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How To Elevate Your Offers With Personal Brand Photos

Nathalie Amlani shares how to use personal brand photography to elevate your suite of offers and connect with your audience.



In this episode, Nathalie and I talked about...

  •  how to tell if your brand photos are effective
  •  the types of photos every business owner needs to support their launch
  •  Nathalie's advice for balancing professional photography with your everyday photos from your iPhone
  •  what you need to know before booking a photoshoot
  •  the way Nathalie uses launches in her photography business
  •  tips for feeling more confident in front of the camera

...and much, much more


Things mentioned in this episode

Learn More About Nathalie Amlani 

Nathalie Amlani, a brand strategist, photographer, author, podcast host, and founder of Pictonat who has helped over 75 female entrepreneurs showcase their brand and stand out online resulting in building a connection with an audience who trusts them, scales their leads, and business growth.  She is a mom of two, a reiki master, and loves tea.

Connect with her on IG: https://instagram.com/pictonatbrandingcreative
Check Nathalie's Website: https://pictonat.com
Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathalie-amlani/

Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing

Sara: I'll be the first to admit it is 100% time for me to have new photos taken. I was due for one's pre pandemic. And now here we are almost three years later, oh my gosh. And I'm still using the same set. I've got a whole new suite of offerings I've launched multiple times. And I know my visuals would be elevated if I had photos actually spoke to my offers and my brand. So I'm gonna put aside the guilt for waiting so long, and the frustration that's been like lying low, okay, sometimes really high for the past few years, with locked in after locked down, leaving me feeling nervous about going out. And I'm going to pay close attention to today's guest who is here to help.

You're listening to the launch playbook podcast, the weekly podcast for service based business owners to discover the starts, stops and tools, the transformation that go into launching their online offers. I'm your host, Sara Vartanian. And if you want to launch your ideas into the world faster, with more success and less burnout. Well friends, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there.

Sara: Today, I'm chatting with Natalie Amani. She is brand strategist, photographer, author, podcast host and founder of Pictonat, who's helped over 75 female entrepreneurs showcase their brand and stand out online resulting in building a connection with an audience who trust them, scales or leads and business growth. She's a mum of two, a Reiki Master and loves tea. Welcome, Natalie.

Nathalie: Hey, Sara, I'm so excited to be here.

Sara: I am so happy to chat with you. I cannot wait to dive into this with you. You and I have talked about photography a lot over the years, I know we've shared even some of the same one on one clients. So this is going to be lots of fun. Yes, Natalie, before we jump into all things, photography, and all the tips and things that you're gonna give us, we tell us a little bit about your story. And what led you to starting Pictonat?

Nathalie: Sure thing. So piconet officially is probably about six years old. I always measured against the age of my daughter, my second kid. But I feel like it's always kind of been in me. Right. So prior to starting Pictonat that I worked in corporate as a project manager for 17 years at the banks in Toronto, and who would have expected that I would have stopped and started a photography company. But the reality is, is that after work, I was always doing creative things. I was taking photography classes, doing yoga, doing just random cooking classes, and I was living downtown. And the photography really captivated my attention. And I like finished the digital photography certificate, I was shooting small events on weekends, like it was always something that I loved. And then when I went through the milestones in my own personal life of like getting married, having kids, I really valued photography in capturing our own memories, and I loved how it made me feel. And being like a really kind of intuitive person, I wanted to kind of give that experience back to people. So even when I was doing as a hobby, there was a different kind of desire that I had. And that was to really capture the moment for those other people so that they can feel the way that I felt what I had those photos, you know, so when I had my kids and I got photos done, I was like, Oh my gosh, people need to get photos done on their kids and their families. It's like the best feeling. And like I just love sharing them with other people. I love seeing other people's photos. So it evolved into first a family photography business. And that was partly because I was trying to find a genre that fit my schedule with being a mom. So I can like do it when the kids were at school. So I would start off with like newborn photography during the week. And then I organically started doing brand photography. And I think a lot of that stems from, like, I have a business background, I was always doing strategy and marketing and communications at work. And I went to business school, that was where I met my husband. So a part of me felt like it was missing when I was doing just pure family photography, which I still love. But the branding photography is it just feels like it's a little bit more wholesome. Like all of me, I can really apply myself fully and I love being able to help businesses kind of grow their brands and make money. Like it's kind of cool to see that when they start putting themselves out there. There's all this growth that's happening for them. Right. And it starts from, you know, them having a photo shoot, you know, it's like, wow, so that's kind of what got me here today.

