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  • Writer's pictureMeka

3 Easy Wardrobe Looks for Your Personal Branding Session


Featured (header) image: WIX stock photography

You’ve done the hard part and selected a portrait photographer you trust to help create new business profile images. At some point, hopefully very early on in your planning, you ask, “What should I wear?”


Before we even get to rummaging through your closet, I encourage you to first adopt a conversational mindset regarding your selections. If you are the voice of your business, your wardrobe helps set your tone. From color to texture to accessories, all these details work together to support your intended message. Small business owners, especially, benefit from showcasing distinct layers of personality, so take full advantage of the time you’ve allocated for your photo session and gather an array of options, or “looks” to highlight your character and speak directly to your target audience.


Adopt a conversational mindset when it comes to what you choose to wear.

So, how do you choose? Maybe you’re wondering if the same outfit from your business photos taken five years ago still works. Maybe the only conversation you’re having lately is with the same pair of slacks and oversized sweater since the pandemic. Maybe you just hired a stylist to fill your closest top to bottom with pieces that mix well with each other, but now you’re overwhelmed.


Breathe. Like most challenges, the best advice is to keep it simple. Here are three strategic – and easy – ways to dress for your personal branding session that can both communicate your business structure and compliment your unique style.


1: COMPETENT (PROFESSIONAL)

I like using “competent” in place of “professional” because what really matters here is that you look like you know what you’re doing. If your profession doesn’t require a uniform, how do you “clean up”? Think about going live for a big launch across social media. Maybe your eventual goal is a TED Talk. Maybe you’re prepping for a television spot or would love to be on stage telling 10,000 people about your product. You are the face of your business – how are you dressed for your own importance… and your own authenticity?


For example, if you're thinking, Maybe I should bring in a suit and tie… pause and ask yourself, Does a suit communicate my role? Will wearing a tie align with my comfort level, or even my aspirations for myself? It’s okay to not wear certain clothes out of pressure or expectation. Consider researching alternative classy styles to find what you’re drawn to. There are plenty of inspirational resources online, or venture out to explore retail spaces where experts are happy to assist you.


2. CASUAL

Your second outfit provides a more relaxed moment. Sometimes the buttoned up perfectionist is not what resonates with clients. Sometimes, you need to let them know they can simply talk to you. Show them you’re a person they can trust – that you’re a person they can share their angst and pains with – because you provide the service that solves those problems.


In this case, maybe you’re sporting jeans and a fun top. Maybe you’re twirling in a floral dress. What fits into your casual persona? This is the benevolent, grounded side of you that says: Let’s go grab a cup of coffee and get some serious bonding time in so I can do my best to help you.


3. CHARISMATIC

Your third option is all about having fun. Forget about business for just a second. Whether you’re with friends or family, what’s your outfit of choice for a snazzy night out on the town? I love this option so much. Your uninhibited persona shows up when you’re wearing the thing you love most. Your charismatic self serves the kind of energy that makes instant connection… and the magnetism that happens when these photos show up in your LinkedIn profile or the “About” page on your website is incredible. You want a person to know who you are in one photo? This is it.


Even with these 3 easy wardrobe looks, the most important note is to represent your true self in the best light.

Learning the benefits of having options that speak to your character traits have hopefully opened your eyes to what’s possible – and valuable – for your personal brand strategy. Minimize doubt, discomfort, and distraction by trying everything on in front of a well-lit, full-length mirror well before your session date to make sure it all fits and feels good. Don’t forget, the portrait artist you’re working with wants to help you feel as prepared and comfortable as possible leading up to photo-making time, so send messages and ask questions at any point you want support and guidance. Regardless of how many outfit varieties you wear, the most important note is to represent your true self in the best light.


 

written without AI

“Spider” Meka Hemmons is an internationally recognized portrait photographer, speaker, storyteller and visual consultant based in Chicago. She helps women heal trauma around being photographed and disrupts the beauty industry with her perspective on vanity and deep-rooted messaging. Subscribe to her Streams of Silk podcast and newsletter.


Featured (header) image: WIX stock photography. All other photos by SpiderMeka.

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