Finding Your Brand


Senior Photography: Break the Mold


Lesson Info

Finding Your Brand

Brand is what people associate with your name when they're not even looking you know, like when they when they looked when they hear your name, they can automatically associate what it looks like they've got it this is what it looks like that's what your brand is in a lot of people give off kind of wild ideas of what your brand actually is gonna teach a little how I found my brand what how did I develop into what I am now? How did I find my style? You know, how how did I know that I would love shooting this type of work? I mean, it doesn't just happen you don't just walk out and say, you know what? I'm gonna go to the junk to the junk yard today and take senior photos no, you have to you have to do several different things several different things to figure out where you want to go just like in life, you know we're not we don't we're not raised and born to know in the third grade you don't say I'm going to go toe my tea, I'm going to do this most of thomas I'm going to be a doctor, a l...

awyer or a fireman, but none of those who only ever happened for us so how you find your brand very, very simple shoot a lot of different things and when I say shoot children, I don't mean it that way obviously I mean photograph children, photograph families, photograph wedding, try a little bit of everything and one she reached that point where you you say you know what? If I have another child coming here, I'm goingto just don't don't do it just don't shoot families don't photograph children if you don't like it don't do it because I'm telling you if you like with me, I love babies if I'm not a baby person it's going to show in the first five minutes during my session if I don't like working with high school seniors like little prima donna attitude girls and all that every once in a while then I do not need to do it put yourself in an environment like I told you before that you love that you enjoy so don't put that stuff on your website, all right, but what you want to do from there ask a bunch of your friends did like ten images printed off some of your favorite work that you've ever done laid all out on the table, bring them over to the house one night have a couple of tall uh, bottled waters all right and ask your friends say, look, give me give me like five or six keywords that when you see this image right here like in a psychiatrist office whenever you go in there like they showed this picture. There's bunch of scribble on the guy was like, that's a rabbit in the woods. No, it's not. But give it to your friends. They look, I'm gonna show you this image here, and I want a couple of key words that come to mind when you see it. What is that? What do you say was it looked like and they'll say, it's beautiful it's, organic it's. It sucks. It is. Whatever. And take those little key words together. Write them all down, all ten of your friends, and then that's how you'll come out with your print. These were some of the ones that some of my friends gave me. So my brand became eclectic elegance. That's just what I rode with. And I went with it because that's what my friends said, I wass there's no denying who you are if I give you a piece of paper and told you this is a really dumb analogy. I don't know why I just thought of this. This is really stupid. But I gave you a piece of paper and said draw a picture of a horse. He would draw a picture of a horse your best rendition of the horse and I would take your horses put him out of here and I could see you in two years from now and no matter how much you've tried to improve on your horse drawing I would say drum another horse and I guarantee you that I could pick out and match all right this is the one you did before this one it looks very similar to the one you did before no matter how much you try to change it because this is who you are so you have to stick with who you are you have to adhere to your brand and your marketing materials can't create brand identity crisis you can't have a certain marketing material that looks this way like if you are this type of person like hello my name is jean and then you can't have marking materialise like dan doesn't work you're sending like whoa, wait a minute you're sending the wrong message everything has to adhere to your brand so like everything like even the way I photograph newborns the way I photograph children, families, children outside it's never just super clean and pure I photograph are the way that I know how it's the only way that I know how no matter how much I aspire to be completely different than what my true self allows me to be never gonna happen you know I'm always gonna revert back to that same person somebody talk about marketing materials one of the things that really helped me get a good start was through good marketing materials. We'll show you some bad examples of some marketing materials. All right, take a look at this it's a great picture actually photographed that out in ah in california somewhere I don't even know where san diego san diego california beautiful image beautiful girl lighting was great loved it but I put it with this and that this does nothing for my brand for some of you that may be the perfect type of brain ng that you need is perfect so let's look at the contrast it goes from this which is all that's sweet and bubbly and pure and crisp and then it goes toe yeah, like this is mohr of my brand so let's go backwards sweet bubbly yeah, like that is I take the same image it's clean but then I put it with my brand and all the sudden instead of this right here instead of me being like yeah, well, I got some marketing stuff printed up but it it's not really for the best but just take one of these instead I'm like, oh, you wanna weigh in here, take this one and then I'm gonna give you to mortgage the see friend all of a sudden I'm really excited because that's where I am right another example boring this is my brand it matches and it rolls on through so everything has a place everything has a purpose so again this first little deal here man thank you guys so much for allowing me to open up to you I feel like we've we've kick down a wall we're ready now we're ready so let's let's see, I'd love to see what the internet is saying as well and to if