We'd all love to have the paparazzi follow us around, taking photos of only the fabulous things we do, and editing them so that they look even more fab.
It's not realistic and those feeds that make it appear so, aren't so. The people who have those feeds get creative. Those people are magicians. And you can be one, too.
Here is one strategy to affordably and consistently create professional-looking photo content of yourself to personalize your feed from the comfort of your home.
I DON'T WANT TO POST PICS OF MYSELF.
Ah, the age-old anti-personal pic stance.
Well, there are a lot of things I don't want to do that actually improve my business.
Like book keeping.
Having difficult conversations.
Charging late payments.
The REAL question is: "Will posting photos of myself improve my business?"
I can write a million reasons why, and how, the answer to this question is YES. A resounding YES. But you won't believe me until you see the cold, hard data yourself. So I challenge you to a post a picture of yourself just once in the name of experimentation. Make it a "Let me introduce myself" post. Look at the data. Look and see how much more engagement you get.
Now, think about how much the algorithm would reward you if you did that on a consistent basis. How much more engagement would you get? Visibility? Followers? Brand awareness?
The numbers don't lie. Let this part of your business be driven by science, not emotion.
PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE.
Right. So don't use one.
I'm not anti-photographer. Using a photographer is an absolutely valuable way to improve your branding and business. Some of the most skilled entrepreneurs I've met and my most favorite creatives in the world are photographers. I'm only suggesting there are alternatives. And here is one:
HOME PHOTO LAB 101
1. Purchase a Backdrop Kit
I have THIS KIT which costs around $100. It breaks down in about 5-7 minutes into a carry case and comes with two muslin backdrops (white and black). The artificial lighting helps you to have bright, consistent lighting (versus using natural window light which is never the same).
It's great for whole body shots or you can get closer and just do torso or head shots and the best part is, you can hang ANY backdrop from this set. You can pop this baby up right in your living room. No more scheduling with a photographer and trying to fit all the pictures you can into one sitting to get your money's worth. I've done the downtown photoshoot thing, sweating, changing into outfits in my car....it's a lot of work.
2. Invest in an On-brand Backdrop
To get super personalized and on-brand, invest in a backdrop that goes with your business's color palette. The one you see in my grid is this pink one from Amazon. It doesn't look that pink after the bright lighting, a filter and photo editing is applied but it still works. You can find a ton of different backdrop options in various materials, colors, patterns and sizes on sites like Amazon and Etsy.
3. Get a Cell Phone Tripod
How do I get the hands-free photos? This AH-mazing $25 cell phone tripod. It is made to adjust to fit any cell phone size and comes with a tiny bluetooth remote that syncs with your phone. I fins clever ways to hide it (in my pocket, hidden in my palm), but the idea is that you just keep pressing the remote button away while your phone snaps photo after photo! Make sure to make it tall enough to get that good angle ;) Sometimes I have to place it on top of a chair to get high enough, but I'm 5'11'' and that's a small price to pay to be able to take independent pictures.
4. Get the Lightroom App
The Adobe Lightroom Mobile App is what I edit all my photos in (right on my phone!). I created my own filters (aka "presets") so that I can consistently have the same edit for all of my photos. A preset is just like it sounds- a setting that is "pre-set" that you can apply to your photos every time. The one that is my favorite is my Lighten Up preset. This makes every photo look whiter and brighter which gives it that professional, clean look.
You can download 3 of my custom presets (including the Lighten Up one!) right from my website. Click HERE and scroll until you see this:
To upload a custom preset into Lightroom is a little tricky and involves a few different steps, but I've included a step by step guide that will be automatically emailed to your inbox after you download the free presets from my site. And just LOOK at the difference:
4. Get the BlurEffect App
Skip the iron on those backdrops; the BlurEffect App is faster and easier. This is a great way to smooth out background wrinkles to make your photo look clean and crisp. Peep how fast and east it is:
Everything listed above is everything you need to get professional-looking consistent photos of yourself WITHOUT THE HELP OF ANYONE! All of the above cost me less than $200 and with the money it has saved me in professional photography, it paid for itself after its first use. Will I use a professional photographer? Absolutely. I can't recommend enough a great branding session with an amazing photographer who really gets you and your brand. But this system can fill in the gaps so that you always have fresh, consistent, clean content ready to be pumped out.
I hope this was helpful! Send me a before/after pic you created using the above system and save $100 on your next Neutral Ground service <3