Sara: That's amazing. It really is cool that the skills that we have can help other people make money and achieve the things that they want, isn't it?

Nathalie: Yes, yes. Totally. Like, you know what I mean? It's just incredible. Like it's just a whole different level of satisfaction is very tangible. Like, I don't know how to explain it just,

Sara: I agree, I think especially like, being you and I, we're generally working with like other small business owners like ourselves or women entrepreneurs. And so just like seeing other moms oftentimes go and be able to take like their dream and what they want to like support their family or do big things feels neat to be really proud of that story.

Nathalie: Yes, yes. Yeah, I love it.

Sara: And you're so you're talking about your business background, and I've been lucky listeners to be able to see, like, how Natalie's business background, if it applies to what she does, because she does it's really amazing thing behind the scenes for her clients, you want to talk about that? Your project management that you do as part of your brand photoshoot? I've seen those, you know, I never think I don't think before single dogs, I don't know if it still is, but like this, this basically this, like, I know what to call the spreadsheet, because it's so much more I can see absolutely how your business brain like applies also to this photography side, you will talk about what you do there?

Nathalie: Yeah, so a huge part of what I do for the kind of brand showcase VIP day, it's more than just the photoshoot, the beginning part is there's the strategy phase and the setup phase. And that's where we really deep dive into the kind of the discovery of the brand, right? So I really take time to like, understand the brand, the vibe, the person. And that's through a questionnaire, which is typical to be filled out. But then I take those inputs and put it into a strategic planning document, which I think I'm going to now call like a playbook of some kind, so that there's a more fancy name to it. But within that document, I pretty much lay out, like I start to bucket the stories that we're going to be shooting. So I almost think in like story buckets, right? Which really parallels what what you used to do in terms of social media management and like content buckets, right? So there's the the like photo buckets, story buckets, whatever you want to call it. And then it goes really granular into like, why we're doing it the shortlist. And it really all ties into who the client wants to attract, and also what they have coming up, right. So I'll like I'll even ask them, Do you have launches coming up? What are you using it for? Is it just for content that's going to be living on your website forever, like for Pinterest and blogging, you know what I need to help generate SEO, because all of that will have a different approach in how we shoot. And then depending on the client's kind of show up strategy, I'll incorporate all that. And also help them look for different locations that align with their like brand vibe, who they are. And also really hone in on the personal like side of them so that we're not just it's not just all business like we are, every person is like is like a wholesome human being who has a personal side to them with personal interests. So we want to bring that on camera as well, because that is all part of someone's story. And that's what makes them like ultra unique.

Sara: That's so beautiful. And I'm, I'm so glad that you're gonna call it something like a playbook or something because you're right, you're just so much more than like, when you when you see like spreadsheet or document it sounds like just like blah and like, I'm just like really data, right? And not very pretty. And like everything you do is so beautiful. But also like, it's there's so much beauty in that planning. And you know, you'd show me some before behind the scenes of like, what it looks like. And I know everything we talked about, like I've never had, but like people, I've never had that happen for me. And I know that, like wow, like be able to go into your photoshoot knowing exactly like what we're doing and what you should bring, and when it's going to actually involve into and how you'll use it.

Nathalie: Yeah.

Sara: That is so incredible. There's so much value there. And I think also like as someone getting ready for, you know, just getting ready, it's like, so much relief and less anxiety around photos, because let's be honest, so many of us are stressed out about getting photos take.

Nathalie: Like, my goal is to really help my clients be comfortable on camera on that day. And the only way I can really kind of do that is like we're going to take care of all the planning everything that you need to bring up front so that you don't have to worry about any of that you literally just have to show up and we'll ease into the day and it's going to be all good.

Sara: Amazing. So we're gonna get into, you know, dig into brand photos and talk about some tips and strategies. But first, I'd love to know, how do you use launching in your business?

