Could your brand use a refresh? Need some new pics for your website that is under construction? Before you book the photographer, let’s chat about photoshoot prep!
Victoria Saperstein is a personal brand photographer based in Dallas, TX and has joined me to talk all about what leads up to the day of the shoot: the prep, the planning, & the intentionality that all adds up to that final product – AKA the perfect shot!
We chat about:
⚡️ What mistakes to avoid when planning for your next shoot
⚡️ The steps you can take to get clarity before you get in front of the camera
⚡️ How to figure out if you need a rebrand or just a brand refresh
⚡️ How to save time on the day of your photoshoot by planning ahead
⚡️ Tips for loosening up & having fun during your photoshoot!
🎧 Listen to this interview on Apple Podcasts: Coaches & Company Radio
DM us @coachesandcompany or leave a comment below with your thoughts, how you enjoyed the interview, & any follow up questions you have! We wanna hear from you!
You can learn more about Tara below:
@victoriasaperstein on Instagram
Watch the full interview below 👇🏽
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Read the transcript below:
Disclaimer: This transcript has been auto-generated – please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to 21 days of business. If this is the first time that you’re catching this video series, welcome. My name is Yasmine Salem Hamden. I’m the founder of coaches and company.com. We are your go to digital destination for all things legal in your entrepreneurial journey. And all through the month of November, we’re going to be sharing interviews with our guest experts each day, answering your questions about your business. And today I’m really excited to have this conversation with our guests. Victoria Saperstein, Victoria is a professional photographer with experience in brand photography. Hi, Victoria. I are. I’m good. Thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited that you’re here.
thank you for having me.
I would love to be yes. Yes, absolutely. So you might be wondering, what does photography have to do with business? And the answer is a whole lot. Alright. So if you’re, if you’re building a brand, photography is very important. visual assets are very important. You might be aware of that at this point. And if not, you’re gonna learn a lot today from our guests. And that’s really something I’m so excited to share with you through Victoria and Victoria, his experience in brand photography and personal brand photography, as well as how you can go about planning for and preparing for your first or next brand photoshoot. So thank you again, Victoria, for joining me. For those that are not familiar with you, if you would please share an introduction. Yeah, I’m
Victoria Saperstein. currently based in Dallas, actually from New York, I moved to Dallas about year and a half ago. So I focused on dynamic personality driven brand photography for mainly women entrepreneurs, content creators, and then purpose driven brands. So I work with a lot of like lifestyle fashion brands in addition to personal brands.
I love it. I love it. Yes. And would you mind sharing with our audience? What makes brand photography unique? Why is that different than standard photography?
Yeah, like a lot of times, photographers are focusing on like portraits. So like families, couples, senior photography, just a dad here in Dallas. But brand photography is really about like the storytelling and making, I feel like it’s like, make what makes you unique, and what made you stand stand out. So it’s kind of connecting you with your audience on a deeper level. And really, like pinpoint into who you are as a business owner, and entrepreneur.
I love it. So, when you’re preparing for your first photo shoot, what tips do you have for our listeners?
