What is Personal Branding?

Personal Branding is the concept of managing your career and marketing yourself online through curated visuals and presentation. And a big part of it is photography. Personal branding is incredibly important for coaches, influencers, solopreneurs, and small business owners. It’s for those of us who rely on our website and social media presence to gain new clients and show our expertise.

But what does a Personal Branding photo session involve and how, specifically can it help you?

Image of a CEO at Terrain Cafe in Westport, Connecticut. Personal Branding portrait by N. Lalor Photography.

What is Personal Branding?

Big or Small

A Personal Branding session can be a simple set of headshots that show off your personality or an elaborate styled photoshoot where we create custom imagery for your business.

For business professionals who need to present a polished appearance online, having a variety of professional images can be a great advantage. Using a business-suit photo for LinkedIn, a friendly smiling shot for Facebook, and a full-body image for a webpage creates a cohesive and well-rounded first impression for anyone applying for a new job or trying to win potential clients.

And on the other end of the spectrum, startups and small businesses can benefit from a curated and styled photoshoot that includes team headshots, lifestyle portraits, look-book images, candid shots of products in use, and Studio shots of products for the online store. It’s a way to commission custom stock/commercial photography, with a focus on telling your brand story.

And the biggest benefit is coming out of a Personal Branding session with months worth of imagery for social media!

Image of an entrepreneur taking a photograph for her Instagram feed. Personal Branding portrait by N. Lalor Photography.

The Process

Whether you need something small or have a more involved job, we will start with a phone call to talk about your needs. Every single person will need something different, and it’s important to me that I hear about your intentions and goals firsthand. And if it sounds like we would be a good fit for each other, we will set up a face to face meeting to go over your vision in detail, create a shot list, style your shoot, and scope out locations.

This meeting really defines the entire plan for your photoshoot. It becomes our plan, our roadmap, to a successful and efficient photo session on the day of. And it’s important to have a shot list, because without one, we can’t be efficient and worst of all, we might miss something important.

The other part of this in-person meeting is styling. Not only do we get to know each other (which means you’ll feel more at ease on the day of the shoot), but we also select and plan outfits to the stories we will be telling. It might seem like a simple detail, but colors play a huge role in branding! And if we don’t intentionally plan what you’ll be wearing, the interiors and exteriors where we’ll be photographing, and the combination of the two, we’ll end up with images that might not fit into your brand and that won’t look cohesive in the end.

The Experience

One of the biggest benefits of working with an established Studio-based photographer is that you have options. You an do clean Studio headshots or an on-location lifestyle photoshoot, or both. I can arrange for a hair & makeup artist, scout potential locations, and structure the whole day to fully optimize the time we have together.

You will also receive posing instruction so that you can look your best in portraits, prompts that will create natural-looking movement in images, and full retouching should you need it. Most of all, it will be your day to shine. We will make the portrait session a true reflection of who YOU are.. and who you want everyone to see when they search for you online.

And if you don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, that’s exactly why hiring a professional photographer who can make you look good is essential. It’s important to not look too posed, but having someone who knows which angles are flattering and can give you direction makes all the difference.

Headshot of Kelsey Morey, owner of Haus of Pretty hair salon in Westport, Connecticut. Personal Branding portrait by N. Lalor Photography.

The Result

Imagine having months worth of social media images to share and grow your following. What would it look like to have amazing professional shots on your website instead of mediocre iPhone photos? Imagine what it would feel like to have a completely curated Instagram feed that 100% reflects who YOU are in your industry and actually looks different than your competition. Do you think it would create an extraordinary first impression? You bet!

The result of a Personal Branding photoshoot is always great images. Whether we have 15-20 gorgeous professionally-retouched portraits or 60+ lifestyle fashion shots. It will be different for everyone. But no matter what form your session takes, your images are guaranteed to be delivered within 48 hours, because trust me, nobody likes waiting for their photos (and time is money, right?).

And we will always make sure to get the images you NEED. After all, that’s why we sit down in the beginning to form our plan. Being prepared and running an efficient process is the only way to guarantee the best result.. speaking of which, your session will always include a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, too.

A commercial release

There’s one other thing worth mentioning.. Personal Branding and business photographs include a commercial photo release. This is quite different from the standard portrait release my family clients get.. because you will be using your images in a totally different way.

A commercial release allows you to use the photos to sell products (aka, make money), apply a filter and change as you like (for a cohesive social media feed), and print in any way you want (perfect for submitting to publications and making flyers). It allows you to own your images and fully use them to further your career or business, without restrictions. And because everything is delivered and retouched to a magazine standard, you won’t have to worry about resolution and quality if you ever need photographs for publication (because there’s a huge difference between an Instagram feed and a full-page magazine spread!).


Image of Penny, owner of Jolie Gotique in Greenwich Connecticut. Personal Branding portrait by N. Lalor Photography.

Is this right for you?

A Personal Branding Session is probably not right for everyone. If you’re just dipping your toe into the professional world or are bootstrapping your first business, it won’t make much sense for you to invest in professional images of this quality.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to take your career to the next level.. if you have a business that’s taking off and relies on social media.. if you’re asking for $100+ per hour for your time.. or you’re launching a high-quality premium brand, photography is going to be really important. It will be the primary difference that gains you the credibility you need to stand above your competition. Because pretty much everyone can afford a “photographer” nowadays.. but the thing that will set you apart is working with a professional who will create strategic imagery that tells a unique story of your brand.

So if this sounds like you, I am currently taking on Personal Branding clients for 2019 (and yes, there’s a subscription option for those who need professional photography throughout the year!) and would love to chat with you! Take a look at my Personal Branding page or email me directly at info@nlalorphotography.com to take charge of your online presence today.