Personal branding: the importance of images

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Personal branding: the importance of images

A few weeks ago, I decided it was finally time for a new hair cut. Now, I haven't cut my hair since my last stylist left to have a baby - probably 2 years ago - so it's long overdue and I needed to look for a new stylist. I decided to try out a salon that opened on the main street near my home a few years ago, so Great! Even better, there were several stylists available that day for me to book. 

I didn't know them at all, so I checked out their stylists page to learn more about them. Since I wasn't price shopping, there wasn't much to choose between them, so I ended up relying on their pictures to select who I thought I might like to work with best - and the two stylists with no pictures at all were immediately discounted. 

This happens more than you might realize. People work with us because they think they can get along with us - because they see something in us that they can connect with. Your profile pictures become how you connect with people you haven't spoken to yet, and people will absolutely discount you for how you present yourself online. A fellow photographer posted on Facebook  just yesterday about an accountant who had been recommended to her but who she chose not to go with because his professional-facing photo was of him holding a bottle of scotch in one hand and a cigar in the other. She couldn't connect this picture with the image she had of the accountant she wanted to work with so she looked elsewhere. 

Your image matters. It matters to your business and it matters to your bottom line. Which is why I work with all of my clients to identify how they want to be perceived, and we work together to make sure that vision comes across in your images. 

If you're interested in learning more about how I can help you with photographs that define your personal brand, contact me now to set up a no-obligation consultation. 

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3 ways to add variety in a photo session

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3 ways to add variety in a photo session

A photo session is an investment of time and money, so why not make the most of it? Here are three easy ways to get different looks in one session.

Change clothing

Clothing has an enormous impact on the final photograph. Different colors, textures, looks, and styles can produce very different results even with the same lighting and backdrop. 

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Z is for Zoom

A zoom lens is a lens with an adjustable focal length, allowing the photographer the flexibility to get more or less environment in the photo with their lens, not with their feet.

The zoom lens (with the exception of the most expensive lenses) trade off optical quality for convenience, a sacrifice many photographers are prepared to accept. Optical quality is hardly poor on good zoom lenses, but the difference is clear when compared to a comparable prime lens at the same focal distance. Optimum optical quality is usually found 2 or 3 stops higher than the widest aperture the lens can support. 

W is for Wide Angle

Wide angle lenses are lenses with a short focal length and wider field of view than can typically be seen by the human eye; on a 35mm (or equivalent digital) camera, that is any lens shorter than 50mm.

Typically used in landscapes, wide angle lenses can also be used in portraits to introduce some of the environment into the image and tell a story around the subject. Because of the way wide-angle lenses emphasize features in the foreground, close-up pictures of people with a wide-angle lens can distort facial features, making the feature closest to the camera look disproportionately larger than features further away. 

 

V is for Vignette

A vignette is an artifact caused by light falloff at the edge of the image.

Photographers sometimes add a vignette the post-production phase to direct the viewers eye within the image. The added effect can be darker or lighter than the central image.  A lighter vignette gives a dated effect to the image and can be distracting on images that are not already high key.

Vignetting caused by the lens is often undesirable and needs to be corrected in post-processing.

U is for Underexposed

An underexposed image is one in which the final image is too dark. In an underexposed image the photographer has not dialed the camera to the optimal exposure to ensure the focus of picture is well defined and has enough detail in both

T is for TTL

TTL or Through The Lens is a camera setting whereby the camera determines values by metering through the lens of the camera.

The camera uses TTL in one of two places:

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S is for Selective Focus

Selective focus is a technique used widely by portrait photographers to make the subject of the photograph the center of attention by throwing elements (typically the background) of the picture out of focus. 

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R is for Resolution

Resolution refers to the amount of detail that can be displayed in an image.

Similar to the resolution of a computer screen, the resolution of a digital picture is measured in pixels. The number of pixels per inch combined with the resolution of the image tells you how large the image will be when printed or displayed on a screen.

Q is for Quality

Quality refers to the production standard of an image. When assessing the image quality of a print, the following elements may be considered:

  • Image content
    The content is an essential element in quality. A minimally acceptable image should be in focus and properly exposed. A high quality image would be well composed, original or innovative, and have a story to tell.