If you are a single entrepreneur then your face is your brand. You might have a company name and a logo, but you do business face-to-face with people, and how you present yourself is crucial. I know this because that’s exactly my situation.

My company is DreamLight Images and I hired a company to have a nice logo designed. Nevertheless, my face is what people see at networking meetings and public events. I’m the Italian portrait photographer.

I wrote about this subject before: companies that don’t show the faces of the peopleĀ on their team feel distant and impersonal. It’s important to have a website where people can see the people forming the company. There is also another reason to be in the foreground with your personal presence. People engage with people. The more you are out there, talking like a real person, the more people are going to respond to that.

I had the great fortune to meet and work with Curt Mercadante, one of the top business coach and keynote speaker in Charleston. Curt is a force of nature. His LinkedIn videos receive hundreds of thousands of views. He is funny, direct, and irreverent. He speaks from experience and has business wisdom that helps people directly.

Personal Brand portraits in action

Curt hired me to create a portfolio of portraits to improve his personal brand. Here are some of the ways he’s using the images that I made for him. The first one is the headshot used in the profile. Notice how confident he looks and how the neutral backdrop fits the page well. All those elements were deliberately designed in the portrait to maximize his impact. He is a teacher and he needs to exude trust and confidence.

Curt Mercadante LinkedIn Profile. Headshot by DreamLight Images, Charleston SC

My Personal Branding package includes unlimited time and four images. More can be purchased separately. Having choices and variety is a great way of creating impact and keeping your message fresh. Here is another example of Curt’s work using a headshot from his session. Having a different pose from the one in the profile picture shows care for details and it keeps the message fresh.

Curt Mercadante - Headshot by DreamLight Images, Charleston SC

My portraits are actually shot horizontally so that I can fill the frame with your face. The space on the sides is perfect add content relevant to your brand. Here is how Curt uses it masterfully:

Curt Mercadante Class. Headshot by DreamLight Images, Charleston SC

Lastly, Curt asked me to create a superhero-themed series of portraits because his style is often to wear superhero t-shirts with a jacket. While we were doing a few variations of him wearing a Batman shirt, I thought that Batman’s weapon of choice is punching the living daylight out of evildoers. So I directed Curt to throw punches toward the camera. This is the result:

Curt Mercadante punching bs. headshot by DreamLight Images, Charleston SC

While the idea of the punch was from me, it became immediately relevant for Curt’s message. That is why you hire a creative professional.

Building a strong personal brand

The examples above are just some of the uses of images in building a brand. People like Curt are successful, among other things, because they understand that it takes the input of several creative minds to build all the elements of a strong brand.

A personal branding photoshoot can have a theme or a series of themes. It’s best done when there is a story to tell. Your photographer can help you create images for that story.


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