Hey everyone, I’m Lauren McWilliams Owner and Photographer of For You Photography™ and I was over the moon to be asked to write a guest blog for Content By The Sea all about personal branding and photography.
A little bit about me
I am a brand photographer but I also photograph events throughout the year. I mainly work with small to medium-sized businesses to capture their brand by working with them to create a series of images that truly reflect their brand.
I started my business in January 2019, but I didn’t take the full ‘plunge’ into self-employment until April 2019, after I left my full-time employment as a Support Worker for homeless males within a hostel.
I have always been passionate about photography as I see it as a very powerful tool – whether your skilled at it or not. What I mean by this is that photography allows us as humans to connect with one another throughout time. To me, that is the most powerful gift in the universe! We have always read in books and watched films about the obsession of wanting a time machine. An object that can take us to a moment in time to connect with love ones who have passed, to connect with celebrities we haven’t met, to learn about a period of history and so on.
To me, that object already exists and has done since the 1800s when cameras were invented.
What is Personal Branding?
I often ask my clients “would you say your business and brand, is the same as you?” When I go to a networking event or a photo shoot, I am the same person as when I go to a meal with my friends. I do not change for my business – in fact, quite the opposite. Many of the values I have as a person I share with my business and I work on ensuring this is always known when I market my photography business.
Personal branding is exactly that, it is marketing yourself as a brand. When someone is buying one of my services, they are not just buying a set of images they buying into me, my personality, my knowledge, my experience and that is my brand.
Why is personal branding important?
Think about celebrities and influencers every single one of them has a personal brand and we LOVE to buy into it. Whether it’s authentic or created by a team of professionals, the majority of us follow them, buy their products and want to know all about their lives.
This is no different to us as small business owners having a personal brand allows our audience to connect with us, feel like they can relate to what we are about, what we do, what we love etc. That then builds trust and trust sells products and services.
Some examples of Lauren’s beautiful personal branding work for Aesthetic Roots.
How do you capture personal branding in photography?
There are so many ways to capture your personal brand. One way I know is through writing, which Ellen has recently been talking about in her newsletter, another way is of course through photography – something I believe is essential for any brand is getting the balance between writing and the image right.
When it comes to showing your face as your brand, sharing pictures of you – whether it’s a headshot or you are doing your work – we tend to shy away from it. However, we should be doing the exact opposite! That age-old saying people buy from people and one way to get them to buy is through photography.
Professional photography is, of course, one option to be able to help capture your personal brand but as I have recently proved to my clients during my 5-day photography for your business challenge, you can also take your own images from time to time.
Ask yourself these questions;
- What do I do?
- How do it do it?
- Where do I do it?
- Who do I do it for?
Using those questions start thinking about them every day, capture a picture of you at your desk, take a picture of you in your favourite coffee shop or with a co-worker. The images can all be used as content but best of all they all help you to share and build your personal brand.
How to find out more?
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and have found it insightful if you want to know more about personal branding and more about how I can help you with this. Head over to my website foryounewcastle.co.uk where you can find my services, blogs and sign up to my monthly newsletter. You can also find me on social media by searching and following @foryounewcastle as well as join me in my group: In Focus: Photography For your business.