Headshot and Branding, what’s the difference? | Northern VA Headshot Photographer

Headshot and Branding, what’s the difference? | Northern VA Headshot Photographer

Did you know that there is a difference between headshot photography and branding photography? One is a business picture. The other is a business story. A lot of people tend to conflate them, but the fact is that they are two distinct types of portrait sessions. As a headshot photographer in Sterling, VA, we like to make the distinction for clients when they call us asking about our work for business professionals.

Headshot Photography

A headshot is a professional portrait of you meant to promote you or your business. Your headshot photo represents you as a professional. You can use it for a website, marketing material, or social media. It can be one element of branding photography. However, branding photography is more than just your headshot.

 

Branding Photography

Branding photography is more holistic than headshot photography. Business owners and other professionals use branding photography as a way to build their online presence, reputation, and brand. It often includes multiple outfit changes, to represent different aspects of your business, especially for entrepreneurs who sometimes wear many hats. Sometimes it includes a more casual look, something that tells your prospective clients who you are and lets them get to know you a little more personally through your portraits. A branding session may include you at work in your office or “doing” your job. In general, it gives you a variety of portraits which show an overview of what you do and what you can offer your clients.

 

So, which one is right for you?

Both kinds of photography – headshot and branding – can help you build your brand, capture and tell your story, and promote you and your business.

Which type of portrait session you choose depends on your needs and goals. If all you need is a picture of you to put on a website or printed program, then a headshot would probably suffice.

If, however, you have a vested interest in professionally promoting yourself or your company in a more comprehensive and detailed manner, then branding photography would be the way to go! Strategically done headshot photography, along with additional images, can help you build a strong brand image – one that can transform your career or company. Branding usually requires several pictures strategically taken to develop your story or narrative.

Working with a Headshot Photographer at Ever After

That picture your friend took of you on vacation isn’t going to work if you want others to take you seriously as a professional. You need a high quality, professional-looking image, at a minimum.

When you call to reserve your portrait session, we will ask you some questions about your photographic needs and goals for your pictures, including your goals for your session and your vision for outcomes. We’ll also ask what you plan to do with the photos as well as what potential needs you might have for them.

Because a branding session is a more involved process than a headshot session, we want to know what you’d like to say through your branding, and we use our photography and marketing skills to help you get there. We’ll likely recommend professional hair and makeup and discuss wardrobe styling to make the most of your session. We can provide a lot of guidance and recommendations to ensure you get exactly what you want out of your session.

We will also discuss venue selection. We can do your branding photography in our studios or at our outdoor portrait park. We can also go on location to your office if that’s what you want.

Contact our studios if you have any questions about branding or headshot photography. As an experienced headshot photographer in Sterling, VA, we are happy to guide you toward the one which best suits your needs.

 

Headshot Photographer

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits. In addition, we do headshot photography.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Best,

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer

Why is a Branding Session important for YOUR business? | Northern VA Headshot Photographer

Why is a Branding Session important for YOUR business? | Northern VA Headshot Photographer

Headshot photography, as part of branding photography, is a powerful tool you can use to grow and brand your Northern Virginia business. Your headshot photo gives potential clients a glimpse of who’s at the helm of the company. Using it strategically can help you expand your business by raising your profile.

Role of Photography in Marketing

Marketing experts extol the virtues of photography because they understand the difference it can make. Imagine a newspaper, website, or social media platform like Facebook without any images at all! How boring would that be?! Visual imagery draws the eye far more than text does.

If you want people to read your website, blog content, or social media post, insert pictures. Data and studies show that visual imagery guarantees a much higher rate of engagement. How high? More than 100% more engagement!

If you want potential clients to feel more connected to your business, include your headshot. Seeing is believing. Incorporating photos of a small business owner makes people feel more connected to them and gives them a sense of better “knowing” the company.

If you want to sell a product, include pictures of that product. Would you ever buy a product you’ve never tried before based strictly on its description? Probably not. So, if you have something to sell, including your services, make sure there’s some similar imagery for viewers.

If you’re not using photography to “tell” your story, to advertise your business, and to capture people’s attention, you’re missing out. Photography works well in tandem with text in marketing.

Use words to describe. Use pictures to show.
 

 

Why Branding Photography is Important for Your Business

Headshots along with other business photography can comprise what is known as Branding Photography. One stock photo of yourself as the owner used repeatedly is not going to benefit you. Instead, customers and potential customers want to connect with you. Using photography strategically to communicate what you or your business does is how you brand and grow your business.

