Using photography to enhance your brand with Milina Opsenica
In this episode, I chat to Milina from June and June photography about overcoming fear of using your face in your branding, why you should invest in professional photography for your business, and how to feel more confident in front of the camera.
In this Episode:
- 08.13: The value of personal photographs for service-based businesses
- 13.17: Overcoming fear around showing your face as part of your business/brand
- 18.35: Advice for a photoshoot
- 23.28: Additional costs of a photoshoot
I help entrepreneurs and small business owners be seen in their business so they can connect with their ideal client and make more money. Providing honest and creative images that represent YOUR brand and connects with YOUR ideal client.
We work together, focusing on your purpose, and using my expertise in photography and marketing to tell your brand story and give you a full bank of images that tells your full brand story.
I service Brisbane, Gold Coast, Tweed, Byron Bay.
Do you feel uncomfortable and awkward when it comes to showing your face as part of your business? Well you are not alone. I have certainly been there myself, which is why I invited along today’s guest, Milina from June + June Photography
In this episode we chat about overcoming fear and resistance in showing your face in your marketing, the value of showing up in your branding, why you should invest in professional photography for your business, and tips for feeling more confident and less awkward during a photoshoot.
I also have a really cool freebie for you, which is my Photoshoot Checklist to ensure you nail your photoshoots, so let’s get started!
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
I’m so excited to welcome Milina from June and June Photography!
Thank you for having me, it’s great to be here!
Before we start could you share a bit about who you are and what you do?
My name is Milina and I am a brand photographer. I specialise in working with small businesses, entrepreneurs, mainly women, who are really ready to be seen in their business. They want to stand out from the crowd, make a difference.
Fabulous and you work in my local which is Brisbane, Australia.
So I’m based in Northern New South Wales and I cover anywhere from Ballina to Brisbane, and I’m happy to travel between those distances. I love meeting all different people and seeing new places.
Anyone who is listening from somewhere else in the world, jump online and have a look at Ballina, Byron, Brisbane etc because it is a beautiful part of the world.
Lovely to have you along Milina, the reason I brought you on was to chat all about photography, but also you were actually part of my first round of my online program, Money & Marketing Makers. I’d love for you to share why you joined the program?
I loved your program Clare, I got so much out of it. I saw you speaking about it at first, and you were talking about the same things I was struggling with at the time. I moved into this area only 2 years ago, and I’ve been transitioning my business away from weddings and families and more into branding because I saw a need for business women to connect with their clients more. But I had been struggling to market myself in this new industry/market. I was interested to see what you had to say about that, and now I know what a funnel is! I had no idea about some of the marketing terms you were speaking of. I’ve done workshops before, I’ve had coaches before, but they didn’t touch on the things you touched on.
When it came to the money side of things my mind was blown. I look at my business like a real business now. I can see where I have been tripping up and I’m ready to go for 2020 now. I know what to do week by week, I look at my numbers weekly, I engage so much more, I’m mainly on Instagram for my marketing and I have a small organic following, but since doing the program I have grown that by 25%, and I have real strong engagement. It’s been areal eye-opener and made me so excited for this year.
That’s so fabulous, thank you for sharing. When it comes to followers, the number doesn’t matter, it’s how engaged they are and how many go on to be paying clients. I’m so pleased you’ve had that win and when you show up and have that great content, like you are, that’s when you people come and want to work with you and your brand. I’m so excited to watch where your business goes in 2020.
I wanted to talk to you today about the value of investing in professional photography for your service-based business. I’d love for you to share, why do you think that personal photographs are essential for service-based businesses?
The value of personal photographs for service-based businesses
There are so many of us going out on our own and working by ourselves, and we are all craving connection. When we don’t show up, we don’t connect. We have all heard about the ‘Know, Like and Trust Factor’ and showing up in your own marketing is so important to that connection.
When I am going to work with someone, I go to their about page. If they don’t have a picture of themselves, I click away. They might be the perfect person for me, but I can’t see them. I think a lot of us work behind our computers, we lack that connection, so we try and find that person we want to connect with.
Another aspect is, if you are marketing yourself on social media, the value of having great personal branding photos is that it elevates your brand. When I speak to clients, I ask them where they see their business in a year’s time, and let’s work out how we can portray your images to be where you want to be going, rather than where you are now. Not only does that elevate your brand, it saves you so much time and money. If you are constantly looking for images to post, you can spend hours trying to find the right images that match your caption and what you want to say. In a brand shoot, we can get that done in a few hours and you’ve got content for 3 months sorted. So then you can spend that time actually marketing your business, selling your business, rather than looking for images.
People see having photos as an expense, but it actually saves your time and money and really does elevate your brand and gives you a connection with your client.
100% agree with everything you said their Milina. I found in my early days of business, I was making very little profit and so I invested in a photoshoot, and I remember thinking how expensive it was, but oh man, did it transform my brand. It looked so much sleeker and I started to attract more clients because my brand was looking more professional.
And it’s interesting about how you said about having 3 months of social content, because anyone who has looked at me on Instagram (@clare_wood_coach), you’ll notice my feed is all photos of me, because they are the ones that get the most engagement, and I am still going off of a photoshoot I did over a year ago. It’s incredible when you get a variety of images in different places and outfits, how long those images can last you, mixed in with other content too.
I also loved what you said about saying time too, because that is big.
That’s one thing I picked up from the Makers program actually, is utilising your time, are you using your time to make money. And when you are searching images to post with your caption, you are not making money. It definitely saves time and money!
And on that note, when you elevate your brand and marketing, you can command high prices, so part of that is having that position where people want to work with you.
Why do you think that business owners have resistance to showing their faces as part of their business and their brand?
