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A Case Study: Using Photographs to Elevate Your Personal Brand

I’ve been asked several times in the last two weeks about photographs.  Specifically how you can strengthen your personal brand by adding images to your web presence.

This past August, it was time.  Two years had passed since my last headshots were taken. I really needed (and wanted) to update my website and social media profiles with images that really reflected me and the work that I do. So I went on a mission. I started looking through pinterest to find images that spoke to me.  Maybe it was a pose I liked. Maybe it was the lighting of another. Maybe it was a creative shot where I didn’t have to the focus (ummm….yay!) of the shot. I thought about my work. My workspace. What I always have with me — my tools of the trade. I thought about when I skype with my clients, what was it that they saw? I considered every possibility I could think of. Then…I created a secret board of my favorite shots.

The bottom line, ladies, is that I wanted my personal brand to get stronger with these new images.

I didn’t want to just have a couple of gorgeous photographs of me on the pages.  I wanted them to tell the story of what my brand is all about. My photographer LOVED that I had a plan. I sent her the link to my private pinterest board a week before the shoot. We made plans about where we’d take the photos. I had the app open on my iPad so we could ensure we were on track for getting the shots I wanted.  Then…the heavens opened up. I mean it POURED. Buckets of rain that started 15 minutes before she was supposed to arrive. And the humidity! Oh. My. Goodness. My hair looked exactly as I wanted it to for the first ten minutes.  Then mother nature added her personal blend of elements and all curl was gone to be replaced by frizz.

Anyone who really knows me, knows that this was NOT going to stop me from capturing that special moment. So, Chrissy arrived and we started! 90 minutes later, we captured all the images I wanted and then some.

My brand colors are purple, white, grey, with a pop of blue in very little amounts (usually in the photos). Therefore I found the perfect shade of purple top, made sure there was lots of grey in my backgrounds, and swapped out the purple shirt for a turquoise one half way through.

My top ten ideas for making photographs elevate your personal brand are:

1. Choose your setting — think about what will be in the background.

2. Make a visual board of the type of photos you want to capture [share this with your photographer].

3. Think outside the box — get creative shots of you doing your thing. [Group coaching? Get a group together! Massage therapist? Close up of your hands on the oil pump. Think zoomed in shots.]

4. Make sure to weave your brand’s colors through the images — clothing, accessories, scenery, background, props, jewellery.

5. Update your photos every two years.

6. Recognize that the most spontaneous shots often capture your personality perfectly!

7. Play music for the kind of mood you’re going for. BLAST it. Get your supermodel on!

8. Realize Mother Nature often has her own plans :)

9. Have a glass of wine (or a shot of tequila) before the photographer gets there (this helps particularly when Mother Nature throws a fit!).

10. Have fun. Be so you, no one will be able to ignore you.

I’m sharing what unfolded for me as a guide for you when you’ve got time set aside with a professional photographer for your new website photos.

Krista Smith

Early test shot for light that I quite liked!

Krista Smith

Love the light in this shot — my eyes are beginning to register this is going to work.

Krista Smtih

Love the thoughtful look here. I know I’m better smiling but the texture and clarity make me happy.

MONEY SHOT! This is it. Once we hit this, I knew the rest were icing on the cake. Meet my new headshot! AND it’s pouring behind me. Seriously POURING! Wouldn’t know if I didn’t tell you, right?

Krista Smith

Great in action pic. Notice the grey walls in the background! And my glasses are purple :)

Krista Smith

This is me in action. Taking a quick break. If you saw me at my co-working space, you’d often see me doing just this.

Krista Smith

What my Skype clients see.

Krista Smtih

Again…Money Shot for me doing my thing :)

Krista Smith

I wanted a variety of me using my iPad to weave through blog posts and pages.

Krista Smith

Different angle.

Krista Smith

Another close up of the iPad.

Krista Smith

Me, with my iPhone, showing my website. This is ALL me :)


I’m @thekristasmith pretty much everywhere! Twitter, Pinterest, About.Me, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram. Let’s connect!

Krista Smith

If you could peek over my shoulder and see what happens behind the scenes of me coding your website, you might see this!

Krista Smith

Or, this.

And to prove the rain came down...

And to prove the rain came down…I mean honestly. No curls left and frizz!

What's left to do but laugh in the rain after a great shoot :)

What’s left to do but laugh in the rain after a great shoot :)


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I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


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Krista Smith

If you are a woman over 40 who owns a small business, you understand how important it is to have your website, social media, and email marketing working for you while you sleep. I'm Krista Smith. Here at Activate Her Awesome, I have a proven framework that I use to develop websites and marketing plans that work so you can attract new leads and increase your sales.

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