A couple weeks ago I had the honor of being a guest on the Saturday Soundbites podcast by Veronica Sopher where she talks all things visibility, strategy, public relations, marketing, advertising, personal branding, and how all those components tie together. In the episode, we discussed brand photography and why it’s important for all entrepreneurs and small businesses. I was so excited to talk about this topic and share my expertise!
Veronica: Hello. Hello, and welcome to Saturday Soundbites. I’m your host, Veronica Sopher. I’m so excited to be here with you today because we talk about all things visibility, strategy, communications, public relations, marketing, advertising, branding, networking; all that good stuff that comes together to really promote your brand and get your name out there because at the end of the day, your brand is your promise, so we want to make sure that when you you are being visible, you are in alignment and completely tied to your strategy so that your messaging is on point. So this is what we like to talk about on Saturday Soundbites.
I’ve got a great guest for you and we’re going to bring her on. But before we do, let’s take care of some housekeeping. If you are listening on the podcast, make sure you hit subscribe. We don’t want to miss any episodes of Saturday Soundbites. And if you’re watching on Facebook or YouTube, drop us some comments and my guest and I will be sure to circle back with you.
So let’s go ahead and get started. I’m going to bring on the amazing Katie Logsdon Krupa joining us – brand photographer. Welcome to Saturday Soundbites!
Katie: Hi, how’s it going?
Veronica: Great! Great! I’m so excited about this conversation because images are so important to your brand and they tell a story just as much as words do, so I’m super excited about our conversation today.
Katie, before we get started, tell us about how you got started into photography because I’m always intrigued by how artists really get drawn to this type of work.
Katie: Yeah, absolutely. So I actually got started in photography back in high school. I was on my school newspaper and I was really blessed to go to a high school that we had an amazing school newspaper program. My advisor took us to conferences and what we call “competitions,” like all over the United States. I got to travel to Washington, D.C., Arizona, California and I was able to win awards for my photography.
And at that time, I was doing a lot of sports photography, a lot of photojournalistic material, a lot of, like, news coverage. I remember one of the things I covered was a hugs, like protest. The students were, like, mad because the teachers were saying that you couldn’t, like, pick each other up and hug each other and stuff in school, students were protesting it. So I covered that. And like I said, my teacher was amazing, and he really just got us into those competitions and into those conferences and I learned so much from all those experiences.
So moving into college, I was also on my college newspaper and I was the photo editor my sophomore year. I continued doing photography, and from there, I kind of was like, okay, how can I continue this after college? So about my junior/senior year, I started doing a lot of portrait photography. I had some students who were like, “hey, I need a LinkedIn profile photo.” I need some stuff or I want to take pictures of my graduation in cap and gown. So I started just kind of dabbling in a little bit of everything. My skating coach was getting married, so I shot her wedding, and from there, I just continued experimenting with different genres of photography.
And then in 2018, I was living in, I live in Canton, Ohio, and I didn’t really know a whole lot of people. And at the time, I had a blog. And so I got involved in some blogger events that were in the Cleveland area. And the entrepreneur and blogger, like, community in Cleveland is huge. There are so many entrepreneurs, and everyone is so creative, and there’s just an amazing community of people. So I got involved in that, and I realized that there was really a big need for brand photography, commercial photography, content creators, that kind of thing. So I started working with other bloggers, helping them with their photos for their blogs, and then kind of started working with other entrepreneurs and doing headshots and brand photos for them. And I fell in love with it.
I also do marketing full-time, so it kind of went hand in hand. I am a huge advocate for needing a marketing strategy and really putting yourself out there, so brand photography seemed to be what really grabbed me and kept me going in photography.
Veronica: Yeah. Now I love that, and I love the evolution of learning photography in high school and then really getting to see that grow in college and then in your professional life. So that’s very exciting.
So give us a little bit of insight for those of us who don’t know much about brand photography. What’s the difference between portraits and brand photography? How would you describe that to someone? What’s the purpose?
Katie: Yeah, so typically what I say is any photographer can take portraits. You have, like, your senior photographers, your wedding photographers, they all do portraits. But what’s different about brand photography is that photographer knows marketing and they are able to really strategize and help you take photos that are actually going to serve your business and show what you do.
So what I typically do with my clients is when you decide to book with me and you’re like, “okay, let’s do this,” I send you a questionnaire. And it is like a long questionnaire. We get really in depth. I want to know what your brand is, what your messaging is, who you’re trying to attract. I mean, we get into the nitty gritty of everything in your brand because I want to make sure that your photo session reflects who you are and what you do as a brand.
