only post the pictures of families and kids and mothers.
[00:05:25.780] – Deanna Hinsz
That’s really interesting. And I don’t think that only applies to photographers. That applies to everybody in business.
[00:05:33.160] – Kenna Silvestri
[00:05:34.100] – Deanna Hinsz
The images that you’re posting, the content that you’re sharing, that’s what you’re telling the world you do. So if you want them to hire you for something in specific, then you need to be very clear on what you’re sharing and not just sharing anything. And I think photography, when it comes to your marketing, is extremely important. The biggest reason is social media. The one thing that it has done for… It’s done a lot since it’s popped up, but it’s made all of us very impatient. We are not reading the content. The very first thing that gets our attention that makes us decide if we even want to read what you wrote is does that image or that video, does that get my attention? And if it does grab your attention, then you’ll go back and read skim the content. And if you skim it and see something that applies, then you’ll actually take the time to read through it. So that image that you see is so important. And I cannot stress this enough as a digital marketing strategist that you’ve got to have quality images. You really do. Now, we all have a cell phone, so you can take some images, but I’m going to share some of my tips.
[00:07:04.160] – Deanna Hinsz
If somebody does take an image, like if you’re at your desk working, because we want in the moment images too. But something I am, this is so I don’t know. You guys tell me if you do the same thing first. But if somebody posts an image of their desk or they’re doing a TikTok video, I am scoping out the background. And if it’s cluttered and messy, I’m like, So have a clean background. Do you do that, too? Do you look?
[00:07:32.950] – Kenna Silvestri
I posted a video yesterday on my Instagram. This is the most recent of me editing grass in somebody’s front yard. Oh, yeah. And when I reviewed it before I posted it, I saw on my keyboard that it was dusty and I said, some future client is going to look at this and see the dust on my keyboard and not hire me because I’m not clean.
[00:07:58.400] – Deanna Hinsz
You know what’s funny is I posted a story yesterday because my tablet, I got the black face of death, would not turn on. It was fully charged, wasn’t coming on. I had to do a hard rebutt and I was praying that it would come back, but I took a picture of the Reboot as it was happening, and all I saw were fingerprints everywhere.
[00:08:21.970] – Kenna Silvestri
[00:08:22.150] – Deanna Hinsz
Like, Oh, I should have cleaned that off. Then I was glad.
[00:08:25.760] – Kenna Silvestri
It was only a story. I saw that photo and I did not see the fingerprints.
[00:08:31.400] – Deanna Hinsz
They’re everywhere because I was trying.
[00:08:35.550] – Kenna Silvestri
I honestly looked harder at the picture to see if it was a video or not, to see if that white line was moving. If the Reboot was loading and then I realized it was a photo.
[00:08:47.190] – Deanna Hinsz
I didn’t even think of that. Well, I’m glad that’s what you focused on. So the point of this is if you are going to take a photo on your own and we want you to take photos by yourself, right? To get those in the moment pictures because people, we are nosy, we want to see what’s going on behind the scenes. But pay attention to the background, pay attention. Do you have laundry baskets out? Now, if you are cleaning and you do your laundry service, put those laundry baskets out. But if you’re taking a picture of something else, pay attention to that background. If it doesn’t fit your brand, get rid of it. But I also think, and you know this, go ahead.
[00:09:33.200] – Kenna Silvestri
Quick back, keep what you’re going to say. I also think… All right.
[00:09:36.430] – Deanna Hinsz
I’m going to.
[00:09:36.990] – Kenna Silvestri
Hold it here. I just want to backtrack. So you said if it doesn’t fit your brand, get rid of it. Do you feel that that applies to stories as well?
[00:09:48.240] – Deanna Hinsz
Yes, but here’s a thin line, right? Depending on what your brand is. So for example, I am my brand. Okay? So what I mean by that is that it’s really just me behind my brand. I do have some help, but it’s not like I have a whole team. So there are times where I think if you are your brand, a lot of photographers are their brand. People want to get to know you. So if you show something about personal, what’s going on, right? We just had Easter. We’re timing. Now you know when this is being filmed, but we just had Easter. So if you share a picture of your family or you share something, coloring Easter eggs with your children. I think that’s okay because it gives people a glimpse behind the curtain. Now, I don’t think it’s okay to share political views as a business or hot topics, those topics that you know are going to stir people up. You can share them personally if you want to. And I wouldn’t even advise that if you’re a business owner, but I don’t think that’s good to share on your brand. But I’m curious, what do you think?
