Resources & My Fav Biz Tools

Over the years I have tried literally EVERY platform on the market. I’ve spent years researching and simplifying and have narrowed down my business to what I find are the best, most comprehensive and cost-effecient platforms on the market.

Resources:

 Website: Squarespace

Super Simple Graphics & Social Media: Canva 

Online Course Platform: Kajabi! I am absolutely HEAD OVER HEELS for this course platform!

Email Marketing: Active Campaign however, when I started I used Mailchimp

Client On-boarding: Dubsado for my client onboard, contracts, invoices and communications! (When I first started out I used 17Hats)

Want to learn everything there is to about pricing? Hannah Lewis is an absolute pricing GENIUS and her course, Psycho Pricing, will have you rethinking everything you thought you knew!

PsychoPricing

Come back soon! I’ll be updating this list - along with my entire site regularly!

Disclaimer: Some of these links may be affiliate links which means I could get a small fee for referring you. I ONLY refer you to products that I ACTUALLY use and love. You are welcome to use the link or not either way I stand by these recs!

Personal Brand Photography Markets You're Ignoring

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We all know that influencers and big brands need photographs, but there are other potential clients you may not be thinking about! These clients will be the bread and butter of your day to day business. Here are a few hot niches you may have been accidentally ignoring:

1.  The 55+ consultant

These men/women have worked spent years working in corporate American but have finally left to do start their own shop - often doing consulting work.  Many of these clients know that the people hiring them are young + hip and expect them to have a great online presence.

In the past, the clients in this market didn’t have a need for an online presence as they worked for companies who had big departments handling that sort of thing. The most they ever needed was a decent headshot for LinkedIn. But times have changed and these talented business owners are ready to invest in full-on personal brand photo shoots because they recognize the ROI (return on their investment).

2.  Professional Speakers

Professional speakers need great images to submit with their speaker bios.  And, they need something fabulous that helps set them apart from other potential applicants.

A good guidelines for speakers is at least one headshot, a killer lifestyle photo that shows off their personality and a final image showing them actually speaking in front of a group. The more personality they show their audience the more opportunities will arise for them!

3.  Realtors

Realtors are one of my top clients in my local market. Think beyond the typical “realtor headshot” and give these clients the kind of images that they can use on social media.

Remember they are selling more than just homes - they are selling a story to potential buyers about the kind of lifestyle they’d lead moving to in-demand neighborhoods. Marketing to super family friendly zip code with top level schools? Show them at the local ball park or a family friendly burger joint. Are they selling in one of the hip-new neighborhoods with a young artsy crowd? Get a shot of them working at funky coffee shop or even enjoying an after hours cocktail at one of the newest craft beer bars.

Another must, of course, is inside a few of the homes they have listed. If you show them the why and the how realtors can be great long term clients who will come back to shoot several times a year. They can be a consistent source of revenue for you once they see how well their social media images work!

 
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4.  Product Based Businesses

We don’t traditionally think of product based businesses as needing personal branding photos but people want to know the story about the creation of the product - they love to buy from self-made businesses with a story. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story that makes you feel better about you supporting them and their business?

Dig in and learn about how they got started. Did they start making candles at home with their kids dipping the wax, or was their creation a happy accident? Help their potential buyers give them even more reason to support their business and make them come back for more. 

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5.  Chefs, Restaurateurs, Healthy Living Experts

 In the world of Instagram worthy pictures this niche is one to get into. These  professionals are growing exponentially and the competition is getting stiff. The public wants to know the person behind their decadent recipes, lavish cocktails and unique ambiance. Photograph them in their element, and give their followers something to talk about. They may be an owner of a few establishments in the city, have a personal chef business, a pastry expert that puts the contestants on The Great British Baking Show to shame, or they specialize in nut free, gluten free, dairy free recipes, these people need you! They not only need amazing photos of their food, but of them too. Photograph them in a beautiful kitchen, sitting at the bar, or even at the local farmers market picking up ingredients! Once they see how these images connect with their audience they’ll keep coming back to you for more!

Remember, as a brand photographer the more value you offer to YOUR potential clients the more business you’ll get. Try to keep an open mind when it comes to who you can photograph and how your expertise can keep them coming back. Once clients see the promotional and financial benefits of keeping you around they’ll have you on speed dial. As a brand photographer you’re MORE than just a photographer. Don’t undermine your abilities. You’re assisting in helping them thrive.

