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Visual Branding Tips for Websites & Blogs


Senior Portraits: Create the Ultimate Experience


Lesson Info

Visual Branding Tips for Websites & Blogs

Website tips grab a teen's attention with your beautiful images that the first thing they're going to see they don't see it they're moving on teenagers have very short attention spans so you gotta grab him either by your website or by your great word of mouth or however they're hearing about you you got to grab him and beautiful imagery is the way to do it with them they want to see something that attracts their aesthetic clean, crisp design why did why did tina's your love things like apple you go on an apple store is full of teenagers and apple stores air clean white chris right? And that attracts them so don't overwhelm them with a whole lot of stuff you know if your colorful use it in the strategic ways so it's not like you know I mean like florist uh think about that include important info this is a must must must I can't tell you how many people I go their websites to check like maybe they've submitted something or whatever and like they only have a contact for drives me insane. ...

I want to see the email address because maybe I want to email them specifically maybe your senior wants to email you and doesn't want to use your contact for things like that these air simple things that have on your website that you need to have important information contact info how to book and about you so they can find out if you know if they connect with you your portfolio and then you may or may not choose pricing pricing is it's kind of you know your own personal preference I do not have a pricing all mind but it says you know stuff like if you want to know more about pricing contact me and this that and the other so it's you know a way to find out about pricing eso those important things on your website are must because the teenagers like they have a short attention span they want to know what they want to know fast quick done um and display your portfolio with your best images that show off your style if you're new and you're still portfolio building you know put five images on there but make sure those five images really showcase who you are don't feel like you gotta put ten but five of them are really you have five of them are just okay wait do you have a ton of good stuff to put out there and build your port a failure portfolio on your website with those good images that on ly speak to your style and only speak to what it is you're trying to you know your client again don't throw a newborn in there you don't want to shoot newborns because the minute you do they're going to call you for that you can actually ask you a question about that, leslie a lot of people are asking a lot of votes on these questions about when you have different genres so from after dark how do you handle the branding when you shoot clearly different genres I shoot boudoir shoot weddings I shoot families and I shoot here's right? My thing is to make sure all of those air separate, okay? So when I still before I have the website that I have now I had to a page that came up and it had seniors and it had portrait so therefore seniors could click on two years and then never had to see all this other stuff that I did and then anybody else could click on portrait's and see that stuff. So I think it's important to make a very clear distinction because again, seniors don't really want to see all that other stuff for them and johnny there's an exception to every rule but for the majority they want to see what you do. So if you do a bunch of other genres have it set up to where they seniors can get strictly to the senior section and see what it is you do, I know that like show it has plus site so then you can have like a main website and then a plus site and I'm not super familiar with it but I know what you know but your plus site could just be about seniors and then they would go there and never really see the rest if you're shooting boudoir you really probably don't want your seniors looking at that I don't like that's just me personally I want you know in eighteen seventeen your old girl not necessarily mean not that you're showing a lot of stuff I don't know but I would keep those separate I would keep newborn separate because high school girls are hopefully thinking about babies so yeah that's the way around it is just make sure you try to set it up we're separate maybe you could have a home page that comes up that has a square for every genre and then they simply click on that and go to that page and then if they wanted to see the rest of it they would click on the rest of it that's what I would do definitely have separate portfolios that for sure do not have a bunch of different stuff all in one portfolio because it just going to get confusing and they're going to weed through things they don't necessarily want to see that would be my suggestion great and just a further question on that from j v p with all eight votes awesome I love the way I love to shoot seniors but I do weddings of families as well do you think that that watermark in the logo should actually also be varied for the different avenues or would you? Well, that's definitely a debate really on dh again when I was doing a little bit of everything I was using that childish logo for my seniors, frankly, because I wasn't ready to rebrand I couldn't afford to rebrand andi didn't quite know why would I want it? So I used the same logo if you are going to continue, my thing was I knew I wasn't going to continue to do everything, so I knew I could come up with one new logo that, you know worked for seniors. However, my new logo could very much work for other genres because it is just it's actually an elena k together as like the this part of the k goes into this part of the ill so it looks just like ok, but it's an el k so it would go with anything, so my view of that is to stay consistent. I definitely think there people of different opinion to where yes, you would have a different logo or maybe you would be, you know, leslie kerrigan seniors as opposed to leslie kerrigan photography and it would be consistent but a little bit different do you know, I mean, like I think that would be a better way to go than a bunch of different logos I personally I don't want to keep up that many I don't wantto have that many different things I don't want people and here's the other thing families might refer seniors, so if you you know are being referred by word of mouth