Behind the scenes of personal branding photography with Caroline White, the brand photographer that top women entrepreneurs turn to.
If you are wondering what is personal branding photography, how to get professional photos taken that represent you in your most honest and best self, then this episode of the 7 Days to Amazing podcast is for you!
I first came across photographer Caroline White and her breathtaking photographs of real people back when I was in B-School and she was Marie Forleo’s photographer. Since then, it’s her infectious commentary on social media and abundance of beautiful photos of an impressive amount of women entrepreneurs that have continued to peek my interest.
That is until Caroline and I were seated next to each other at a women’s business event in New York and started to chit chat. Then the podcast happened.
It’s time to tune in for honest personal branding photography tips, a lot of fun, and behind the scenes tips to looking fantastic in your next photo!
Episode highlights of what you will learn with Caroline White, photographer for women entrepreneurs:
[00:00:26] Meet Caroline White brand photographer for women entrepreneurs.
[00:02:58] How Caroline was influenced by the photography in Life Magazine and her Great Aunt, legendary LIFE Magazine photographer Margaret Bourke-White.
[00:07:58] Capturing personality by creating a striking natural visual message when working with real people, not models or actors.
[00:09:17] Subtleties: The importance of gesture and expression.
[00:10:33] Hair/makeup and before and afters.
[00:13:24] The importance of the right light and how to find it.
[00:17:35] The importance of being on brand when you’re not a fashion plate- style pitfalls to avoid.
[17:50] Why trendy designer brands usually don’t photograph well.
[00:19:38] What it takes to make simplicity look effortless like Martha Stewart’s photos.
[00:22:27] Why you have to leave the insecurities at the door when it’s photo time.
[00:24:04] How “fake it til you make it” is not a guarantee but it works really well
[00:24:40] Why Sharon doesn’t over prepare in advance but is confident in the right elements.
[00:27:10] How to approach a photoshoot energetically like a first date or job interview.
[00:28:13] How to beat the “why not me” complex.
[00:29:36] Going with the play in photoshoots and have fun.
[00:30:18] Trusting the person on the other side of the camera.
[00:31:26] Why it’s a mistake to go with a celebrity photographer when you’re not a celebrity.
[00:33:19] Editing photos and post productions tricks, like retouching.
[33:25] Why facial expression and body language is more important than anything else in choosing the right photo.
[00:40:40] How to practicing posing in a mirror at home
[40:40] Tips to find a photographer, make sure they’re a good fit, and prepare for the shoot.
[00:42:31] Why should avoid the Headshot Nazi.
[00:43:45] Have your picture taken in exotic places- Caroline’s photo retreats in Greece and Havana, Cuba.
[00:50:29] The pitfalls of putting on blinders to what’s outside our little circles.
[53:00] How Caroline incorporates her interests into her work.
[00:55:37] The responsibility of being the face of your brand.
[56:30] Making professional connections is like dating.
[00:56:31] How do you want to be remembered?
[00:57:08] Your fashion, your style, your influence.
[01:02:18] The truth about getting your photo taken at an event as a thrown in bonus.
[01:05:08] When you misrepresent your ability and brand.
[01:06:41] The mind boggling amount of crap out there.
[01:07:47] The process to Brighten, sharpen and color correct photos.
[01:07:55] How to make photos pop.
[01:09:01] Fun is the main priority.
Get prepared for you next photoshoot!
Download Caroline’s 20-page *eye-gasmic* guide to preparing for the perfect photoshoot. Full of tips and tricks for ditching nervousness and looking natural in front of the lens.
How to get the best personal branding photos with Caroline White…
More than ever, photographs start conversations, make impressions, and initiate relationships. Social media is more important than ever, and your photos disproportionately represent you in the world. Your photos should be flattering but authentic – an image of your best self, and a first impression you can live up to.
Making this vision a reality can be quite difficult. Depending on the project, hiring someone may be the only option. Finding and vetting a photographer is important, and if the chemistry isn’t right, the photos and the experience will suffer.
Caroline White takes photos that capture people’s natural beauty. She’s worked with entrepreneurs such as Marie Forleo, Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith, and Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal of American Public Media and NPR.
Back in 2005, she was an actress and found it was very difficult to get a good headshot in LA or NYC. She started taking photos for her coworkers and the project took off. She began connecting with clients from the business world, flying around the world to help entrepreneurs build their brands.
Personality and message shine through Caroline’s photos. She focuses on the person’s natural expression and energy, instead of altering their appearance. This is actually more difficult than transforming someone into a stunning (and different) beauty. A photo should reflect who you are, and what people should expect from you. The hard work of taking photos that are both beautiful and real is what Caroline does.
We got into the specifics of how Caroline approaches her shoots. How she talks to her clients, and gets them into a comfortable and energetic space. Mood and atmosphere are more important than anything else on a shoot, because they create the foundations for great moments. Once, Caroline worked with a photographer who took truly stunning photos. Unfortunately, he was a jerk on set, and it completely ruined the shot. Being in a positive, charismatic space is crucial to capture someone’s beauty.
The most important thing about a photo is that it sends a message. A person’s expression, the way they hold their body, the approachability they convey – these are what Caroline looks for. Post-production can solve all manner of flaws. It can’t change personality. When she coaches clients, Caroline is telling them to bring back certain expressions, or accentuate them in certain ways. Everything else – the makeup, the lighting, the postproduction – is to accentuate this expression in the most powerful way possible.
Before the shoot, getting excited and playful will make a huge difference. If you’ve had a bad day, shake it off just like if you were going on a first date, a job interview, or appearing on TV. Do jumping jacks. Drink an energy drink if you need to. Whatever you need to feel confident and in the zone. Wear clothes you like wearing, that you feel good in. If you were a great dress but you don’t like it, your photos will suffer.
Atmosphere and the on-set experience is extremely important and often overlooked when people hire photographers. Getting into the right space, and making not only the technical adjustments, but the emotional, energetic shifts that need to happen on settakes time. When shoots are rushed, or when many people are having
photos taken by the same photographer, there isn’t time to make these adjustments properly. Getting headshots under the wrong conditions and in a rush will leave
you with less than nothing. Using bad photos will do more harm than good.
The qualities of someone’s photos is only one consideration in hiring a photographer. Some people take great photos but they’re
unpleasant to work with, or they work in a different niche. Calling or skyping a photographer is a great idea if at all possible. You want to know what it will be like on set. If you can, ask their previous clients about their experience.
Authenticity in our professional lives is at least as important as in photography. Caroline and Sharon talk about the importance ofbeing your true self at work. Caroline incorporates her passions for food and animals into her photography, but this is just as possible and just as valuable for people in other professions. Sharon talks about the power of bringing a consistent lens toeverything you do.