How To: Branding HeadshotsFebruary 10, 2021
If we’re being honest, “branding headshots” was something I never really considered would be a part of my vocabulary. Two years ago when I began this blog, I figured it would be a little hobby that probably wouldn’t grow all that much. And if you were to look at my “following” you might not be very impressed by it. As of writing this post, my Instagram has 4,441 followers. It will fall and rise by the end of today, but what’s important is that that number just is not very impressive. But I’ll tell you what is impressive. Recently I landed a collaboration with a major hotel chain and I had to turn in my engagement rate and other stats. I had never calculated my engagement rate before and was surprised to find out that it is 18% – this might not seem like a lot to you, but the industry considers 3% to be a good engagement rate. So, what I can gather from this is that while my following is small, I have an incredibly engaged audience and that matters SO much more than having tens of thousands of followers that don’t engage and don’t care that they follow me at all. While I plan on continuing to grow my IG followers, I have concluded that I actually do have something to offer as a small (micro) blogger and so I figured I was ready to start marketing Down in the Hollow. And by that what I really mean is that I’m ready to start believing in myself and my blog’s brand a whole lot more.
My beginning step was to create my media kit. This is essentially a marketing document that blogger’s can send to businesses and brands when pitching a collaboration. Yes, that’s right. Although I’ve been fortunate to have businesses and brands reach out to me, most bloggers thrive by doing the reaching out themselves. I’ve been too shy up until this point, but I now have enough in my portfolio that I actually have something to market and offer. And thus…media kit!
As part of my media kit, I needed branding photos to include alongside my stats, information and partnership opportunities that Down in the Hollow can offer. For these photos, I wanted something light, bright and airy and an outfit that would showcase my typical aesthetic which I consider to be Southern-inspired, traditionally classic, preppy and ever so elevated.
And so, with that, if you’re in the market for getting branding headshots done, here are my tips!
- Determine the aesthetic that you want (i.e. light and bright, darker studio background, boho props, outdoor, etc.)
- Conduct a Google search for headshot photographers in your city
- Compile a list of the best ones you find based on their website, the investment they require and their portfolio they provide that matches what you’re looking for
- Then head to Instagram. A photographer’s website portfolio is only going to show a curated collection of their best work – meaning the stuff they want you to see. But when you find their profile on Instagram, you can see a lot more examples PLUS you can click on their tagged photos to see even more photos that their clients have uploaded.
- Once you’ve selected your photographer, reach out and schedule your session. Most photographers will offer different packages that might include a basic package with only one outfit or a more expensive package that allows for outfit changes. I chose to do a basic package.
- When planning your outfit, consider what you’ll be using your photos for. Because I knew my headshots would be used for branding purposes I went through my closet and selected three different outfits that showcased the things that would represent Down in the Hollow the best. I had a green and white outfit featuring palm frond accessories and wedges, a blue and white outfit featuring chinoiserie jewelry and ginger jar loafers and then finally, the one I picked, a pink and white outfit with pink and gold accessories, a designer belt and feather trimmed heels.
- Then I did my hair and makeup just as I would on any other day so as to have a true representation of myself. I didn’t have hair and makeup professionally done so that the image would be truly authentic.
And that’s basically it! Now I have four high-res images to use for my media kit or anything else I may need them for.
I would highly recommend that any small business, creative, blogger, etc. get branding headshots done. In a day and age where what you put out into the world digitally needs to be aesthetically pleasing and enticing, it’s incredibly important to pay attention to the small details like having branding headshots on hand!
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