How Personal Branding with Photography Can Help a Business (South Jersey/Philadelphia Headshot Photographer)

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Personal branding is simply creating a clear brand message that centers on you. Even if you are not the only member of your business, if you want to encourage clients and customers to work with you, you need to make why they should choose you extremely obvious. Personal branding establishes your authority, makes you into an individual, and puts a spotlight on why someone should choose you over another business or brand.

Photography is an integral aspect of branding. Visuals have always been an important part of building a brand, and when building a personal brand, those images should primarily be of you. People less and less want to do business with big, nameless, faceless corporations. Studies have shown that businesses who have a “human face” are more trusted and more successful than businesses that do not. Personal branding with great photography humanizes your brand, which is extremely necessary in today’s economic climate.

Great photography can help you not just put that human face on your personal brand (your face, specifically), it can actually help you tell your story. The right photo, with the right lighting, framing, and editing can tell your prospective customers or clients a lot about who you are, before they read a single word or ask you a single question. When it comes to telling a visual story about your personal brand, only photography can really tick all of the necessary boxes.

The photos you use become the visual landmark of your business. They make you easier to recognize, easier to understand, more likeable, and therefore, more hirable. While photography is an important part of any type of branding, because you are your brand, it is even more important for personal branding.

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Using Environmental Portraits for Your Marketing and Website (Philadelphia South Jersey Headshot Environmental Portrait Photographer)

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When most people think of having their business or even themselves photographed by a professional for marketing purposes, they may only think about having portraits or simple exterior shots of their location. While these can be a great addition to your website, they are not necessarily the best photos for marketing your business or for displaying what it is that you do on your website. Environmental portraits can be a much more effective style, especially for individuals and businesses that want to inject a little more personality into their marketing materials.

What Are Environmental Portraits?

In short, an environmental portrait is still a portrait. It is a picture of a person, but instead of being taken in your studio, it is taken in a place that is natural for your subject. It is taken in his or her environment—where they spend their time. For example, an environmental portrait for an artist would probably be a picture of her, sitting where she paints, paints in hand, working on a picture. Often, these pictures will show the subject interacting with her environment. If she is a chef, for example, the picture might not just be of her in a kitchen, but actually preparing a dish.

Are Environmental Portraits Right for Me or My Business?

The biggest benefit of choosing an environmental picture is the ability to add a little more personality into your marketing materials or your web presence. While a standard portrait might be able to display your personality and connect it to your business, only an environmental picture will actually show you in your element. Why is this important? Because, especially with marketing, you are trying to inspire confidence and build an image of authority. When you show yourself in your place of business, doing what you do best, you capture a picture that conveys that you know how to do what you said you can do and that you are actively doing it.

With this type of portrait, you are giving the viewer a glimpse into the everyday life of you or your brand. This is humanizing—and in today’s market, with mega-corporations and faceless organizations, consumers want to see who they are actually dealing with. Show them a picture of you in your most natural environment and they will make a connection with you.

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The importance of connecting with your headshot photographer (South Jersey Headshot Photographer)

South Jersey Medford Philadelphia Headshot Social Media Photographer Jack Saady Headshots

When choosing a headshot photographer, there are a few things you will want to carefully considering before finally picking one. One of the most important factors when it comes to choosing your headshot photographer, beyond just experience and the quality of the finished product, is whether or not you actually feel comfortable with that person. This is important on a number of different levels.

When you feel comfortable with your photographer, when you two have connected, it will be easier to tell that person what you do and do not want out of these pictures. It is important to communicate during this process, and both parties will only really be willing to do this if you have a connection. Whether you need to communicate areas you want to highlight or hide, whether you don’t like the background or do not feel like the poses are natural and functional, there are lots of things that you might need to speak up about and will only feel capable of doing if you’ve made a real connection with your photographer.

That connection will also help your photographer take better pictures of you. When they feel distant from their subject, it can be difficult to really capture the essence of that person. By building a connection before you actually start taking pictures, you’ll give your photographer an opportunity to take pictures that better encapsulate who you are. These are ultimately going to be more useful for your career.