Branding photography is your front line of communications. People will browse your website, see your photos, and understand what you have to offer them, your value. Then, they will read your content. If you don’t get the photography right, you might lose them before they learn what you can offer them.

Hiring a Photographer

Leverage your photography to maximize its potential for your company. That means hiring the best branding and headshot photographer you can and investing in a comprehensive package of branding and headshot photography.

When interviewing branding photographers, they should ask you a lot of questions. They should ask about you, your business, your goals for your business, and your goals for your branding session. Without knowing the answers to those questions, they can’t do right by you and personalize your portrait session to help you meet your goals and your vision.

We work with clients throughout Northern Virginia, including Sterling, VA, on their branding and headshot photography. As small business owners ourselves, we understand the value of great images. As photographers, we know how to produce that quality for you! Call us to schedule a branding photography or headshot session with us today!
 

 

Headshot Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Best,

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer

What exactly is a Personal Branding Session? | Northern VA Headshot Photographer

What exactly is a Personal Branding Session? | Northern VA Headshot Photographer

Headshot photography is a hot topic in the business world – especially when it comes to personal branding. It seems everyone, including those here in the Sterling, VA area, either has or wants to have a great headshot – and for good reason!

Most savvy business professionals today understand the importance and value of personal branding photography. So, what exactly is it, and why are we discussing it?

What’s Personal Branding?

Personal branding is how you’re perceived as a small business owner or a professional. It’s your reputation, your business – it’s you.

Headshot photography isn’t just part of your branding; it can influence your branding. You can’t dictate what others say or think about you, but you can certainly drive the narrative, and your professional headshot is an essential part of your story.

There are several points to consider when it comes to personal branding and photography. We summarize them below.

Your Headshot

Your headshot often is the first thing people see which relates to your professional life.

Your headshot can say a lot about you. Having a professionally-taken headshot is critical to the image you present. Imagine a well-known company putting out a headshot which looks cheap or tacky of their CEO. What impression would that present to their prospective clients and to their competitors? Such a thing would never happen with a Fortune 500 company, and it should never happen with you either.

If you need to update your headshot, you should make sure you work with an experienced professional, or you could be wasting your money and time. For example, an experienced photographer in headshot photography will ask how you plan on using your headshot (for general purposes, social media, website, etc.). That helps him/her decide how to set up your portrait session.

A skilled photographer knows how to tailor your headshot session to meet your needs. Sometimes someone wants something a bit less formal, but still professional. Your photographer should work with you to determine the best looks for your new headshot. (More on this later in this post!)
 

 

Headshot/Branding Looks

We typically recommend more than one headshot or branding pose or looks. Why?

For two reasons:

1. You’ve made the appointment, you might as well leverage the time to buy more than one pose for future needs and various purposes.
2. Good branding addresses several aspects of branding, so having more than one pose for future needs is essential and saves you time in the future.

You might need a good headshot now for your website. But in a few months, you might want a professional, but slightly more casual pose for social media platforms. That’s known as “funneling.” Working with a photographer on various poses in the same session is always prudent.

Remember, your headshot helps influence your branding. It’s critical to get it right.

What’s Your End Goal?

Before you do professional headshots or barnding, think about what your end goal is for the resulting pictures.

When working with a photographer to design your session, think about why you’re doing a headshot or branding session, the future purposes of the pictures, and the image you want to create – either for clients seeing the picture or for prospective employers.

Headshots aren’t just so that people can see what you look like; they’re so they can see who you are!
Your professional pictures should represent you, your work ethic or style, and your branding. They should further the image you want others to have of you.

For example, it’s not likely that a medical professional’s headshot and an interior designer or an art professional would have the same style of picture. Typically, professionals in vastly different industries would have very different headshots. Your photos tell the viewer a lot about you and your profession.

Would you want to see a picture of your surgeon standing in front of a kitchen holding a blueprint, an image that’s entirely irrelevant to his profession? You would probably find that strange – and offputting.

Another example, let’s say you’ve been asked to submit a picture for the marketing materials for a professional conference where you will be the keynote speaker. Would you provide a photo of you in a bathing suit with your family at the beach picnic? Unless you’re working in the swimsuit industry, you most likely wouldn’t send that picture.

A skilled headshot photographer should ask you what your end goal is for your headshot photography and even discuss your goals for your personal branding. What image are you hoping to convey today and tomorrow? Where might you use this headshot in a few months?

Branding and Headshot Photography, Now and for the Future

We always suggest to clients that they think of their branding photography in both present and future terms:
• How do you want to use it today. and how might you use it in six months?
• Where is your career or business headed?
• How will your branding and headshot portraits help you get there?

