5 Myths About Personal Branding Photoshoots

5 Myths About Personal Branding Photoshoots

Drool-worthy personal branding photos are not as unattainable as you might think. If you tell yourself that you don’t need photos of you on your website because your words speak for themselves, or if you think that you can attract the clients of your dreams with that headshot taken back in 2008 at your corporate job (or worse, the one you put up after you cropped out an old boyfriend), I’ve got some news.

Bottom line? Your ideal clients want to get to know, like, and trust you—and they can’t do that if they can’t see your face. I’m here to bust the top five myths I come across as a personal branding photographer. Here goes:

You Need to Be Photogenic

This must be the number-one myth perpetuated about personal branding photography. When you see branding photos of people who look as though they were meant to be in front of the camera, most of the time it’s more about how the photographer has made the subject feel than any innate ability of the person to look good on camera. A good brand photographer will know how to make you FEEL comfortable—and LOOK comfortable. Pinky swear.

I adore the process of getting to know my clients and helping them to loosen up during our shoot. You might be surprised to learn that almost EVERYONE is uncomfortable in front of the camera, no matter how many times they’ve done it. But with a few good tips and some laughs, even the most awkward among us can find her inner RAWR.

You Need to Spend a LOT of Money

If you think you need to spend a fortune scouting the perfect location for your photoshoot, splurging on a high-end wardrobe, and hiring an entourage to keep you looking your best all day—not to mention the bucks it takes to pay the photographer—you’re mistaken.

Sure, you’ll want to hire a GOOD photographer (and not just your cousin’s friend who “takes photos on the side”), but that should be the bulk of your expenses. You don’t need to jetset off to Paris to be in the “perfect” location. You don’t need to wear Prada and Louboutins. And you don’t need five people following you around all day to make sure your collar is never out of place.

Your photographer will handle most of the details. Get a good pedicure and manicure. Have your hair and makeup done (this might be included). Maybe get a spray tan if you like how it looks. Don’t spend an arm and a leg on clothing. No one will know what brand you are wearing. Cheap clothing looks just as good as expensive clothing on camera.

And don’t worry about a fancy location. Talk to your photographer about what look you’re going for. They may have the perfect location in mind. The simplest of places can make an image look amazing through the lens. Don’t stress that you can’t do your photoshoot in Italy. You don’t need to. (But if you’re already going to be in Italy, well, go for it!)

You’re Too Old/Shy/Fat/Boring/Weird to Be the Face of Your Brand

Imposter syndrome anyone? Does it seem like everything has already been done? When you scroll through Instagram, does your life feel SO BORING? Darling, EVERYONE’s life is packed with mundane, pajama-clad moments, one after the other. And EVERYONE can find simple moments that can be made to look fabulous.

You have a fire within you. You just need permission to find it. What are you passionate about? What infuriates you about your industry? What are you trying to change? Channel that energy, and I promise you, you will be JUST as interesting as those lives you scroll past on social media.

Personal Branding Is for Extroverts

If your favorite place to be on Friday night is curled up with a book, catching up with your favorite blogs, working on your brand, or out with a close girlfriend or two for wine and tapas to talk it up, you might be an introvert—and the idea of plastering your face across your website might make you feel nauseated. Honey, you might not believe this, but I am just like you. And SO MANY of my clients are too.

But you know what? When you hide your face from potential clients, they don’t get a chance to get to know you. People process photos 60,000 times faster than they do words. 60,000 times! And they will connect with your words so much better if they can see who is behind them. Your people want to see you. So get out from behind-the-scenes. It’s time to shine.

Product-Based Businesses Don’t Need a Personal Brand

“I don’t want to distract my customers from my products by putting my face on my brand.” I hear this a lot, and it makes me cringe. People don’t interact with brands. They interact with people. Even the most automated brands are run by people who make decisions on a daily basis that affect their customers. The more you can step in front of your customers and get to know them, the more they will trust your products.

After busting these myths with me, how do you feel? Now you have no excuse to step into the limelight. It’s your time, I just know it.


Heidi Hapanowicz

Heidi Hapanowicz Personal Branding Photography, 205 West Hyde Park Place, Tampa, FL, 33606

Heidi Hapanowicz is a personal branding photographer and visual marketing expert for online entrepreneurs.