Exceptional Business Portraits: Part 2

Our business portraits are ubiquitous.  From Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, to websites, publications, flyers, and other promotional uses; the professional business portrait is used all over the place.  Other than a logo, it is probably the MOST used piece of marketing collateral we have. Think about doctors, attorneys, CPA’s, insurance agents; their business portrait is often seen right alongside their name.  It’s true with consultants, sole proprietor service providers, artists, and small business owners too… even app and web developers use their business portrait everywhere.

A professional photographer knows there’s value to be gained by making sure portraits are appropriately branded… and soon you will too.

Think about it

According to entrepreneur.com branding is:

“The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products”

When it comes to professional portraits, I like to tweak the definition to read something like this:

“The marketing practice of creating a name, personal reputation, or aesthetic, that identifies and differentiates a person or business from other professionals or businesses.

You probably had an opportunity to think about your personal brand when you put together your resume, started your career or launched your business.  Have you thought about it since?  Take a minute right now – just 60 seconds – to stop and think about your personal brand.

  • How would you describe it?
  • What makes you or your business unique?
  • What adjectives should your target audience use when they think of your company?
  • For the small business owner: how would you describe the business’s brand?
  • For the attorney: how do you want to be known by your clients and competition?
  • For the corporate employee: where does your personality intersect with your employer’s values?

Now that you’ve thought about it, take a look at your professional business portrait and try to find elements of your brand.  Are they present?

Branding should guide the design of a strong professional portrait

We’ve established that branding is important.  But how much room is there for incorporating brand into a business portrait?  More than you’d think.  By taking a few minutes to design your portrait – controlling things like lighting, pose, setting, expression, wardrobe, and hair / makeup – you and your photographer can control the message communicated by your portrait.

Everytime someone encounters a well designed portrait, they get more information than what you look like, they are being touched by your brand.  And that’s far more valueable than knowing the color of your hair.

Stay tuned; coming up we’ll be exploring the decisions that go into designing a great business portrait.

Until next time,
– Founder / Lead Image Maker

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