Yeah, of course. So I feel like number one is kind of researching photographers figure out what style you’re kind of leaning towards more, and copping on a discovery call. So a lot of photographers offer discovery calls. And that’s my favorite way to connect with new clients to kind of ask about who they are, they can ask me questions about my process when it comes to photoshoots in that planning process. So number one is just kind of researching photographers in the area. Kind of like you’re kind of interviewing them in a way right? So I get a discovery calls and I’m asking clients questions, but they’re also asking me questions. So it’s a very collaborative experience. Number two is to kind of just prepare preparation is huge when it comes to your brand photo shoot. So it’s kind of asking yourself like where the image is going to be used like are going to be on my website banner, so they need to be horizontal, my about page I obviously need on social media and so it’s like kind of working backwards in terms of like Okay, so these are the images you’re going to be living and this is the type of photos that I need. Also kind of what makes you unique what who inspires you if you you know, like other creators or if you like a certain like kind of style anything you can provide your photographers super helpful from the start. What images are you looking for? If you want it makes you feel more confident eliminate stress, like hiring, makeup and hair stylists hiring actual lifestyles to help you with outfits. And number three is just kind of like the day before I guess that’s a whole other thing but it’s like steaming all outfits. Packing accordingly. I always tell my clients that kind of pack your office like on one hanger with the accessories writing it out getting like down to the details like okay, I’m going to be wearing this white sweater with these drop down earrings and like or even taking photos of each outfit. So at the shoot you know exactly you know what next outfit you’re kind of like changing into and just giving yourself enough time for the hair and makeup. If you are hiring someone. There’s a lot of times where clients are like kind of rushing and they’re like, oh my god, like I’m running late. So just making sure that you’re setting yourself up for success and give yourself enough time to like relax, really enjoy the process. Because if you are like kind of frantic and rushing, it can show photos. And so you just want to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to like thoroughly prepare for your brand photo shoot.
Hmm, I love that idea. Oh, all of that was so good. And I love the idea of preparing every outfit. And I guess not necessary. I don’t know if shot is the right term, but like setting that you’re planning. So this will be one setting, we’re going to do it in this area. I’m going to be wearing this. Maybe this will be the indoor outfit. This is an outdoor outfit. You know, and getting down to the jewelry and the accessories, the shoes, being very clear on that. So you’re not winging it. You don’t want to be winging it the day of right. Shows.
Yeah, and yeah, and also a lot of clients asked, like, what do you recommend wearing? Is there anything like specific or like that looks better on camera. And me personally, I’m like I rather have you wear something that you love and feel confident in versus getting a new outfit. That’s like maybe tighter than you’re used to or looser than you’re used to. And then you’re like kind of like tugging you’re not really comfortable
look uncomfortable. Yeah.
And so my number one thing is like, honestly, just be like authentic and be who you are. And you don’t have to like overthink it either. Like, sometimes like a stylist can help in terms of just putting together outfits if that’s not your specialty. But if you’re like super quirky and super fun and want like loud patterns, I’m never going to tell you not to wear those patterns. Because you know, sometimes you hear like, we’re only going to solids or only wear this and that. And I think for like headshots are more like the classic pose than like, maybe a solid is better. But if you’re if it comes down to storytelling and connecting with your audience, and they want to see who you are as a business owner, so if you have a really fun dress like the tool and like champagne, like let’s just do it half up. Yeah.
Yes, absolutely, definitely be yourself. I actually feel like in photography for your business for in brand photography in general. It’s the time to amplify who you are. Right? Not just like, don’t try to tone it down. Don’t try to water it down by any means. Others Yeah, yeah. Don’t do any of this,
like know, like, who makes you? What makes you unique and kind of lean into that for sure.
Exactly, exactly. I love it. So I like to say that it’s, it’s easy to start a business, but it requires intentionality and strategy to build a brand. Building a brand is very different than starting a business. And so as we’re developing our brands, as newer entrepreneurs, and even experienced entrepreneurs, right, even if you have had an established brand for quite some time, and you’re looking to update your visual assets, maybe you’re going through a brand refresh or update. And you want for that to translate into your brand photography and the visual assets of your of your brand. So what recommendations do you have Victoria, for those that are wanting to translate that into their visual assets into their brand photography through storytelling? How do we zero in on those stories that we want to tell? And how can we translate that into visual assets?