It is also important to mention that when you’ve made a connection, the instance of better, more candid shots is higher. Both of you will be more in sync. You might find that some of your favorite pictures, some of the pictures most likely to get you jobs, come from spontaneous moments with your headshot photographer.

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Hiring a Professional Photographer for Your Business (South Jersey Headshot/Portrait Photographer)

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Choosing the right professional photographer for your business may seem like a big task—and it is. The right photographer can make all the difference. But how do you know if you are choosing the right person? Here are a few criteria to look for:

Willingness to collaborate – When choosing someone to take professional pictures of your business and/or your employees, you want someone who is willing to collaborate with you. This means that they are not so focused on their own vision that they are unwilling to listen to your thoughts or concerns. They also will not be offended if you want them to go in another direction or make suggestions during your session. You also have to make sure they are looking professional. If you want to look great, then complement your workwear and professional outlook with mens leather briefcase available from Blaxton Bags.

Ability to take the lead – While you do want to work with someone who is willing to listen to your ideas, you also want to work with someone who will tell you if something that you want to do is unreasonable or will not produce the result you actually want. Someone who is willing to take the reins and keep the session under control is someone you want to work with.

Offers you a contract – A contract protects you and it also protects the photographer. Offering you a contract is a sure sign of a professional and increases the likelihood that you are going to be pleased with the pictures that you are ultimately given. Be sure to thoroughly read the contract before signing it and to ask about what exactly you will or will not be allowed to do with the pictures you ultimately receive.

Pricing – A photographer who is just starting out might only charge $50 per hour to take your picture. This might sound like a great deal, but the results are probably not what you are looking for. That said, you do want to work with someone who has a variety of pricing options so that you can find one that works for you and your business. You should not have to pay thousands of dollars just for someone to come and take a picture of the exterior of your business.

Use these criteria to make sure that whoever you choose as your business’s professional photographer will meet your needs.

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Crucial Things for Your Success in Any Field (South Jersey Headshot/Portrait Photographer)

Being “good” at something is not necessarily a precursor to being successful at it. Talent is only a small percentage of what makes truly successful people successful. Here are the five skills that you should develop if you want to be a success, no matter your field:

Communication – This includes both written communication and public speaking. No matter what your field is, you will have to communicate with others in some way, shape, or form. If you can communicate effectively, you have a much higher likelihood of being successful. If you cannot communicate, it is going to be impossible to convey your ideas, convince people to help you, or prove your worth. You do not have to be the best public speaker or the best writer in the world, but you should be able to communicate your thoughts clearly and quickly.

Time management – The people that have to be constantly prodded by others to do their work are not the people that naturally rise in their careers. Those that rely on other people for their time management and motivation are simply not going to have the drive that real success requires.

Research – No successful person holds every speck of information they’ve come across in their head. There are very few people in the world who have brains big enough to store endless information. What you do need to be able to do, however, is to find the information you need. You need to know where to look and when to look for what information you absolutely need to know. You do not have to be an endless spring of information, but you should be willing to go looking for it when you need it.

Balance – You need to know when it is time to step back and take a break. This is not being lazy, it is understanding that if you push yourself at full tilt all day every day, you are going to burn out, not succeed.

Critical thinking – Do you know how to take in and process information quickly? We are inundated with information on a daily basis. Critical thinkers are able to evaluate this data, process it, hold on to what is important and make decisions about eliminating what is not. This prevents you from becoming overwhelmed or bogged down.

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Cost/Benefit of a Professional Photographer (South Jersey Philadelphia Headshot Photographer)

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Most people look at the pictures that they can take with their smartphone, run them through a simple editing program, and think that they have a high-quality image that they can use to market themselves or build their brand. The cameras in these smartphones might be great, but the quality of the camera that a person has is not what makes them a professional photographer, you could even have the best 360 camera but if you don’t know how to use it, it would be like not having a camera. A professional is going to be more expensive than just snapping a few photos with your iPhone, but the images that you receive are also going to be much, much more useful.