So I have, like, a whole worksheet that my clients fill out. We really get into the strategy portion of it, and I think that’s what really makes the difference between portrait photography and brand photography.
Veronica: Gotcha. I love that. And you start talking about questionnaires and what’s the objective? What are you looking for as an artist when you ask those real in depth questions? Because it sounds like it’s pretty detailed. It’s not just like, “hey, what’s your favorite color?” Or things like that.
Katie: Yeah. So, I mean, as we know, branding comes all the way from your visuals, like your logo, your colors. And that’s one of my questions on my questionnaire is what are your brand colors? That way we can incorporate some of those into the staging. Like, if we’re in a studio space where there’s like couches and pillows and all this stuff, I can grab those things that go along with your brand to stage the setting that we’re going to shoot in.
But then it also goes all the way down to who do you want to talk to? Like, who do you want to see this photo and feel connected to it? Who are you speaking to on social media? Who are you speaking to on your website Because sometimes we might have a different personality or different strategy on social media than we do on our website. I always ask, do you have any upcoming blog topics that you want to get photos for? Do you have any upcoming holiday promotions or just really, like, a program coming up that you are going to start promoting? So we get into the nitty gritty of what you’re doing now, where you want to see your business going, what kind of things are you going to be doing your business that you might need imagery for?
Veronica: Yeah, that’s so strategic. And do you work with a marketing team or if someone already has a marketing department or how do you incorporate that? Because visuals are just. One part, and then there’s a copywriter, and then there’s usually a strategist or someone who’s putting all the pieces together. How do you prefer to work with a group coming in for the first time?
Katie: Yeah, so typically, my clients tend to be solopreneur, so they’re a one person team. It could be a small team, small, small businesses. But usually they have either worked with somebody in the past and whether that be like a brand strategist or a brand designer, a web designer, typically, all of my clients are at that point. They worked with all of those people, or they’re currently working with those people, and they say, “hey, I need a brand shoot to finalize this rebrand project that I’m doing.”
So typically, for example, I worked with another photographer last spring, and she was working with a copywriter, working with a brand designer, working with a web designer. And all of us came together and were able to figure out what exactly she needed for her website. So it was really awesome to work together as a team. And I always tell my clients, hey, if you haven’t done all those things, but, you know, like, say they’re doing a web redesign and they know they need these photos, but they’re struggling a little bit on the strategy part. I really like to help them out if I can, but I always encourage them, like, “hey, here’s who you can talk to if you really need to get in deeper with this.” Or like, I’m not a logo designer. Here’s who you can go to for logo design if you need to figure that out too.
So it’s always great when you have those things going, and we can all work together as a team, as solo entrepreneurs. But if you don’t have those things, I’m always able to recommend or give my expertise and advice on that moving forward if it’s something you need.
Veronica: Yeah, and it’s great. It’s always good to have additional collaborators when you’re working on a project, so I think that’s great. So, Katie. When people are thinking about brand photography for themselves, you mentioned a couple of things about thinking ahead blogs, potential new releases, that kind of stuff. What do you see are some of the I don’t know, I wouldn’t say fundamental, but what are some of the rookie mistakes that people make when it comes to brand photography? What are some things and you see it and you’re like, no, don’t do that, that’s wrong.
Katie: Yeah. So one thing is not being prepared. And like I said, I do a strategy call, I do a planning call with all of my clients to make sure they are prepared for their shoots. But occasionally I get that client that they don’t fill out their forms. So then we get to the planning meeting and we’re like, “okay, what is going on?” Things are all over the place. It’s not very organized, so I do my best to try to organize them, but I really recommend planning at least six weeks to a month ahead of time just so that you’re not thrown in the week of your brand shoot and you’re like, oh my gosh, I don’t know what I’m doing.
But then that also goes to finding a brand photographer that is keeping you on track. And planning with you I think is really important. Another thing is people who don’t necessarily have a shot list. And this kind of goes with planning, but we’ll create a shot list and people either don’t put that many things on it and so we get to the shoot and we’re like, okay, there’s like three things that you need. Like what else can we do to fill in our time? Because we have either 90 minutes, 3 hours, whatever they scheduled, or they have so much stuff that they are overwhelmed and they’re they’re going all over the place. They’re trying to do one thing on the list, but then they skip to this and there’s no organization there. So my biggest tip is getting organized and having a plan ahead of time and sticking to that plan during the shoot.
Veronica: Yeah, I think that’s great. So what do you say to your clients who are like, I need some branding, I know I need to do some new photos, but I need to lose some weight first? How do you help coach? Because all of us, whether you’re a CEO, solopreneur, mid level manager, realtor doctor, you name it, we’ve all got some imposter syndrome sometimes. And some of us are struggling with some COVID weight and things like that. How do you, as a photographer, coach people who say they’re just not ready because their body is not where they want it to be?