[00:11:24.630] – Deanna Hinsz
Because I feel like there is something specific you have in mind when you ask that question. Muted.
[00:11:35.090] – Kenna Silvestri
Honestly, I was just thinking of… So I think in the beginning of our meeting today, I told you how I posted something on my stories today about asking for makeup recommendations. Okay. So while that has nothing to do with my business, it does have something to do with me and I guess who I am. And I am my brand other than my pictures that I post. But that’s specifically the post that I was thinking of, should I have not posted that? You know what? I think.
[00:12:09.250] – Deanna Hinsz
There’s a thin line there. We need to use social media as a way to connect with our ideal target and who we want to hire us. So for you posting that, although it steps outside, it is more personal, but you’re also connecting with them. So when they have the opportunity to answer you, because that’s your target, you’re all in a very similar age range. Your children are all in a similar age range. You’re all going through makeup changes at the same time. I think that that’s okay. Even local, if you’re like, Hey, we want to get pizza tonight. What’s the best pizza shop over here? It’s a way to connect, but you have to use that strategically. I wouldn’t always make it, always wouldn’t post stories like that, but it’s okay to show people who you really are if you are your brand. If you have a bigger business, then you can still do that with your employees. But it’s a little bit different. So you can still show what goes on in the office. You can still share a debate that everybody had in the office and ask people to solve the… What do they think?
[00:13:36.890] – Deanna Hinsz
Clear up the debate. But I think it’s okay. Just make sure that what you’re posting and your call to action and what you want your audience to do is always in the forefront. So that’s my opinion on that. That’s a great question.
[00:13:57.600] – Kenna Silvestri
Do you remember what you had to say?
[00:14:00.050] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah. What I was going to say is that I also think it’s really important if you are a… Whatever you are in business, right? Is to have professional photos taken. And Kenna has been my photographer since… Not since the beginning, very close to the beginning. Yeah, very close to the beginning. I think you… God, I don’t even know if you were in high school or college at the time when I first started. I don’t even know. Because I.
[00:14:32.290] – Kenna Silvestri
Didn’t get my camera in college.
[00:14:32.850] – Deanna Hinsz
Okay. I’m like that’s 13 years ago.
[00:14:34.590] – Kenna Silvestri
Because I didn’t get my camera in college. Early in college.
[00:14:36.400] – Deanna Hinsz
Okay. So yeah, there was somebody else who would take my pictures before, but then Kenna came right after that. And it’s so important to have branding photos taken, whether it is of you, if you’re your brand or your product. And I’m going to let you take this because you do that. So what are your thoughts? What advice do you give to business owners when it comes to taking pictures?
[00:15:06.640] – Kenna Silvestri
Yeah. So when people don’t know if they want to invest in branding photos or not, I always like to give an example because I feel like we all do this. We browse Instagram all the time or social media and we find new businesses, whether they’re in your local area or out of your local area. And you know which ones catch your eye. And for me personally, I feel like this is a lot of people, but more often than not, the ones that I have a strong impression on or that have a strong impression on me are the ones that have professional images of them either doing their work or their products or them at their desk. So I always like to tell people, like, if somebody just came across your Instagram page or your social media page, what do you want them to see?
[00:15:59.370] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah. Because listen, if you are your own brand, it’s so important to do that. You are the professional, you are the expert. I am a strong believer in you need to get professional photos and not just for social media, definitely with social media, but your website. I mean, I am designing websites and I think all those images should be professional images that you’ve hired a photographer to take. Now, we can always use stock photos, but they’re stock photos and they look like stock photos.
[00:16:44.150] – Kenna Silvestri
Even if you’re not your own brand, I feel you even more so need professional images of your products.
[00:16:54.780] – Deanna Hinsz
[00:16:55.920] – Kenna Silvestri
Whatever your brand is. The two companies that I worked for previously, professional photos just totally revamped their marketing and advertising. I mean, the first company I worked for out of College was a meat manufacturer, and we had an employee on staff that specifically cooked foods with our meat products and took professional photos of them for our marketing team just because it was that important.
