What I Wish I Knew Before Launching My Website

 
Jo Louise Beauty Nashua NH
 

Oh, hindsight!


Who here hasn’t rued that lack of 20/20 vision after broadcasting our business to the world?
If we’re honest, we all harbor a mental laundry list of those things we wish we knew before
starting our businesses. For me, the most crucial are those I wish I had known prior to launching
my website.


Here’s a hint, folks: it’s all about the photos.


Pro Photos Build Your Business… Says the Photographer


No doubt, you’re reading this and wondering… is she just saying this because her business
focuses through a lens?


Nope!


The fact is, no matter your industry, our audiences are people and people are visual beings. As
reported by Forbes in Why Infographics Rule (infographics!),

“Humans are visual creatures. Most of us process information based on what we
see. 65 percent of us are visual learners, according to the Social Science
Research Network. Social media has created this intense desire and opportunity
to share what we learn.”

I would argue that social media has created the opportunity to share what we’re good at it and
boost our business’ bottom lines in the process. But, if your photos are lackluster, amateur, or
fail to tell your brand’s story… that opportunity is effectively missed.


So, what photos do you need to build your brand? From where I stand, always focusing that
lens, there are three key shots that you shouldn’t miss on your website.
 

 
Beauty Headshots Nashua NH
 

Pro Shot Number One: YOU, aka The Real McCoy


Your audience, and this includes current as well as potential clients, wants to know who YOU
are. Those of you who know me know that I am a passionate advocate for living your brand…
every.single.day. This is an opportunity to capture your authenticity -- and you can’t put a price
on showing up for your audience more meaningfully than your competition.

Professionally shot photos of you will boost your confidence, strike the right tone, and provide
the perfect visual accompaniment to your bio, contact, and home pages on your website.
Feeling squeamish about having your headshots taken? Don’t. My clients and I have a blast
during headshot sessions and I’ll be sure to support you with the knowledge needed to prepare
for your session well ahead of time.

 
 


Pro Shot Number Two: The Beauty Behind the Scenes

 
Beauty Headshot Nashua NH


Who doesn’t love a sneak peek behind the scenes of where the magic happens… whatever that
magic is? Think about the popularity of cooking shows, DIY home improvement channels, and
even the outtakes following a feature film. Humans, in addition to being visual creatures, are
curious ones.


The BBC, asking Why Are We So Curious?, reported that, “The roots of our peculiar curiosity
can be linked to a trait of the human species call neoteny. This is a term from evolutionary
theory that means the ‘retention of juvenile characteristics.’ It means that as a species we are
more childlike than other mammals.”


Again, you have an opportunity as a fellow, childlike and curious human to share some
fascinating facets of your business with your audience via your website. And yes, you can blog
about those hidden gems all day long, but again, getting back to the visual reality driving human
nature, you’re gonna want those pics. Pronto.

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography Headshots Nashua NH
 


Pro Shot Number Three: Evidence the Ethos You Embrace


Your brand is about more than what you create, sell, or how you assist your clients. Your efforts
are driven by ethos -- those beliefs, hopes, and aspirations that likely inspired you to build your
business and dedicate time to reading blog posts like this in the first place.


Ask yourself, what is it that you want your website visitors to experience when they visit your
site and engage with your content? Whatever that is -- and it can, and likely should, be more
than a single thing -- you need to capture it, visually. Professionalism? Approachability? A
comedic approach to challenges? Whatever it is, professional photos are evidence of the ethos
-- the heart beating behind your business.

 
Lashes Beauty Headshot Nashua NH
 


But First, the Basics...


Before we even get to the three shots listed above, rest assured that I take the time to do a
thorough audit of your website in order to determine what other types of photos are needed. In
this case, we’re talking about banner images, background photos, and a general inventory of
images targeted ahead of time so that we can get the most out of your branding session.

Think it’s time to step out of the shadows and shine some light on your site? Contact me for
your website audit and to schedule your branding photography session… sooner than later!