Katie: Yeah. So this is absolutely something I struggle with myself as an entrepreneur. I’m actually having my own brand shoot next month, and I kind of went back and forth that I was like, oh, am I really ready for this We have the holiday weight. I want to shed a little bit, feel my best self before the shoot. And I kind of went back to what I tell my own clients and just saying, we want you to show up as yourself. That is the ultimate goal, is showing up as yourself and being your most authentic self, because that’s what’s going to attract your clients or customers. They want to see your face. They want to see what you really look like. And if you are either putting off that shoot because you don’t feel comfortable or you’re having a shoot and then you’re going in and like, facetuning your photos or something that doesn’t necessarily represent your most authentic self.
I always tell people – It’s hard to tell people to be confident because I know myself, like, when people say stuff to me and they’re like, “hey, just be confident, like, you got this.” It doesn’t always work. So I just do my best to say, “you are beautiful the way you’re are. You so talented. You do really amazing things. Let’s show the world what you do.” And that typically helps get them in the right space, because I really truly believe everyone is a leader and they have the right to be in the space that they’re in. And they should be able to show up confidently.
Veronica: Yeah, agreed. That’s fantastic. Katie, do you have any other tips for someone who’s looking into branding photos? What should they be looking for in a photographer?
Katie: So some of the things they should be looking for in a photographer are specialty. Find a person who specializes in brand photography, commercial photography. They work with businesses they know know what they’re doing ss far as that goes, like I said earlier, you can hire a portrait photographer, a wedding photographer, but you might not get the entire brand experience if you do. Granted, they are very talented photographers, but they might just kind of do the same thing over and over with every client. And a lot of the times I always see people who are just sitting at their desk with their computer and I’m like, okay, but what else do you do? Let’s show them everything else that you do. So I think that’s really important to find somebody who specializes in that specific genre of photography.
Also looking at their portfolio, making sure that their photos and their editing style aligns with your brand and kind of the vibe you’re going for. I see a lot of times where people hire photographers and then they go and put a filter on the photo before posting on Instagram. Which I know for myself, I have it in my contract that you can’t put filters on your photos because I specifically edit my photos to stand out, and I edit very true to color and very vibrant. So if that’s the style you want, then I’m the great photographer for you. There’s of other photographers you might edit more warm or cool. So you want to find the photographer that edits the way you want them to.
And then, oh, gosh, let me think of one more. I had one more and then lost my train of thought, but I would say, oh, somebody you vibe with, just personality wise, like you to be able to vibe with them a lot of the times. Like, if you find somebody that you just can’t really keep a conversation going with, if you guys don’t, like, you just aren’t on the same wavelength, then your photo shoots probably not going to be that fun. So find somebody who you have a great connection with and is going to make your photoshoot a blast.
Veronica: I love it. Those are really great tips for you, Katie. How can people connect with you?
Katie: Yeah, so my website is katielogsdoncreative.com. You can find me there on my website. You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook. It’s @katielogsdoncreative. And my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. So streamlined. Everything is katielogsdoncreative.
Veronica: That’s awesome. That’s a great way of doing it. And we will make sure that all those links are in the show notes, so if anyone is listening, they can just go to the show notes and click the link right there.
So, Katie, you have been such a great resource. I took several notes. If I looked down, it was because. I was trying to write very subtly so that you did. But those are all really great tips. And I really appreciate it and I know our audience is just going to love your content.
Katie: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for having me on. I’m glad I could be here and share this really important information with everyone.
Veronica: Absolutely. All right. Thank you so much, guys. That was Katie. Make sure you connect with her. All of her content information is going to be in the show notes. If you are watching on Facebook or YouTube, drop with some comments. If you have any questions for Katie, specifically, she can connect with you and answer those.
So we’re gonna go ahead and wrap up this episode, reminding you to always hit subscribe when you are downloading the podcast, and again, drop some comments down on Facebook or YouTube so that we can circle back.
As always, you can find me at veronicavsopher.com, and I look forward to connecting with you. So we will wrap up this episode by sending you lots of positive energy and light.
About Katie Logsdon Creative
Katie Logsdon Creative is a brand photographer based in Northeast Ohio, serving Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and beyond. Katie capture’s vibrant, professional images for service-based entrepreneurs and small business owners so they can show up confidently as an expert and the face of their brand. For more information, contact Katie or chat with Katie on Facebook or Instagram!