[00:17:28.180] – Deanna Hinsz
It is so important. It really is. If this is your product, then take pride in it. Now, if you are just leaving the nine to five and just starting off, and we said this in episode one, we talked about this, don’t feel like you need to spend money to hire a photographer to do this if you don’t have it in your budget. But when you have it in your budget, invest in getting photos taken professional photos taken, and you will not be disappointed. You will need those photos and use them a million different times. It’s so funny. I will pose something. There’s a picture that you took of me at a coffee shop, and I’m looking out the window and you were actually outside of the window and I was drinking the coffee. I have shared that photo, I don’t even know how many times, but every time I share it, I will have one person comment and say, This is such a pretty photo. When did you get this taken? I’m like, Four years ago.
[00:18:35.640] – Kenna Silvestri
We need to go back to that coffee shop.
[00:18:40.120] – Deanna Hinsz
We definitely need to go back to that coffee shop. That was a great backdrop. Let’s talk about that because people don’t know where to take pictures. If I was hiring you and I’m like, Hey, Kenna, I want a photo shoot. I need a branding shoot, a lifestyle shoot so I can share on my website and social media. Where are some really cool places that you can go to take that? Because as a consumer, they’re like, Well, where do you want to take them? We’re like, I don’t know. Yeah.
[00:19:11.910] – Kenna Silvestri
So when people hire me for their branding photos, I always give out suggestions. But I think the most important location that you could use is the one that you are normally working in. However, and let me preface this by saying this applies whether you have a professional photographer or you’re using your phone. If these locations bring your phone with you and prop it up somewhere, it has a Timer, and then you could edit it. But even if you have a professional photographer, So for example, you work a lot of times at your desk. You have a lot of Zoom meetings. Sometimes you’ll have in person meetings. And those are a lot of times I’m guessing at either little cafes or coffee shops, correct?
[00:19:55.740] – Deanna Hinsz
Or I have an office downtown. So I have a home office, which is where I’m filming now. I have, yes, an office downtown, and then we will meet at coffee shops or local restaurants. And yes, absolutely.
[00:20:10.480] – Kenna Silvestri
So for us, it made a lot of sense for you to have your computer and be at some type of table or desk to show you working as normal. And then we also went to the coffee shops to show you at a coffee shop because whether you work alone there sometimes or you meet clients there, that’s a natural habitat for you. So it worked out well for us. And then, of course, we took some headshots outside to always make it fun and give you some extra stuff, which I know have come in handy for you. But I would definitely say stick to your natural habitat if it has good lighting. If it does not have good lighting, it’s going to be difficult to get the picture you want unless you’re really going for a dark and moody type of feel. Okay.
[00:21:00.560] – Deanna Hinsz
So what does good lighting look like to somebody who’s not a photographer? If they’re scoping out places, what would you tell them to look for?
[00:21:10.000] – Kenna Silvestri
Somewhere with windows, somewhere either maybe outside. It could be straight outside if that’s what your vibe is of your business or underneath a pavilion. So you have that shade on your face. You don’t want to have all these shadows crossing your eyes or just across your face. When you look at the photograph, someone’s going to be like, It looks like you’re blinded by the light. You don’t want that. But if you’re inside definitely somewhere with windows or somewhere that lets a lot of light in, that’s important. And when you do have light coming in, make sure you’re not getting… I know you said in the beginning of the podcast when you have Zoom meetings, you have a light on one side of your face and then you love the light coming in from the window. So you want to make sure that not one side of your face is completely shadowed and just the window light is hitting one side. You want to be able to have evenly lit across your face so somebody could see you really well.
[00:22:08.380] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah, I have that right now. I’ve got a window here, but the blinds are pulled up because I’d have those lines across my face. And then my ring light is over there and I’m hoping that it balances it out. But without and if you wear glasses, the hard part is then you can see it. So if I turn, you might be able to see the ring light in it. Can you see?
[00:22:35.850] – Kenna Silvestri
No. Oh, yeah, I did.
[00:22:37.490] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah, I did see it. Okay. But a tip, if you are going live, I know we’re getting off just a tiny bit, but a tip is if you wear glasses and you have your ring light, just prop your glasses up a little bit like that. So it pulls them up over your ears and the glasses are looking down so you won’t catch the light.