Headshot photography is one of the most important investments you will make as a professional. It’s a critical aspect of your branding. As a Sterling, VA area photographer, we have worked with professionals in a variety of industries. And as a small business owner, we understand the importance branding has on the future of a business. Let us work with you on your headshot photography to shape your brand!
 

 

Family Photographer, Headshot Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Best,

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer

Monifa, Headshot Portrait Session | Northern VA Photographer

Monifa, Headshot Portrait Session | Northern VA Photographer

When the lovely and talented Monifa (Mo) Hamilton needed a professional headshot, she reached out to our portrait photography studio near Vienna, VA & Bluemont, VA. After chatting with her, we knew just what to do!

The Importance of Professional Headshots:
A professional headshot represents and reflects you. Headshots are an investment in the image you want to portray professionally. Often, it’s your first opportunity to make a professional impression on others. It’s critical to get it right with high-quality, professional photography. Mo understood this which is why she hired us as experienced professionals.

• Professionals and corporate executives use headshots for many reasons including publications, business cards, websites, and even social media.
• Using a recent, high-quality portrait is important.
• Your headshot projects your professionalism.
• Treat them as you would any career investment.
• Professional makeup and styling can be invaluable for headshots.
• Don’t wait until you need a headshot or you might find yourself scrambling to schedule an appointment and get portraits back.

Using a Professional Photographer:
Always select a reputable photographer with experience in corporate or headshot photography. Yes, your friend who’s a terrific hobby photographer might be able to shoot your picture, but that doesn’t mean they should. A skilled photographer with the appropriate breadth of experience is best suited for professional portraits. Not only do they have the right set of skills and equipment, but they also have the best experience. They know just what to do and how to deliver a quality portrait appropriate for your specific needs.

When Mo called us to schedule her portraits, we took the time to discuss her needs and expectations. We were then able to choreograph her headshot portrait session accordingly. The results speak for themselves, but Mo later told us: “Both Mindy and Joriana were professional and coupled with their kindness and great spirit, the photo shoot exceeded my expectations.”

If you need professional headshots, contact our experienced portrait photography studio in Sterling, VA, near Vienna, VA. We would enjoy working with you to reflect your best professional image.

Headshot and Branding Gallery
 

 

Family Photographer, Portrait Photography Studio

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA, near Vienna, VA in the Northern Virginia area. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.
 
Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

 
Best,
 
Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!
 
Professional Photographer

Why Should I Hire A Professional to Take My Headshot? | Northern VA Photographer

Why Should I Hire A Professional to Take My Headshot? | Northern VA Photographer

Have you put your best face forward in your professional headshot? January is Headshot Month and an excellent time to get a professional portrait taken! At our portrait photography studio in Sterling, VA, we know just how to help you convey professionalism in a high-quality headshot (also known as a branding or business photo).

If you are a professional of any kind, then chances are you will need a professional portrait at some point, if you haven’t already. Don’t underestimate the value of a quality headshot!

The Value of Headshots:

The Internet has changed how we all do business. It’s often the first place you do business when someone looks you up before hiring, calling, seeing, or interviewing you. Image matters. If the picture you have put out into cyberspace is poorly taken, under-exposed, or not conveying a smart, polished look, it might cost you.

So, what does your headshot say about you? As a professional photographer, we know what your professional headshot should say about you.

Here are four things it should convey:

* You are a polished professional.
* You invest in your career (because you’ve invested in quality photography).
* You will represent your company well.
* You take yourself and your career seriously.

Types of Headshot Sessions:

We offer different types of headshot sessions: Headshot One Session and Signature Personal Branding Session. Both will produce quality professional portraits, but the Signature Branding Session provides a more comprehensive session and service.

Headshot One: This is a straightforward headshot session. You will arrive in your chosen outfit, ready to be photographed. We will photograph you on one background, suitable for the outfit you’ve chosen to wear.

Signature Personal Branding Session: This is a highly-customized headshot portrait session and includes extra services. You will receive a portrait session prep package, including a simple questionnaire, in advance of your session. There will be a visual branding strategy session so we can understand your needs, clients, and goals for your headshot. We will assist you with styling for your shoot including the selection of wardrobe, location, and props. Multiple clothing changes are included, as well.

There’s no need to wait for January to arrive – We encourage you to call today to reserve your time slot! Our portrait photography studio near Vienna, VA is ready to help you represent your best self!

For some examples of headshots we’ve done, click here to visit our Headshot and Branding Gallery.

