Seattle Nutritionist's Lifestyle Personal Branding Photography Session
I would love to introduce you to my youngest sister Audriana of Gather and Grow Nutrition. Her and I had so much fun planning her session and the experience of photographing her session was one I’ll never forget and not in the way you expect it. I’ll tell you about that story after all the images below, but first let’s talk about her session and our plans for capturing what she wanted for images.
We rented an Airbnb in Sedro-Woolley, WA for 2 nights for her personal branding photoshoot. This location had the kitchen she was wanting for her images. She liked the white kitchen with the butcher block countertops, the living room area and little seating areas to do work on. It just fit the look she was wanting for her images. Location planning is a very important part in having images that meet your ideal look. Not every home location is going to fit your look. If you don’t have a home that fits your look, ask a close friend or family member if you could use their house if it fits your look. A website to check is Peer Space for rentals, they’ve got a huge variety. Then the other option is looking through Airbnb type rentals, but to be aware of check-in/out times and get permission to photograph in the house. This was why we rented 2 nights, we could start early in the morning and go throughout the day. Then the last thing to take into consideration when doing an indoor location is daylight hours, our session was done in the summer so we had a lot of daylight hours. In winter, hours are much more limited and while I have lights I use those as fill lights and don’t use them as the main light source.
On to the stories we wanted to tell during her session. Stories are the theme of images and messages you want to convey for that set. You can read more about what stories are in my blog post HERE. Since she is a nutritionist we wanted to feature her making meals, breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. We also wanted to show some of the working on the computer with a client and more casual images of her as well. We had also planned to do a few other sets outside of the house, but the heat didn’t allow for us to leave the house. We still want to plan an outdoor adventure like rock climbing and Ballard Market shopping trip, those are future photo session plans.
As a nutritionist food is a big piece of her work with clients, however it isn’t the only piece of her as a business owner. She needs to also share a little bit about who she is and show herself in her images. As the business owner you need to be in your branding, you are a part of the brand and why people are going to choose you over the other person. When you create points to connect with your target market you’ve shown who you are as a trusting and likable person. This is why we still plan to do an outdoor adventure and local shopping trip. These are connecting points with her clients and also share her personal values of combining some sort of physical activity with nutritious food and her love for her local town of Ballard and what it provides to her.
We are all multifaceted individuals and we need to share a few parts of ourselves to our future clients. We don’t need to share everything, but a few things that make for great talking and connecting points. Those few things we’ve picked we can continually talk about them over and over again.
Had we been able to photograph all of her stories, they would have consisted of
In the kitchen: Preparing nutritious breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner
Working: With client on the computer
Casual: Life when she isn’t working
Outdoor Adventure: More when not working and total body health connections
Ballard Market: Shopping local and fresh ingredients
These are a lot of stories and things to photograph in one day and truthfully we had never planned to do the Ballard Market until later anyways. When you’ve got a lot of ideas like this for your image needs, doing the Membership option would be best. Being able to break up your sessions into different seasons and tackle them at different times. Especially when it comes to outdoor location ideas, our seasons all have different looks and outfit needs. If you love the summer look and don’t care for the cold dead winter look, you won’t want to do those stories in the end of fall and early spring time frame, an indoor set would be great for that time frame instead.
If you want to check out what my membership consists of, check out that page HERE and then send me a message and let’s chat to figure out what your own session would look like.
The story of Preparing the food
Breakfast: Farm fresh eggs (from our parents chicken actually), scrambled using pasture-raised butter, fresh tomatoes and slices of avocado.
Lunch: Mixed greens with a rotisserie chicken breast, cucumber, tomatoes and avocado with Tessamae dressing.
Snack/Dessert/Treat: A chia seed pudding with coconut milk, vanilla, fresh squeezed orange juice and banana.
Dinner: Wild caught salmon, baked with butter, dill and orange and asparagus.
What she wants to show is the fresh ingredients and simplicity of cooking. Each of these ingredient images can easily be used for her as talking and education points. She can now use these images as talking points. She can share that she gets her eggs from her mom during the summer season with their chickens are laying more eggs than they can eat. She can talk about the many benefits of eating salmon and why to choose fresh caught vs farmed when you can afford it. Then she can talk about her favorite foods and ingredients and then ask follow up questions for engaging people. You see how these few images can create so much content to write about.
I am more a visual person, so I tend to pick my image first and then see what it inspires me to talk about. Or sometimes I have a vague idea of what topic I should post about and the image helps those words flow from me. Images have a lot of power to create thoughts and emotions when you view them. So use them to your advantage and make them work for you and support you and your goals of connecting with your present and future clients.
Working & Headshots
The Headshots: Are meant to be used for "About Me" page headshots, icons for her social media pages, general introduction images and even press/network images. Images with you looking at the camera and smiling, is a quick way for the viewer to make a snap decisions about you. "Do I like her? Does she seem trust worthy? Is she going to help me?" This is why we do need some sort of smiling at the camera headshot. Typically when you think of headshots you think of studio, arms crossed and posed in that way, but that is just one type of headshot look. There are many ways to get a great headshot, the point is though to make it fit your personality and your brand! The other point is, you do need more than just the headshots though they only get you so far is showing who you are.
Working: While the above food photos are also "working" type images, she wanted the working with client images and what that would look like on the computer. A behind the scene images that she can share as well.
