The infinitely quotable Ted Lasso once said, “Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”
Like many of the Lasso-isms from the three season run of Apple TV’s hit show, this thought-provoking advice can make you a better person.
It’s also a good one to look to if you’re wondering how not to look awkward in your brand photo shoot. You can actually become quite comfortable in an otherwise uncomfortable situation, if you follow our tips.
Because we love Ted as much as everyone else on both sides of the pond, we’re presenting our tips via some of our favorite witticisms from the mind of Jason Sudeikis’s award winning character.
Finding a Photographer You Trust
“You could fill two internets with what I don’t know about football.”
Lasso, the failed American football coach, was certainly a fish out of water when he first hopped across the pond to be the soccer coach for AFC Richmond. But by trusting subject matter experts around him, he didn’t flounder forever.
When you find a photographer you can trust, you’ll be headed to the top of the league standings also.
Finding a photographer you trust can happen the same way you find any of the other professionals in your circle. Word of mouth is a big one.
Finding a trustworthy photographer is kind of like finding a real estate agent. There are a lot of people out there claiming to be one, but can you trust them? Have they just picked it up or have they cultivated professional skills through a years-long career? Do they have a portfolio you like?
Ask around at your next happy hour with co-workers — it’s likely they’ll have a few recommendations for you. A quick introduction from a mutual acquaintance can set your mind at ease before you agree to hire a photographer.
Or you can always take your search online. Find a few in your area using Google and take a look at their work. Is their portfolio diverse? Do their subjects look awkward or confident?
Then pick up the phone or drop them an email. Ask them about the things you’re nervous about and see if they can instill some confidence in you with their responses. If not, move on and find someone who does.
Planning Ahead with Inspiration and Ideas
“I do love a locker room. It smells like potential.”
There’s potential everywhere you look. Photo session ideas can come from many sources. Like a coach contemplating his locker room full of soccer players, you never know where the next game-winning goal, or a great image you wish to emulate, will come from. Seek out some inspiration to find a winning shot you’d like to replicate.
A good personal brand photographer won’t show up to a consultation empty-handed, and neither should you. Do a little bit of homework to see what kind of brand photography you’re drawn to.
Peruse everything from the free local magazines available on the racks inside the doors at the grocery store to the images on the pages of Forbes Magazine. People advertise their personal brands everywhere and inspiration can strike anywhere. Tear out a few things you like and have them ready for show-and-tell when you meet with your chosen photographer.
Have you seen something interesting on an Instagram advertisement? Use the screenshot feature on your phone or computer and save it.
Scrolled across an engaging video on Facebook? Rewatch it and take some notes.
Bring it all to the consultation so you can point to exactly the sort of thing you’re looking for. If you have your own unique ideas, even better.
Practicing a Lot
“Your body is like day-old rice. If it ain’t warmed up properly, something real bad could happen.”
Get warmed up for your photo session by practicing. If you’re generally a camera-shy person, then you may want to get in front of a practice camera before your scheduled session day in order to feel more at ease. Again, it’s all about building confidence. When it’s your camera, you’re in charge and can press delete on images you’re uncomfortable with.
Try this: Set up a camera in your work environment when no one is around — stay after hours if you have to — and use the timer to practice your pose. You can do it over and over and over until you feel happy with the results. There’s no shame in upping your posing game.
Do you like the way your smile looks with your mouth open or closed? Turn a few degrees to the side. Do you like the ¾ angle better?
You might also want to enlist a trusted friend or family member. They can encourage you and offer guidance in a low-pressure practice session so that you feel more confident on the actual day of your personal branding photography session.
Choosing Props That Are On-Brand and Help with Posing
“I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there you’re just 1 in 11.”
No small business owner can do it alone. You need role players, support staff, mentors…and that goes for your personal brand photography too. You and the props you choose to represent your brand need to work as a team to tell the right story.
Interacting with your products or appropriate props is brand photography gold! But make sure you choose the ones that improve your confidence and help with posing confidently, rather than trying to force something that doesn’t play well with others.
Everything in your photos that isn’t you is a prop. Maybe it’s a park bench where you’re holding an “impromptu” work chat with a colleague over coffee. Maybe it’s the cash register in the middle of a sale to your happy customer. Use your imagination, play act a little bit and have fun with it!
A prop could also be part of your uniform or one of your tools.