Nathalie: Yeah, so launching, I think I've messaged you before, I was like whoa, launching a lot of energy on your team teaching me how like you have to make sure that you put like a rest day after. So I do a lot of like mini sessions because I try to make photography accessible to everyone. So there's different packages, different price points. But mini sessions are a fun way to really like stock photo shoots in a data set date, time and location. But people can get a batch of photos that they can use right away. But when I'm launching those and trying to sell that one day, there is a lot of marketing and prep, right? There's a lot of seating that happens. And over time, as people know about the sessions, and they come to expect it, then it fills up more and more. But every time I'm watching something new for the first time, it's, it is hard. It's like crickets, right. And I think through experience, I've kind of become a little more immune to that and not be so afraid and just keep trying, again, because that's just the nature of like how it is, I guess. And I've also launched during the pandemic, I launched a virtual Summit. And that was really interesting, because it was, you know, a lot of the like, typical, like, Okay, let's do a webinar, right to kind of get to know people like the free webinar and then pitching an offer, then doing the many emails, and for working with you putting together a welcome sequence, which I had no idea how effective that that could be for someone to get to know you, right, so that they're not just joining your email list, they're actually getting to know you over a series of like, welcome messages. So yeah, like pretty much right now, I've been using launching for many sessions than from my bigger offers, because they are kind of ongoing, I've been doing a little bit more seasonally. So it kind of be mid a little bit. Like, for example, coming up in the fall, like people are gonna want to start planning for their end of year content, or like Black Friday or any end of year promos are trying to fill up, they're like New Year, let's you know, have like have a fresh start sort of launch. So then I'll probably be plugging that in like the summer, so that they could start planning and getting their content ready.

Sara: It's so helpful to hear how you're doing that, because I know some of our listeners are service based businesses and maybe down the road, they're going to launch a group program or course, but they could be like you and they have the service. And I love that you're talking about it because services, like definitely can be launched, right? It's like, really, it's rounded, you're talking about like the energy you're putting out during a certain period of time talking about it. And you know, and maybe and maybe doing some other activities around getting people to come in, whereas like some of your services, you know, are there, they're there all the time. But maybe you'll have like a big kind of ramp up to really announce it and share and get people excited about it.

Nathalie: Yes, yes, that's definitely I was feeling a bit stuck on that, like, how do I something it's like my core offering, but like, how do I launch it? So having that seasonal approach I find.

Sara: I love that!

Nathalie: effective.

Sara: Is there something that you find has made them really effective? Like, is there kind of a strategy or thing that you do that when you are feeling nervous, let's say but those mini sessions and filling them up? Is there some kind of like, strategy or lever that you can pull in, you know, like, this is gonna, this is gonna be effective for me.

Nathalie: So from my experience for anything that I've launched, that works well, it's when I actually start to talk about it early, right. So if I'm doing something a little bit rushed, and last minute, like my energy and mindset isn't fully there, and I'm almost like, oh, my gosh, I had it on my calendar, and I was supposed to launch, I was gonna try to throw it out there and see if anyone bites, it's totally not. And so you know, sometimes you can get lucky, there are some people who are so good at just intuitively wanting something with a bang. But I find that with my type of work with photography, because it is an investment of time and money. People need to kind of think about it, right, unless they've been following me for a while. But if like when I start seeing something early like this is coming, or this way should do it. And then people observe, they listen, they watch and then as I throw out more and more information about it, perhaps sharing testimonials or the behind the scenes, then there's more and more interest. So I found that that really works, but also giving a date for that launch, or giving some sort of countdown so that they anticipate for my family photography business actually just launched a like lavender mini session, for example. But I did say like, okay, it's gonna be you know, signups going to be opening on this date if you want to sign up early to be part of the waitlist. So you'd be first to be notified for Early Access, reply and let me know. And I got replies. And I've been saying the same message for probably a couple of months. And then the list just kept growing. And then I opened it up this morning, and then it started filling up. Right. So it's like, when you start talking about people love following along on the journey, I found that that really helps. And then reminding them over and over. Like I've been talking about these sessions since September, you know what I mean? Yeah, so and then for like, let's say, for the end of year sessions, I start talking about them in August. And then people start booking for fall and stuff like that, like, you just have to start seeding it.

