Having amazing images that represent your brand is so important. Good photography can make a big difference in how your potential clients will perceive your business, and your level of professionalism.
Amber Ellis of Creating Light Studio is a photographer who specializes in capturing wellness professionals, and helps them tell the story of their brand through beautiful imagery. She loves to work with people who are making a difference in the world, and really takes the time to see her clients as human beings, as opposed to just another body to pose. Amber believes that every wellness professional has a story, something they struggled with, overcame and created a business from.
Since every wellness entrepreneur will need to have professional photos taken at some point, we sat down with Amber to get her best tips on finding, scheduling, and executing your branding shoot.
1. You are exactly what you need to be right now
In an industry that is often focused on aesthetics, wellness professionals sometimes feel pressure to look a certain way in order to be taken seriously. As a result, many entrepreneurs delay getting in front of the camera because of insecurities.
Amber’s own story includes a decade-long struggle with disordered eating and healing her relationship with her body. Having struggled with that herself, she is extremely appreciative of the vulnerability it takes to trust someone else with your image.
“You are exactly what you need to be right now. Don’t let your body image prevent you from living your truth and sharing your message, because the world needs that.”
Amber recommends finding a photographer you feel truly comfortable with and working together to find ways to show your confidence and credibility.
2. The vision for your photoshoot is inside of you
While your photographer is there to guide you, be sure to dig deep and effectively communicate your vision, hopes and dreams for the shoot. Otherwise, you may get drawn into someone else's vision, that doesn't necessarily represent you or your brand.
“I want people to know that I am their guide and their mirror, but the vision is inside of them. I don’t want to make this my photoshoot. By designing the whole thing myself, I would miss so much of you.”
3. Consider a stylist, or ask your photographer for tips on what to wear
It’s not a necessity, but Amber suggests considering a stylist or at least asking your photographer for tips on what to wear, and what will show up best on camera. This will help you feel more confident on your photoshoot day.
“One mistake I see a lot is hiding behind super flowy clothes, which end up making you look bigger. Don’t hide! Wear an outfit that makes you feel like a super confident boss-lady or man.”
4. Talk to your photographer about what you are worried about
Don't be afraid to have an open and honest conversation with your photographer about your worries and fears surrounding the photoshoot. This can be extremely therapeutic.
“You’d be surprised how getting your fears out of your head and just saying it kind of takes the power away.”
5. Get a variety of images, beyond traditional headshots
Amber’s strategy for designing a photoshoot includes walking through her client’s typical business day to capture what they’re already doing. Straight-on shots are great, but people want to see the person and emotions behind the business, in a way that shows what they’re doing.
“Your photographer should really get to know you. Whatever you’re doing in a day is most likely what you’re going to be talking about on social media, so it’s important to incorporate those activities."
To figure out what types of images you want to capture, Amber suggests looking at your own content calendar. Will you be posting lots of recipes? If so, images of you playing around in the kitchen will likely be helpful. If you have a clinical practice, you’ll probably want photos of you there, and maybe even seeing clients.
6. Use props
When it comes to props for your photoshoot, Amber suggests looking for items you use in a typical day, whether that’s your blender, laptop, or a clipboard for client notes. Bring personal items that show up in your day, like your favourite mug to sip tea from and choose flowers and other decorations that fit your brand and its colours.
7. Ask your photographer to capture both portrait and landscape images
It is important to get a variety of both portrait and landscape images for use on your website and on social media. If there are key shots you want, ask the photographer to take those using both orientations. Also, let them know if you’re planning to use the images for printing or the web, so they send you the right resolution.
Portrait images work great for Instagram stories. Also ask for some space around the images so there’s room to add text for social media marketing.
8. Ensure the process and timelines are very clear
You and your photographer should take some time to get crystal clear on expectations. Know how many photos you will be receiving and when you can expect to receive them. Decide who is responsible for what such as locations and props. Be clear about how much editing will be done to the photos.
“If you want heavy photoshopping, talk about that first. Don’t assume your photographer wants to change your appearance. Just because I can heavily edit photos, doesn’t mean I want to do that. I feel doing that would strip you of your essence.”
9. Surrender and trust that it will all be okay
And last but certainly not least, try to relax, be present and have fun with your photoshoot.
“Be ready to surrender. Life happens. Maybe it rains, or you forget a shoe. It’s not about pretending to be perfect for two hours. Trust that it will all be okay. This is your moment to really be present and have fun!”