The Importance of Portraits: Putting a Face to your Brand

I get it, I get it. You're not comfortable in front of the camera. You're an introvert. You don't feel photogenic. You're still hoping to lose a few more lbs. I've heard (and used) every excuse in the book. 

Here's the deal: We all crave connection and authenticity. If you take some time to think about the brands and social media accounts you are drawn to the most -- how many are faceless? Not many, right?

Whether you're a small business owner, an independent contractor (like myself), an artist, a blogger, or one of a many on a dream team... using familiar FACES to communicate to your audience is hugely important and highly effective. Portraits personalize and humanize for a more memorable first impression.

Headshot by Cali Godley

As someone scrolls across your social media feed or website for the first time, every photo is an invitation to come closer and learn more. As I'm sure you've experienced, when you're seriously considering hiring or purchasing from someone online - you click through every image and every page on the site. Expect others to do the same with YOUR page. Not only are they investigating your offerings and comparing you to the competition, but they're looking for anything that sets you apart.

Portraits highlight what makes your business unique... YOU! Many people can provide similar products and services, but no one else can be YOU. 

Headshot by Cali Godley

Here are a few practical next steps for growing your brand through self portraits:

1. Make your face your profile photo on social media accounts, not your logo

2. Add a photo of yourself and brief description on your website ABOUT page

3. Share photos of yourself and content from yourself OFTEN (If you're more than a one-man/one-woman operation, feature the entire team)

4. Update your self portrait with a professional photographer

Editorial Feature | 2019 Oxnard Visitors Guide

Humbled to be featured alongside these other creative contributors

Photography often opens doors to unexpected places — like Oxnard, California, a small seaside city nestled between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles brimming with unique local businesses and laid-back people.

I visited Oxnard for the first time a few months ago when I was given the opportunity to photograph 20+ small businesses and local landmarks for Visit Oxnard, many of which I’m grateful to have included in the current Visitors Guide by Destination Creative Group.

Take a look at a few of the featured images below, along with some of my personal favorites, and be sure to acquaint yourself with this delightful destination next time you find yourself on the Southern California coast.

Fresh & Fabulous Cafe

Multiple photographers featured. See photo credit on far left.

Multiple photographers featured. See photo credit on far left.

Multiple photographers featured. See photo credit on far left.

Multiple photographers featured. See photo credit on far left.

Small Business Spotlight | MAEK Ceramics

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, and mere weeks before this pair exchanges their vows, I’m excited to feature lovebirds and business partners, Michaela Maes and Ryan Shoemaker, also known as MAEK Ceramics.

For nearly two years, Michaela and Ryan have combined creative forces to produce ever-evolving ceramic housewares out of their studio in Clayton, California. Through hard work, long hours, and continual relationship building, MAEK has made their mark and now graces the shelves of many shops, pop-ups, cafes, and homes. Photographing them in action gave me a new appreciation for how much time and focus each piece requires. The process may be as admirable as the final product.

Thanks to Michaela and Ryan for the reminder that good things take time — like mugs, pots, and growing a small business. I look forward to seeing how your lives and your ceramics continue inspiring others as you step into marriage and a new studio in San Diego!

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Editorial Feature | Diablo Magazine

Diablo Magazine amazes me with their unceasing discoveries of the East Bay’s most interesting people and places. The February issue introduced me to mouthwatering BBQ from Pig in a Pickle (mmm…that smoked chicken with Alabama White Sauce!), hand crafted bitters from Batch & Brine and Maya Enista Smith modeling kindness in action through the Born This Way Foundation. It’s easy to see why these local folks have earned the attention.

Thanks to Diablo Magazine for another opportunity to connect with my community through photography!

Diablo Magazine
Diablo Magazine
Diablo Magazine
Diablo Magazine
Diablo Magazine
Diablo Magazine