So, it is a rainy August day, and I am sitting here, bored. One of the reality( yeah, right?! Scripted reality) shows, that I am addicted to, is ANTM. I always get these great ideas, but in order to do these types of shoots, you need clout. Like serious clout, to book these places. So I bought some episodes, on Amazon video. I got the ANTM All Stars. I love Isis, Alexandria, Allison, Kayla, and Laura. I love the weird, courageous, inspirational, and individuality, of these models.
Anyway, back to what I wanted to talk about. The second episode, the girls were told to brand themselves. Each of the girls was given a word, and was told to build, on that word. This is how they should be viewed, by the public. So let’s expand on that word. BRANDING! What is it? How do we, as photographers, do it? Is there a certain level we must be, to brand, or do we start, right away? So I did some outside research.
Branding, by definition, is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. (Business Dictionary, 2010) I think that, as photographers, we should brand ourselves. Our brand should be as unique as we are. Some photographers, that I have began to study, have a brand. Mike Ruiz has his signature body. Yeah, his photography is hot, too. Adam Bouska is known for the “No H8” campaign. Dave LaChappelle is known for his edgy, surreal images. Annie Leibovitz is known for her beautiful portrait photography. I loved her Vogue cover of Rihanna. Either way, these people are brands, within themselves.
So, while I was doing some research, I found a must read article. In the article, The Brand of You, by Ron Dawson, he gives out tips, to do for branding ourselves. One of his tips was to hire a pro. I will state this, I get that, if you are artistic, but don’t know certain factors, in graphic design, then yes, hire a pro. Don’t screw yourself up. I will recommend Jocosity. Jay Jackson is vicious with his designs. However, if you are fairly decent, with Photoshop, I say, go for it. See what you come up with, you never know. Also, answering my last question, I think that we should begin branding ourselves, as soon as we decide to go commercial. I am starting off, because my goal is to become commercial, or to be consider as such. I want to be known for an urban flair, but without clout and money, it is getting hard to achieve.
So, in closing, let me know what you think. What do you consider as branding? How do you begin to brand yourself? Also, one topic I did not touch on. Would you use social networking for branding?