[00:22:58.480] – Kenna Silvestri
Yeah. So a question for you is, since you design websites for people, if somebody either isn’t available to photograph themselves or have hired somebody to photograph them, or maybe they just don’t really feel comfortable in front of the camera quite just yet, what is your take on stock images? Is it expensive? Do they work just as well? Are they necessary? How much do they actually revamp or increase the esthetic of the website? That’s a really good question. Or even advertising on social media?
[00:23:38.980] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah, that’s a great question. First off, I will say always, I’m not a fan of stock images because they’re stock and they’re not you. They’re not your business. They’re not their brand. That being said, I also am glad that stock images exist because there are so many people that they fall into what you just said. They either don’t want to take pictures of themselves or of their product. They either are earlier in the business and they don’t have the budget to do that, or they don’t feel like it. Or even bigger companies, they’re like, We’re just too busy. We’re just too busy, we’re not going to do it. So we use stock images. That’s like a fallback if that’s what you need to do. There are different types of images. We’ve talked about Canva before on the show, and Canva has a lot of different stock images that you can.
[00:24:42.860] – Kenna Silvestri
[00:24:44.560] – Deanna Hinsz
Ou’re like, Oh, this is really cool. I’m going to caution you, though, if they’re free, everybody is using them. And I don’t know about you, but when I go to a site or a company and I can tell when the images are the free stock images, and I’m like, I’ve seen that picture a million times from different people. And then I don’t know, it’s a little bit of a turn off for me because I’m like, you’re not investing in what you’re doing. You’re just using the free stock images. Again, if you’re starting up, I get it. If you don’t have the budget. So the way that I would rank it is that the very best thing to do first off is to have your own images and use those images. Nothing is going to represent your brand or you better than having your own photos. It’s going to be you. The hands on the laptop, I see that a lot just because that’s the industry that I’m in and it shows up in my feed. We know if it’s your hands or if it’s not your hand. If it’s a stock image. The second thing to do, if you don’t want to take the photos yourself, then I would say pay for stock images.
[00:25:59.570] – Deanna Hinsz
Now there’s like shutter stock. There’s a lot of places where you can pay for images. And every platform, the cost is a little bit different. Some of them you just pay for the images that you want at that time. Others you can pay a subscription. Then you get so many every month and you can determine that based on the packages. There are really good images that you can use if you don’t have your own. That would be the second thing. The third and the last option, I would say, is to use the free stock images. But I would say pay attention to other people in your industry and what images they’re using. Don’t use the same stock photo that another person in your industry or around the corner from you is using. Use something different. Try to keep it as fresh as you possibly can by doing it. But that’s how I would rank it as far as which images to use. But I would use any of those all day long over somebody taking a photo with the laundry baskets in the back.
[00:27:07.200] – Kenna Silvestri
Yeah, honestly. I just had a thought in my head and I lost it.
[00:27:17.090] – Deanna Hinsz
So let me ask you a question. While you’re thinking of that, right, what type of photos do you take to try to capture a brand’s personality?
[00:27:29.780] – Kenna Silvestri
This is a great question. It’s what I was going to say, actually. So I’m glad you asked that. Oh, cool. I was thinking in my head of what somebody should look for if they’re going to hire a brand photographer. And one of the biggest things that I’ve learned, photographing brands… Wait, can you repeat your question one more time? I don’t know if this is the same.
[00:27:48.830] – Deanna Hinsz
I hope I can repeat it the same way. But how do you capture a brand’s personality? So if somebody wants, I mean, yeah, the brand’s personality, personality needs. How do you capture that?
[00:28:04.980] – Kenna Silvestri
So one of the biggest things is, and I mean, we know this, I feel like we take two or three hours on our sessions. We do. I’ve learned to not rush through this session. So for example, I photographed a local hair stylist one time, and we just really took our time. She had a model client come in and she modeled doing her hair, curling it, blow drying it, talking to her, greeting her at the door. So my biggest piece of advice is I don’t want to rush through the session. Your photographer shouldn’t rush through the session and you as the client should not rush. So make sure enough time is allotted. Make sure the photographer offers enough time. And make sure both of you are asking about those details before those sessions over. So make sure if it is somebody who works completely online, make sure they bring their props, make sure they bring their computer, make sure they bring either their iPad, their notepad, their mouse. Maybe they have a branded mouse pad with their logo on it. That stuff is so important because you want to just capture as much as the brand, the authentic brand that you can.
