Why is a Branding Shoot so Important?
Recently I re-branded and I couldn’t me more excited about my business. My job is to work with brands to make sure they are reaching their fullest potential through professional imagery and video. The ironic thing is that my personal brand was being neglected. I’ve always been so busy working in my business and not on it. 2020 was the year that I had time to reflect and think how I could improve my business so I could reach my fullest potential.
I’ve been in the fashion industry for 25 years doing everything from styling, retail, film, producing, marketing, and consulting. It was time that I consolidated everything that I do under one umbrella and make it easier to relay my message and brand. I launched my blog Charleston Shop Curator 8 years ago and always kept my styling seperate under a different website and social media handles. I was glad that I got my domain name andreaserrano.com many years ago. If your name is available on the internet, buy it asap!
Building my own site was a challenge that I wasn’t sure I was up to, but I love the creative side of everything. I knew this was an opportunity to explore and really customize my site the way I wanted it, plus learning a new skill is always a good thing. Going through all of the photo shoots I’ve worked on over the years also gave me more self-worth. I was always focused on the hustle and never gave myself the time or credit to just absorb everything.
This added self-awareness gave me more insight into what it takes to have a successful brand from inception to execution. It also gets me more excited to work with brands so they can take it to the next level.
So where do you start? Having a clear vision of who you are and what you offer is the first step. Set goals and make lists, put it in your calendar and hold yourself accountable. Whether it’s a creative meeting, a social media calendar, website launch, whatever it is organize your thoughts so you can manifest it.
When you’re a creative like me it’s so important to surround yourself with other creatives that support one another. I’ve been so lucky to work with countless professionals to manifest beautiful work. From photographers, videographers, models, hair and makeup artists, set designers, and prop stylists, it’s so important to work with people that you trust. I’m proud to be a one stop shop for brands that are looking to produce a shoot and need some guidance with conceptualization.
I’m so excited to partner up with Sirena White-Singleton of Aneris Photography. She is a Charleston-based branding photographer and brand strategist who helps creatives tell their brand story confidently and authentically so that they can show up cohesively and consistently connect with their dream clients and maximize their profits. Sirena is focused on helping brands gain clarity all while crafting an irresistible, and authentic brand that attracts “their people”.
Sirena is fantastic when it comes to the energy that she brings to a shoot. Often times she works with people that aren’t comfortable being in front of a camera. Her positive energy and the way she communicates with her subjects makes it easier for people to bring out that confidence.
Teaming up with Sirena to offer my styling services for her personal branding shoots brings all of the elements together. Often times business owners put themselves at the bottom of their priorities. It’s so important to build brand trust and awareness when you are promoting your goods and services. People want to buy from people, not faceless businesses. With digital in the forefront the business owner has to relay their story through imagery. That’s where we come in. Having professional imagery and videos of your business is so crucial.
I love concepting photo shoots and really honing in the vibe of the shoot. Is the look professional? Whimsical? Sporty? Lifestyle? Avant Garde? Maybe you want to incorporate your brand colors like I did. With the right wardrobe and lots of planning any look can be achieved. Once a mood board is established it’s so important to share that with the photographer, hair and makeup artist so everyone is on the same page.
Having a professional hair and makeup artist to get you ready for your shoot is key. If you are already investing in a photographer and stylist you have to invest in a beauty professional to get you glam. I love working with my girl Elina McLaughlin of Bellelina Studio. If I send her a picture of what I’m wearing with minimal direction she always has the vision of what would look best with my outfit.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with both up and coming brands and established brands. One of the established businesses I’ve been working with since the beginning of my blog is Croghan’s Jewel Box. It’s a legacy brand that has been around for over 100 years. That’s right, family owned and family run in the same building where they first opened on King Street in Charleston, SC. They have the most exquisite collection of fine jewelery, estate jewelry, and gifts for those special moments in life.
The ladies behind Croghan’s Jewel Box – Rhett, Mariana, Mini, and Kathleen know the importance of branding and community. Their business has been through everything from the Great Depression, wars, recessions, and now the pandemic. We can all take notes from a business that has thrived through the toughest times in American history.
Putting together a shoot for your personal brand and business can be intimidating but with the plenty of planning and hiring the right creative team, it will surely be a success!
Watch my segment on Lowcountry Live about my re-brand and why it’s so important to connect with your creative team to produce quality imagery for your brand.