Ep 68: Building a Strong Visual Identity for Your Podcast with Krista Campbell from She Calls Her Shots

How much thought have you put into the picture you have on your podcast artwork?

Or the images of yourself that you use to promote your podcast?

In this episode, I’m joined by Krista Campbell, a wedding and brand photographer who also hosts her own podcast: She Calls Her Shots.

We look at how brand photography bridges the gap between online presence and audience connection, going beyond traditional headshots.

Krista gives amazing photography tips for capturing the atmosphere, brand colors, and how props can help your listeners envision themselves working with you.

Learn why planning for a branding session is crucial and how to align your photographs with your podcast’s brand for maximum impact. Lighting is highlighted as a key element in creating the desired audience connection.

Join us for these rarely talked about podcasting tips and find out how to find a specialized brand photographer, evoke the right feeling in your audience, and unleash the power of visuals in promoting your podcast.

Highlights:

  • Importance of brand photography for podcasters
  • Bridging the gap between online presence and connection with audience
  • Beyond traditional headshots – capturing atmosphere, brand colors, and props
  • Planning for a branding session
  • Aligning photographs with podcast brand
  • Considering how you want listeners to feel and brainstorming ideas
  • Importance of lighting in creating a connection with audience
  • Finding a brand photographer who specializes in brand photography
  • Googling ‘brand photographers’ to find local professionals
  • Finding someone who can evoke a certain feeling and help with planning
  • Misconceptions around branding photography
  • Building a strong visual identity and connecting with a target audience
  • Finding a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and helps with posing and positioning
  • Conveying emotion and understanding the target audience in branding shoot planning

Timestamps:

  • [00:00:00] Intro
  • [00:01:05] Defining Brand Photography
  • [00:05:10] How to prepare for a branding session and get the photographs that you want
  • [00:09:02] Tips for finding a brand photographer
  • [00:11:03] The Importance of Branding Photography

Guest bio:

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Transcript

[00:00:00] Verity: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another episode of the Lazy Girls Guide to podcasting. This episode is going to be coming to you in two parts. One today and the other part will be our tech Thursday episode for this week. And there Krista will be sharing her knowledge and expertise on how to take your own branded photographs that you can use to promote your podcast. So make sure you're subscribed for when that drops. Oh, I'm so excited. I know I always say I'm excited, but I'm really excited because we are talking about something which I have honestly never heard anybody talk about in the podcasting space before. I don't know, maybe I'm listening to the wrong information, but I have never heard anyone talk about this particular topic in the podcasting space before. We are going to be talking about brand photography and what it means for podcasters. Now. Hands up. I know nothing about photography. I mean, I can take photographs on my iPhone, but I don't know anything about photography. But I do know the amazing Krista, who is today joining me all the way from California to talk about brand photography. I'm going to open up the biggest question.

[00:01:05] Defining Brand Photography

[00:01:05] Verity: What is brand photography like? How do you define what brand photography even is?

[00:01:10] Krista: Yeah, this is something I get asked all the time, and I think it's a fair question because it's something that I think is still kind of newer in the world of businesses. And being a business owner, I think people think headshots. And so there's this kind of key question is, what is the difference between me getting, like having a headshot session versus me having a brand session? And I always kind of talk about it with people like this. So for a headshot session, you can think about that as we are showing up to a location, whether it's outdoors, at a cafe, like whatever. There's maybe a little bit of thought. We've agreed on a location where we're going to meet. But kind of the whole purpose and reason behind the session of a headshot session is just to get some good photos of someone. So if you want to update your LinkedIn, if you're speaking on a panel, if you need to have a nice photo, that's kind of a headshot session with a branding session. This is really for business owners. And the key distinction here is that we are in a brand photography session. The purpose is to bridge the gap between people finding you online and feeling the full body. Yes, I want to work with this person. And so whenever I have someone like, I'm not sure what kind of session I want. I tell them, for a headshot session, we're not doing brand photography. You're just getting headshots. In a brand photography session, you are getting headshots. It's just that we're putting a lot more energy into what type of atmosphere do your clients work with you in. How can they see themselves working with you? Talking about your brand colors, thinking about how your brand colors interact with the location and the colors in the actual session, thinking about the types of poses, what props you want to have. And some of this can sound so like, yeah, duh. But when you think about it, if you were going to go hire, I've worked with a lot of therapists. For example, for some reason, I've gotten in with the therapy realm with photos. So for a therapist, if you saw a photo on someone's website and they're outside standing in the trees, it's like, oh, that's a really nice photo. But on the other end of that, let's imagine you see a brand photo of someone who's in a cozy, nice, well lit, bright white office space with, like, a candle and a blanket behind them and some wall art and their coffee mug. You can actually imagine the chair across from them. You just pulling out the chair, sitting and talking with them. So the whole purpose behind brand photography is trying to figure out who are my ideal clients, and how can I start to think about creating a photo that will help bridge the gap to where they can just immediately see themselves working with me? And that's kind of how I distinguish the two when I'm speaking to clients.