[00:29:18.160] – Kenna Silvestri
If you’re going on location with somebody, make sure that their area is clean. Make sure there are no… If it is a hair stylist, make sure there’s no hair on the floor or unless, of course, you’re photographing them, cutting somebody’s hair. But even at that, you almost want to make sure the floor is clean, regardless, just for the image. So make sure the area is clean. Make sure they also have their props. Make sure you just capture all the details of their space and then in their space because you don’t want to do this whole brand session and get home, deliver this gallery and then be like, I just feel like this isn’t me or this isn’t showcasing my brand or this isn’t showcasing what I do or what I want to sell. So I would say don’t rush. But a spin off of that is having an initial meeting with your client to really understand who they are, who their business is, and what they want to be selling. It might not be what they’re currently selling now. Maybe they want to shift and say, No, I really want to focus in this market.
[00:30:32.450] – Kenna Silvestri
Then you have to focus your session on just that.
[00:30:37.840] – Deanna Hinsz
That’s really good advice. It’s more than just their brand, if I’m hearing you correctly. It’s what’s your goal? What do you want to represent? But even if it’s a product base, what do you want to you want your end users to see that will guide them towards that ultimate goal of hiring you? Hiring you, and I’ll use me with digital marketing strategists where I design websites and I also teach people how to market their own business online. So I can either be a designer or I can be a coach. And a designer, if I’m like, hey, I want to focus on a shoot that highlights me as a website designer, that’s going to look totally different than me hiring you as a coach to teach people how to do or a speaker. It’s going to be completely different. I think that’s a great piece of advice wise. And I love that you said take your time. You do take your time with me when we go. I mean, we take a lot of time, but we do have fun.
[00:31:55.980] – Kenna Silvestri
I have fun with all my clients, but we really have fun.
[00:32:00.550] – Deanna Hinsz
Well, you know what? There’s that level of being comfortable. And even though you and I do a lot of photo shoots, and even though it might look like I love being on camera, I nitpick everything. I don’t. I’m really not comfortable being on camera. I will find every flaw in me that’s possible. So having a photographer that makes me feel comfortable and obviously I’m extremely comfortable around you is a big deal for me because if not, I’ll be really stiff. I’ll be uncomfortable. I’m like, oh, no. Is she noticing my fat rolls? What did she think? Oh, my gosh. Is she seeing that? I think that’s a huge deal.
[00:32:51.840] – Kenna Silvestri
Yeah. If somebody listening is looking to hire a photographer, does another thing I would say that is important is having a photographer that’s not afraid to speak up to change something in the photo within reason. So for example, let’s just say this is such a weird example, but it’s the first one that came to my head. Go ahead. You’re good. I’ve had to tell someone this before. Let’s just say I’m photographing the back of you for whatever reason, whether you’re pointing at something or whatever. If that person has a wedgie, you better tell them. You have a wedgie, pull it out. So you have to have a photographer that’s not afraid to say, Hey, you actually have makeup on your shoulder. Unless that photographer really loves taking out blemishes and post production editing and whatever. But to make our lives easier and to make their pictures better, you need a photographer that’s not afraid to say, That towel, or, Your desk has a lot of dust on it, we need to wipe it before the session starts or whatever. In a nice way, of course. Well, right.
[00:33:56.890] – Deanna Hinsz
And as somebody who’s hired a photographer, I would appreciate that. And I’m sure it’s awkward as a photographer to say that because you’re like, Oh, I hope I don’t offend them or hurt their feelings by mentioning this or embarrass them. But I would want you to tell me. I would want you to say, Hey, you know what? My camera is going to pick up the dust on your desk. My desk is like a black glass desk, so. It picks up dust all the time. So I want you to say that, or, Hey, get the wedgie out of your butt. You know because I wouldn’t want you to take a picture. And if I didn’t know, I’d want you to do that or straighten my shirt or get the hair because I shed like a dog. So I will have hair on my back, no doubt, but remove it. So that’s a great point. You want somebody who has the courage to tell you that nicely.
[00:34:51.870] – Kenna Silvestri
So a question for you. As a web designer, how many photographs would you say is a good amount for your client to deliver you? Or is there really no numbers large enough, but is there a minimum number maybe?