Costs of Hiring a Professional Photographer

What your shoot and what the pictures actually cost will vary significantly depending on what package you choose and what actually you need pictures taken of. There is a big difference between taking professional headshots and taking pictures of the exterior of your building. There may also be an additional cost for editing, especially if you want special editing done, and for buying the reproduction rights to that photo, if you plan on utilizing it for certain commercial uses.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Photographer

The benefits of hiring a professional photographer almost always outweigh the negatives. When you hire a professional you get professional shots that make you look like a professional, too. This is especially important for businesses and the self-employed, but it can be just as useful for those who are not trying to build a brand.

A professional photographer knows how to help you look your best. They are committed to find the right light, the right backdrop, and the right angle to make you look great in a picture. Professional editing can take what is already a great photo and make it even better. A professional photographer who has been trained on all the latest programs and software has the ability to create something truly stunning.

You do not just pay a professional photographer to point his camera at you. You are paying for consultation, for design, and for editing. If you want to look like a professional, you will need to pay a professional to take your picture. Whether you want something serious or something artsy, you have a wide variety of options when you work with a serious artist.

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Looking Your Best for Your Headshot (South Jersey Headshot/Portrait Photographer)

South Jersey Medford Philadelphia Headshot Social Media Photographer Jack Saady Headshots

South Jersey Medford Philadelphia Headshot Social Media Photographer Jack Saady Headshots

What exactly makes a great headshot? Headshots are primarily used by actors, but they are used in a wide variety of other professions, to present an individual to recruiters, casting agents, or even just to help them build their brand. How can you make sure that your headshot has all of the elements that will truly make it a great headshot? Here’s what you need:

A professional – It is definitely worth your time and money to go to a professional and get your pictures taken. A professional is someone who understands not just the camera they are using, but how to adjust lighting, how to edit those photos, and how to help you present the very best image you can. Someone who does this for a living is much more likely to be able to give you pictures that get you where you want to be than one of your friends who takes a couple snaps of you with his smartphone.

Authenticity – Someone who looks at your headshots, which have been overly airbrushed, is going to be confused when they meet you in person and you look nothing like your pictures. Instead, opt for pictures that actually look like you, on your best day. That means that you should look your age, instead of getting all of your imperfections washed away.

Location – Your professional photographer will probably tell you which location will be best for you and the type of headshot you need, but in general, you will have two options: outdoors with natural light, or indoors in the studio with artificial light. Studio light will usually look more polished, which might be exactly what you are going for, but if you want something a little more natural, natural light is your best bet.

Clothing – Some think that the best way to get people to pay attention to their headshots is to wear something crazy. In truth, all this does is distract people from the message of the picture and make it much harder for viewers to take your seriously. Instead of trying something gimmicky to get the attention of the people you’re going to put this headshot in front of, make sure that you have the best possible picture that displays who you really are, without being too loud or too flashy.

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Your ROI with a Great Headshot (South Jersey Headshot Portrait Photographer)

South Jersey Medford Philadelphia Headshot Social Media Photographer Jack Saady Headshots When someone decides to use a poorly framed, edited, and lit smartphone photo, instead of having a professional headshot taken, it is often because they see the cost of that photoshoot and decide that it is not worth the money. Just like any other part of your branding, however, paying for a headshot is all about investing in something now, in order to get much higher returns later on. Just what returns do you see when you invest in a great headshot?

Trust – People are more likely to trust you if they see your face. They are more likely to trust that that actually is a picture of you if you have a professional picture done, rather than just stealing your favorite profile picture from your Facebook account. Why do professional headshots instill trust? Because you look more legitimate when you are willing to pay out a little bit of money for professional photography. No illegitimate brand or business does that, but all legit businesses to. If you’re trying to generate legitimacy, having a professional headshot is one of the best ways to invest in your own legitimacy, and you’ll see instant returns.

Personality – A headshot is much more than you sitting and smiling blandly into the camera. You have the opportunity to inject your headshot with plenty of personality, reflecting your industry and the image you want to portray. If you are trying to build a personal connection, a headshot is the very best way. Great pictures are a long-term investment in your personality and the image you want to create for yourself. You will start seeing those returns almost immediately, too.

