I remember not that long ago looking at other female entrepreneurs websites and thinking wow! I’d love to have a photoshoot with amazing pics of me to use on my website.
I love how branded everything is.
Then, last Friday the opportunity to have my very own branding shoot presented itself and I jumped at the chance to spend a day having my picture taken.
This in itself is a big step outside my comfort zone, but something I knew I had to do. I know that in order to grow my business, I have to up-level me first. Part of that is creating a better brand- that looks more cohesive and streamlined.
Some of you may have seen that as well as VA services I am now also offering business mentoring. This is something I feel I have been doing naturally for many of my friends in business and clients, and I wanted to make it official. I love helping female entrepreneurs improve their online presence. Last week I finally went ‘live’ with what I’m offering by getting a new logo designed and I was in the middle of up levelling my brand and what I’m doing in my business, so this was perfect timing for me.
Anyone who knows me well will know, I’m not a fan of having my picture taken. I’m one of those people, that as soon as a camera is on me, I can’t help but blink, pull a strange face or just look plain awful. It’s gone as far as being a joke within my group of friends that I just don’t take many good photos. So actually putting myself up for this in the first case was a big step.
However, it was an opportunity I really couldn’t turn down. So, I thought I’d write a blog post about my day.
Personal branding is marketing YOU
When I was told I could have my branding shoot, I had 3 days to plan.
Before the Branding shoot
She was amazing before we’d even met. She helped me decide what clothes to wear, what to bring with me and what to expect.
She created a mood board for me which contained ideas of poses and shots, ideas for clothing and locations for the shots.
Although she said I could wear whatever I felt comfortable in, in whatever colours, I wanted to stick on brand as much as possible. This was fairly easy as my colours are black, white, grey and blush and nudes, so all easy colours to wear!
Given that time was tight- I literally had 1.5hrs to go shopping after dropping my daughter to a party Saturday lunchtime (usual mum juggles!). I grabbed a few things (Ok, a lot of things), that I liked and hoped they looked good on.
Then had an afternoon of trying outfits on to check they fitted and I was happy with them. I wanted the outfits to reflect me and who I am. I am not a corporate girl, so anything like that, just wouldn’t have felt good for me- I feel my best in clothes that are me. Nigit encouraged me to bring clothes that I like and feel authentically me.
Good old next with next day delivery was also a God-send for last minute bits and pieces.
What i took for my branding shoot
Here’s the list of what clothes I took with me for my branding shoot.
Jeans x2 – I’m a jean and heels girl – paired with a cute blouse or blazer and this is much more me than anything too corporate.
Blouses x4- mainly in black and cream/white. Teamed with a statement necklace
Blazers- to go with the above
Skirt- flair skirt that cinches in at the waist
Dresses x 2- I’m also a dress girl, so I took two of my favourites along
Heels- killer heels are a must for me to feel at my best, so I took black and nude
Coat- in my brand colours- of course, but never actually wore it in any shots in the end
Hat, scarfs, gloves- the weather ended up being warm, so I didn’t need these on the day
Nigit also asked me to bring any small items that were either important to me or reflected me.
So I brought along some makeup, perfume, picture, mugs, jewellery, notebooks. pens, books, laptop, flowers, crystal, plants. All items that still kept in mind my brand colours too.
The fantastic photographer that was being used for the day was Jenny Giles and she happens to be a friend and client of mine, so that made things a little easier- having her nearby throughout the day. I’ve known Jen a while so it was great to have her there. I trust in her abilities and knew she’d tell me if she wanted me to do something different.
Nigit had also booked a videographer-Liam, who was there to record some of the day.
The day of the branding shoot
The day started at Nigit’s salon in Clifton, Bristol with coffee, orange juice, croissants and chocolates- always a bonus!
Then I had my nails done, whilst relaxing in a fluffy dressing gown. I chose a pretty coral colour.
When nails were done, Nigit curled my hair for me, ready for the shoot, then moved onto my makeup.
Throughout the day I had two looks- one more natural and one a slightly heavier look with a red lip. Nigit uses very high end, beautiful quality makup-making me feel like a star!
Throughout this time, the photographer had been snapping away and the videographer filming – but as Nigit had put me so at ease, I hardly noticed them- we just chatted away the whole time.
The branding shoot
Next up it was time to get dressed and start the main shoot.
This was pretty crazy. I think most girls had a secret childhood ambition of being a model, so I knew it would be fun, but I also knew I wasn’t the best at having my photo taken.
I did my best but still found it cringe-worthy at times. Thank goodness Nigit was there to help me relax and feel at ease throughout it all. It was actually really fun, as having Nigit there was like spending time with a friend. At times you could see people slow their cars or turn and watch as they thought that the photographers could be snapping a celeb! Nope, just me!
We went to various locations and had various outfit changes in quick succession- I can’t believe how fast the day flew by!
Overall, we had a fantastic day. I truly felt like a VIP for the day.
Thank you to Nigit, Jenny & Liam for making this a great experience for my first branding shoot.
I look forward to sharing more pictures with you soon!