Sara: I'd like to you're talking about that so much because it's something we come back to often in the episodes around like this pre launch period, but really, the pre launch period is more than those three weeks and like what you're saying really proves to us knowing it can be four or five, six months. It's like, you know, this is coming on your calendar. So how do you start talking about it early, so that people can come along on the journey and I like that He brought up that up our last episode actually, we mentioned that I mentioned that one of the really powerful email sequences we can use in our business is actually the waitlist sequence. And so, and it doesn't have to be necessarily all pre written, right? It's other than like, Hi, great. You're on the list, the fact that you can like do little emails here and there just to get people excited, like, like we did last year. Or like, here's what I'm thinking about these days, and just things like that. Yeah. Sounds like then when you said, you open up your your list, people are like, Okay, I'm ready.

Nathalie: Yes, totally. And even if you're not fully ready, when you're talking about it, that's okay. Right? Because I, like truthfully, I wasn't fully ready. But I knew that I wanted to offer I'm like, Oh, my gosh, you know, I just have to start talking about it. Because I really like love this offer. I want to put it out there. But I don't have my ducks in order yet. So yeah, exactly.

Sara: Yeah, I like that. And when a good point to bring up that we don't actually have to have like all the dates, we can still actually talk about things as they're in progress. And it's true to like you said that some of these mini sessions you do that you do year after year. And it's so right. When I saw your you start talking about the lavender sessions. I'm like, I remember those last year. And like I was actually scrolling back to your Instagram, like looking at some of the ones from last year that you did, because they're so beautiful. And people do start to remember when you start doing things in cycles, right? Oh, yes, for sure. That's coming. Oh, great. Yeah. And then they start anticipating it for you as well.

Nathalie: For sure. Sure. Yes. Yeah, totally.

Sara: Is there anytime. A launch didn't go? So well. I know you mentioned when it's like when you haven't really talked about it, or like it's kind of last minute, and you kind of throw it out there and your energy, isn't there? Is there any like a story around that, or any kind of like detail, you can tell us a little bit more about when that happened? Because we definitely like to share, we like to share of course, the highlight like the good things we also like to share where things kind of go sideways, mostly. So we all know, like it happens to us all. You're not alone. And we all have launches to go up and down.

Nathalie: Yeah, so the nature of my business is pretty seasonal, right? So there's definitely peaks, the peaks is the fall and winter, like that last quarter of the calendar year. And I was gearing up for that I was promoting. And then when I was actually executing that quarter, I became like tired, I like wanted to rest and then Winter came and I was like, I'm going to hibernate, it is cold here in Canada. And I want to snuggle up on my couch. So my communication to my audience also went down, right. And I knew that I wanted to host branding, mini sessions or branding workshops or something like that in the first quarter of the year. But I just wasn't talking about it. I wasn't talking about it. And I was like, oh, maybe I'll just try, like I had this intuitive download. I remember over the February Family Day, which takes place and kind of mid February in Ontario. And I'm like, oh, I want to create this, you know, events, that's going to be like a photoshoot kind of retreat in person. And I and I just like launched it and I had a few people sign up, but it was like a lot of energy because I just was like, I just like, blah through there. But I didn't see it. I didn't do all the stuff that I usually do. So it didn't feel as good. You know what I mean? And it felt a bit rushed. And I just feel like being strategic and planning it is. It's like effective. And that's what will work best because then you can also ask other people to help promote for you like I had no time to ask anyone to help me promote or ask to share or you know what I mean? So it didn't feel so well. And when it doesn't feel so well then you're less likely to repeat it although you should repeat it.

Sara: I so appreciate that. You talked about two things there. You mentioned the energy you know Nick mentioned a couple times in our conversation so far around monitoring and it's something I feel like is so underrated and not talked about enough right like that we have to be in a certain space or have the energy and have this an actual literally have the space in our calendar in order to do this but also maybe not being a season like you said you're feeling like hibernating, right? Like so maybe it wasn't the right you didn't you didn't have the right energy because you were feeling more like cozy and I could get it I'm nailing it both in Toronto, Ontario and like January and December are pretty like gray and dark. You know, it's like dark for I really find like my energy is pretty low then yeah, now we're recording actually, it's It's April and I noticed the other night I said to my husband, I'm like, it's so bright. It's seven.

Nathalie: people pass me a link feeling.

Sara: So good. I do find it's hard to Chef work now because I kind of forget I forget like my kids are older. So if they're off like playing with friends or doing something I totally can just work later because I don't notice the timing. So much was like in the winter. It's a natural shutdown because you're like, I can't even stay awake to bedtime at six. Yeah. So I appreciate you said that. And then also, again, going back to really reminding us that that pre launch and that conversation period and that and that time Before I matter so much, for sure. So let's dig into random photos. So if we were to audit our own own brand photos, how would we know if they were effective?