Have a business in your local area that you’d love to work with? Don’t be shy, send them an email or a direct message and offer a solution with your expert photography services :)

How I find Glamorous Photoshoot Locations while Traveling

I admit it.  I LOVE luxury locations. When I arrive in a new city, I can't wait to push my way past the postcards, refrigerator magnets, and t-shirts to discover the hidden little gems most tourists never see.

If you're really lucky, you'll know someone well-connected, like my dear friend, Parm, who with a simple text, can have you seated next to David Beckham at the latest London hotspot or tell you where the "secret doorway" is to a magical little garden in Paris where, it's been rumored, George had his first date with Amal.

But, what if your sights are set on a dreamy photoshoot in a city halfway across the world but you don't know a single soul? 

How can you avoid fanny-pack wearing tourists photo-bombing your shoot and head somewhere a little more upscale? What if you want Conde Nast but everything around you is Cheesecake factory?

Today, I'm sharing my stupid-simple trick for finding the most incredible locations for photo shoots!  And, if you're lucky, a little celeb spotting on the side!

Step 1:  Get Inspired on Instagram. 

Fill up your feed with fashion & travel bloggers, photographers, and your favorite celebrities. The kind of people who are jet-setting around the world and hanging at the swankiest parties! 

I was recently following one of my favorite bloggers when I caught sight of this gorgeous Prosecco toast!  This place is DREAMY and it looks perfect for an upcoming shoot I'm planning for a new client!

So, how do I find out exactly where she is?

Step 2. Click on the location that your favorite Instagram blogger has checked into! 

 
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Step 3. It will take you to a large view map!  I can see it's in Italy! Yay!

I can also see photographs of other people who have checked into this same location. Hint: This is a great way to find the "must have shots" before you even arrive! 

 
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Step 4: Click on the pin📍 on the map and it will give you the EXACT address! 

 
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Step 5.  Next, click on the little heart ♡ on the bottom of your screen, it will turn red ❤️ and will be saved as a "favorite place" in the map section on your phone!

 
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Step 6.  When you arrive at your hotel, open your "map app" and give the address to an Uber driver! 

 
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VOILA!

You've saved yourself DAYS of location hunting!  You can plan the PERFECT shoot, right down to the location, without ever having to leave your house!

Love tips like these? Want to learn more? My Plan Your Personal Brand Shoot is the perfect way to learn my entire step-by-step system!

Give them a little side eye..

Why do I post so many photos of my clients looking to the side? 

You’ll notice that I post a lot of pics of my clients looking off to the side.  There’s a reason for this!

  1. Our brains naturally want to follow the line of their eyes to complete a story.

  2. A person is more likely to click on a call to action if the photo subject is LOOKING at it instead of straight ahead.

This certainly isn’t something I invented. Advertisers have been doing it for years. But these are the little tricks that brand photographers NEED to know in order to properly create images that your clients can use on their websites.

When creating your images be sure to leave some room for “negative space” so that your client or her web designer can insert text.

Remember,  It’s important to have a both kinds of images on your site.  For instance on your about page, it’s preferable to have a friendly welcoming pictures with great eye contact that makes people want to reach out and connect with you.

But for a website opt-in, a facebook ad or any sort of call-to-action a little side eye is definitely the way to go!

Want more tips to help make you a better brand photographer? Then check out my course The Business of Brand Photography.

Unlikely Brand Photo Clients

Think that the only people who need personal brand photos are high-end entrepreneurs and YouTube stars? Think again.

Here’s a quick list of the professions of some of my clients over the years:


Medicare Sales Person

Lawyer

Doctor

Spa Owner and Employees

Yes! Even therapy dogs need headshots for their website!

Yes! Even therapy dogs need headshots for their website!

