Keeping It Real: Why Authenticity is Essential in Personal Branding Photography.

Running a business requires creating a strong brand image that resonates with your target audience. As a personal branding photographer in Auckland, I understand the importance of authenticity in capturing true-to-you shots that build trust and connection with your audience.

In today’s market, personal branding photography goes beyond pretty pictures. It’s about showcasing the real you and standing out from the competition. After any personal branding shoot, you should have photos that truly capture the real you and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Imagine visiting a business website filled with stock photos you’ve seen on their competitors’ sites. It may look nice, but can you trust it? Probably not. That’s where the authenticity of personal branding photography comes into play. It helps to build trust with your audience because it shows that you’re not afraid to be yourself and stand out from the crowd. By showcasing the real you in your branding photos, you’re giving your audience a glimpse into who you are and what your business stands for.

Let’s face it – nobody’s perfect. Your audience doesn’t want to see an overly curated, fake version of you or your brand. They want to see the real you – flaws and all. That’s why it’s important to show your true personality, style, and quirks in your personal branding photography. Being authentic in your branding helps attract an audience that resonates with you, your values, and your message. You’ll find the right-fit clients, who you’ll love working with and who will love working with you.

Authenticity helps you establish a genuine connection with your audience. When they see the real you in your branding photos, they feel like they’re getting to know a friend rather than a faceless business. Moreover, it sets you apart from competitors who lack that genuine touch in their branding. In a sea of generic visuals, your authentic photos will stand out like a dazzling unicorn in a field of donkeys. Authentic personal branding photography boosts engagement and builds a stronger brand following. When your audience feels a genuine connection, they’re more likely to interact with your content, share it with others, and become enthusiastic brand advocates.

One of the business books I have read recently – Rachel Klaver’s marketing book – “Be a spider, build a web” has a section titled you’ve never killed a man with your face. As soon as I read this I laughed out loud, but it resonated with me and I am sure most of you can relate as well, so I wanted to share it with you here. Below is an excerpt from her book. 

“If you’re reading this and saying to me “Rachel, you don’t understand. People will just not like my face”, then I’ve got some very bad news for you and your face.

You’ve got a choice. Get over this idea that you have to have the right kind of face, or lose out on sales. The more you show your face, the better it will be for your business. Even if it’s not a pretty face.

If you can also bring yourself to open your mouth and record the words coming out of your face, you will find that is also better for your business, It doesn’t even matter what you sell. Your face talking to a camera works. 

Remember that what you are seeing is what others see. Your voice is the voice they hear. They don’t see the person you are in the mirror or hear how you sound in your head.

They are used to you. No one is recoiling from you in abject horror as you walk into a room. No one is running from you, hands over their ears crying “STOP! Your voice, it’s all wrong!” **NO ONE IS DYING FROM YOUR FACE!**

The more you relax into the fact that you are not causing mass death when you create a video, or pop a photo of yourself in a post or an email, the easier it becomes to just be you. “

We all have body insecurities and I am the first to admit I don’t think I sound the way I do in videos, but as Rachel said you’ve never killed a man with your face, or burst anyone’s ear drums just by talking. As a personal branding photographer I am here to help you present the best version of yourself to the world, **but still a true authentic version of you.** With some good lighting, flattering poses, and most importantly a fun relaxed environment we can definitely bring out your true personality and create images you’ll want to use, but we’ve all just got to accept we are who we are and love ourselves anyway! Your clients want to know who you are and to work with **YOU**, not some heavily made-up overly photoshopped version of you.

So I can hear you thinking this all sounds great Katrina and I know I need to show my authentic self but how do I do that? As a personal branding photographer in Auckland, I believe in embracing what makes you unique. Here are some tips that will help you achieve true-to-you shots.

First off, embrace what makes you, you! Whether it’s your infectious laughter, your quirky dress style, or your love of nature, let those qualities shine through in your photos. Remember, authenticity is all about being genuine and letting your true self stand out.

Now, let’s talk editing. While it’s tempting to use every filter and effect in the book, tread lightly. Over-editing can make your photos look artificial and take away from the authenticity you’re trying to convey. Instead, aim for a more natural and unfiltered look. Your audience will appreciate the realness. Now I’m not saying you have to be completely bare-faced, in fact, a good makeup artist will do a much better job than any filter ever could, and we all do want to put a polished yet true version of ourselves out there. 

When it comes to lighting and settings, natural is the way to go. Seek out natural light sources like windows or venture outdoors (but avoid the harsh light of the middle of the day if you’re going outside, panda eyes are not a good look!). Opt for settings that align with your brand and personality. Whether it’s a funky colourful urban scene or a calm natural backdrop, choose locations that resonate with your vibe.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to infuse your personality into your branding photography. Let your passions, hobbies, and quirks take center stage. Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast, a bookworm, or an adventure seeker, find creative ways to incorporate these elements into your shots. It’s these personal touches that will make your brand truly relatable and memorable.

So say goodbye to stock photos and embrace the power of original, personalised photography that showcases the best version of your true self. Together, we’ll create photos that capture your unique personality and resonate with your target audience. If you’d like to know more about a photoshoot within Auckland, or even within New Zealand (as we will be traveling around the country this year with our camera, and would love to come visit you) then get in touch below. I’d love to know more about your business.

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