Monetary – All of the benefits of having a great headshot boil down to this: they make you more attractive, and therefore help you make more money. While you are investing in more abstract concepts like your legitimacy and your personality, you are also directly investing in something that will make you more money down the line. Putting your best face forward (literally, your best face) is the best way to encourage people to take a chance on you. And the more people that take a chance on you, the more money you’ll make. Yes, professional headshots cost more than just taking your own picture with your camera, but they will also make your more money in the future.

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Hiring a Professional vs. Using Stock Images (South Jersey Headshot/Portrait Photographer)

South Jersey Portrait Headshot PhotographerMany businesses resort to using stock images on their website and to market their products and services. And why not? There are dozens of reliable stock image websites, many of which offer affordable packages that make it possible to access a huge variety of pictures that you might want to use. Here’s the issue, however: your customers or clients can spot a stock image a mile away. And using a stock image is like wearing a mask—it makes your business look less legitimate than real, professional images of your team and your location. You lose authenticity, and that is the last thing you want to lack in today’s marketplace.

Hire a Professional

A professional photographer is going to be able to take your vision for your business or brand and capture that vision. When you use stock images, you are limited only to what the website provides and that is, in general, the most generic images possible. They want their images to appeal to a huge audience, to be able to be used as many times as possible, across as many venues as possible. This waters down their pictures and, if you use them, waters down your business.

When you hire a professional, on the other hand, you get pictures that are distinctly you. They have been taken of you and your people, by someone who has conferred with you about the message you want to send. Your pictures will make a strong statement, helping you build your desired image. You also have more control over the look and feel of the finished pictures—something you absolutely will not have with stock images.

More Pictures for the Same Price

Most people use stock images because they believe hiring a professional photographer is too expensive. What you might not realize, however, is that hiring a professional photographer is probably actually going to be cheaper in the long term. You will have much more personalized pictures, yes, but you will also have, potentially dozens of them. When you want to change out the pictures used in your marketing materials or on your website, you do not have to pay for more—you already have them, because you hired a professional photographer who delivered plenty of awesome options to you, instead of just one, boring picture.

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Headshot vs. Portrait (South Jersey Headshot Photographer)

Headshot vs. Portrait

Many people and even photographers will use the terms headshot and portrait interchangeably. The truth is, however, that they are two completely different types of pictures. What are the differences between headshots and portraits? And which do you need? Here are the four main differences:

Headshots are more professional, while portraits are more artistic. Headshots are usually used by professionals to market themselves to customers, clients, agents, and casting directors. Customers, clients, etc. expect a high-quality picture that captures the individual’s personality, but is primarily designed to look very clean-cut. Portraits, on the other hand, can be experimental. They are more about personality than about professionalism.

Angle and editing will differ between the two. The average headshot is cut closer to a person’s face than a portrait often will be. Headshots will also have much less editing. A portrait, on the other hand, might be only of the subject’s face, but they can also be of the top half or the entire body, depending on what the subject wants to convey with their portraits. They are also more likely to be edited, using special effects to help evoke the message the client wants to evoke.

Headshots are usually realistic, while portraits can be just about anything. The point of a headshot is to show the subject as they really are. In order to do this, most photographers will have their subject adopt a natural smile or a neutral expression. Portraits, however, allow the photographer and the subject a much looser leash. They can be serious or funny, hopeful or sad.

Portraits tell a story, headshots provide a sentence. Your headshot is a very short sentence, conveying who you are, as quickly as possible. They are most often used for businesses, in order to allow individuals to very quickly and directly create an impression of professionalism. A portrait, on the other hand, could tell an entire story, using unique lighting, angles, and editing to transcend the average picture.

Neither the headshot nor the portrait is strictly better than the other. Both have their places. Understanding the difference between the two can ensure you get the picture that you need, whether you want something for business and branding purposes, or you want something that is more akin to a piece of art.

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