Beauty Salons

Health Coach

Restaurant Owners

Chefs

Personal Trainers/Yoga Instructors

Tarot Card Reader

Psychic Medium

Content Writer

55 plus consultant

Podcast Host

Fiction Author

Construction Site

The entire board of a major payroll company

PR Agent

Web Designer

Graphic Designers

Real Estate Agents

Beauty Bloggers

YouTubers

Hacker

Interior Designers

Librarian

Astrologer

Head of a Non-Profit

Owner of Insurance Company

A man who runs a construction company

Esthetician

Biz/Resume Coach

Pharmaceutical Rep

Doctor Specializing in Autism

Chiropractor

Functional Medicine Doctor

Forensic Psychiatrist

ER Doctor

Owner of an Etiquette Company

Branding Agent

Brand Story Tellers

Actor/Actresses

Color Specialist (for skin and clothes)

Owner of a perfume company

Travel Blogger

Owner of a company that invented a pillow for women after having Brazilian Butt Implants

Women who runs a foundation for victims of sexual trafficking

Owner of a Fitness Company

Law Student

Attorney for Non-Profits

Anesthesiologist

Couple’s Therapists

Pet Photographer

Therapy Dogs

Engineering Consulting Department

A Christian Author and Speaker

Online Course Creator

Mommy Bloggers

Dating Coaches

Screenwriters

Boudoir, Family, Portrait Photographers

Retired Military

Jewelry Designers

Clothing Designers

Creative Fiction Teacher

Biz and Life Coaches

My point? Just about ANYONE who has a business today NEEDS photos for their website and social media. Start thinking outside of the box!

Why You're Not Booking Personal Brand Photography Clients

 
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WHY YOU’RE NOT BOOKING BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY CLIENTS

I hear it all of the time from new brand photographers. They want to break into the personal brand market but claim they can’t find clients. They don’t believe there is a market in their area.

Here’s my top 5 reasons why you’re not booking brand photography clients:

1. NOBODY KNOWS YOUR A BRAND PHOTOGRAPHER!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done a little research on one of my new students and when I click on their social media page nowhere does it even MENTION that they shoot brand photography!

If a potential client clicks on your website or social media channel is it clear immediately that you’re a brand photographer?  Or do you simply have a tiny tab hidden somewhere between weddings, boudoir and pet photos?

People are intrigued by personal brand photographers! I guarantee that if you go to an event full of women in biz and tell them that you’re a personal brand photographer they’ll want to hear more! Don’t just say “photographer” bc there is nothing that differentiates you between the 5,000 other photogs in your area.

If you want to be a brand photographer you need to shout it out - from your social media channels, to your website, to local networking groups!

2.  YOU’RE SO FOCUSED ON WORKING WITH “INFLUENCERS” YOU’VE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD WHO NEED YOU.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to work with influencers. (Hi! Amal Clooney, call me!) It’s the up and comers, the local businesses, the moms working from their kitchen table that really need your help and will be the bread and butter of your business.  Please don’t be so caught up in trying to make money off of “influencers” that you forget about the business owners right on your own block. Do your research, offer them a few minutes of free advice on how they can level up, create a solution, and boom- You’re booked!

3.  YOU’RE HANGING WITH THE WRONG CROWD.

And I don’t mean your oldest friend, Stacy, who used to roll joints in homeroom and now owns an edible chocolate cookie company (let’s be real - she’s probably your dream client) but you’re not moving far enough outside of your immediate circle. If all of your friends are now stay-at-home moms whose biggest challenge is finding the right baby yoga class then you’re probably going to need to expand your reach a bit. 

Invest in yourself and your business. Get to know new people. Join local networking groups, hang out at a co-working space, sign up for business building courses where other business owners are and start creating real relationships with the kind of people who need your services. 

4.  YOU ASSUME “IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME…."

While that may have worked for Kevin Costner, it’s NOT real life. You need to get your ass out there, step wwwaaayyyy outside of your comfort zone and let people know who you are! (See reason #1 above) You need to educate your clients. You need to send people to your website and then educate them once they arrive. For years, a big portion of my clients found me because they were searching for headshots, came upon my page and realized they wanted this “personal brand thing” They had never heard of personal brand photography - but they knew that they wanted it!

5. YOU’RE NOT GIVING POTENTIAL CLIENTS WHAT THEY WANT.

Too many photographers today are still trying to up sell branding clients with wall portraits.  While I think there is a legitimate market for this - REAL personal branding clients want DIGITAL images that they can use for their business.  They don’t want (or have time) to sit thru in person sales sessions just so the photographer can make more money on wall portraits they don’t want or need.

I have a lot more to say on this and it’s something we talk about a LOT inside of my private, student only Facebook group!

 

What Personal Brand Photography Clients Need from You!

Personal branding photography isn’t really a NEW thing.  People have been hiring photographers to take professional photos of them ever since photography was invented. 

But online marketing is changing the way people are photographed. Historically, a good headshot every five years or so was all you needed. As long as you looked somewhat like the photo next to you in the yellow pages or newspaper ad you were good to go.

