Annie P. | Uptown Charlotte Session

denise benson photographyAnnie P. | Uptown Charlotte Session

 

At the end of 2018 when I put my new photography niche out into the world I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go.  A few months before then I decided to transition my business to focus more on branding sessions and came up with varying packages, two of which would include a makeup artists and wardrobe stylist.  So I quietly posted my new pricing and collections on my website and didn’t make the official announcement until January of 2019.  Annie Pecis, a life coach based in Charlotte, came across my site and was ready to book one of my collections.  Without any hesitation she knew that I was the right photographer to help her bring her budding business to life.  It gave me the much needed confidence to press forward with my goals and the re-assurance that this was the right direction to take my business in.

annie pecis

 

charlotte branding photography

 

Over the course of the next couple of months we chatted online about her session and where it would take place and the details surrounding it.  We met up the morning of her session at my preferred Charlotte MUA’s (Whitney Elise Beauty) studio near Uptown Charlotte and then made our way to North Tryon Street.  It was a cold and dreary January morning, but we were able to stay warm by shooting at an indoor location first before making our way outside.

 

denise benson photography

 

Annie’s goal as a life coach is to empower women to have big, bold careers.  I’m excited to see where this venture takes her and know that her passion for equalizing the workplace for all women is going to be an amazing journey that I can’t wait to see unfold.  If you’re interested in learning more about Annie make sure to visit her website and follow her on Instagram.  And if you’re an entrepreneur looking to updated your website and social media presence then I would love the opportunity to work with you!  Contact me today so that we can discuss your business vision and how I can help you to make it happen.

 

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Location! Location! Location!

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Location! Location! Location!

We’ve all heard that saying before, right?  That when choosing real estate it’s all about picking the right location.  Well the same can be said for choosing the right location for your branding session.  While your background should never take away from you, the center of attention for your shoot, it should enhance your images, be unique and represent your brand.

So how do you know if you’re choosing the right location for your next branding session?  Here are a few tips that will hopefully benefit you the next time you make this decision:

  • Choose a location that fits your profession.  It makes absolutely no sense for a lawyer who wants to portray a professional image of herself to her potential clientele to take photos in a park in a sundress and on a her grandmother’s blanket.  While there’s nothing wrong with that scenario, it’s better left for a family shoot or birthday celebration session.  My session with Jaylene of Trivino Law took place outside of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Courthouse in uptown Charlotte.  She wanted a shoot that took place outside, but still made sense for her profession and ties into what she does.

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  •  Think outside the box.  Don’t be afraid to push the envelope when it comes to your branding session and do something a little different.  If you have a little more flexibility with your profession (artist, blogger, life coach, etc) then why not consider visiting your favorite cafe, hotel lobby or even visiting a museum for some unique shots.  If you’re able to get more creative with your session and want to have lifestyle images then any of these places will give you images out of the norm.

choosing a branding location

  • Use what’s available to you.  If you have your own makeup artist studio, you rent out an office in a co-working space or you have an amazing home office with great natural light then use it to your advantage!  You can’t get more unique and personal than using a space that belongs just to you.  This will give your clients a feel for what your everyday looks like and will make them more comfortable when visiting your space because they already seem familiar with it from what you’ve shared online.

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  • Shoot in your own backyard.  Not literally speaking of course, unless you just happen to have an AMAZING backyard.  This goes hand in hand with tip #3.  Shooting in the city you live in is a great representation of owning a business in that town.  Take it to a rooftop that shows the city skyline or down a street that is considered the heart of your neighborhood.  I get a lot of clients that don’t want to shoot in the city they live in because everyone else is doing it, but there’s a reason everyone else is doing it.  Your city represents you, your business and your clientele so why not show it some love by showcasing it for your next branding session.

personal branding photography

These are just a few ways for you to decide where you should take your next branding session to.  And if you’re interested in scheduling a branding session with me I’d love to hear from you!  Contact me today so we can begin discussing your vision.

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The Melanin + Light Workshop

photography workshop

The Melanin + Light Workshop

On Saturday, February 9, 2019 the inaugural Melanin + Light Workshop took place in downtown Rock Hill, SC aka Old Town.  But there was nothing old, stuffy or boring about this workshop.  Melanin + Light was created to celebrate ALL things melanin.  The idea was conceived by my biz bestie, Kristen of K Marie Photography and she asked me to be a part of her vision.  Together we deemed it necessary to help other photographers hone their skills when it comes to photographing and editing their black and brown clientele.  Not only did we see the need within the photography community, but our clients did as well.  So it started with a simple vision that over the course of the next few months blossomed into what it is today.