The KHP Insiders Club

It's here! It's here! IT'S HERE!! Yeah, I'm THAT excited about this, because I've finally created a way to give you more photos, on a budget, and add in a bunch of marketing goodies along the way. Consider this your formal invitation to the KHP Insiders Club!

The average small business owner posts on social media at least once a day, and often up to three times. Add in a marketing calendar, seasonal sales and events, and the need to just look polished and put together (especially on the days when you're not), and you can see how easily you might easily need 75-100 fresh photos - a month!  That's overwhelming for anyone and I'm here to make it easy and accessible for you to have gorgeous photos - all on a budget.

 
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What you get:

Silver: Headshots for One, 4X a year *$99/mo*

Gold: Headshots and Social Media Mini Session, 4x a year *$199/mo*

Platinum: Headshots and Social Media Mini Session, 12x a year $499/mo*

What the what?!! Yeah, I really want to work with you guys more often, and make sure that we're getting consistently gorgeous images for your brand - YEAR ROUND. On top of all of that, if you sign up before July 14th, for any of them, you'll also get the Social Media Content Calendar, the Press Kit Template, and the Guide to Looking Better in Photos! 

If you're interested, click HERE and let me know in the subject line that you're wanting to be a KHP Insider! 

 

 "What are you waiting for?! Sign up!"

"What are you waiting for?! Sign up!"

 

 

 

June Networking Opportunites

 
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I know that everyone cringes at the word networking, but really, you have to tell people about your business and what you're all about. More importantly, you have to learn about other people, their business, and their needs. In short, you have to network. 

Networking can be fun if you approach it correctly! When choosing where to spend your time, consider the following things:

1) Where are your ideal clients? Who else already has their attention and could share referrals (and you with them, this is a two way street guys)?

2) When do you have time to network? Are morning coffee hours best, a midday lunch gathering, or is happy hour your free time? Look at what works for your schedule, and find something that fits.

3) Remember to smile, introduce yourself and ask questions! Everyone likes to talk about themselves, so be sure to lead with an open ended question. Others are just as nervous as you are.

4) Mind the follow up! Try to leave each event with 3 new contacts, and then actually follow up with them. In the week after, send them a short note letting them know you enjoyed meeting them, ask what else you can do to help their mission, or let them know of a good connection you can make for them. Be helpful! It's how this community thing works :)

Not sure where to start? Here is a list of events you can check out this month, in the Nashua/Manchester area:

June 6th, 6:30pm Tuesday's Together,  Studio of Photographic Arts, Manchester

June 6th, 8:00am, Coffee with the Mayor, Jajabelle's, Nashua

June 13th, 5:30pm Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, Eaton and Berube, Nashua

June 20th 5:30pm Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, JM Princewell, Milford

June 27th, 5:30pm Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce Networking, Labelle Winery, Amherst

And many more! Search on facebook, on eventbrite, or even ask your friends. We'll be adding a Women's networking event to this list, as well as the iUgo June Social as soon as dates have been firmed up. Check back soon!

 

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What to expect during your Headshot Photo Session

You enter the studio nervously, unsure what to expect. You say hi to the receptionist, and take a seat until you're called... 5 minutes past your appointment time. As you're escorted to the back, you notice racks and racks of equipment; you stifle a giggle as you notice the grey backdrop that reminds you of school photos way back when. The photographer points you towards a chair, sits you down, and begins adjusting lights and his camera. Before you know it, you hear 'smile!', there are bulbs flashing, and you're not even sure where you're supposed to look. "Wait! What are my hands supposed to do?!" 

 
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Honestly, I don't think there are many photographers that still operate this way, and certainly none that I consider colleagues. But I do know that many of my clients EXPECT this to be the experience when they first start to understand that they need new headshots. And guys, I gotta tell you, it's just not true. Don't let this outdated vision of what headshots are stop you from stepping up your online presence. 

