Personal Brand Photography Case study with Kirsty Parsons - Empowerment Coach.
When researching services to use a business website can provide you with valuable insights into the style, portfolio, and professionalism. It’s tempting to overlook actually chatting with them before deciding to book.
Read how having that initial call helped Kirsty, a women’s empowerment coach for mums decide if I was the right photographer for her business in this brand photography case study interview.
I’m Kirsty, the no-BS empowerment coach for burnt-out mums. I help mums go from burnt out to re-energized to have happy families and thriving lives. I’ve several programs to help mums with burnout, from those trying to run a business whilst raising a family and those mums or stepmoms struggling with the highs and the lows of Blended families.
Burnout is when you forget that you can say no to things; it can be a feeling of being exhausted but believing that you must keep going and do it all yourself. It can manifest into stomach issues because of your anxiety, you have less patience, and you don’t want to get out of bed. Even the joy of life can feel like it’s gone.
There are all sorts of things that people can start experiencing, and I try to help them reduce the burnout and reduce it before they get there; if they are there, I give them strategies to get themselves back out of burnout.
My background is in social care education, youth offending and early help. I love working with children, so in my spare time, I go to schools with a programme that helps children transition from year six into year seven and make it more enjoyable with less anxiety.
Why did you need Brand Photography?
I wanted to look professional for one. I’m a successful mum trying to take selfies, which were awful. What I do will help people, so I needed to connect with them correctly. So trying to take selfies wouldn’t cut it when looking professional.
I also wanted to come across as a normal human being, and I couldn’t achieve that in what I was doing in my pictures. I needed you to show that I was an approachable and caring mum but also balanced as a professional businesswoman.
So that was what I needed to achieve, and I couldn’t do it myself.
Why is it important to have authentic images as an empowerment coach?
I didn’t want to use stock photos. I wanted people to see that I was authentic, but by trying to create images myself, I sometimes felt fake in how I came across in my photos. In contrast, you caught me naturally in the moment. For instance, when we were shooting images with my children and where I was giggling, I could tell its genuine. I have a little smile or a grin, and I know I’m properly in the moment, and I’ve forgotten this was a photoshoot – It’s the real me, and that’s what my brand is about.
Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I knew you were there, but there were other times when I was working or chatting with people on my phone; it became genuine and very natural, and I wanted people to see that was me.
I wanted to be relaxed. I needed to be calm, and I didn’t want it all just to be shots of my face, and you achieved that. So thank you.
How did you discover me?
A friend recommended you, but when I looked at your website I didn’t think you were the right photographer for me at first. I’m investing in my business, and I needed to be sure you would help me achieve what I needed.
Within a few minutes of being on the phone with you, I knew I really liked you as a person, which I knew then would make me feel at ease doing the photos. The fact that you’ve moved into photography from something completely different suggests that you are passionate about what you do and love what you do, and it just came across.
You were exactly what I needed as I needed somebody to feel comfortable with but, at the same time, someone who would give me some direction and keep us on track.
Did you have any concerns about being in front of the camera?
I’ve got a real hang-up about having my photo taken. I don’t like the way I look on camera. It’s just a confidence thing, so I was initially panicking and not looking forward to it. However, you massively changed my feelings.
From the minute we met on the day, it was all effortless, and it didn’t feel staged. Obviously, parts of the shoot were “staged”, but it felt very, very calm, and you were always considerate of my comfort, giving me the confidence I was in control of my boundaries.
It was much more relaxed than I thought it was going to be. You made it clear that if you’re uncomfortable, we’ll never get decent pictures or the true you coming through.
Sometimes I was so caught up in being that professional person that I forgot I’d gone too serious, and you gave little reminders here and there. It’s okay to be happy, Kirsty! Which then made me laugh, and we got even better photos.
I also liked the fact that you were happy to have my boys and my husband involved in the shoot; obviously, it was a photo shoot for me, but it was also about my family, which is still very much a part of my brand and purpose. I’m sure if I were allowed to bring the dog to the venue, the dog would have been in the shots too!
Tell more about the process of booking your photography session.
You were spot on with communication. You gave me so much advice beforehand; particularly, the Dove video you recommended helped me. Everyone perceives themselves in a certain way, and they don’t like how they look.
I picked you because you took the time to understand my brand, and on the day, you were professional, giving me a lot more extra time than you needed to, and I now have hundreds of beautiful shots.
It was just all very professional from start to end. I learned about you and your background, so it didn’t feel like a paid work exchange for photography services. It was more like a team effort or collaboration.
You made the whole experience very pleasurable. I knew I could come to you if I needed advice beyond photography; you even helped me with some advice about my Google Business Profile, which was lovely.
How are you using your new Brand Photography for your business?
I’ve used them for my new website, YouTube channel, and social media stories & posts. They’re also on my Google Business Page; you name it, I am putting those pictures out everywhere as much as I possibly can.
You even took a lifestyle photo of me and my two boys, which I’m getting blown up and printed. And that wasn’t the purpose of the photoshoot.
What are the Long Term Benefits of your new images?
The reusability of the images! – You told me to make a few different outfit changes, so I’ve got photographs I can keep reusing and returning to. So it’s not like I’ve just had this one photo to shoot, and I won’t be able to use any of those again. I have so many different setups; I can use them for many other things.
My brand now looks more professional, increasing engagement, and I will likely get a lot more business coming through.
Actually, a big well done to you because, in one of the first photos I used in a social media post (a photo of when I was by the fireplace), someone messaged me saying how calming they found me.
The feedback from others has been great. You’ve made me look like the whole professional package, but also, you’ve made me look who I am, which is why people come to work with me. And the fact that you’ve captured that in one photo is fantastic.
What advice would you give anyone looking for a brand photographer?
Don’t do what I nearly did; and just look at the photographer’s website homepage and go no.
If you’re unsure, do your research and get in touch with them. Ask them plenty of questions and see if they understand your brand and brief. Get the on the phone or, even better, have a video call because you can read people’s facial expressions. It’s essential to have that conversation to know if you’re going to gel with them – Because if you do, you will end up with some fantastic photos like I have and achieve everything you want to achieve!
A fun 360 Photograph!
I wanted to create something fun to show how a busy mum can work and rest with balance. With the help of a mum’s empowerment coach of course!
Anything else you would like to add?
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