 

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We were surprised to sell out our very first workshop in less than 3 weeks.  If I’m being 100% honest I wasn’t sure if anyone would buy a ticket, but that’s just that pesky impostor syndrome creeping in and setting doubts in my mind.  So it was a pleasant surprise to see that so many people had an interest in what we were trying to do.  We secured our makeup artist, models, videographer and the venue and made sure to have all of our ducks in a row long before the workshop day ever came.

 

photography workshop

Good nerves set in the morning of the workshop and seeing everyone’s smiling faces let me know that this is what we are supposed to be doing.  I never saw myself teaching on a larger scale.  I’m a complete introvert so 1:1 coaching has been my jam for the last couple of years, but working alongside Kristen gave me the confidence I needed to reach more people at once.  We were able to teach our attendees the tips and tricks we use when shooting in natural light as well as taking things back into our co-working space for hands on editing training.  We capped off the afternoon with lunch and chatting about our businesses and what we’ve all been up to.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

 

melanin + light

Kristen and I have already received so many responses from other photographers wanting to know if we plan to do another workshop and we’re excited to announce that we plan to make this an annual event!  And even more exciting news is that we plan to take this on the road!  That’s right!  Melanin + Light will hopefully be coming to a city near you in the future.  And in the mean time you can support M+L by purchasing our merch from the M+L shop here.  Stay tuned for when our next workshop will take place and we hope to see you there!

Models: Caylen Bost + Ashley Richelle

 

 

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Jaylene T. | Charlotte Branding Session

trivino law firm
Jaylene T. | Charlotte Branding Session
January is possibly my favorite month for sessions.  No, it’s not because it’s my birthday month or because I absolutely love cold weather.  But I love it so much because branding photography is where my heart truly lies and for the entire month of January I work with nothing but brands.  For the last two years I’ve dedicated January as my time to focus on working with business owners, entrepreneurs, fellow creatives and people needing to update their headshots.  January is the first month of the year and people are typically focused on starting the new year off right so why not get your business visuals in order too!
lawyer photography
Jaylene of Trivino Law PLLC found me via Instagram and reached out regarding a branding session for her law firm.  She specializes in criminal defense, divorce and traffic tickets and is based out of Charlotte, NC.  We met on a cold, COLD and windy morning but she came ready to put in work.  Jaylene is bubbly, fun to be around and up for a challenge.  I’m so excited to see where her business  takes her in 2019 and beyond and am so thankful that she trusted me with her brand vision.
charlotte photographer
And if you are in need of updated professional headshots then I’d love the opportunity to work with you!  Send me a message today so that we can begin planning your perfect vision and taking your business visuals to the next level.
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Charmekia B. | Rock Hill Branding Session

personal branding photographyCharmekia B. | Rock Hill Branding Session
I finished out my 2018 branding sessions with Charmekia Bias of CharMarie Photography.  She and I met a couple of years ago at one of the Queen Photographer meet-ups that I used to host.  From the minute that she arrived she immediately fit in!  Her personality is that of a person who never met a stranger.  Her laugh is infectious and her personality is that of someone you just want to have in your space.  So when she reached out to me regarding a branding session I was ecstatic!  I love working with fellow photographers and I knew that she was going to be laid-back and fun.
denise benson photography
Charmekia arrived at her session dolled up by my favorite Charlotte makeup artist, Whitney Elise and we immediately got to work snapping away in Old Town, Rock Hill, SC.  Our time together went by so quickly and just as I knew Charmekia would make my job very easy.  The sun glowed against her skin and made an already amazing session even better!
denise benson photography
I’m so glad Charmekia chose me to be a part of her brand by capturing some truly beautiful portraits of her.  And since she’s a wonderful photographer herself I urge you to visit her website to see her work.  She’s a true baby whisperer, but don’t visit her page unless you’re okay with coming away with slight baby fever.  And if you’re a photographer, or other creative/entrepreneur, in need of updated branding images then I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to contact me today so that we can begin planning your business visuals.
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