What are stories?!

"Stories" is a term used in personal branding photography sessions. It refers to the theme of the set of photos you're taking. When you tell a story the audience wants to listen and by telling your stories as a business owner you're telling about your business and also yourself. In essence you're bringing in your target market into your own life and showing them who you are to create a connection with them. When someone knows, likes and trusts you they are more likely to come back and buy from you or recommend you. When you show who you are not only as a business owner but also a normal relatable person you can create common ground with others. Understanding your target market is important to understanding what stories you want to tell and how you want to tell them.  

maple valley brand photographer photo of two female owned businesses talking about business plan

The first story is usually going to be the business story. This will also have micro stories within it. Your business story is all about what you do in your business to keep it functioning on a daily basis. Do you make products? Yes, then we will photograph the making of it and the behind the scenes process. The making, the packaging and even finished product photos. Do you work with clients? Yes, then let's get a model (friend, family member or even a past client) and show you working and interacting with that "client". Do you teach classes, have a craft booth, cook, own a shop, teach meditation, naturopathic Dr…? Any type of business can be photographed. Working on laptops and phones is a common thing to include since all business owners now should be including that social media aspect. This is when we would also talk about supporting props to help enhance and tell the business story. I'll go into more detail on a later post about choosing the best props. The business stories show the process of what it is like to work with you or what it took to create the product. These photos will help support you being the expert in your field especially when it is paired with words that teach them something and provide valuable content for them. 

Office branding headshot federal way woman loan officer sitting at desk
black woman owned business PNWApothecary harvesting horsetails to make own oils lifestyle personal branding seattle WA

After the business stories are captured it is also good to include a few personal stories as well. This is where you can provide a good foundation of gaining that know, like and trust on a personal level. As business owners we should show ourselves as our authentic self. Be real about our values and our own personal quirky likes. Make people laugh and smile when they get a glimpse into our lives. I have a quiet but mighty personality, you will never see me jumping around and being goofy because that isn't my energy. However I love to be around small groups of people, I love to laugh and share stories and connect with my clients, I love to take care of them because I'm a uplifter type personality. When you work with me I want to know your personality and I want to capture that and share your uniqueness with your world! Infuse your authentic personality in your photos and then let them know who you are with some personal stories. Do you love the city, beach or woods? Picking a location that features this personality is perfect. You've got to be in your elements! Do you have kids, pets or a supportive significant other that you want to tell about? This is a perfect time to make a fun interactive set, like playing games, walking/exploring with them or even just hanging out with them in your favorite spot. Do you love to go to the café or have a favorite spot in mind? What do you like to do in your off time? Journaling, health foods, meditation, wine, art, hiking... These story options can be limitless, brainstorm what you would like to tell your target market about and start envisioning what this would look like and then tell me.

Woman business coach cutting celery in kitchen for lifestyle photoshoot maple valley, WA
woman owned lifestyle branding session bullet journaling on couch at home in Auburn WA

As a photographer my business stories will be in action taking photos, with my camera, working on my laptop and phone, and writing on a planner. My personal stories are going to be a little about my family, my love for books, crystals, all things natural and being outside in the woods. While I haven't had all of those captured yet, I know what they are and they are on my to shoot list. When you work with me we will go through a series of questions and I'll help you figure out your stories with you. We will plan locations based on how best to feature those stories and then plan props and outfits to help support all of it. 

Let's get started and let me help you understand your stories that you need photographing. Send me a message today and let's get to work and have a fun session telling your stories to your target clients! 

And check out my blog post here about giving tips on picking the right props for your session.