or something like that, you see a certain logo, you see a certain whatever and then you're trying to find the senior section is totally different they're going to wonder if this is same person you know, that kind thing so my thing would be is to maybe either try to have a logo that could attract all of these different genres or vary it just a touch toe where it still you're recognizable as the same person, so maybe you would have lovely carrigan photography versus lovely carrigan seniors and maybe the leslie carrington is the same, but this senior part of the logo is different things like that so that that would be my answer too. Thank you. Yeah, no problem. Okay. Still website tip so we talked about that let's move on to block tips okay, so I get this question all the time blogging isn't necessary. Most people hate it. I blogged everyday I kind of hate it sometimes myself with neurology I have teo and I will be honest with you I do a much better job blogging for sea neurology than I do for leslie kerrigan photography unfortunately it's just the nature of the beast I don't have anybody helping me so I don't you know like hearing photography sometimes gets the shove aside because neurology is you know, takes up a little bit more time but blogging is important because it showcases your personality I think your website you know, people can come and look and it's all beautiful or whatever but do they get a sense of who you are? Maybe not so much because they're not hearing your voice like they would by reading a block post that's your voice that you and I get all the time people say well, I don't know how to write or I'm not a good writer on my gosh don't worry about it just right away who you are you have your own voice it may not be pulitzer prize winning writing, but neither is mine and I went to school for journalism undergoes your money not like I write how I talk and that's my writing style and that shows off my personality. So whether it's technically correct I mean it's been years since I was in journalism school, I'm pressure I've forgotten everything that that I learned but it still shows my personality and it is a great way to educate your clients earlier we were talking about how do you get clients to book in the fall? Maybe do a block post that talks about fall fashion and how great that is in a senior fed a session, maybe you do a block post about why here makeup is important because maybe you're trying to educate your clients, you know, maybe you're somebody that's just started out and get a lot of clients were like, you know, I don't really want the hair and make up. We'll do a block post and tell him why it's important show the difference. You know, blogging is an educational tool that helps do a block post on the difference between your photos in the yearbook photo. I've done that, in fact, that chart that I showed you guys earlier that had the differences, the columns that's in my welcome god that I send out so people see, this is why she's different right off the bat, I lay it out there for him, blogging can do that for them. Visually, your broad needs to fit in line with your website, your other visual aspects of your your brand. It needs to be consistent with we've talked about that stick with your riding style like I mentioned you need to be you. You don't need to try to be funny if you're not naturally funny. Teenagers will see right through that you don't need to be cool and hip or try to be like what you think they think is cool and hip, you just need to be and that will attract him. But it's, like I say, it's going to show more of your personality, then even your website and all that stuff did, and that stuff is great and it does showcase your brain and it does showcase you, but your voice can only come through when you're writing or when you're on social media and things like that so determined how often you will block this is a big thing. So instead of just blogging on the fly every now and then, it's much easier if you say, okay, you know what? I'm just starting out. I'm a blob once a week and I'm a blob on monday and that's it okay, then that starts to grow. Well, then maybe you're going to start doing three days a week, monday, wednesday, friday I think doing three days a week is a great way and just do always monday, wednesday, friday don't worry about it on the weekend thinking of specific things. That you're going to block on monday or that you're going to block on a friday fashion friday. What to wear wednesday? Those will help you be consistent with your blogging because you don't always have to think of something completely new to write about and then obviously showcasing photo shoots, you know, sneak peeks khun b a blogger on its own it is but one picture of you know, amy's photo session, check it out, we'll have maura come, and then your next block session could be amy's full session or not the full session. You don't put too many pictures on there, but you know more than just the one stretching out over several block post. That way, your brain does not have to constantly think of something new to block about that is key, so any time I can do three block post off one person, I am golden because that's three block post think about so maybe you do a block post with a sneak peek of amy's photo session, maybe do a block post on what amy war on her session for a fashion friday feature amy is that I'm just throwing out amy comes eso you feature what somebody wore in her session. You talk about why it was great and then she's excited because you have given her this compliment that she did such a great job with her wardrobe, and then all her friends are going to come to your block and see it. So, did you have a question? An idea, I think is on that that seo creative life that was last night remember his name, but he was saying, like, you could learn chan yeah, that was amazing. And he was just talking about how you could use your previous photos for a block post. Like, maybe for seniors, you could dio like an article about accessorizing or something and use your old photos from different ships. They're like re featuring your word, and you show what they can, you know, their friends exactly her along today, that so often, and it was start the trend of all these clients of yours wanting to be on your block. So that's important? Yeah, I mean, anything you can stretch out and use is a key, because I think what trips people up a lot of times is trying to come up with new content, but I do the same thing every week do a fashion friday every single week goto