you guys have some questions feel free at any time to ask those and we'll give up so we'll give you a second here in a few minutes to stretch a little bit and lorenzo, you need to do something with your hair man so four more like they're our kids I'm getting clear people love you right now they are really identifying with where you came from, how you're building yourself up and how you just like keep going forward with who your true self is and a lot of great questions air coming in everything from business they want to know about those templates you might want to give a shout out about those templates soon and uh also like what you were saying about, you know, other people that are shooting in the same style or, you know other great photographers that you that are in your own community and a question specifically from at cat t tense girlie photography said it you said you were in a small town and there's other shooters there, how would you do it differently in a large city where there are photographers on every corner and many of them doing it right, right? Cat, I would just say that it goes back to what I was saying earlier, you're not gonna be able to control every environment that you're ever end, but you have to just dig deep within yourself and you have to pick a brand, you have to pick a plan, you have to pick a call to action if you will have to do your homework and say, all right, I've got all my arsenal laid out here, this is how I'm gonna do it, and that's there's really no easy way to say, I'm going to do it this way, and then if I do this, this will work and the work you have to stay true to yourself, you have to find yourself and you have to say, this is the plan I'm going to go with, and when I go with this plan and I lay this plan out, those people that love what I'm doing are going to come to me, those people that do not love what I'm doing. We're going to go to somewhere else, so you have to have a lot of faith and you have to just get the poor what you know out, and you have to be ready to live with it. You have another question any anywhere? Yeah, question from pro photographer who asked, how do you respond to potential clients who seemed to be shopping solely by price? Yeah, silly about price that's a good question when someone calls if they say, uh, yeah, I was wonder how much is anybody? Ten we have a whole educational process that we go through on the phone and we lay everything out on the table from start to finish, I educate them on what goes into creating what I do instead of giving them a price, I try and build it so that it's an educational process, I educate them for three or four, five minutes on the phone and understanding that we don't just shoot an image and it just happens. So those clients that are on ly shopping for price if after that three or four minute pitch, it means pouring myself to them if they're still solely on ly interested in price, I'll give him the price, and I probably won't hear from them again, but you have to sometimes be able to fire a potential client before they hire you even so it's not going to make a pleasant environment if you're working with people that are solely own price, so don't be afraid to say no before they say yes, that was a follow up question kind of that I had next, which was how do you respond to a potential client that you believe is not a good fit for you? You want to show you or tell you so first, who wants to be the client? Wow, the watching booth waiting, she responded that you can't say I'm sorry this you're just not my right client, you can't do that because in you're the jerk, but you can come up with clever ways of, you know of getting around and saying, I just don't have anything available right now. I've got a trip coming up, you can tell a little bit of a if you have to I've done it with weddings, I've had weddings that call and say, yeah, my husband's an attorney and we're getting married, but I don't really like a lot of this stuff's in your contract, so we're gonna have to change some of that. So make up something if you have to get out of that situation because if you have that in your mind, it will be that when you're doing it, trust me, trust me any other wait about lorenzo there's a. You said that he had a program of some that you would scan your receipts with. What was it called neat desk in a neat desk. And also I wanted to tell everyone to, like, I've got all this stuff available. We've got a, uh, actually a whole workflow content that I don't know if you go to our store of blair phillips workshops. Dot com. I just decided as of a couple of days ago, I was like, you know what? If we're gonna do this, why don't we just make everything on there just fifty percent off and just give everybody what ever they want? Fifty percent of what I do for you guys? I will scan all this stuff for you are actually the powers that be will on. We'll make sure they get it to you. Yeah, absolutely. Lacey is not in her head. She hears you. It will happen by match ace in the hole.

Class Description

Are you ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join award-winning photographer Blair Phillips for an introduction to everything you need to know about taking portraits for high school seniors.

In this three-day course, you’ll learn about how to market yourself to the high school audience, no matter where you live or who you know. Blair will discuss his signature techniques for effortless, versatile posing. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about both off-camera and natural lighting, including how to create foolproof lighting setups, even if you’re working without an assistant. Blair will also cover strategies for creating a productive workflow and working confidently in a wide variety of settings.

By the end of this course, you’ll have be equipped with the core marketing techniques and one-of-a-kind photography skills needed to connect with high school seniors, give them results they’ll love, and grow your business.


a Creativelive Student

Blair is great. This class is packed full of great info and is a genuine good hearted person.. Really like his approach with high school seniors. I recommend it.


Loved watching Blair Phillips. He has so much energy and is very entertaining to watch. He was extremely well prepared and did a fantastic job.