Yeah, for sure. So my biggest recommendation I have all my clients do it is kind of chopped down, like any ideas like just spraying spraying on everything. Um, and your photographer should definitely be helping you along with the planning process as well. And so I guess it comes down to I think you have to ask yourself questions. Like when you hire a photographer, they can help you plan but you still need to know who like who you are as a brand and building it up. So to translate that into, I guess photography is just jotting down those ideas, pulling inspiration. I love a good shot list. I feel like I like to go the flow and have a good time when I’m shooting. And I want my clients to feel comfortable and confident in that. But um, just going in with a plan is super important. So having that shot list down to the outfits I’ve mentioned. And just I think I think you have to have a strong identity as a brand before you hire a photographer. And so the more you can provide your photographer, the better the photos are going to come out and the better they can help you guide you. Because they’ll be times where like, I’ll be like, Hey, so what are you thinking like indoor outdoors and they’re like, oh, I have no idea and I’m like, oh here are the perks and benefits of both are Clients are like, they just have no idea what they even want to do. And then they get stuck when it comes to the planning when it comes to everything else involved. So definitely, I think you have to go into it, having that strong identity before hiring a photographer. So hiring with a brand strategist or yeah, just going along and that way.
Yes, like front and center, that is the focus. Don’t worry about what this looks like. At the same time, we do want to maintain consistency and professionalism in the visual app, because again, you know, it’s a very visual world, you know, even beyond platforms, we live in a very visual world and that we’re talking about it before we started the interview is like creating consistency across in your signature style in all of your collateral, whether it’s what you’re sharing on social media, whether you’re sharing with clients, if you could share a little bit on that, please, as far as it relates to building brand recognition and brand awareness.
Oh, I think that’s such a great tip. And I imagine that those that go into, they kind of have it backwards, right? They they start out with, alright, let’s have some professional photos taken. But they don’t really have a clear idea of who they are as a brand. Which story is that they want to share with their audience, what is it that they’re trying to communicate with their audience through photography, through the visual assets of their brand, and then they get their pictures back. And I’m sure they’re like, this is not what I wanted. It is not what I thought, but they didn’t really know what they wanted.
Right? I think that’s the biggest like, biggest kind of like mistake going into brand photography. The photographer will help you plan and come up with the ideas for posing and the shot list. But we don’t know you like you do. And so I actually kind of do like a brand questionnaire and I kind of deep dive into who they are as a brand. And if you don’t know those answers, like what makes you stand out from competitors, where you see yourself in one to five years. What like just literally what makes you stand out in the crowd? I think if you don’t even know those questions, those answers, then it is going to be harder when it comes to kind of building that story when it comes to like the visual identity of your brand.
Yes, absolutely. And I think there’s something so important to highlight there is that if you are one prior to working with a professional brand photographer, get clear on your brand, who you are, why you do what you do what you’re trying to communicate. And then begin your partnership with a brand photographer. And I say partnership, because it’s not just hey, I need some photos taken and they show up the day of the shoot with their camera and they take the photos and email them to you and you’re done. There is work done between the time when you begin, you decide that you’re going to be working together and the actual day of the shoot. And of course, whenever you receive your photos, but something to look out for here is when you are vetting these different photographers, because there are there likely a lot of options where you are when you’re going through that seeing who has produced work prior that is the type of style you’re looking for their values, as a business owner, as an artist are in alignment with yours. And what does their process look like? So get an idea for what that process process looks like? Because if they’re the kind of photographer where you reach out to them, they’re like, Okay, I’m available on this date. Alright, see you then. Yeah, that’s a red flag, right? Like that. Catchy like why? Okay, so that’s not the type of support that I need for brand photography, maybe for a family photo shoot, right? It’s just like a, hey, we just need a family group shot. All right, you know, see you guys at let’s work out the location, I’ll see you there that might, I don’t know that I might be totally off the mark here. But I think that they’re very different when you’ve got a business and a brand strategy that needs to be communicated and translated into visual assets, there needs to be a partnership between you and the photographer. So finding someone that has experience working with brands and with businesses, and more so personal brands, and I’d love to hear from you, Victoria on you know how to how to create those visual assets for a personal brand as opposed to more of a general brand. But I think that’s something so important to know and to look out for as you’re interviewing and