 
It’s important to have chemistry with your photographer so you can relax and look your best in camera.
— Kristin Hardwick
 
Kristin Hardwick Photography Nashua NH New England Headshot Photographer Branding Lifestyle Portraits Outside Photos
 

Here's what you can expect during your headshot session with me: 

Easy booking - seriously, shoot me an email or call, and we can find a date that works for , you pay your session fee, and it's booked. In PEN (but also in Google because we live + die by the online calendars, amiright?)

A What to Wear Guide, that helps you figure out what the heck to wear! It's not that tricky, I promise, and the answer isn't always a blazer or suit (unless of course that's your power suit, then it's probably the answer!)

The option for hair and makeup. Not sure how to do your makeup for camera? No problem, because Sarah does! If you're anything like me, you'll want to be sure that your hair is also looking salon perfect in your photos, so you can book her for that as well. P.S. KHP clients get special pricing just for us!

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography Nashua NH New England Headshot Photographer Branding Lifestyle Portraits Outside Photos
 

A laid back, millyard studio, that's filled with sunlight, some gear, and a lot of good energy. I know this because I felt it the first time I came in, and it's hands down the comment I get the most about our beautiful studio. It's got good energy. We also have those traditional grey backdrops, along with other colors, exposed brick walls, and so much more. And if your brand warrants something outdoors? We have everything from urban chic to rural fields all within a 5 minute walk from the studio. It's pretty darn perfect. 

Posing instruction, from your pinky finger to your chin. Unless you're Beyoncé, I'm not going to expect you to know how to pose in front of my camera. None of us do, and it's my job to see where the light is hitting those cheekbones, and which side is your best. Leave it to me to pose your shoulders, your hips, and yes, even your feet. I got you. 

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography Nashua NH New England Headshot Photographer Branding Lifestyle Portraits Outside Photos
 

Real conversation. I need my clients to be comfortable with me, to really relax and open up to my camera. Those real conversations lead to real expressions, (and oh so often, real friendships!) This doesn't mean I'm going to be asking about your childhood fears ha! but I do want to know about your business, why you're getting photos done, and anything else you want to share with me!

Light retouching of your photos. Things I do edit without you asking: fine lines, acne, stray hairs, and weird bulges from your shirt not laying flat. Shadows under your eyes that are MY fault (not yours). Things I could have changed in posing. I am happy to further edit, but I am confident that you're going to see your photos and feel great about yourself, without my photoshopping you within an inch of your life :) You want your photos to look like the best representation of you - not a false image that people are going to feel distrustful of. 

A GOOD time. I can't tell you how many times I've had clients say "That was way more fun than I expected!" or my personal favorite "That wasn't painful at all!" And that's all before they see their final images...

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography Nashua NH New England Headshot Photographer Branding Lifestyle Portraits Outside Photos
 

If you're ready to get your headshots done AND spend some time brainstorming your brand, talking my ear off about your latest project, and practicing your 'chin down and out' (that'll make more sense after, I promise!) then shoot me an email - STAT. Or give me a call, I'd love to answer whatever other questions you have!

 

Kristin Hardwick Photography Nashua NH New England Headshot Photographer Branding Lifestyle Portraits Outside Photos
 

All photos of the lovely Laurie-Ann Murabito, Public Speaking Coach and Leadership Expert. Find her online at https://laurieannmurabito.com/ Hair and makeup by Premiere Makeup and Hair. 


 

Why Small Business Matters

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I could write a sonnet about my love for small businesses, but instead, I will just share a few words about one of my most very favorites. The W. H. Bagshaw company is owned by my dear friends Aaron and Adria Bagshaw, and as fifth generation owners of the family business, it's clear that they are in it for the love of business and their community. They were honored last night at the Small Business Association's Annual Awards Dinner, as Family Owned Small Business of the Year, and I was delighted to tag along to photograph it for them. 

