The Wedding and Portrait Photographers’ International trade show (WPPI) is the all-encompassing event for visual storytellers to ignite and renew their passion for photography. My friend and colleague Allison and I are lucky to attend this five day event each year in Las Vegas.
We often immediately take what we’ve learned and like to practice out in the desert, which is an amazing setting. Last year, we went out into the dunes just outside of Vegas and I took these shots of Allison posing in the desert breeze.
It helps us learn how to better direct poses and also enables us to get into a helpful mindset when we have to be in front of the camera instead of behind it. We can get a similar feeling that our clients experience when we’re posing them for portraits or couples shots. It’s like the tables are turned!
She and I really love what we do, and we both enjoy just snapping some cool shots of each other.
This process is also professionally important, because we believe that it is crucial for a photographer to have a personal brand that reflects his or her style. In our work, we’re constantly working with other people to capture their personalities and styles. But if we professionals don’t have a brand of our own, an important piece is missing.
Personal branding is important for photographers because it expresses our personalities, and helps to attract customers and clients that fit. It can also help refine your leads and save you time by turning away clients who might not be the best fit.
Branded photography is also the face of your business (no pun intended). As a photographer, you’re probably personally involved in every – or almost every – shoot, and your potential clients can learn a lot about whether you’ll be a good fit for their needs from your portfolio. They can get a better feel for your photography style – not just from the shots you’ve taken of others, but also from the ones of yourself.
When you photograph people, the session is all about the relationship. A personal style must show through in your photos to translate your personality visually, so that your potential clients can envision the relational fit they can experience when they work with you. If you can translate your own style and personality visually, they can be confident that you’ll do the same for them.