November 18, 2023
Have you heard the old saying, “the cobbler’s kids have no shoes”? Well, as a photographer, I found myself in a similarly ironic situation when it came to personal branding photography. While I was more than adept at capturing the essence of others, when it came to photographing myself, the experience was quite different.
One might think a photographer would have an extensive portfolio of self-images. And to some extent, that’s true. Early in my career, I dabbled with self-portraits, mainly for fun and experimentation. But as the stakes rose and the need for professional branding images became imperative, my self-portrait sessions turned into exhaustive endeavors.
Imagine trying to capture your best angles, expressions, and overall essence without being able to see yourself. The stress of getting it right, coupled with the limitations of not being my subject, was overwhelming. I spent hours positioning my body, hoping it looked right, adjusting facial expressions, and praying they didn’t look forced or awkward. Needless to say, the results were far from satisfactory.
After one particularly trying session, I had an epiphany: Why was I stressing myself out like this? Why not simply hire a professional? That decision changed everything. I reached out to a fellow photographer, and the difference in the experience was night and day. With her guidance and expertise, I could relax. Instead of trying to juggle the roles of both subject and photographer, I just had to be myself. The resulting images were stunning—both authentic and professional.
Interestingly, this experience revealed another critical insight: the importance of branding photos. Before I had these new photos, I was hesitant to grab opportunities, like guesting on podcasts, because I was embarrassed by the quality of my old self-portraits. But with a new set of professional images, doors started to open.
This realization is not just relevant for photographers but for any professional: the quality of your branding photos matters. They can either propel you forward or, as I learned the hard way, hold you back.
To every entrepreneur, especially women, out there: Think about your current headshot or branding images. Do they truly represent you and your brand? Are they potentially holding you back from seizing opportunities? Investing in a quality set of branding photos isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about creating opportunities and setting the right first impression.
My journey with personal branding photography was one of discovery and growth. As a photographer, while I may know the technicalities of capturing a subject, when that subject is myself, the dynamics change. The lesson learned? Sometimes, even the cobbler needs to buy a pair of shoes. And in my case, even a photographer needs someone else behind the lens.
Ready to book an appointment? Contact me to learn more.
Based in New Jersey, Angela Acosta specializes in personal branding photography for women business owners and professionals in the New York area. She expertly channels brand narratives through tailored images, offering insights on wardrobe and styling to ensure authenticity. With a deep commitment to capturing the essence of each client, Angela transforms branding with impactful photographs that resonate and inspire.