polyvore dot com and create an inspiration board and block it and talk about why these outfits that you picked out are great first in your photo session springtime fall you know everything home come in, you know, talk about what they can wearing homecoming and talk about how they can wear their home coming out in a photo shoot because it was will be great all of these things, you know, there's so many topics with girls on dh, then you know, every now and then you can throw in a personal block post, why not? They want to get a glimpse into who you are I think I mean, I think mine do. So what to wear wednesday? I talk about what I wore and they love it so anything like that that you can do to really showcase your personality also going to say if you're working with the boutique, have them featured on you're on your on your block as well as of what to wear and, you know, it works well for both you're on their side and we just did I just didn't want a couple weeks ago because all my girls are going to clinton, north carolina, which are the two schools boo clint yeah, here anyway, but they're all going to school so fabric, which is the boutique that I work with just tick give me a picture of a carolina outfit in close an outfit so we got our orange and purple and we got a garnet and black and I put him on the block and I was like and it was more for seniors that I've already graduated because I'm continuing that relationship because they can until younger classmates or there you see siblings or whatever so it doesn't always have to be attracted to that year seniors so like I say I did a fashion post that was all about what are you going to wear to your first college game because we dress up in south carolina we don't wear sweatshirts till game we wear this way talked about that and we you know like I say and all they did was text me a picture it was not some I didn't even have to go in there and take it now granted if you have the time and you want to go take her great fabulous photo do it but for the purposes of what I was doing then texting it it was on a mannequin on dh they just took it with her phone and I you know said okay girls here's what I would suggest for your first game so excited I know you are because football is huge in south carolina or in the south in general and these are some great options and so my passengers that are going to college are still looking at monologue which is also so think about ways like that back to school fashions that you can showcase you know, home come in football games for high schoolers it doesn't always have to be about pacific's in your session to attract that client again I said earlier it doesn't have to be over the head marketing you could be more subtle and continue in that relationship uh what I wear I mean they probably won't wear it that they do think it's cool to see and there are always commenting on it so it builds that relationship it continues that relationship girls are photographed four years ago are still looking and texting me and you know it it's all about that so block can really help you communicate in different way on really educate your clients to stretch out and then the calendar that's the last thing about this is a calendar in my office I have white boards that I I made a calendar with the dry erase marker and our write down what I'm going to post about so I know I don't think about it you know this week I'm going to post about fashion next week I'm gonna post the senior session this week I'm going to do whatever have a calendar so you can you don't stress about it it makes it easier and then also was a great ideas on the sunday maybe when you aren't busy or saturday afternoon or something blogged for a week block for a month if you want teo and then you don't worry about it again I do that a lot with neurology because I am blocking every day and if I have to get up every morning and go do that then monday is shot pretty much you know so sometimes I'll sit there and I'll block a week at a time or two weeks at a time or whatever but that will keep you consistent with blogging and that is another key with blogging is if he only block every now and then you're not really going to get the viewers that you will if you if your client's start to see well yeah, she blog's every monday wednesday and friday log your senior ribs uh who they are with the free food you know what's the favorite music asking these questions and just showcase now seo today you're going to meet caitlyn caitlin loves this that the other and she's my baby sitter and she's just at the other and you'll check her out you know use that questionnaire which we will talk about it a little bit teo put that information in a block post about your singer that's key because people I mean they want to know about them we can't be anything too personal obviously but you know what there? What are they with their favorite food is not personal but it's fun and it's fun little tidbit about this person and people are starting to get to know this person as well as you, so blogging is key and I think it is important we're goingto ask the team panel if they read blog's because I think that is an important question because I really I'm not I don't know I know that I get comments from my seniors but I don't know do they read the majority of teenagers re block there's a whole lot of teenage fashion bloggers out there so that's something that you can also look teo for and maybe connect was one of them and have one of them block on your block things like that maybe one of your teenagers or your client's is really in the fashion and will do a guest blogged for you about what she thinks is great to wear that's awesome but we will talk to the team panel and find out their viv maybe their parents are the ones check it out the bog that's fine that's totally fine you still need it because it helps like I say uh it makes you seem professional number one along with the website but also it shows your personality so maybe the moms are coming to see okay is this person in total wack job er she like normal or whatever you know I'm a s o that's important but we have a number of votes for michelle cursi photography's question based upon what you were just talking about do you market to the senior or to their parents or both and there was also question about are you creating that logo and that brand look for the who were you created for the doing for the parents will totally and again I think it goes back to researching your market a little bit because in my market the parents are involved for