 
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For anyone that thinks manufacturing might be a boring business, I want to set the record straight. The Bagshaw company uses both 100 year old machines and state of the art CNC machines to manufacture everything from pins to parts used in aeronautical and medical devices. They have a small team, but they are mighty and I love watching them work together.  

 
WHBagshaw Bagshaw Kristin Hardwick Photography Headshots NH New Hampshire Small Business Association
 
WHBagshaw Bagshaw Kristin Hardwick Photography Headshots NH New Hampshire Small Business Association
 

I admire the Bagshaw's not just for their business acumen, but for their dedication to their employees and the families that they support. I know from watching them, from talking to them, and as my husband is an employee, from experiencing it first hand, that they understand their responsibility in the community. Moreover, they don't just accept that responsibility, but they celebrate it by creating a work environment that is all about team work, growth, and family.

The Bagshaw's core values are Family, Empowerment, Make It happen, Courage & Perseverance. I'm honored to learn from them, and to call them friends. Congratulations Aaron and Adria!!

 
 With close family friends, and a cardboard cutout of W.H. Bagshaw

With close family friends, and a cardboard cutout of W.H. Bagshaw

 
WHBagshaw Bagshaw Kristin Hardwick Photography Headshots NH New Hampshire Small Business Association

My absolute favorite part of last night was being reminded that being an entreprenuer is a choice we make, and that choice enables others to have better lives. When you step up to say yes to being in business, that ripples far and wide. What an honor to be on this journey and to be learning from so many who've gone before. 

How to Attract and Access your Audience - Authentically!

 All images here were shot by me for Samantha Russo of samanthalrusso.com!

All images here were shot by me for Samantha Russo of samanthalrusso.com!

 

Authentic. For such a popular word buzzing between brands, it’s amazing how many business owners and entrepreneurs fail to show up and access their audience, authentically. When it comes to representing yourself, your business, and your brand with authenticity, the key is cohesion. You can’t, for example, separate your online presence from the real you who shows up at networking events and client meetings. I mean, you can… but you shouldn’t.

Why?

Because no one likes to feel fooled. If your digital diva is all about fashion, glamour, and tracking every trend, showing up to a client meeting in ratty Converse and overalls that you’ve had and patched since the 90s isn’t going to cut it. You’ve sold an image that isn’t in line with reality and your client -- or worse yet, your potential client -- winds up feeling duped and distrustful of you.

 
Samantha Russo Fitness Coach Social Media Headshots Head shots branding photography photos kristin hardwick Photography New Hampshire Nashua Manchester
 


Here’s the bottom line: Being yourself in your professional photos, as well as your behind-the- scenes sneak peeks, Facebook Lives, and real life interactions, helps build your credibility. It does you harm to pretend to be one person on your website, and then show up to your clients as yourself. You lose trust, and respect, and that's hard to gain back. Start your relationship with your audience and your clients on the right foot, and be yourself.

So, how can you attract and engage your audience in a consistently authentic way?

Unfortunately, what should be as simple as my suggestion “be yourself,” often isn’t for many business owners. Whether it’s a lack of trust in ourselves, fear of failure, or just a crisis of confidence overall, truly being ourselves sometimes requires a leap of faith and the sincere belief that who we are, what we have to say, and what we can offer those around us is valuable… and unique!

 
Samantha Russo Fitness Coach Social Media Headshots Head shots branding photography photos kristin hardwick Photography New Hampshire Nashua Manchester
 

So, because we’re all human and will surely suffer moments of self-doubt from time to time, commit this little mantra to memory, courtesy of Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself… everyone else is already taken.”

Here are my top three tried-and- true tips that allow me to always be my authentic self, no matter what.

 
Samantha Russo Fitness Coach Social Media Headshots Head shots branding photography photos kristin hardwick Photography New Hampshire Nashua Manchester
 

Show Up!
It almost doesn’t matter what your product or service is when it comes to showing up and establishing yourself within the right circles. What do I mean? Well, if you’ve just launched a marketing agency, for example, and you want to build your client base on a foundation of local businesses, it is your job to attend events in your community. And not just a one-off networking luncheon or conversation over coffee. Consistency is key to establishing your authentic presence in front of your target audience.