[00:03:44] Verity: I love that because I think the ignorant people like me are like, isn't it just a photograph? But like you said, it's more than that. It's that connection.

[00:03:54]

[00:03:54] Verity: And I think this relates so much into podcasting because, yes, okay, there's a lot of podcasters that don't have an image of themselves on their podcast art cover, and that's absolutely fine. You and I both have got images of ourselves on our podcast artwork. And by the way, if you've never listened to Krista's podcast, I need to give it a shout out. Did you actually know yours is the first podcast I ever listened to? Like, the first?

[00:04:21] Krista: Honestly, I just got chills.

[00:04:23] Verity: Oh, my gosh. Honestly. So in some ways, do I blame you for my podcasting journey? Do I thank you for it? I'm not sure, but honestly, yeah, I remember finding. I can't even remember how I found it because it definitely was not on a podcasting platform. I'm not sure if it was on, like, Facebook or I can't remember, but I remember finding your podcast and listening to it and just being like, oh my gosh, this world of podcasting is just something I need to explore. So, yeah, you've been in my life a long time. That sounds creepy. Now that I've said, that sounds a bit creepy. Dear audience, Krista and I talk a lot because we've connected outside of the podcasting world, so I'm not sure if that makes it sound creepier or not.

[00:05:07] Krista: Actually, now that I said, very endearing.

[00:05:09] Verity: Oh, thank you.

[00:05:10] How to prepare for a branding session and get the photographs that you want

[00:05:10] Verity: But anyway, bringing it back to podcasting. Yeah. So you and I have both got images of ourselves on our podcast artwork, which suits our brands really well. But if somebody is thinking of getting an image of themselves on their podcast artwork and they're thinking, actually, I want to tie this on in with a whole brand photography session, what are the kind of things that somebody would need to think about to prepare themselves for getting a really good image? You don't want to walk away from paying money for getting a branding session and thinking, oh, there's not a single photo here that I want to use. So how can someone go into a branding session and come out with the photographs that they really want? Yeah.

[00:05:58] Krista: And I think it's really important to talk about this because there are many iterations of your brand. Your brand will evolve just as you will evolve, your clients will evolve just as you evolve, your listeners will evolve. So everything kind of evolves over time. And so one thing I always encourage, if it's your first brand, shoot, start small and know that this is the first of many. Because I think sometimes what happens is we think, oh, my gosh, I'm having this brand session and this needs to encapsulate my whole brand. And it's like, whoa, this is just right now. So start with what feels really comfortable for you. For me, for example, when I was creating my cover art, for example, I think one of the most important things you can ask yourself is, how do I want my listeners to feel? Anytime I'm coaching or working with clients, the thing that I ask them, it's really around feeling, right. This is how we build connection with people. You can have the best naming and strategy and all these things, but the photo and how people connect with you is really going to create a lot of feelings inside them. So really asking yourself, how do I want my listeners to feel? And then start to brainstorm, okay, I want them to feel really, I'm just going to throw it somewhere, it's like really welcome. Feel like this is a safe space, like an honest, real vibe, right? So maybe you're going to grab a coffee mug, or if you're a health nutrition person, maybe you're going to grab a salad or whatever.

