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If you’ve been on my website recently, you may have noticed that things are looking a little bit different! I am now offering a range of packages for creatives businesses in need of visual content for their websites, social media channels and other marketing materials… In short, branding photography services for makers, coaches and creative entrepreneurs. These will include portraits, product photography as well as lifestyle shots to ensure a wide variety of content to fit all sorts of needs.

To be honest, this has been on my mind for a while, and it feels like a very natural progression from the work I’ve been doing with musicians over the past few years. Nothing gives me more joy than listening to someone tell me about what they do and why it’s oh so important to them, watch their eyes light up as they speak, and come up with a way of capturing their brand story into photographs that’ll grab the attention of their audience and invite conversation and connection. Let’s face it: running a business is hard, which is why I want to help all kinds of creatives show up online and share their work through soulful, authentic imagery that encapsulates who they are and what their craft is all about, so that they can shine their light. It’s the meaning of transluceo, after all: to shine through.

But what does ‘soulful’ photography mean, exactly? It’s a word thrown around quite a lot these days, so I thought I’d go into more detail about it here and explain what it means for me and my services.

It’s the way we work together

Let’s get one thing clear: I am not only here to take pretty pictures. I am here to get to know you and your business, to help you uncover your own value and understand what makes you uniquely you, and to work out the best way to tell your story so that your ideal clients and audience instantly connect with you in a meaningful, genuine way. To me this goes way beyond agreeing on a date and location and turning up with a camera to snap a few photos. It’s a conversation, an exchange, and a connection. It has to involve trust, too, because it takes a little bit of trust to let someone point a camera at your face – especially if you don’t like having your picture taken! I’ve found that trust blooms and grows best when we get to meet, either face to face or virtually, which is why it’s always good to schedule a video call or a meeting so that we can get to know each other and you can tell me all about your plans, your needs and your vision.

Once we’ve decided we’re a good match, don’t worry — I’ll be there to walk you through every step of the way: what our timeline will be, how to choose the right outfits and search for locations, what aspects to consider, and so on. I often think of the photoshoots I plan as “walks with a camera”, because that’s exactly what they are, and what I want them to feel like: we’ll explore the locations we’ve chosen, chat, experiment… I want these sessions to be relaxed, fun and light-hearted and to leave room for spontaneity, so that you feel comfortable enough to let your guard down and show your true self.

It’s the images we make
Storytelling

“What’s your story and how are we telling it?” is the first thing I ask people who come to me for photos. In other words, why is your work important to you? What are your goals? Are we showing a process from start to finish? Unveiling some behind the scenes? Highlighting different facets of your business? These questions are so important, not just because they help us plan ahead and figure out what needs to be done, but because stories help us create valuable, memorable content that is going to stick into people’s mind and make them come back for more. Personal branding photography doesn’t only aim to promote people and products — it’s also about capturing lifestyles, concepts and ideas that make your business stand out, and creating a visual narrative around your brand.

Catch Lights

The one detail I pay close attention to when I’m shooting, and later going through images and choosing which ones to keep and which to discard is the eyes. Portraits always have more life in them when you can see a tiny little glimmer in people’s eyes — this is called a catch light. A catch light is essentially light coming from an external light source that is reflected in the subject’s eyes, and believe it or not, it makes a massive difference in how you connect with a portrait. If you’ve ever looked at a photo and thought “that’s a nice shot, but there’s something not quite right with it” and you couldn’t put your finger on it, there’s a good chance the eyes had no catch lights in them. These sparkles create dimension and depth, draw you in and help you engage with a photograph because, well, the eyes are the window to the soul.

Movement

I mentioned earlier that I like to think of photoshoots as “walks” and there’s another reason why: it keeps us moving. Not all of us are natural models who always know what to do with our hands or how to strike a different pose every two seconds — and that’s perfectly normal. I’ve found that not being too static helps you loosen up and relax. It makes the pictures more dynamic and, in turn, you’ll look more open and approachable. It can be as simple as spinning around and looking over your shoulder, slowly walking towards the camera, or even flicking through a book or magazine.

It’s the way I choose to grow my business

I believe in working hard to build the life you want and pursuing your dreams, but I don’t believe in hustle or glorifying busyness. We’re so attached to this idea that our worth directly derives from our productivity, the length of our to-do lists and the numbers of hours we spend working in a day that we use it as a standard to measure our success and flaunt it around.

I’m guilty of it, too! When people ask me how the “photography thing” is doing, my initial reaction is to talk about the recent projects I’ve worked on or mention how busy I’ve been, because, well, if I’m busy, I’m successful, right? Then I realise what I’m doing, and I give myself a mental slap. I don’t want my work to keep me busy, I want it to fulfil me and have purpose. Yes, maybe I’ve been busy, but mostly, I’ve been happy working, because I love photography, because no two shoots are the same, because it gives me freedom, and because I get to work with some incredibly creative, inspiring, brave people — and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

There is beauty in hard work, but burn out is not a trophy. Working yourself at the expense of your life will kill the heart of your work because the heart of your work isn’t your work, it’s you. It’s the adventures you’ve chased, the love and heartbreak you’ve felt and all the little thoughts and feelings and connections that add up to equal you. […] People won’t connect to how little sleep you lost over a project or how often you post, they will connect to how deeply they can relate to your work. — Nirrimi Firebrace


So there you go… in a nutshell, this is what soulful photography means to me. It’s ditching a cookie cutter approach to photoshoots, tailoring everything to your needs, capturing portraits that are full of life and that show who you are, and making sure that we enjoy the process!

If you have any questions or would like to get yourself booked for a branding photoshoot with me, head over to this page and get in touch!


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