Nathalie: So for your brand photos, you want to be proud to showcase them and share them and put them everywhere, right? So if you imagine your brand photo in a sea of like your top admirers, and speakers and mentors and coaches that you follow, does it look professional? Like do you you know what I mean? It's like, you want to showcase that you mean business. So that's kind of like, you want to make sure that it's clear as crisp, the color is like onpoint versus more like, yellowish or something, because you're taking a selfie under a pot, like, you know, like, so that's, that's one thing is that you want to make sure that it looks professional. And also whether or not it's effective is also the type of engagement that you get as well. Like, for example, when you're posting stories about yourself, do you get engagement? Right? And, yeah, I just feel like brand photos really have to, it really has to showcase who you are, and what you look like. So you want it to be recent, so that when you're seeing people in person, they're not like, that's how you look like you look different from your profile picture. If you ever get that comment, please just get updated photo. Because that can happen for sure.

Sara: I'm laughing when you when you say that Natalie about the photo, because Okay, so I've never been on Tinder, I met my husband pretty, like young and before like all that. So we met in person at our job. But I think of some of my friends who've been on there and they're like, or even my younger sister WAY, WAY longer. And she was like, the person that photos why man, that's what I'm thinking is we're talking about like that. We don't want to be like that.

Nathalie: Exactly. Oh my gosh, it's it's hilarious. And it's like something that I hear so often. In also people will tell you like which photos that they like, or if they're visiting your website, like people will let you know, like I like your website looks great. Or, you know, when you start getting more leads coming through, it's because they're seeing your face and they're seeing that they like trust you and they want especially right so there's always like little hints that can let you know what's working.
It's so true. I find I have one photo in particular that people are always like I love that made me want to talk to you want to be that Alia got captured and I was like laughing in my photoshoot. And I like it too. It feels like me and how I like to envision myself in a conversation with someone that I'm like, really enjoying. So it's so true, though, like that gets sent to me so so often. And that's why like, it's now like, you know, one of the main ones I use, actually the one I use for this podcast cover image. But ah, yeah, so I totally have heard that.

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Sara: Are there any trends we should be avoiding in our photos? Like things that are let's say being over done? Or? Or is there no such thing? What do you think?

Nathalie: That's that's a good question. I mean, there are a lot of like cliche shots that some clients are like, Oh, I really don't want to look like this because my colleague is doing the same thing. And I don't want to look like I'm copying her. And that's not fair. But the same time, right? We like we have to remember that. Although they're there. Like there are hundreds 1000s Millions of businesses that are doing the exact same as you there is only one of you. Right? So it's you just have to own it. And I think that the trend that we should avoid is trying to be someone that we're not right so if you're not comfortable in front of camera and you're just copying a look, then that's going to show up like you're gonna look uncomfortable. You're not gonna want to share that photo like it might be hot for that minute that you use it but afterwards you're gonna be like that's that's not me. Why do I do that? You know? So the importance is to really step into who you are and just just let it showcase on camera.

Sara: Oh my gosh, that makes so much sense and that makes me feel better too and I know listeners you might be feeling the same just you know when you see like a lot people think their favorite coffee mug but but I relate to that right because I'm like why don't coffee but I love to drink tea. So I would love to have a photo with a mug, you know, at my desk or something, but then I see so many people with them. So I think that, at least for me, and hopefully, again, for our listeners, you're you're feeling like, this is totally okay to have the same type of as long as you.

Nathalie: Yes, that is, you know, it's very common to have entrepreneurs sitting at a table, like sitting at a desk with a computer and a mug, but that's okay.

Sara: Reality, right.

Nathalie: And that's all just kind of like there, but the focus is on the person in the picture. Everything else is very secondary. And it's like, Don't Don't worry about that stuff. It's just there to kind of help complement your brand colors are to make it look like you, you're you're a business owner, or whatever. 

Sara: Yeah, are there any particular type of photos we think that we need for launches?