[00:07:20] Verity: I don't know.

[00:07:21] Krista: I'm just thinking of random things and I'm going to sit, and I'm going to sit cross legged, kind of leaning towards the camera, right? And if you're confused, I guess I should preface this comes naturally to me because I do this, but if you're like, I don't even know how to pose, go onto Pinterest and start pinning images. How do these images make you feel? Whatever it is that you're searching for, look for images that make you feel that way and then ask yourself, oh, can I see myself in this photo and can I recreate this in some way that feels on brand for me? And truthfully, I think one of the biggest things is lighting. And I'm not going to get too into the details about that. But if you want a really warm and welcoming, having a nice, well lit photo of your face, if you have kind of a fun, dark and moody, edgy vibe, right, then kind of playing with light in that way. But lighting is really also going to shift how that connection looks and how it makes people feel. But if you're just looking for where to start, I would say start to think about how you want it to feel. Search for some images online and then see what feels like it resonates with you and start there.

[00:08:19] Verity: I think that's really important. And I love what you were saying about how it's got to be an image that evokes some kind of emotion. Because I think sometimes when it comes to podcasting, we get so wrapped up in what is the episode title? What's the SEO? What are the show notes saying? We've got to have amazing 1st 5 seconds to drag people in and all this kind of thing. But actually, for somebody who is first finding our show, before they even start reading anything, the first thing they're going to see is that artwork is that image. And as you said, if you're not evoking any kind of emotion or connection, then you're going to lose that click. Basically, someone's going to move on to a different podcast. They're going to find something else that they want to listen to.

[00:09:02] Tips for finding a brand photographer

[00:09:02] Verity: I would love to know, do you have any tips for finding a brand photographer? Is there something that people need to know when looking for a brand photographer, you're smiling. So I'm guessing secret here.

[00:09:14] Krista: Well, I laugh because I started my photography journey. I became a photographer, I guess 14 years ago now, and I started my journey doing wedding and engagement photography, which is obviously very different. And I remember when I branched into brand photography feeling like a fish out of water, because in my head I thought, oh, well, I do this, I take people's photos, right? But I take couples photos. I take photos of multiple people. And so all of a sudden I started to do brand photography and it required a whole nother stretch for me because what do they do with their hands? Like, they're not interacting with anyone. So I say that and it makes me laugh because I remember the transition time of getting really comfortable working with one person. So I think a key difference is really any, I don't want to say anybody, but most photographers can probably take you outside somewhere and get some good headshots. Like, that's not really anything that requires too much, I would say, for brand photography. If you are looking for that whole inclusive experience of planning and creating something that evokes a certain type of feeling and all that, I would literally just Google brand photographers. Most of my clients find me from Google and it's usually brand photography near me, brand photographers, Bay area, whatever it is. So I would start to Google that and see who comes up. If you're fine with going the headshot realm, then really if you know a good local photographer, you can just hop outside and get some good would, I would just kind of suss out. Do they do another thing? Could be like senior portrait photographers, right? They're not going to be in the brand world, but they're at least used to working with just one person and kind of posing them. So I would say if you can find an actual brand photographer, that's ideal, but you can probably also work with someone who is maybe newer into that world as well.

[00:11:02] Verity: I think that's so important.

[00:11:03] The Importance of Branding Photography

[00:11:03] Verity: What you were saying about just posing and where to put your hands and things.

[00:11:07] Krista: The number one question I get asked, what do I do with my hands? I don't get to ask that anymore because I tell them what to do.