sure the moms are calling me sometimes the seniors or calling me but a lot of times it's the moms so I am trying to find that line between attracting the senior and the mom but maybe in other areas the seniors are super independent and they're the ones you know and if you know that about your market then you know howto how to attract that with me it is it is both I am having to constantly right post or pick a logo or our show of product that attracts both the senior and the mom or I have to separate products that the mom goes for and the senior goes for and they babos so I know that I have to involve the mostly the mom is very rarely the dad in my case but it could be in your case again knowing your market is really going to help you determine that but for me it's a combination of both I I have to pick a logo that looks you know that attracts both and I think mine does because it is clean and the logo part of my brain ing is very clean and simple all I can adding color and player and this that and the other with other aspects which may be more attracted to the senior but that clean logo that it's really a monogram and I'm from the south and monograms are huge so I know and even the teenagers have monogram shoes monogram stickers on their car oh it's huge it's huge I mean flip flip flops have the monogram right here they have oh yeah seriously on the pacific northwest I know but you gotta know you got to know your mom you got to know your market they have stickers on the back of their car I swear almost every girl in the south has a sticker on the back of the car that has their initials so my logo is somewhat of a monogram it's a modern version of the monogram it's not curly q whatever but it attracts and then my mom still wears monogram stuff so hey, mom uh she doesn't know I'm on here but she still wears monograms dub so you know like you gotta try some minor trucks both because of that reason so it's a great question but I think the answer to that lies in that particular persons market and knowing that I have to try both you learn something new every day here on a grant that roger she's you'll go home and look up jack roger shoes I don't do a thing your photo session where the girl doesn't bring jack roger she's, jack rogers and every single girl where's. Jack rogers. So wherever jack is he doing? Thank you. Good job marketing to those girls. Women tell you. Alright, cool. Can we take a few more questions? Yeah, fantastic. Any over here? All right, let's, go back to the internets. Okay, this is another one about branding and names. So sasha says, how do you feel about branding with your actual name? I personally chosen name that represent represents me and who I am. But it isn't my first name and last name, right? There's so much debate about this, but I feel like my clients fine. We just fine and also identify with the name that I've chosen and I'm not sure what sasha's business name is, but it is a fashion with blue is blue I don't know you hey, let us now sasha and rooms yeah, I mean, if that's what it is, I mean, there could be other stashes out there about you know her I think again, it goes with what speaks to you and who you are me I didn't really connect with any other name than myself, you know? I mean like I couldn't write quite figure out a name that really spoke to who I am I know your ears is your daughter right? And that speaks to you you are so I think that great to use there is a huge debate on whether you should use your name or whatever I do think it tends to be a tiny but easier to find somebody's name definitely uh but that doesn't mean you can't market you're yourself as you know well, jenny has pink al photography everybody knows her is pink al photography but now she probably has done a lot of work making sure that name gets out there and they know her by that name. So whatever you choose, I think you just got it really get it out there that that's who you are and I do think it needs to mean something to you personally and kind of think it needs to have some sort of story because you're inevitably going to get asked, well, why is it pink outfit harvey? You know to me, why is it my promise? Ian in dallas pink fly, why is it pink fly? I know why she told me and I'm sure her seniors know why you know me and they know her is that does it take maybe a tiny bit more work to get that out there prop probably because I mean people know my name so that's a little bit easier to find me but as long as you have a name that means something to you and speaks to your brand you don't have to have it be your personal name that's in my opinion granted I am not a branding guru I know what work for me andi no what has worked for me and you know I know what's good about draining when it comes to senior photography but I'm sure there's some you know branding expert out there that might have a different opinion but I personally feel like as long as you have a reason why it's a certain name and you can speak to that and it tells who you are that's what's important so hopefully that answers that question if it is sasha I mean yeah her personality fits with that that brand name it is blue lips you nailed it hi sasha thanks for joining us another thing that we sometimes talk about is also thinking about like senior ology is not your name eventually if there were other people that were involved in it it's yes it could be done so you are trying to build something that is you want to sell or what have you done you got to think about that as well yeah totally yeah, exactly so this is an interesting one we've talked to this whole segment about finding that ideal client have you experienced having people come to you who are completely not your ideal client and sequence asks do you ever did not clients if you do not feel that they fit your ideal client mold and if so, what do you do? How do you tell him that yeah, I mean I've definitely had I mean when you're in the beginning you take anybody and everybody so that means you're going to get people that don't mesh well you're going to get people that maybe don't want to spend the money you're going to get people that you know don't really fit your your style or whatever on beginning I think you know that happens because you are trying to get out there and you are trying to get clients sometimes maybe you take clients that are perfect for you, but eventually you start to grow you start to educate you start to do all these things that will start to maura tracked your ideal client now I have I had people for instance come to me and maybe I didn't