trying to find a photographer to work with you in this. Make sure you’re looking out for that potential red flag, right? If they’re just like a hey, and book here and I’ll see you on the day, or are they going to be supporting you through the process of one gaining a great understanding of your brand and who you are and what you’re using these photos for and, and supporting you in the process of identifying or selecting a location. And you know, if you’re looking for a studio if you’re looking to rent a residential property and film or you know, capture those photos there. Yeah, I wanted to just highlight that but I really want to hear from you Victoria on personal brand photography and what your tips are for those that are building a personal brand because a lot of our community includes women entrepreneurs who are building personal brands or businesses are rooted in their personal brand they are the face of their brand. And sometimes we can try to hide right and we don’t want to show our face but a lot is yeah, there’s there’s so much value in showing on your face. Would you agree, though? Yeah,
I’m sure everyone in your audience wants to see you wants to see the person behind the business. And I think brand photography tells your brand story and just deepens your relationship with your ideal audience, your ideal clients. And I think that’s the biggest difference between just like portrait photography and, and brand personal brand photography, because it’s like, you’re creating that connection and building that trust. And also, it makes you excited to go and share those photos. And to finally have photos that represent who you are, right? And so it’s like, you’re excited to like, update your website, you’re excited to post on Instagram, you’re not feeling that overwhelming feeling of like, hey, like, I’m going to be speaking at this event. And I have zero headshots, you’re like scrolling through your phone, all stressed out, like, oh, maybe this if I cropped this person out of work, it’s like, you’re set up for success. And so you can kind of focus on what you need to do. And yeah, your your visual identity is, is strong, it represents who you are. And I think that’s the biggest difference is like, as you said to us, like building that partnership with a photographer. I love that you said that, because it truly is like, kind of like I always say like, I’m more than just photographer, am I here just to click a button and go home like I really my heart, I want to be your creative partner and be collaborative, and help you plan and like when I first started, mainly were to bloggers, and I kind of was kind of like overwhelmed. I was working in New York City kind of burnt out. And I was like, okay, like, where are we meeting? Like, what do you mean? And so it’s taken me years to kind of be like, Okay, so now, what do I want to provide to my clients? And what will help support them throughout the process? So that’s my biggest Yeah, the biggest difference between just like, portrait photography and that personal brand photography.
Yeah, I love that. I think that’s so good. Because we, as we gain more experience in our work, and it sounds like you’ve done this, in your work is you have identified where you can add the most value in your business partnerships and in your business relationships with clients, with with collaborators, and really showing up in that way. And I mean, that’s the the perk of and that’s one of the big pros to working with someone experience as opposed to working with someone that is either dabbling or newer to the field and doesn’t have that great of experience. Because you described yourself in your early days, the same way I describe myself, which is I was not ready to take the lead and fully step into my power and my unique value that I’m able to add, I was more so following the lead of those that I was working with. And that is not where we can shine, right? We as we as we develop our skills and really identify what is it that I do best? And how can I add the most value to this partnership into this relationship and stepping fully into that. I also love that you mentioned for events as when you’re joining an event as a speaker or when you’re being featured on a podcast like you don’t want to send them your iPhone selfie, yeah. Okay. And what Victoria was saying y’all is you want to stay ready. So you don’t have to get ready is you don’t want to be scrambling, you don’t want to avoid an opportunity or pass up an opportunity because you don’t have professional headshots to share professional photography and photos of yourself to share with the organizers of the event. So if you are wanting to step into your role as a professional, your identity as a professional, be portrayed as a professional in your field, and as a leader in your industry, professional brand photography is a non negotiable, you need to have this in place. And I highly recommend investing in this as it is the visual aspects of your brand. I mean, where is your audience interacting with you? Right? They interact with you online, through visual channels, right, your website, your social media platforms, you know, if you’re running ads, all of that is that all of that is there is a visual aspect to it, right? So if you are building a brand, and developing that brand and increasing brand awareness and building a relationship with your community, under your brand, whether it’s your personal brand or a standalone brand, either way, professional visual assets are a non negotiable as far as and I want to, I want to wrap up this interview with my last few questions. So one is what is your favorite way and what do you recommend to your clients as far as how they can like get in a great mood like getting it getting the the photoshoot mood right and just loosen up and be themselves?