Lift those dumbbells like a boss, Personal Trainer. Sport that blazer with a little fire, Young Professional. Lean into that mic like you were born behind it, Pod Caster.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate…just enough to get to the essence of the story you want to tell about your brand.
Choose Clothes That Fit You and That You Feel Confident In
“Ice cream is the best. It’s kinda like seeing Billy Joel perform live. Never disappoints.”
And like a Billy Joel concert, ice cream makes everyone scream. It’s a go-to favorite for a reason. Reach into your wardrobe, grab your go-tos and get to it.
Ill-fitting clothes that you used to feel confident in won’t cut it. Step up to the plate — or, more accurately, the cash register — if you have to, and treat yourself to a new outfit that can be your new go-to.
Classic pieces always look good; that’s why they call them classics. They’ll never be dated or be the victim of the latest trend, and you’ll love wearing them. Start with a simple, timeless piece and build upon it.
Some advice from real life American football coach Deion Sanders is appropriate here: “When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. When you play good, they pay good.” Coach Prime has been preaching this mantra for decades.
The University of Colorado football coach is onto something. You don’t have to shop at Louis Vuitton like Neon Deion to subscribe to this philosophy. Look good, feel good and photograph well in a second-hand item from a thrift store, if that’s what you can afford. The point is, confidence will take you where you want to go. Confidence makes Goodwill look like Gucci.
Plan the Makeup and Hair Looks — and Practice Them
“This woman is strong, confident, and powerful. Boss, I tell you, I’d hate to see you and Michelle Obama arm wrestle, but I wouldn’t be able to take my eyes off of it either.”
To feel good you gotta look good, and you’ve been making yourself look good most of your life. Stick to your routine and you’ll feel like you could win an arm wrestling match with Michelle Obama.
Chances are you already have your hair and makeup routine down-pat and can do them pretty well in the vanity mirror on the way to work in the morning. But if you’re more likely to slap on a hat or hide your face with big sunglasses until you get to your corner office, then it’s time to break out the product and practice your looks.
Don’t go overboard — just work at looking effortlessly fabulous.
If you want to try something new, give it a trial run for a few weeks before your branding photography session. No coach ever throws something into the playbook on game day without running it in practice.
The last thing you want to do is try something new on the morning of your shoot and then show up all overdone or frizzy after fiddling with it in front of the mirror or under the hair dryer for an hour. You’ll be flustered, you’ll make excuses and you’ll give yourself a reason to look (and feel) less than your best.
Remember, practice makes perfect.
Consider hiring a professional. It’s common practice to hire a hair and makeup artist on your wedding day, so it makes total sense to get professional stylist help on your brand photo session day as well. An easy investment that goes a long way and one your photographer will appreciate.
Get Rest Beforehand
“There’s two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.”
You won’t have to hit either if you’re well prepared and well rested.
Treat your photo session like a big exam at school. Do your homework, study up early and often and then give yourself time to relax and ease into it on test day. Cramming is a recipe for disaster.
Go to bed the night before confident that you’ve put in the work and are ready for your photography session.
There’s an added bonus here: if you get a good night’s sleep, you won’t wake up cranky or miss your alarm and get out of the wrong side of the bed. You’ll be able to take your time getting ready and still show appreciation for your photographer by showing up on time.
Have a Drink Ahead of Time to Loosen Up
“Little tip for y’all. Fries are called chips. Chips are called crisps. And bangers aren’t great songs, but they do make you feel like dancing because they’re so darn tasty.”
Heading to the pub to loosen up a bit can make you feel better before your photo session.
But like a good tequila shot, this piece of advice should be taken with salt. If you’re not a drinker, don’t suddenly turn yourself into one just because some blog on the internet says so.
To you, “having a drink” could just as easily manifest itself in your favorite cup of coffee. Or it might mean eating a well-balanced meal and squeezing in some yoga. Whatever makes you feel good.
The point is that you want to be relaxed so that your positive energy and happy vibes come through in your images.
Have confidence in yourself and you’ll naturally make it easier on your chosen personal branding photographer. Sometimes we can work miracles, but we do appreciate some help.
Schedule a Session Now
If you’re looking for a personal brand photographer and found these tips helpful, consider reaching out! Inquire about our personal branding photography packages. We’re all about helping you and your brand shine.