Oh and did you notice the glasses of water placed throughout these images? In her hands or to the side, part of her process is having clients journal water and food intake, so of course we had to have a glass of water in there.
Casual: Exactly as it sounds, hanging out on the couch, porch or your other favorite relaxing place. Doing your favorite "me time" things like drinking coffee, tea, wine, eating your favorite treat, reading, playing on your phone or even with a pet, kids, significant other, going on hikes, sitting on the beach, at a cafe... Just think of your few favorite things that you love and want to talk and share about. This is the perfect place to insert a little bit of the personal side of you.
Other follow up blog posts to read are
true story time about our session
Now as I promised I wanted to talk about this interesting experience we both had while on our little trip. As you might or might not know, I’ve got 2 little girls so I’m always very busy with them. My sister and I knew this would be a perfect little vacation for me to get away, spend time together and then also get her personal branding image taken for her website. When we booked the Airbnb what we didn’t plan for was two things, one we ended up booking our trip for the hottest weekend in Washington State history! Yes we did this session when we had the record 115+ degree heat wave. Thankfully though this place ended up having AC, otherwise I’m not sure we would have survived and not cancelled.
I will also say I felt so guilty! My kids were home with dad, staying in the bedroom with the little AC unit that was working so hard, but not doing the best. All that they ended up doing was watching tv and trying to keep cool. While I on the other hand was very comfortably chilled and even had a blanket on my lap while watching a movie mid day.
So now for the other part that made this even more memorable. Two days previous (Friday) I was babysitting my 2 nephews (my middle sister’s two kids), it was warm out, we were getting into the 100s but we were managing just fine in the pool. Well later at dinner my youngest nephew puked! I was thinking maybe it was the heat and that I didn’t keep him hydrated enough. He just went to sleep and took it easy the rest of the night and then by the morning he was feeling just fine. My sister, Audriana came the next day (Saturday) and visited, held him and played in the pool.
Then on Sunday morning at 2am, the day Audriana and I planned to leave for our vacation/photoshoot, I started throwing up. I was throwing up until about 6am and then I didn’t throw up anymore after that. But I was so exhausted since I had only gotten less than 4 hours of sleep and expelled everything and then nothing from my stomach. I’m not really a napper, I never have been, I tried to nap but it didn’t work and I just rested my body the rest of the morning.
I called my sister and we chatted about everything, how I was feeling, what I was thinking I was capable of and what she was comfortable with doing as well. I knew my body was done and since my nephew was also fine shortly after I figured I as well would be just fine for our planned photoshoot time tomorrow. I just had to get to her house in Ballard for us to go up north to Sedro-Wolley. We decided to just leave a little later than planned and that she would drive from her house to our rental. I still had to pack, which I did so slowly. It was getting warmer that day and add the heat as well to everything, my pace was that of a turtle and I’m naturally more of a hare pace.
After an hour of slowly packing I managed to get my equipment, stuff and myself into the car. Even though it was now over 100 degrees outside the moment I stepped out of the house into the oven “fresh” air I started to feel better! The drive to Seattle was fine and a steady pace, but I was very glad to hand over my keys and have my sister drive the rest of the way there.
Once we got to the place and unpacked, we ended up going to the store to get the food items for the planned meal prep photos. And I got lots of good nutrients, which is very handy to have a nutritionist with you when you need good replenishing items. I got some kombucha, coconut milk for rehydration, some immunity “shots” and lots of veggies. After I get sick all I want is healthy nutrient dense and fresh foods. My sister got some zucchini and shrimp for her dinner. I think I had a few bites of what she made, but my stomach was still a little sore at that point and I didn’t want much in it.
Well que the next part of our adventure. Since the heat was going to be bad we were cutting out the outdoor part and just going to shut up in the rental with the AC. However, remember how I started throwing up two days after I was with my nephew, well my sister at 4am on Monday started throwing up as well. Oh I should also backtrack and say, my girls were with me when I was watching my nephews and they had also started throwing up around 10 am on Sunday. Back to us at the rental. My sister is throwing up, she is going in and out of sleep on her trips to the bathroom to vomit and I’m a light sleeper so I’m not getting much sleep either. She threw up for the last time around 7am and after that round she said “Ok I’m feeling better now, I can do this”. We started taking breakfast photos after 8am and then took a break. I had her pose like she was about to eat, however she wasn’t feeling it at all and passed the plate to me once we were done posing. I was ravenous and ate it all, and it was so very tasty!
This is how the rest of our day went with photos. She would prepare meals, I would take photos, she then passed the made plate of food off to me and I ate while she went and laid down to rest. Breakfast, lunch, snack, computer and stairs were all this way. We ended up photographing the dinner set at breakfast time the following morning before we packed up to leave.
Now that you know our adventurous story, go look back at the photos and realize that both of us were sick with a stomach flu. Audriana pulled off her images so well for being sick that morning! She was such a trooper! While our trip didn’t go as planned, not at all, we still managed to get awesome photos of her and I still got a little vacation from caring for the kids. And not having to care for them while they were also sick. Although I still had to deal with it when I got home. Gross story coming. I guess my youngest had puked during the night on Sunday and the husband just stripped the bed, they all went back to sleep after he tossed the dirty sheets by the washer. I got to come home to them sitting in 115 degree heat for over 24 hours. I just tossed them in the washer and when I pulled everything out, a whole lot of food chucks spilled out. I then had to vacuum out the washer and rewash everything. An adventure to always remember and finally share as well.