Yeah, for sure. So I always say like, kind of what makes you happy? Like, is that reading the book? Is that going on wall? Um, is that taking a bath, right? It’s like giving yourself that time to relax you Enjoy the process because, um, the day of the shoot, like all your planning is done, right, you did all the work and ready to go to the day, the day leading up and that morning or afternoon, just give yourself time to enjoy the process. Like have fun, like, a lot of people think like photography or photo shoots, it’s like the stressful thing, or it can be intimidating, right? And I think just going into it with that positive mindset and just being like, you know what, like, I am an amazing business owner, a badass like, I Yeah, and it’s kind of like a way to like, kind of like, treat yourself to like, this moment, like you’ve worked so hard to kind of build and start this brand. And you’ve done all the work to get you there. And now it’s like your photo shoots kind of reward in a way it’s like, like, lean into who you are. And like, that’s my biggest I always say, like, lean into your wire and be authentic. But that’s, that’s really what it’s all about. And I think photoshoots there should be a lot of fun. And yeah, and just kind of like, what makes you happy and enjoy it. Just enjoy every moment of it. Because you can feel kind of you know, you’re in front of the camera, you’re like posing and yeah, yeah, I got this. And I my favorite part of the entire process is seeing kind of that transformation from like our first phone call to the day of the shoot, where I’m like showing the back camera and like my clients are like, Oh my god, is that me?
Like, yeah, that’s me. And I’m like, yes, it’s you. And it’s like,
just an amazing experience and why I love doing what I do so much love.
Oh, and it shows I’ve worked with Victoria in the past. And I I’ve seen your recent work, too. And it’s so clear that you love what you do. And you’re so good at what you do. And you hear so much and
like even the past year and a half in Dallas, and yeah, I’m having that slower, like I came from New York to hear. And I was like, why am I not booking shoots, like, I don’t have four shoots a day. And then COVID hit, which was hard, really hard, but often time to reflect. And that’s when I invested in a business coach and invested in myself more and I was like, Okay, what value can I bring to my clients? And how can I help them because I think a lot of people coming into it, don’t really know the process don’t really know where to start. And so hopefully my tips and tricks have helped some of you.
Yeah, absolutely. And I definitely hear you on that, especially in a new chapter like you moving to Dallas. That’s the beginning of a new chapter. I find that in my life, at least that is that the end of a chapter beginning of a chapter is prime time, reflection, time like this, that is when you can, you know, you have new perspective, because you’ve just experienced something or you’re ready, you’re preparing to embark on a new experience or both right? And so I’m really glad to hear that it’s gone well for you here in Dallas, and I’m so happy that you’re here and serving our community here the business community, the creative community. I’m really excited for what’s to come for you here locally. Appreciate Yeah, absolutely. So what is your big message for us? Victoria, what message would you like to leave our listeners, readers, viewers, audience members with?
Yeah, putting yourself out there and scheduling a photo shoot is really such an important way to tell your story. And connect with your ideal audience. It’s truly crucial to building your brand and your as a business owner. It shows your passion, your talent, who you are. So the big message is stay true to who you are. As a business owner. I’ve said that 10 times by now, but it’s really what my big message is, is don’t compare yourself to others, kind of stick to who you are. And go back to the question of like, what makes you unique? What makes you stand out? What makes you different than your competitors. And if you know those answers, and stay true to who you are, then your brand photoshoot will be super successful. And obviously just finding, you know, that photographer you connect with and can relate to and so that’s my biggest takeaway is just be authentic and be who you are
Be true to you. Yeah. Because Oh, it’s so
late. Yeah, the imposter syndrome is real, right? But it’s my style and who I am. It’s really helpful. And I think that translates and I can relate to that to my clients. And so I think that’s the most important part just to kind of stay safe. Stay true to yourself.
I love it. Thank you so much. Victoria for joining me and I know that everyone is going to love these tips. Let us know if you have any questions for Victoria. You can leave them in the comments or wherever you’re watching or listening to this interview, and we will talk soon. Bye for having me. Thank you so much for being here. Bye bye
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