But times have DEFINITELY changed. Today, every business has a website (or they’re basically obsolete, let’s face it), and most also have a social media presence across countless platforms where they are encouraged to connect with audiences on a regular basis.

And how to people connect to other people? By being seen!

People are MUCH more likely to connect to a brand when they KNOW who is behind it. I mean, REALLY know. Mere recognition is no longer enough. Your clients want to establish that “know, like, trust” factor with a business before they hand over their hard-earned cash.

Business is personal these days. People brand themselves rather than a cutesy name, because they know it WORKS. My brand is not Personal Branding Photography. Or even International Personal Branding Photography. It’s Heidi Hapanowicz Photography. People want ME! (Aww, that feels so warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?)

But it’s true. 

So what do these entrepreneurs need from you? On the outside, they need great photos to help them look good online. Yes. But do you know what they REALLY need?

  • To feel comfortable in their own skin. Most people HATE being photographed. They feel uncomfortable. They don’t know how to move or what to wear. They get nervous. If you can make them feel comfortable from your very first interaction, they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth. (Seriously!)

  • To be taken care of. It doesn’t take much to create a high-class experience for your clients. But you definitely want to automate the process! By creating templates and even offering some tips and training beforehand, your clients will feel like they are in good hands. 

  • To create a BRAND, not just take a good headshot. There is so much more to personal branding photography than a headshot. You’ve got to get to know their BRAND’s personality as much as their OWN personality. It’s a blend of art and science. Let your intuition guide you, but do your homework so that you know what direction the brand needs to go.

  • To self-actualize. What strengths do you see in your clients? Let them know! Where do you see them shine? Accentuate it for them. Knowing that you’re in their cheering section can mean all the world to someone who sometimes struggles with putting themself out there.


I love what I do. You, too, can build a photography business YOU love!

Click here to find out how you can build your own Personal Brand Photography business.

Help Google Find Your Images - SEO Tip for Personal Brand Photographers

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR IMAGES FOR GOOGLE SEARCH

When someone does a search on Google, you'll notice that there is a tab at the top with images related to the query that was entered. 

So how do you get your images to show up there? 

 

1.  Save your image as a jpeg.

A name like 0_123578.jpg means NOTHING to Google. Instead give your image a name that tells them what it is. Example: Tampa-Pet-Photographer.jpg.

A name like 0_123578.jpg means NOTHING to Google. Instead give your image a name that tells them what it is. Example: Tampa-Pet-Photographer.jpg.

2. Make sure you image is appropriately sized for use on the web. There is no need to have a HUGE image.  If you're a photographer, you can easily do this in Photoshop.  My clients get the choice of downloading original & web-sized images. If neither of these are available to you go ahead and use a free site like compress.png.

A name like 0_123578.jpg means NOTHING to Google. Instead give your image a name that tells them what it is. Example: Tampa-Pet-Photographer.jpg.

3. Name your image. 

Most cameras will download your image with a numbered filed name. Example: 0_12689.jpg. This doesn't tell Google a thing. You'll want to rename your image to something that makes sense like Tampa-Dog-Photographer.jpg or even Photographer-Kristin-Barnes.jpg. 

Google is smart. But there are some things even Google can't figure out. Example. If you want to be found for "Tampa Dog Photographer" having an image 

Guess what this image was named?  That's right. Tampa-Pet-Photographer-06.  

How do you change the name of your image? I use Adobe Bridge to batch rename for my clients, but if you don't have access to that, it's as simple as a right clicking on an image and "renaming" it!  

I share a how-to in the video above.

4. Alt-Text 

If you use a site like Squarespace, the image name will autofill into the title section. SS's word for "alt-text" If you are using a WP site, you may have to manually enter this.  

How is alt-text used?

This is just another way to tell the viewer what the image is. If a site is slow to load or the images are not showing you'll see the "alt-text" instead. Side note: This is also a way for visually impaired people to know what an image is.

It's important that your alt-text accurately describes what's in your image. If you have a photo of a boat, don't name it miami-wedding-photographer.  



Look what happened here? 

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When we did a google search for Tampa Pet Photographer, Kristin's photo and her image pulled up in Google Image Search.

Notice the name under the description matches the name we gave it on the computer before we even uploaded it to her website. 

Easy, right?

I'll be back with more tips on getting your images to rank!