Meeting fellow entrepreneurs and business owners face-to- face is invaluable and a great way to start building your authentic network. Think of it as the difference between catching up with a friend over lunch versus on Facebook messenger. In our increasingly digitally-dominated, screen-shared age, there is no substitute for communication in real time.

 
Samantha Russo Fitness Coach Social Media Headshots Head shots branding photography photos kristin hardwick Photography New Hampshire Nashua Manchester
 

Share and Share Alike
Another simple, yet super important step to supporting yourself and your brand authentically is to demonstrate value before the sales pitch. In other words, share some of your hard-earned knowledge for free. A few pearls of wisdom gifted to your audience will go a long way in strengthening the thread of trust between you. When your audience believes that your product or service has value, based on your knowledge and generosity in sharing said knowledge, you have just become an authentic and trusted resource they will soon seek to hire. And this is a two-way street! Most people like to return a favor and will be only too happy to share a strategy or suggestion with you, as well. The mutual exchange of support is another tool in your authenticity arsenal.

 
Samantha Russo Fitness Coach Social Media Headshots Head shots branding photography photos kristin hardwick Photography New Hampshire Nashua Manchester Jajabelle's Poptart Bakery
 

Seek Support
In a way, you’re already doing this by showing up and sharing your knowledge. But, when I suggest you seek support what I really mean is you actively build your base, your tribe, you bevy of bosses… however you want to phrase it because finding your like-minded people demonstrates an authentic desire to strengthen and grow your brand.

Why, for example, would you sit alone on your laptop researching blogging tips, how to pose for headshots, or how to manage an email campaign when you are likely surrounded by professionals who have already done the legwork and are more than happy to help you find your footing?

 
Samantha Russo Fitness Coach Social Media Headshots Head shots branding photography photos kristin hardwick Photography New Hampshire Nashua Manchester
 

As you all know, we find strength in numbers. Perhaps better said, consider this African proverb:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
— African Proverb


Do you intend to go fast or far? What are you doing to build your authentic brand and life? If you're ready to show up in photos as you are in real life, then let's book a session and make them gorgeous. 

Birthday Special ~ Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off!

Since KHP turned 5 last month, I've been thinking about how I wanted to celebrate with YOU, my amazing clients. I've decided since relationships have been everything on this journey, why not offer a discount that celebrates those relationships for you?! 

 
 

Here's the details: Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off on any Headshot Session, or Social Media Mini Session booked during the month of April! You can book both for yourself (the two sessions do compliment each other very well!) or you can share the discount with a friend. So grab your BFF, your mom, your spouse, or your business partner, hit the button below to send me an email, and let's get you booked in at a massive savings!!

 

 

*Fine Print: Sessions must be booked for the same day, but don't have to be done together. Sessions need to be reserved and paid for in April, but can be scheduled for anytime before June 30th, 2018. 

 
 

 

What I've learned in 5 years of business

It's a little surreal to think that this little baby business has grown into a 5 year old business, and while, obviously that took some time (ahem5yearsahem) it also feels like it happened overnight. Much like parenting, you know everything about running a business before you start, and less and less as you go through it. But that's the fun part! Building a business is so much more than dollars and cents, it's about creating impact for others, while building a life for yourself. I thought since March is the official birthday month for KHP, I'd share 5 things I've learned over the past five years.  

Building a business is so much more than dollars and cents; it’s about creating impact for others, while building a life for yourself.
 
