Get started in brand photography with midwestern photographer

By Rohit Jammu, Assistant Features Editor

On Monday, the Champaign Public Library held a live, interactive webinar in Do-It-Yourself Brand Photography. The event aimed to allow people to brainstorm with current and aspiring business owners about applying brand photography techniques and conceptualize ways to increase brand recognition through photography and social media marketing strategies.

The presenter, Alisa Nicholle, is a Midwest-based photographer, personal brand enthusiast and creator.

Nicholle collaborates with small business owners to capture personalized visual content in order to elevate their brand through timeless photography, also offering coaching sessions to empower entrepreneurs to embrace their true identity.

During the webinar, Nicholle opened with what she thought was one of the most important aspects about how to make your brand photography look more professional, enabling you to attract more clients.

“While I deeply believe that brand photography is very important and is such an important part of your business,” Nicholle said. “It’s not the only thing that makes a strong and cohesive brand.”

Nicholle went to explain the importance of having a strong branding and theme on multiple platforms. However, strong branding doesn’t just go as far as slapping your name onto your crafted content. It extends all the way into and including your website, the colors you use on your Instagram posts and stories and words in quotes that you post.

The brand colors that she uses, whether it be her Instagram posts, or while she’s editing a picture to bring out a certain setting, an Instagram story, or even a PDF or PowerPoint brings a uniformity that people can now identify with her, and more importantly as her brand.

Although an Instagram presence, a clean website and a cohesive brand experience can go a long way, producing quality content is still of paramount importance which some may find overwhelming.

Nicholle said, “You do not need super fancy gear and cameras for good pictures for your brand face.”

When she first started, she decided to use images from her phone.

“When you’re out and about, either designing or taking pictures for your business and or brand, keep an eye out for things that inspire you. Things that excite you or things you just find natural beauty in,” she said.

Nicholle said that she thought that the more that one intertwines and interrelates personal interests and their brand, the more their brand becomes more authentic.

Having done numerous photography classes, Alissa said she’s abided by all the rules, the do’s and don’t’s, and eventually still came to the conclusion that a lot of it was just about testing out new ideas to see what works best.

“I think many times we can get caught up in our minds, especially if we’re not part of that professional photography world. But at the end of the day, it just has to be something that speaks to you, something that you get excited about,” Nicholle said.

Although Nicholle is a huge advocate of the do-it-yourself brand photography route, she still recognizes the value of outsourcing work to professionals.

Nicholle also said that outsourcing work also frees up time and can also let you see your own work become more than just your own.

Creating a vision board, according to her, is another paramount part of her process. She encouraged the participants of the webinar to set up a time, around 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted time, put on their favorite playlist, maybe grab a drink and just allow themselves to dream.

“What are the things that excite you the most, or what do you see your brand as?” she said, recommending Pinterest as an ideal platform to use. “And more specifically, who is your dream client.”

She encouraged the listeners to pick and save quotes, outfits, settings and just about anything that inspires them. According to Nicholle, when she first started out, her vision board envisioned somebody who valued relationships, who loved to travel and who valued intimate dinners in their backyard with their closest family and friends.

“They loved to explore new places and adventure but also took time for self-care,” she said. “They really valued their health and nutrition, practicing yoga and doing little things like at-home spa night.”


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