We live in a very visual world. Photos and videos are detrimental to staying relevant and visible in this fast online and digital world if you run your own business. But not every image needs to be a professional one, not every video needs to have a high production value.

Yet, professional photos should be part of your marketing budget at least every few years. Let me share with you why…

9 reasons why you’ve been putting off booking your brand photos

I know I’m very good at finding excuses why NOT to do something and I have a feeling you know exactly what I’m talking about. I thought it might be fun to go through the objections and reasons I’m being given on a regular why people don’t book a personal branding photo session “just yet”.

I want to lose some weight first

Ah, this is my favourite because we can all relate – and not just when it comes to photos that represent your business. It’s also a great excuse to not have family photos or just some nice new portraits taken.

But if we always wait until we achieve XYZ, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

No, you don’t need to lose weight to get photos that will help your business be visible. Because your business exists with who you are now – no matter what you look like. And if you hide behind not looking the way you want, you jeopardise making connections with people who struggle with the same things as you. You also assume everyone will judge how you look – while actually, most people won’t care at all. They want to see how you can benefit them. And your weight or appearance has very little to do with the value you can provide others with.

My business is still very new and I don’t need professional photos

Starting a business comes with a lot of initial investments: Hardware, software, insurance, office supplies and much more, depending on your field of work.

Adding a professional photo session on top of that seems like an expense that can wait. And I agree to some extent – you might not need a full-on all-day brand photo session to get started. But a few nice up-to-date headshots that you can use on your website and your socials to introduce yourself, along with a few images of you at work or some product shots or lifestyle images that tell your audience more about what it is that you do, will be invaluable to stand up against your competition that relies on stock photos and phone snaps.

A small business has the advantage of being able to make personal connections with its audience. That means showing your face – I’m sorry to say. It doesn’t mean you have to show yourself and everything about yourself on a daily basis. But enough so your people can understand who you are and what makes you different.

My phone takes great photos

I’m absolutely not debating that. And you might be very skilled to get the photos you need with your phone but I’m confident that you’ll run into situations where another person might be super helpful to get the photos that let you need. And when that person is a professional personal branding photographer, they’ll be able to guide you and talk to you about all the images that you could need that you may not have thought of.

The least they’ll be able to do is provide you with some beautiful headshots and portraits that can be used across your website and socials. As much as we’re used to seeing and sharing selfies, your business shouldn’t rely on those only.

If you want others to invest in you, you might want to do the same with people who can help you with what they’re an expert in.

My friend takes photos for me

A lot of people are very skilled with their phones and cameras. And if you are lucky enough to have a friend or partner who can do that for you, then you’re in a great position.

But unless they are actually knowledgeable in what kind of images you need to be visible online and make the connections you need with your audience, all they’ll be able to get you are “pretty photos”. Those will only get you so far.

A brand photographer will walk you through the process of a session and help you figure out what you need, why you need it and how your vision can be made reality.

Plus, they’ll be able to help you make the most of these photos once they’re done with support through a marketing strategy or some tips on how and where to use these images along with your messages and mission.

Can your friend do that too? (If yes, keep them close and don’t let them go! 😀)

I’ve got some great photos from a few years ago

We all have that one photo someone took of us ages ago that we like, despite usually hating ever picture that’s ever been taken of us. We get a lot of mileage out of that single shot.

But unless it’s been a recent photo – and by recent, I mean less than 3 years ago – and you look exactly the same, it’s time to retire it. Move on.

The one photo where you love the way you look, has a lot of power. But it also makes you worry that you won’t ever be able to replicate that.

The good news is though, you don’t have to. You can create new photos that you will equally love and that represent who you are now. It just takes the right photographer. A well-executed photo that looks good without having to change anything about yourself is more than a lucky snapshot.

It’s time to retire the photo from 10+ years ago and hire someone that will make you love the person you are now (if that’s something you struggle with)

It’s too expensive

Especially at the beginning of your self-employed journey, you’ll be faced with a lot of things that need to be paid. Some are more expensive than others but photography – as one of the bigger investments – usually gets put aside for a while (or years).

Good brand photography, whether you book a short session with a handful of photos or a full-on day of creating a huge bank of images, can be worth its weight in gold. It’s an expense that doesn’t have to be part of your budget every year, if it’s done well.

Basically, it’s all about ROI – return on investment. The images you will pay for last you for a couple of years at least, will be a great representation of you as a person as well as your business and they can be a tool to be used to you are easily recognisable. Use the photos as your profile picture on every social channel, your podcast, guest article bios and so on.

Visibility is important as a business owner and you can’t really get that with free stock images. So expensive is relative. What does it cost you have have them done vs what does it cost you to not be recognisable to your audience?

In the end, it’s not a question of money but value. You spend money on the things that are important to you and only you can decide on how much you need your personal brand photos to run a successful business.

I use TikTok for my business - no photos needed for that

Video is such a vital asset in sharing your business values, your services or products and everything else. But videos don’t replace photos. Just like photos don’t replace videos. They work incredibly well together though.

So while your business might get the most engagement or sales on TikTok or via IG reels, you’ll still benefit from a headshot and a few simple photos that you can put on your website.

And if you only run your business on social media channels, I’d urge you to rethink that and at least build a very simple website with contact details and your offerings. Your content on social media channels is not yours and it can be taken away from you in an instant. If your account got hacked or blocked, how do you reach your audience? If you don’t have a backup plan, it’s time to think about that (hint: it’s a website and maybe even an email list). And then re-evaluate whether you really don’t need any photos!

People know what I’m doing already

Yes, they probably do. At least the ones who have been following you for a while and constantly consume your content. But there’s a whole lot of people who DON’T know what you’re doing. Or who you are. Or how you can help them.

This goes way deeper than having a brand photo session, this is about having a marketing strategy. You need to constantly be talking about your offers and the benefits of your business to others. And that’s where your brand photos come in to support you – we live in a visual world and not everyone likes to read long captions. So if your photo can easily show what I get from working with you, then that will make your efforts a lot easier.

I prefer more natural photos than professional photos

Most people I know would say the same. Including me.

But who says your brand photos can’t look natural? There are photographers who will go through your closet to pick out your clothes, provide you with a make-up artist and hire a studio to get some amazing photos for their clients.

But that’s not me.

While I can recommend an HMUA and can help you choose the right clothes, the images I create for you will be representative of the person you are when you interact with your clients. And who you are outside of work. I don’t excessively style a scene or hire a grand venue to make you look like a million bucks. The businesses I work with are usually run by very down-to-earth people who value authenticity. They still want to look good but not like a made-up version of themselves that their clients actually would never meet because it was just a persona created for a photo shoot.

So, while I do give directions and suggestions before and during your session, my goal is it to capture a true version of you. Those photos will look professional but not overdone, they are a reflection of you.

Have you got any other reasons that have held you back from booking a brand photo shoot before? If so, share it with me please, I’d love to know. My goal is not to convince you to change your mind, instead I want to show you the benefits you can gain from having your own photos taken and how they can support your business. But I’m aware that you might not be ready – and if that’s the case, then that’s fine too. And if you change your mind at some point, I’ll be here waiting to chat with you 🙂

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