Kristin Hardwick Photography Nashua NH New Hampshire Portrait Photographer Friends Jumping Red Dress Photobomb Boston Manchester Headshots
 
  1. Trust your own instincts. That client that you didn't really jive with, but felt like you needed to say yes to because you have bills to pay? That project that you aren't really excited about but everyone else says is a great idea and will sell? Those shoes that are killer but also killer in a not good way? Trust your instincts. You know what feels right and what feels off, and the faster you learn to pause and listen to your intuition, the faster you'll get really good at it. 
  2. Being yourself is easier and more profitable than trying to be someone else. This applies to your branding, to your interactions with customers, even to offering products and services that align with your own preferences. Just because someone else out there is selling x (in my case, newborn photography) doesn't mean that you have to sell it, or that you should. Also, having a copycat brand is not only ineffective, it will make you feel frustrated and bad about yourself, because you're not the person you're trying to copy. Just be you.
  3. Know your why, and make it about more than yourself. If your why is just so you don't have to go to a job you hate anymore, that's great, but it won't sustain when a year in, your business idea is no longer relevant and a desk job looks easier. You need to know what change you're trying to make in the world (even if that 'world' is a tiny fraction of humans). You need to have a why that will sustain you through the ups and downs. Learning who you're serving, (it's not everyone) also goes a long way towards building your brand, successfully.
  4. Make relationships and make relationships and make relationships. I don't care if you're an introvert, you need to go out into your community (real life or online, but preferably both), and build relationships. Shop from your local businesses. Tell them what you do. Take an interest in other people, and they will take an interest in you. Building a business can be LONELY. You think you're the only one working crazy hours and feeling frustrated (especially when all your other friends have corporate jobs that they check out of at 5pm), but you're not. Did you hear me? You're not alone. I can't even begin to tell you how many of my amazing friends are business owners, side hustlers, freelancers , or big CEOs. And they all have their own perspective and pain points in business, and doing this together isn't just more fun, it's a whole lot easier. Relationships you guys. 
  5. Lastly, my biggest lesson learned is that this is all fun. Well, it's what you make it. If you think building a business is hard and you need to struggle for years, then it will be. If you think it'll be easy, and fun, and a wild adventure, then it will be! Remember WHY you started your business, (for me, it was freedom and creativity and the love of small businesses) and it all gets a lot more fun. Oh, and add in a few dance parties and hair flips, ok??
 

 

These lessons are the reason I created the Brand Your Biz & Life online course, so you don't have to make the same mistakes I made. It walks you through discovering who you are, your why, and who you serve, and then gives you an ACTION plan to create your brand visuals, your brand copy, your online strategy and your offline strategy. It's 5 years of experience wrapped into one neat package to get you fast tracked to speaking to your dream clients, serving them well, and building a profitable brand - all while being yourself. If you're curious, click over to HERE to check out the lessons. I'm super excited about how this is going to help you, and don't want you to wait another week to start living your best life!! 

 

Embrace your unique energy and expertise, and intentionally create a business that supports your dream life.
 

 

Instead of doing a huge event to celebrate KHP turning 5, I decided to invite a small group of friends to the studio for some drinks and camera shenanigans. I have been wanting to photograph my group of close friends for forever, and this was the perfect excuse for the project. These are people who have been around for this ride, some since the beginning, some more recently, but all are ones that I can turn to with the good and the bad. *There are some people not in these photos that came to celebrate, and some that wanted to be here, but couldn't be. It's not an exhaustive list. 

Lastly, there are one million people that have helped me, mentored me, shaped me, and supported me on this journey. My clients, my family, my friends, my former coworkers, and even the ones who doubted me. There are no words to say thank you, in a big enough way. My business is still young, but my enthusiasm and appreciation is so big. We're just getting started over here... 

 

 

Cheers to another 5 more!! 

Be you,

Kristin

 

P.S. Know someone else who wants to connect with her clients faster, and avoid many of the mistakes we make as beginning entrepreneurs? Send her this post, she'll thank you for thinking of her and her success!