Nathalie: Oh, yes, there's actually there's someone in your launch membership. Yeah, so she often gets photos. And I just use her kind of as a case study example. But there's photos of just her. So I always recommend a batch of like lifestyle, branding, photos, just of the person that could be almost like a bunch of shots of them smiling, standing, you know, just posing, not really doing anything. But those are really, really good, because those are like the pictures that are the friendly face behind who's giving the offer. And you can do a lot of cool stuff using graphics, right, or Canva, and overlay messages and texts, and just announcements on what's coming, like three more sleeps or like, guess what's coming, you know, you can really overlay anything, and I call them like the like kind of versatile batch, right? Because you can attach it to any of your launch messages, like in your emails and stuff like that. And the reason why those are so essential is because it's constantly reminding people who is putting out that offer and building that connection. And then because it takes people a while to make that decision, right? Like when when you're launching. So those are really dynamic. And then the other batch is to showcase that person in action, like, how does it look like when you're actually working with them? Right? So I feel like with high ticket offers, because it takes more effort to convert? What can we show them? Right? We can show them how it looks like to work with me, we can show them how happy I look like when I'm talking to clients or how satisfied clients look, we can show them that like this is what I do in my spare time. And maybe that's a point of commonality between the person launching in their audience so that it creates more of that connection, like oh, they like to do you know, hiking the woods, that's me too, or I have kids as well, like this person gets me, you know, so you really want to show a wide variety of things going on, and also a wide variety of like expression, as well, I find that that really helps. Because that really helps to close like exaggerate or bring out the personality of that person, whether or not they're like silly or a little bit more serious, like you want that variety of expression. Because that kind of builds trust, because no one is ever the same all the time. I guess

Sara: That makes so much sense. I like the touch with the variety of shots and how we can use it in Canva. I feel like one way I know I've used some of those kinds of photos of mine is because in Canva now you can have like that nice tool where you cut out the background. Yes. So sometimes you can overlay that like on top of the graphic and things like that. And I know that's been kind of a popular thing on social stuff these days. And it's so true, like all the different. Like the way you're looking at all the different ones like really speak to like the twins about like, it's it's closing, or this is you know, this is like, it's like we're open, you can look extra excited. And there's so many different options. Should there be like any sort of sizing like vertical or horizontal? Should we be getting a mix? Like are there currently want more than others?

Nathalie: Yes. So that's one of the questions that I like to ask the client because it really depends on also who they're working with, right to manage their social or their launches. But I find that with launches, because there's a lot of sales pages, then I like especially if I know that then I'll shoot a little bit more horizontal with the person on one side so that there's that empty whitespace in order to overlay those headlines that launch message, or fit in like a testimonial or quote, you know, because those are very impactful. So really, like, that's why it's so important to really understand like, what they're using the photos for, and if a person posts a lot, because nowadays, you know, like I could always shoot horizontal but if someone is the type of person who is really active and savvy on like social media like reels and tiktoks, then they're going to want more vertical so that they can use those for the cover images, you know, so really honing in on their kind of social strategy, I feel is really important that that way can be catered to that person's like unique kind of launch style.

Sara: I really hear you saying that. It's important for the business owner who's getting photos done to communicate with the photographer around the use case. So if they don't have someone like you, and they can't work with you, you know, location wise or whatever, the reason is there, because we're not all in Toronto and and although you do travel around for sure, I know that I've seen some of your cool like photoshoots outside of outside of the city. But if not, it sounds like we really need to be like telling them what we need, right? Like, what this is going to be used for how we're envisioning using it, if we're, if we're not asked, and we don't have someone like you who's doing that beautiful strategic planning in advance.

Nathalie: I'm actually it's funny that you ask, I'm actually going to because we were both in the den in a day program, I created a second VIP day that is to really create that playbook for someone to use who is like outside of the vicinity of my shooting area, like outside of the country. And that way they can have that strategic planning because it's, it's really important to have that depth. And that way they can need to do it themselves or heading off to another photographer. Because not everyone specializes in brand photography, it is a bit different.

Sara: Yeah, I think and I think very few people are probably coming with a background that you have and in like business and project management, right. Yeah, you that's a huge skill that you're you're bringing to that. Yeah, I'm really excited. It's really exciting. So how do we balance brand photos with like those everyday pics we grabbed from our own phone, right? Like, when do we use which ones?