educate them on the front end about cost and so they got there, they got the session, I went through the whole thing and then they're like, oh, well, we can't afford you so then about anything that's the worst so educate them beforehand I would rather put everything out there and have somebody say no then me go through the process and then they say no, you know, in a vein like I would rather get it all out there so when it comes to pricing may I tell him everything they wanted it this is how much it calls these these air, the collections, these air this that the other that way they can they're not wasting my time I'm not wasting their time they can't afford it they don't call me right now I'm not so much and senior photography but have been another you know john ross and then even before that I actually used to design invitations at an invitation company in those businesses I sometimes realized that the money is not always worth it um you know, like they're those clients that you know, they just you have to bend over backwards for you have they keep warning and wanting and wanting and wanting and you're like at some point I have to they know I have done that where I'm just like, you know what? It's probably not to get it and that's okay to say because in the end was her, you know, two hundred dollars session fear, whatever it is really worth all the all the trouble and is she really going to even be happy you know, do you really want to waste your time with me? Is not gonna be happy? No, you really don't you really don't. So I think pricing weeds people out a lot of time so that that is fine with me because I do not want to spend time away from my family to do a session that's going to result in an eight by ten like that is a waste of my time, much as I love it and feel for the girl, you know? But then on the flip side, I've had I've had a client who really could pay, but she just waited and waited and waited and waited until she could pay, and I was okay with that because she really valued it, and that was important to me. So while she made, I mean, we had the session, and then we I don't think we did the ordering session for months later, and that was okay, because eventually she was able to afford it, and she bought what she wanted, and it worked out great. So I definitely think that especially in the beginning, but the more and more you shoot and the more and more you educate, you really are going to start to get those clients, they're more suited, so just be patient. I guess I mean, it doesn't happen overnight, it definitely does. None of this happens overnight. It might look that way for millions of photographers out there that look like they're bang it up, but it doesn't happen overnight and building that ideal client, and getting that ideal client doesn't happen overnight. You are goingto sometimes get maybe somebody that wasn't your ideal client at first, so that that that's great that's very how do you attract male seniors that aren't just football players? I think that there would be a strong market in my area, so you're we've been talking about branding as you when you're trying to target the males, what is it a female trying to talk target mail? I'm not I'll have the interesting exactly, and I was kind of thinking that it was a female trying to write that's why I was with that angle. Yeah, okay, so if you're female and you want to get into male photography or you want to track male clients, I think you really need to start showcasing males that to me is going to get males more than anything else, because I think most males don't necessarily think of having their photos taken now granted there's an exception to every rule, but for the most part, guys aren't thinking about that, so you gotta start showing that it's cool I mean on a day like they don't want to do something that's cheesy or whatever they want to do something so that you have to showcase some guys in order to attract those guys or the other aspect of that is to attract mom of a guy because the very few guys that I do shoot the guys aren't warning the photo session the mom is and so you know with my branding and things like that even though I am nor focused on senior girls I still can attract a mom for sure and mom's of senior girls talk to mom's senior guys and that's how I get maybe the few clients that I had their mail I remember the sweet guy that I had his name's clay he plays look lacrosse I think in college now he was so sweet he totally didn't want his photo taken he was jock you know played sports you know super cool guy but not in tow having his photo taken but his mom wanted him taking his mom knew a mom of a girl that had photos taken by me and I just remember taking this photo and I was just like you're doing so great here's that wells for my mom she wanted it was just so sweet because he was there he could have cared less about being there but he knew his mom wanted those photos and he was doing it for his mom and I thought, that is the sweetest thing ever. So moms are a great way to get into that. If you're a guy trying to attract guys, and maybe you played football or may be you, you know, whatever, and you're wanting those type of clients and contact the football coach or contact, you know, whatever and try to get in that way. I think that's a good a good way to get into taking those photos.

Class Description

High school seniors are energized, creative, and fun – and the best photographers know how to take portraits that capture that spark. Join Leslie Kerrigan for a guide to designing, marketing, shooting and sustaining a senior portrait business.

In this course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create senior portrait sessions that aren’t just a photo shoot, but are memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Leslie will share her unique approach to creating a style closet, providing wardrobe consultations and keeping up with the of-the-moment social networking tools teens use. You’ll learn about connecting with seniors’ personalities, interests, and sense of style to ensure their portraits are every bit as unique as they are. You’ll hear from the teens, themselves as Leslie hosts a roundtable discussion with a group of teenagers who will talk honestly about what they want out of their senior portraits and how to reach them. You will also explore ways to leverage that personal connection into more sessions, sales, and referrals.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become the dynamic, must-have senior photographer for every teen in your area!