[00:11:14] Verity: Which is great, because what I was going to say is I did some brand photography. Not obviously, I didn't take the pictures because that would just be a hot mess. But I had images taken for the podcast in the summer and the feedback that the photographer kept telling me, is your hands look really aggressive? I was like, how can hands look aggressive? And he was like, you keep doing oh, my gosh. I was saying that I don't do video and I wish the listeners could see me right now, really talk. I don't know why. Apparently my hands just looked angry and he was like, just soften them. Just soften them. And he was like, it looks like you're grabbing your cheeks and stuff. I was like, no, this is just how, like, I sit and I'd be like, doing this. And he goes, yeah, now it looks like you've got no arm or something because of how I was slouched. And it's funny, you don't really think about these things until you see the images. And you're like, oh. Because he actually started taking pictures because I was really not getting it. So he was taking pictures and then he was showing me. I was like, oh, I see what you mean. It looks like I've got no neck or it looks like I've got like half an arm missing or something. Just because I really do not know how to position myself. I mean, I'm not a model. I don't know what I'm doing. I like what you're saying about it's really key to have somebody who knows how to get the best out of you in terms of they've got to know how to position. Because like I said, I was like losing a neck and like half an arm. It was not working at all.

[00:12:31] Krista: It's hard. And it makes me laugh because I started doing about maybe a little over two years ago, I started doing brand photos for a woman owned jewelry business that's here in the Bay area. And did that ever stretch me on hand things? Because I'm taking close up photos of people's hands to show off the rings, the bangles. Right. Or where to put their hands to show off the earring and the rings together. All this and the amount that I have to finesse people's fingers is like, okay, but soften this a little bit because we don't think about this. We just put our hands somewhere and we don't think about how it looks. I would say those photos are probably the ones where I get the most in the weeds of correcting how people's fingers are laying. But it definitely can. And I think that's the other whole part of it, right. Is for me, when I have branding packages, when I do branding packages with clients, it's an entire experience. And I think some people think they're just going to show up and we're going to take photos. Like, we have a whole questionnaire. We go through I come bring in the tunes. We usually have a toast or something. We do a little dance party in the beginning. I mean, it's as much about taking great photos as it is about creating an environment that allows someone to feel comfortable enough to take great photos. Like, these two things have to go hand in hand. And so really finding someone who we're all nervous behind the camera. I'm most comfortable behind the camera. I hate getting in front of the camera.

[00:13:55] Verity: Right.

[00:13:55] Krista: So it's like finding someone who can create that experience, who you can feel comfortable around, is equally just as important as someone who can take really great photos.

[00:14:05] Verity: Absolutely. It was funny when you were just talking about fingers and positioning hands. I don't know why, but I just got taken back a couple of years ago when I watched something on tv or read it somewhere. Did you know, you know the film Bridget Jones diary? Yeah. She had a hand double for like, the close up scenes when she was writing. Apparently they weren't Renee Zellweger's hands.

[00:14:23] Krista: Actual, her hands weren't up to par for.

[00:14:26] Verity: Well, apparently not. And that's when I found out that foot doubles and hand doubles were a thing. There's a job for everybody out there. But what I love is that you were saying about how you have that questionnaire and you have that conversation, and that was actually a really key part when I did a brand photography session, is that the photographer kept asking me, like, who is your audience? And what are you trying to convey? And it goes back to what you were saying about emotion, and it really got me to really dig deep and almost go back to that original work you do with a business or a podcast or whatever it is, where you think about who your audience is and you niche down and all these kind of things. But then I think sometimes along the way, you can almost forget that sometimes. Or maybe it's not as top of mind as maybe it could have been right at the beginning, and it was just being able to revisit those elements that really got me thinking, oh, yeah, how do I want this to look and how do I want this to come across to an audience? So I think that's another really key part of brand photography that, as you said, it's not just standing still and taking an image, it's a process. And there's a whole process that really connects it back to whatever it is that you're aiming to achieve. Make sure you are subscribed to the podcast, because part two of this interview and discussion is going to be part of our tech Thursday episode for this week where Krista is going to be telling us all about how you can take your own branded photographs, either if you want to do it yourself or maybe you're on a budget. But make sure you are subscribed to the podcast so you can listen to that how to episode as soon as it drops. I'm verity. This has been the lazy girls guides of podcasting. It's been great to have you here as ah and happy podcasting.

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