[00:35:11.430] – Deanna Hinsz
There’s really not. It depends on the website and the size. But I will tell you one of the biggest things that when it comes to a website and designing your website, the photo that’s always forgotten is the photo that’s shot in landscape. A lot of photos are portrait, and I get this all the time and all the time from so many different clients. But they’re shot in portrait, which is fine. That’s easy to crop. You can make it a square, you can make it a circle, you can keep it in portrait, whatever you want to do. But the problem is at the very top of a website, there is something called a hero image. And that’s the banner. That’s like if you would visit a website and it’s that image that’s at the very top of your screen. And sometimes on a homepage, it might be all the way to the fold. And the fold is the area of your screen before you have to scroll. So you may have it only on the homepage. You may incorporate that hero image throughout additional pages, but a portrait is not going to work on that. You want a photo shot in landscape so that it’s proportioned correctly to really feature what you want that photo to do.
[00:36:30.800] – Deanna Hinsz
And a lot of times that’s overlooked in a photo shoot. So what I would recommend is that if you’re getting these branding photos taken for a website or for a website and social media, make a note to remind your photographer because they’re photographers, they’re not website designers. So you guys are thinking in photographer mode, right?
[00:36:53.690] – Kenna Silvestri
[00:36:55.420] – Deanna Hinsz
Them like, hey, I need some images taken in landscape. And the thing also, it’s really cool if you… Taking those photos and landscaping and putting you to the side and having a lot of white space to one side is a great way, like if you’re going to post it on Facebook or on Instagram, their dimensions are a little bit more of a landscape, but you can use that white space to fill it in with whatever verbiage you want about your next program, about your promotion, about whatever. So those landscape photos are really cool to have, too, and incorporating that. Yeah, I’m.
[00:37:36.920] – Kenna Silvestri
Glad you said that. I’m definitely guilty as a photographer to taking a lot of portrait images, but I do always make sure that I deliver all the landscapes that I can in their final gallery because I know… I mean, even if I’m doing a family session, of course, people love to just print large landscape images to either go over their couch or go over their dresser. They usually landscape images just fit a lot better. But for some reason, as photographers, we do. I think it’s just because we get their full body more often than not in portraits rather than landscapes, but guilty. Yeah.
[00:38:15.540] – Deanna Hinsz
And I’m glad you asked that because it is overlooked so much. And even if you are getting it for branding, incorporate white space. It may not be the picture you’re going to hang on your wall because it’s going to have so much white space, but it could be a cool piece of marketing because you use that white space to fill it in with something else that instead of having you just right in the center. So don’t be afraid to step to the side or have white space way above so that you can use that in your marketing pieces. I’m so glad you asked that, though. So I have a question now for you. What do you wear or what don’t you wear if you’re going to a photo shoot? If I’m hiring you to take some branding shoots for me, what would you tell me to wear or what would you tell me to stay away from?
[00:39:11.300] – Kenna Silvestri
Great question. And I think it depends on a few things. It depends what your brand board is, what are your colors, what is your… Even down to your font style, what is your primary work? Are you normally in a space that’s pretty black and white like you are, or are you normally in a space that’s very vibrant? And will we be shooting there, or will we be shooting outside? It depends on your location. And then I would say your brand board, two biggest things. But of course, you want to wear what represents you best. So if you are a really bright and vibrant person with this vibrant brand, patterns might be a great thing for you. And if we’re wearing a pattern, maybe we’ll go to a space with some bright, colored solid walls, not pattern walls, because pattern on pattern would just get crazy. But right now, hard, solid walls. Or maybe we’ll go to a space with some white walls or.
[00:40:20.170] – Kenna Silvestri
Black wall building outside. That way, you will just pop. Your personality will pop with those bright colors that you’re wearing. And as soon as people look at you, they’ll understand your vibe as a person, as a business owner. Or if your brand colors are black and white, if you have a black and white office, wearing all black is a great thing. It’s classy and it fits your brand. So that’s what you should do. But for you, you also have such a bubbly personality. So I know in past shoots, we’ve loved to incorporate a bright shirt as well, and that has worked well for you. So this goes back to having a conversation with your client before you do the actual photo shoot. I highly recommend jumping on a phone call, maybe even visiting their location or a Zoom call and just getting to know them and what they want to portray. Depending on what your business is now, you don’t want to be wearing too revealing of clothing, of course. You want to keep it classy. You want to keep it like… What is the word I want to use? You could use the photos over and over for a long time.