Other posts you might find of interest:

What’s a Headshot, and Who Really Needs One?

Preparing for Your Professional Headshot

Family Photographer, Portrait Photography Studio

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Best,

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer

Preparing for Your Professional Headshot | Northern VA Professional Photographer

Preparing for Your Professional Headshot | Northern VA Professional Photographer

As a professional headshot photographer in the South Riding, VA and Round Hill, VA area, we work with many clients to capture their best looks for their headshots. It’s a growing part of our work!

Professional headshots – also known as branding or business photos – were once the stuff of promotional materials and conference programs. However, the Internet has changed all that! Professional headshots are regularly used today across all kinds of platforms including social media and websites. They are often the first impression you make on others before you even meet them. Where we once had storefronts, we now have the Internet and our branding images to represent us.

Why do a professional headshot with a headshot photographer?

As we said, a headshot is often the first impression you make on others in the business world, whether fellow business people or potential clients. It’s essential to have a high-quality professional picture taken by a headshot photographer who shows you take your job and career seriously.

A snapshot is an unprofessional way in which to represent yourself, and it won’t suffice today! It’s worth investing in a professional headshot that serves you well and shows you at your best. Snapshots can’t do that.

Investing in a professional portrait from a headshot photographer shows others that you believe in what you do and in yourself. It helps establish you as a professional willing to invest in yourself and your career. You are a professional who should be taken seriously.

Here are some thoughts you should consider before you do your headshot session.

Carefully select an experienced headshot photographer.

They should know how to take these kinds of business pictures because they are not an everyday kind of portrait. Your cousin might take good snapshots, but that doesn’t mean he can do a professional-looking headshot that does you credit.

Trust your headshot photographer!

A skilled headshot photographer is professional. They are experts in their industries just like you are in yours. Follow their instructions and guidance. Trust what they are suggesting. A skilled and reputable photography studio will not steer you wrong.

Dress well. Groom well.

Your clothes and how you look in them will say a lot about you, and you should put a lot of thought into how you dress for your headshot, and the message you want to send. Even if you are in a more casual industry where jeans and t-shirts are the dress code, be sure to wear nice ones to your headshot session! Clean, neat clothes matter even if you’re an artist having a “funkier” headshot taken.

Wear what best represents you and your industry, by all means – just make sure it looks good! Your headshot photographer should assist you with choosing the best attire to suit you and your brand. Experienced headshot photographers can also offer professional styling. More on that below, but seriously consider using a professional stylist!

Plan Your Outfit(s)

By all means, please do not wait until the morning of the session to pick out your clothes. Do it at least a week in advance to be sure you like what you have in your closet or have the time to buy a new outfit!

Hair

Do what you want with it as long as it looks neat and clean (those words again!) and translates well on camera. We don’t recommend changing your hairstyle dramatically for your headshot because people need to recognize you after seeing your picture and meeting you in person. Again, matching the look of your hair or clothes to the goal of your headshot is – a good headshot photographer can guide you on this.

Professional Hair Styling and Makeup

At Ever After, we can arrange for professional hair styling and makeup for any of our portrait sessions including headshot photography. Some people prefer this for their portraits, and we understand. It can be tough to get your hair or makeup looking as good as when a professional does it! Working with professional hair and makeup experts is a small investment that can pay off big for a professional headshot. When you use professionals for your session, you feel more confident in yourself, more relaxed, and that comes through in your portraits.

Relax and Breathe!

It’s tough for even the best headshot photographer to take great pictures if the subject is nervous or stiff. We always tell our clients to relax and breathe. We got this for you! We have a lot of experience working with clients in various industries doing their professional headshots. We understand the importance of these portraits to them and their careers. We take our time with each client during their headshot or branding session to be sure we get it right, and the final product does a great job of promoting or representing them.

That’s it!

Follow these pointers, and we know your headshot will be amazing!

We invite you to have a look at our Headshot and Branding Gallery to see some of our work. You can also check our Pinterest boards for hundreds of ideas and suggestions on selecting outfits for portraits sessions, whether headshot or family.

As a professional and reputable headshot photographer, we do headshots year round. Give us a call if you live anywhere in the Northern Virginia area, including South Riding, VA and Round Hill, VA, a to discuss our availability and how we can help you best represent yourself through an Ever After headshot!

You might also enjoy this article:
What’s a Headshot, and Who Really Needs One?
 

 

Family Photographer, Professional and Headshot Photographer

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near South Riding, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.
 
Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

 
Best,
 
Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!
 
Professional Photographer