Nathalie: So you can use a mix, I feel like it's a little bit intuitive too, sometimes. But you definitely want to put in a you know, at least probably more than 50% would be the professional photos because those kind of represent your storefront and the consistent brand vibe. And be consistent professional kind of outlook that you want to portray that like you mean business. And then let's say it's like 60 to 70% professional, and then the other 30 to 40 can be a mix of like graphics, or your own kind of mobile shots. Because nowadays, video is really popular. But again, like you can always overlay something that's fits the aesthetic of your brand a little bit more. And the reason why you want to incorporate the brand photos that are professionally done more often than not is because it's it's sending that message that you're like investing in yourself as well. Right? So you're attaching that more polished look with that messaging. So whether or not it's like a tip or story. You're really setting yourself as that kind of thought leader and putting more I don't know, it just puts more credibility I find and just makes it more like engaging.

Sara: Yeah, I see that. And would you say like, for the let's say, dun, dun you're on your own photos, like the camera wins. Are those better suited like in like stories and things like that? Maybe places don't have such a permanent spot?

Nathalie: Yes, absolutely. And you'd be surprised. Like, I share a lot of you know, non professional photos and my Instagram stories. I'm like, huge on that because I I, like do so many activities with my kids, I I'm just like an activity person. I'm always doing random things, whether it's like for myself with the kids, I'm always on the go. And I share things through my stories. And it helps to really generate conversation because it's me, it's who I am. But it's a great way for people to get to know you. And I mean, if you have stuff that you want to share on your grid, just overlay it with like a nice graphic, or something else that's a little bit more presentable for the front end. Or it could be just like picking like for your for your mobile phone. Maybe it's like you love coffee or food or you know nature and those little things can be what you focus on when you're using your phone.

Sara: That's really helpful. So if a listener was thinking about booking a photoshoot, what advice would you give them?

Nathalie: Ah, so I feel that the photo shoot is very personable experience, right? And you are one on one with the photographer. So it's important that you have that comfort and connection with them. And that they kind of get what you're looking for. Because on that day, you know, although we have a plan to flow with, there's a lot of extra personality that comes out as we work together. So I feel that having that connection and ease and that open communication is really really important. So get on a call right get on a call, see how you connect with them and also view their work so usually the work will be on like social media or website and see if the style vibes with you because all of us photographers, we have a different style of like editing and shooting. And it's just unique to who we are. Right. So you may resonate with one or the other, and then also really understanding their turnaround time as well. Because especially for using photos for business, you'll ideally want to get your photos quickly so that you could start making money from and putting it out there and connecting with people, right. So if their turnaround time is like, you know, 234 months, then that may not align. So that is a very important decision because some photographers are really busy. And their turnaround times are different. It's just, it's just like different ways of doing business. So, end to end, just understanding all those things, I think would be really good start.

Sara: That's so helpful. Any tips Sally about if we're not feeling so great about being in front of the camera? I know, especially when thinking out was pandemic, a lot of us are just feeling more probably blah, we've been in home a lot for the past few years. So how do we, how do we slip out of that? Or how do we, if we can even put that aside? How do we move through it?

Nathalie: Yes. So I can totally relate I, you know, because I always try to put myself through my own process all the time. And that's a normal thing to feel. And most people feel that way. Like, what am I going to wear, you know, like, nothing fits, or because of the pandemic or the seasons, we're constantly trying to keep up with trends. And so I feel that the first part of getting comfortable, that I can help with is the planning piece. And then the second part is just, it's like, a lot of it is mindset, you know, like really trusting that you are who you are, you know, you don't have to look a certain way to impress others, like you are just authentically showing up for yourself. And you will be getting, you know, like I would invest in the the professional hair and makeup for your photoshoot, it is totally worth it. And it's just the way that hair and makeup is done. It is done with intention to show up on camera. And just. And the reason is that it's there to highlight your features, you know what I mean? And with photography, and working with different lighting, like you just want to have that kind of there set in place. And then from there in terms of figuring out what to wear, the ographers can really help with that. Like I always try to guide that. And I open up the conversation and we'll go through and we'll kind of start brainstorming. And they also offer those options to like work with a stylist or, you know what I mean? Like read a blog and kind of do it yourself or you can work with a stylist and they like I've been chatting with stylists, and it's so much fun. The process, you know, and it could be just shopping your own closet or having someone shop for you. But with any sort of nagging feeling you're having it's there is a solution. And I think it's important to express that to the person that you're working with. Because most likely, they've heard it before. And it's normal, right? And they'll help guide through that. But most importantly, the day before the photo shoot, I always recommend to clients drink a lot of water, and don't have anything salty, because you know, it'll help because if you have a lot of salt the day or two before your photo shoot your face might retain water and coffee. So drink a ton of water and relax and don't schedule anything that's you know, high intensive the day or two before and just ease into it, like try to get in some sleep and rest. And that way you're really just focused on showing up your authentic self on that photoshoot day,