[00:41:37.560] – Deanna Hinsz
Oh, timeless. Like very…
[00:41:38.680] – Kenna Silvestri
Timeless. Exactly. I kept traditional kit coming to my mind, and that’s not what I was thinking. Timeless. You want to keep it timeless and you want to keep it on brand.
[00:41:49.550] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah, that’s really good to know because we don’t know what to wear to a shoot. And I do try to keep my… I’m black and white, but I black, white and red, but mainly black and white. And so that’s pretty easy for me where my closet is a majority black, but I am incorporating.
[00:42:08.890] – Kenna Silvestri
And we’re usually shooting in locations. You are usually shooting in locations that have a lot going on in the background, whether it be an office space, a coffee shop, there’s plants, there’s death, there’s a lot of lines and things going. So solid colors work good for you in the spaces that we’re normally shooting in.
[00:42:27.340] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah. So how often would you recommend getting new photos, refreshing your photos to keep them up to date? I would.
[00:42:37.370] – Kenna Silvestri
Say as often as you are changing or as often as your brand is changing. So let’s just say you went from having brown hair to red hair. Let’s say you plan on keeping that red hair for at least a year. I would recommend getting brand photos because if people see all of your website… That’s a small example. That’s not that big of a deal. But yeah, if you’re changing your style, your look, I would say updating those photos just so people know who to expect when they show up to their sessions or who to expect when they show up to the job with you. And same, if your brand is changing, of course. I know you recently went through a big rebrand. I would definitely recommend getting updated photos or only using the ones from past sessions that go with your brand. You know.
[00:43:31.320] – Deanna Hinsz
What we need to do is we need another shoot like we did the first time. I love those photos, but that was with my old brand and old branding colors and my hair looked totally different. Now, if I got new photos every time I changed my hair, we would be going every six months because I’m.
[00:43:50.550] – Kenna Silvestri
[00:43:51.130] – Deanna Hinsz
Changing my hair. No, but there’s truth to that because I will tell you that I’ll reach in to go post something and I go to my folders that have all my branding photos and I look the same except for my hair. And I’m like, I can’t post that. My hair doesn’t look like that anymore. I’ve cut it, I’ve lightened it. And so I’m like, oh, I can’t do that. But yeah, so I do agree with you. Just keeping it always fresh, I would say a minimum. I think you and I have done like once a year together and when we can because we were in two different states. I know you’re going to have to fly to Florida and do some writing shoots down here.
[00:44:35.740] – Kenna Silvestri
And again, though, that doesn’t always have to be hiring a photographer. Maybe you just go out yourself with your phone once a year and just try to get some updated photos. And you don’t even have to go out and public and set your phone up. If you have a desk, clean it off, clean your workspace off. If you’re a photographer, just clean the room that you’re in, set your phone up, pop your phone up on a table behind a candle or behind a coffee mug or get a cheap phone stand and just take some updated pictures yourself.
[00:45:05.700] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah, that’s really good advice. Any closing thoughts about photography? Other than, you know what? It’s so important. It’s so important for your brand to have really good photos.
[00:45:18.580] – Kenna Silvestri
Yeah, I agree. I think this even goes into because I know you use a lot, you mentioned Canva and you use a lot of graphics that fit your brand with wording in them. And your page is really unison with those. And even if you’re not using an actual photograph of yourself, I think those graphics that you use in there are also so important to show who you are and what your brand is.
[00:45:47.330] – Deanna Hinsz
Yeah, absolutely. I think we didn’t talk about that at all, but I would agree. Make sure that it stays consistent with your branding colors. And like you said this a million times, it’s not just the color, it’s the font. Stay consistent with the font that you’re using, too, because it represents your brand and it’s so important. Well, good deal. Well, we want to hear what your questions are when it comes to photography and marketing your business, what types of photos you should use. Ask us the questions, we will answer them. You can ask it by emailing us. Everything is in the show notes or on our social media pages. You can follow us and we will answer those questions for you. So we want to hear from you. So until next time, we will see you guys next Monday on our next episode. Thanks for joining us.
[00:46:47.820] – Kenna Silvestri
Yep. See you guys.