Overcoming fear around showing your face as part of your business/brand
This is a big topic. I see myself really changing the way I’ve looked at my work in the last few months. I’ve noticed that I have clients that book in but don’t show up, or they postpone, or they have the shoot and have the images, but then don’t do anything with the images. But I totally get this, I was one of those people for so long, I was a photographer, mainly weddings and families at the time and I did not have a picture of me on my website. I did not show up, and only rarely in my own social media too. I was afraid, and us all deep down we can feel we are not good enough, not worthy, and it’s such a big factor, especially for us women.
The second side is, we live in a culture where tall-poppy syndrome is real. The fear of being not good enough is one thing, and then the other side, where you can’t get too big for your boots.
It’s something I deal with a lot, I deal with it with clients putting off shoots or being too scared to sue their photos. The first few times I posted images of myself, I was so scared. I’ve had to do a lot of inner work to get to a point where I am comfortable. We are here for a reason, we are here to make a difference, and we just need to show up!
Absolutely! It’ll probably surprise people that follow me, because my Instagram feed is full of photos of myself, but I had struggles with showing up and people thinking I was showing off, thinking I might be narcissistic, but I did a trial and if you listen to podcast episode 3 about how to grow your Instagram following, you’ll hear about how I did an experiment where I posted only photos of me when I heard Jenna Kutcher doing this and she had a huge increase in her following and engagement and the same thing happened for me. I’m not saying this is for everyone, and it always has to be you, but you’ll find that people connect with people, and I’m sure some people think I’m a show off and that’s totally fine because they aren’t my people. The more you can show yourself and show who you are, the more people will like you or not.
Growth comes on the other side of fear, when you push through the uncomfortableness and show up, and growth for me in this case, literally converted into growth in my sales. It’s not just personal growth, it can also translate into growth in terms of your business.
If you are listening and you aren’t getting the message loud and clear – please show your face in your business! Even if you have a product-based business, we actually found you need to uncover the people behind the brand and that’s a really powerful way of promoting your product-based business.
One the product side of things, we are nosy, we are curious people, we want to see what you do with that, how do you choose what you do. I have a lot of fun with product-based businesses as well, because we get to see behind-the-scenes and people love that.
They absolutely do! If someone is looking down the barrel of doing a photoshoot, and feeling awkward about it, I think everyone one does, have you got any advice for being confident during a photoshoot and behind the camera?
Advice for a photoshoot
I still get awkward as well, I don’t think I’m photogenic, but it does get easier. Tips to make you less uncomfortable though… plan, plan, plan! Know how you are going to use your images and what they will be for – will it be on a website, do you need a particular landscape or portrait, do you need to be off to the side, or about me page, will you use them in social media etc? A good photographer will help you decide all that with you, but planning is essential. Sometimes people get their photos and think, this isn’t really what I wanted, but it may be because they weren’t sure what they wanted. Often, someone will come into a shoot, and book another shoot not long after, because they’ll know what they want then.
Research is another one. Research your photographer, there are a lot out there and we all have our own styles, we all have different ways we edit. It’s like all industries, everyone will do things a bit differently, so research and find someone that you resonate with. It might not be someone your friend used, it might be someone you feel particularly drawn to. I’m an intuitive person, so I think feeling the person, and trusting the photographer is huge, make sure they are the right person for you. Then, when you are in the shoot, just trust them. If you have the right person for you then go along with it. I guarantee you the first 15mins are going to be awkward, but it will ease up.
For me, I don’t like posing, so I’m not going to ask someone to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable, so make sure you are comfortable and speak up if you don’t.
Can I say though, if you feel uncomfortable, you should push through it, even my wedding photoshoot they had us doing some things that I thought this is just going to look ridiculous, and the photos were fantastic. And same with my business photoshoots. My first shoot, the photographer made me dance, she said wave your arms around, and I was thinking what?! But I saw the photos and they looked fantastic. So I do want to say, even if something makes you uncomfortable, like Milina said, trust your photographer and do the weird walk, and you’ll be amazed.
Absolutely! Have fun. As photographer we have to go in with our walls down and bring that energy, so it will come out in the person as well. We do silly things too and try and encourage you to be silly or have fun, to lift the energy. Trust us, go with it..
Go with it, 100%
Another thing is, your outfits. Choose things that will elevate your brand, how you want to portray yourself, and make sure you are comfortable. Does this represent me? Or where the direction of your business is going? Hair and make-up, I’ve had so many people say, and even I’ve done this myself, I wish I had my hair done. Invest a little bit and make sure you are happy with how you look, because if you aren’t happy you may not use the images and then it’s a waste.
What other costs might someone incur for a photoshoot? What are some things people should invest in for a photoshoot?
Additional costs of a photoshoot
You can look at a stylist to help you get some looks together. We often talk about dressing to suit your brand, choosing colours used in your brand, it might not be a whole outfit, it could just be accessories or a pop of colour, but If you are anything like me and don’t like shopping a stylist can be really helpful and I really see the value in getting someone else to dress me up. A stylist on the shoot can even help pick things up that we might not see.
Location can sometimes be another cost. Often I use someone’s home office if you have a beautiful setup, or utilise a beautiful café, but if there is a particular look you want there may be a hire fee.
I’ve pulled together from my experiences (the good and bad) a blog article, which I’ll share in the show notes, it’s called Your Ultimate Business Photoshoot Guide. In that I’ve also got your photoshoot checklist, do download that if you are planning or considering a photoshoot for your business. I’ll also be sharing Milina’s details from June and June Photography if you are in the local area.
For now, a massive thank you for coming along and sharing your wisdom.
Thank you Clare, thanks for having me. It’s been a wonderful 3 months working with you and I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve offered for my business and I can’t wait to get stuck into this year.
Awesome, catch up with you soon!
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!
About your host
Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.