Personal Branding or Headshots - What's the Difference


Personal Branding has become a bit of a buzz-phrase over the last few years, but what exactly IS Personal Branding? How does it apply to your photo shoot? And how do you decide if you need a branding shoot or if simple headshots will suffice? Good questions!

According to Wikipedia: "Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging".

But what does that even mean?

There are LOTS of articles out there on Personal Branding, so I'm going to share how we approach it from a photography perspective. In the simplest terms, Personal Branding images consist of YOU being present in them.

So how do we make this possible, without you having to rush for the selfie-stick?

"What do you do?"

This is a simple enough question right?

"Hi, I'm Leigh. I'm a portrait and wedding photographer"

That's my 5 second elevator pitch. Now answer it for yourself. Keep it simple.

"I'm a chef"

"I'm a lawyer"

"I'm a teacher"

"I write a blog"

That's the starting point for any Personal Branding shoot.

There is so much content you can create around what it is that you do. If you're a chef, how about some images of you preparing your meals, standing in your kitchen, flat-lays of the ingredients used to make your favourite recipes, and some mouth-watering shots of the final dish.

Only two of these images feature the "physical" you in them, but all are a representation of your Personal Brand. And they all help your present and future clients connect with you.

When planning your shoot, think about your brand identity, logos and colours. You want the look and feel of your images to be consistent across your social media, so I'd recommend creating a mood-board (this can be digital or on paper). Pull out references of images that you are drawn to, that speak about who you are as a person. Notice what colours and themes you are drawn to.

I have three different colour schemes for my three brands of photography. I love using Plann to schedule and track my Instagram posts, because it has a handy "Colour Palette" panel that shows your palette based on your previous posts. I use the palettes when I'm planning new posts and when I'm shooting flat-lays. My posting remains consistent and images are visually appealing and gel together in my feeds.

The above image is a good example of how I style my own flat-lays. The colours match my "lifestyle photography" brand (blues, greens, pinks, purples). I've included my favourite vintage camera (a reference to what I do), plus my branded USB and a print of one of the portraits I've taken (what I offer, and how I deliver it).

Including some of your favourite things in your flat-lays is a great way to give your followers more of an insight into who you are, not just what you do.

So how does one decide if you need Personal Branding images, or if a simple headshot will suffice?

Think about where you will be using your images. Do you work for a corporate and just need a great new profile for LinkedIn or the company website? Chances are, a Headshots session will be enough.

Read more about "The Importance of a Good Headshot"

If you would like to incorporate different elements of your business into your social media images, then a Personal Branding shoot is for you.

Our Personal Branding sessions start with a consultation so we can chat through exactly what it is you are looking for in your imagery. I like to get to know you so I can bring out your personality in your images - that is part of your brand after all.

Last year my biggest branding project was working with Darlene Bayley from The Imagepreneur. Portraits, lifestyle images, flat-lays (she's a flat-lay WHIZZ btw!) and some of her favourite things including her adorable Fluffy.

I want to make it easy for you to rock your feed in 2019, so bring along your Pinterest inspiration boards (I'm a Pinterest and Instagram addict of note myself so you'll be in good company!) and let's design a Branding Session to put the Personal into Personal Branding.

Yes, please send me more information on booking a consultation with Leigh Benson Photography.

On the fence? Need more time to decide?

Read more about our Headshots offering and sign up to our mailing list where I'll be popping into your inbox once or twice a month to share more tips on how to make Portraits, Personal Branding and Headshots work for you.

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