Sara: These are all such good tips. And I think, you know, a message I hear from you. And I've heard it just throughout this whole conversation and I'm sure our listeners, hopefully you take the same thing away to is like we're not alone in this. Like it's totally normal to have these feelings or worries and, and really to talk to our photographer. It's like why don't you.

Nathalie: just like just talk about it and then one by one you just kind of start like you know, checking off the boxes on ways to kind of deal with each thing.

Sara: Yeah, it's true and I know for myself so I'm plus size and I'm always like uncomfortable I'm often coming home from the camera but it is true when I get my makeup and my hair done. It's something that I can more control right now and it really helps how I show up and feel about the photos right because like my hair is done my makeups done. I like things are planned and organized. So that knots the knots on a worry then I can I can step in and enjoy the day because that's like those are things that I can kind of control and manage. Right and then when we have that plan and that in that comfort and feel good and other ways I think that can really help. Yes, I know in my experience, it helps how the energy I bring into the day.

Nathalie: Yes, I feel like there is like a little bit of parallel even with how people show up for launches. Yeah, right you're you're almost mentally preparing for that show up a little bit right and you're really believing in your offer and in yourself and what you're putting out there same thing like you are doing this photoshoot so that you can show people what you can do for them.

Sara: Oh my gosh, that's so true. I love that you brought that up because Natalie I don't think you know this but oftentimes like a pre pandemic, before I was doing a launch I would often go get like a blow to the beginning of that week just to like, because he you know, I'm gonna probably show up on Instagram stories more go live and it was just so I'd feel You're really good and I made sure I went to bed early and I ordered myself like salads for lunch from like there's like sort of like a high end grocery store. Prusa Terry's and where we live, I'd ordered myself like nice salads and, and fresh juices and stuff. And it's so true. And it makes like it's such a you're right there is such a parallel to that energy and this for the photoshoot?

Nathalie: Yes, yes, totally. There's a lot of nurturing, right? Absolutely. Besides, yeah, it's really

Sara: So how often should we get those photos? And why?

Nathalie: I would say that you should get them like as often as possible, I guess, like at least yearly. But if you're someone who launches often, you'll probably be going through those photos that that batch of photos for that launch. And then you can have another theme or look, right. So like I would say, at least every year, if you're someone who launches more than maybe you want to even get like a subscription, we're doing it quarterly, for example. And that way you have images ready for your upcoming launch. And that you can just get going, you know, it just gives like a great theme to that look.

Sara: It sounds like something that we could budget for as part of our launch and like add to our launch planning basically, like more pre planning. So Natalie, if our listeners were only to walk away with one thing from this episode, what do you hope that would be?

Nathalie: I would say that, I would love for you to kind of get comfortable if you're not already posting images of yourself to just find an image, whether it's a professional photo or not just put it out there and talk about what you do what you offer, and see what happens you will see the magic of how it feels like when you kind of show up to your audience, and really talk about who you are and and then you'll just get hooked and want to get more images or so.

Sara: That's such a perfect way to end this. I like that. So Natalie, where can we find out more about you and connect with you.

Nathalie: So I'm on Instagram, I'm pretty active picked on that branding creative. And I'm also on LinkedIn, which is under my name, Natalie Amlani, and my website, which is Pictonat.com.

Sara: Amazing. We will drop all of those in the show notes, of course, and definitely check them out. If you're in Toronto, Ontario, Canada vicinity and you want to work with Natalie. She's got an amazing portfolio. You'll see it on her website. It's so gorgeous or her Instagram, you'll definitely want to think about working with her with one of her VIP days her subscriptions are her mini sessions. They're amazing. Natalie, thank you so much for joining me today on the launch playbook podcast.

Nathalie: Thank you for having me.

Thanks for tuning into the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes. You'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just a thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review on iTunes telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, keep putting your big ideas out into the world. I'm rooting for you.

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