They say a picture speaks a thousand words. We say that’s never truer than when it’s a picture for your real estate personal branding. That’s why your personal brand photoshoot offers such an important branding opportunity.
Personal branding photos reflect the spirit of your business and your character. They are how you speak to your audience and communicate your personality and aesthetic before a new-to-your-brand someone even reads one word of welcome. Think of personal brand photos as the cover by which everyone does, indeed, judge the book.
The great news is that your personal branding photos will get a lot of use. From your Instagram and blog posts to marketing materials and website, they’ll find their way into so much of the content you produce. So, it’s worth it not only to take them but to plan to take the best, highest quality photos you can – images that are meticulously planned, expertly curated, and lovingly styled to perfectly reflect your real estate broker brand.
Remember, a high-level real estate broker needs high-level photography. And not just for your homes! And with that, here are 8 tips to guide you to a successful personal branding photoshoot:
Guideline #1: Know Your Brand Story
Real estate brand storytelling is all about creating an emotional connection with your audience. You know how to do that through your written brand narrative, and now it’s time to tell the same story through your personal brand photos.
So, start here. Before you worry about the details of where to shoot and what to wear, dial it back to the basics: What is your brand all about? Refer back to your brand book – to your mission and vision statements, to your values and brand personality – and from there, work forward toward how to represent those story elements visually.
Because your real estate personal branding isn’t about creating a new personality; it’s about representing what makes you, you. This is your personal brand, after all! You’re the star and this is your time to shine (albeit in a carefully curated way).
Guideline #2: Source Inspiration
If you’re not a brand specialist or photographer yourself, it can be really challenging to sketch your photoshoot vision board from scratch.
That’s why we always recommend that our real estate personal branding clients start with a vision board. Search for personal brands (even outside the real estate sphere) that you love and connect with. Try to pinpoint why you love them, but no pressure! A great photographer can tease out those reasons, too.
Tip: Instagram is a great place to find your inspiration and Pinterest is a good medium for creating your photoshoot vision board.
Guideline #3: Choose the Right Location(s)
As a real estate broker, you have a huge leg up on photoshoot locations: Provided you have your clients’ consent, your entire home portfolio (and even your own home) can serve as a perfect backdrop for your personal branding images.
As you whittle down your options – and you may choose to host your shoot at more than one location – keep in mind guideline #1, above: your personal brand story. Choose a home that accurately reflects who you are as a broker, from the type of real estate you represent to an aesthetic that fits your brand style.
Guideline #4: Take Time for Self-Care
Beginning a couple of weeks before your photoshoot, give yourself license to indulge in a little bit of extra self-care. When we feel our best, we exude confidence (and better enjoy our final photos!).
Self-care and grooming is different for everyone, so there’s no hard and fast rule about what you should or must do to prep for your photoshoot. That said, we recommend drinking lots of water and getting good sleep, at a minimum. Additionally, brokers of any gender may want to consider:
- Getting a manicure/pedicure
- Doing a practice run with your makeup artist
- Doing a practice run with your hairstylist
- Indulging in some extra skincare
- Grooming any pets that may appear with you during your photoshoot
Guideline #5: Prep Your Location
It’s not just you who deserves a little self-care! Be sure to prep your chosen locations, so they look their best by photoshoot day. This usually involves:
- Having professional cleaners come through any space that will be featured in your photoshoot
- Staging your space to minimize distractions and highlight your personal brand aesthetic
- Removing personal items, such as photographs and original artwork, from your space(s)
Guideline #6: Consider Your Personal Style
You and your locations are living your best lives; now it’s time to choose camera-ready clothing that reflects your energy, your personality, and your brand.
Here’s our absolute best piece of advice: Choose professionally appropriate clothing items that make you feel powerful and in control. (Undergarments count, too. No one will see them but you’ll know you’re wearing them!) The key here is to choose items that make you feel great, so that your personal style and confidence shine through in your photos.
Be sure to choose items that work well with your skin tone, complexion, hair color, and makeup. If you don’t have your finger on the pulse of fashion, don’t worry: bold, saturated, mid-tone colors – think: deep blues, greens, turquoises, purples, and even wine-reds – work for most people.
And if you’re not sure whether something works, or if you’re not even sure where to start, then ask your branding specialist and/or photographer. We’ll both have solid, actionable tips on choosing your pieces. And we’ll even help you run through a try-on round, to narrow down the options and curate the best on-camera style.
Guideline #7: Consult with Your Photographer
Now’s a great time to check in with your photographer.
Run through all the decisions you’ve made to date: Your locations, your style, and any poses and/or photo scenarios you’ve pinned to your vision board. Make sure you’re both on the same page and, if there are any hiccups, smooth them before you meet on photoshoot day.
Guideline #8: Consider Adding a Video Session
This is one of our favorite tips for squeezing the greatest benefit out of your photoshoot prep: Consider doubling up on photo and video.
Because you’ve already done most of the hard work: You’re feeling confident (and looking great), you’re on location in some spectacular spaces, and your hair, makeup, and clothing reflect your brand style and aesthetic. This is the perfect time to shoot some video.
Whether it’s B roll footage for YouTube videos or quickie scripted Instagram reels (and oh, how we love these for real estate brokers!), today is the perfect day to roll the cameras and build your backlog of on-brand video.
Ready for Your Real Estate Personal Branding Photoshoot? Us, Too.
If there’s any profession out there that necessitates exceptional personal branding photos, it’s real estate brokerage. You are surrounded by the glossy, everyday world of professional photography: perfectly coiffed homes, lawns, and communities that always put their best foot forward. Now it’s your turn.
You know it’s a must. And you know it’s time. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed – or if you just want a trusted personal brand specialist on your side – then know that this is our wheelhouse. You don’t have to figure this out alone.
At Peak Integrated Marketing, we take our clients’ branding seriously. In fact, our team includes dedicated branding experts, from photographers and copywriters to SEO professionals and designers, who are dedicated to all of the above.
Not just so you don’t have to, but so that your company benefits from the dedicated expertise, sparkling imagery, and brand identify-reaffirming branding you truly deserve. So please, get in touch and let’s talk. We look forward to it!