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography Nashua NH New Hampshire Portrait Photographer Friends Jumping Red Dress Photobomb Boston Manchester Headshots
 

5 Day Live Your Brand Challenge

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Hey guys! I'm here with something new real quick, and wanted to share it with you, before putting it on social media! I am hosting a FREE 5 Day Live Your Brand Challenge to start authentically living your brand, starting next Monday. Mother Nature can't stop us! Ha - here's the details:

  • Get Clear on What Your Dream Brand Looks Like
  • 5 Days of Small Challenges
  • Bite Size Action Items for you to bring it to life
  • Check Ins and HELP when you get stuck

I'll be sharing via email and via FB Lives, so however you learn best, I got you!

This is perfect for you if you're not quite sure how to get from 'dream brand' in your head to actually showing that to your audience and clients, OR if you feel like you've been stuck on branding forever, working away, and haven't gotten anywhere. (We've all been there - when working for ourselves feels a lot more like work than freedom!) 

This is meant to take out all the hard parts of branding, and replace it with the fun easy stuff. It's free, and as we head into Spring, there's no better time to take stock of what you want your brand and life to look like! 

If you want to join us, just use the CONTACT form to sign up, and let me know to put you on the list!

 

xoxo,

Kristin


 

When you lose a little bit of weight...

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography New Hampshire Photographer Portrait Website Photos Branding Headshots Head shots
 

This is absolutely my biggest pet peeve when it comes to things my clients say. "I'll get photos done when I lose a little bit of weight." Why?? Will you be able to serve your clients better? Will you be more liked, and therefore more successful? Will you be doing better work in your day to day? No? I mean, unless you're a bikini model or a fitness competitor, I'm pretty sure your work in your business doesn't depend on if you're a size 6 or a size 16. 

 
 Photo by MCAG Photography

Photo by MCAG Photography

 

People don't care if you have a slight double chin, jiggly arms, or if your stomach isn't as flat since you had kids. Psst... they don't even see those things about you. You see them! But the world sees your energy and your light and what you're confidently bringing to the table. They see what you can help them with, and they see you as the expert you are. 

 

When you were looking for an accountant to hire, did you ask for recommendations of someone who's extremely capable with self employment taxes, and also who is skinny? No! You wanted to hire the person who was most capable of doing the job you needed done, and who you found relatable and likable. That's it.

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography New Hampshire Photographer Portrait Website Photos Branding Headshots Head shots

 

Now here's the real truth: we use our weight or our insecurities about our appearances as an excuse to play small. As a reason to hold back from sharing our gifts from the world. You can't be told that you're not the best accountant, or chef, or photographer in town if they don't actually see you, right? Your business, the one that you're pouring your heart and soul into, is meant to serve someone (or else get out of business 😉 ) and as we've discussed, you're going to connect with so many more of the people who need you, when you decide to show up in it. And I mean really show up. Your business, as much as you need to be the face of it, is not about you. It's about what you're trying to do in the world. 

 

So often, we're so afraid of having a bad photo taken, that we don't take one at all. Because, holy moly, if our audience saw us as less than perfect, they will NEVER buy from us - right?? C'mon... I know we all know better than that. And it's easy to agree with that, but then still be paralyzed with fear when it comes to our own website photos. But guess what - you need to be on your website. Not in 10 lbs, but now. Your clients hire you and work with you and see you in person, now, so why should online be any different?

 

Kristin Hardwick Photography New Hampshire Photographer Portrait Website Photos Branding Headshots Head shots

 

I'm speaking from a place of experience here, of course. It took me years to get my own professional headshots done, because I was 'losing the baby weight". No matter that I had completed half marathons and a freaking Half Ironman during this time! We all struggle, I think, with giving ourselves the same unconditional love we give others. And while it's good to always be improving, we have to at some point realize, that 15 lbs (or whatever) should not be stopping you. I've been all different sizes along this entrepreneurial journey, and I can assure you that my business has been way more successful when I decided to get into my photos and share confidently what I do for my clients. When I stopped focusing on myself and my own weight, I was able to focus on how I could best photograph my clients. I used that freed up energy to focus on my clients' needs, wants, and how to help them further their own businesses (my true why in this). 

 

Don't put off having branding photos for your business done until you've reached a certain number on the scale. Show up now, and declare to the world what it is you do, and who you do it for. Oh, and to put your mind at total ease, proper posing, lighting, and styling will make you look your absolute best. So good in fact, that I recently had a client accuse me of photoshopping her thinner than she is, and I got to proudly inform her that I did not touch that photo.  😉 We also offer wardrobe assistance, and professional hair and makeup, which makes you really look like the best most polished version of yourself. So... what's more important: the business you're trying to build, or the little voice in your head telling you that you need to lose a few pounds before you'll be successful?

I thought so - that's why we get along!

 
Kristin Hardwick Photography New Hampshire Photographer Portrait Website Photos Branding Headshots Head shots
 

If you're ready to get out of your comfort zone, and show up for your clients (and yourself!) in a big way, I'd love to design the perfect photoshoot for you. Let's schedule a free consultation to discuss what your brand really needs for photos!

All photos here by MCAG Photography.

What Your Business Really Needs Is You

 
 

If I start this post with a question about whether or not headshots are important to your business, I know what the response would be.

 

"They are, Kristin, you say it alllll the time. You're the headshot photographer." With an eye roll to make any teenager proud.

 

And I'd be SO PROUD of you for knowing the answer! But this isn't a cheesy mom lecture, so I'm not going to do that.

 

I am going to ask you who is the best person to explain the heart and soul of your business to your audience? And I will also ask you whether or not you like knowing about the people behind your favorite brands? Oh, and also, do you think that magnolia wreaths are selling like hotcakes because they are so much prettier than every other greenery, or because 50% of the country has fallen in love with Fixer Upper's Chip & Joanna Gaines

 
What your business really needs is you.
— Kristin Hardwick

 

What your business really needs most is you. You didn't start this business to be a carbon copy of someone else, so put the brakes on that, and start sharing more of the human behind the hustle!

You wanted to create a business that served others, let you have a bit more freedom, and even, dare I say, FUN! Let your audience begin to know, like, and trust you. With the most recent social media algorithm changes it's now even MORE important to put the human touch back into your business. Gone are the days when a flash sale and stock photos were enough to create some sales - now you need to actually create connection. The best way to do that is by sharing authentically. A few ways to do that:

 
Start sharing more of the human behind the hustle!
— Kristin Hardwick

 

1) #Fridayintroductions is always trending on Friday, but don't feel like you need to wait until Friday to share. Post your headshot, or a great selfie, and share a few things about yourself and why you started your business. Other options include sharing 2 Truths and 1 Lie, or 5 Quirky Facts About Me. Be creative here, but the point it to make it personal, relate it to your business, and connect with your audience.

 
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2) Have a team? Even if it's just contractors, or a part time Virtual Assistant, show them some love and highlight them in your content! I personally love seeing posts where we get to know the person who packages up the dayplanners, or the cameraman behind the constant stream of videos. 

 
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3) Put yourself on your website. For reals. On your about me page, at least, but I recommend also showing your face (or your team) wherever you're describing what you sell or offer, and on your home page. These don't have to be stiff corporate headshots, but should include fun lifestyle shots that really showcase the energy you bring to your business.

 
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4) Behind the scenes photos! Share on social media or your website what you're working on, a little bit of your process, and the unfinished projects. Everyone loves to see the "how" behind the glossy end result. Get in these photos to really let your audience connect with you. #YourPhoneHasASelfTimer 

 
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5) Share your Why. In your website copy, in your Instagram captions, in your elevator speech. People want to see what you do, for sure, but they want to know WHY you do it and WHY you care. And frankly, they won't care until they know why you do. 

 

 

6) Have fun - and then share that fun! What do you love about what you do?? What gets you SO excited? Share that. Your ideal client is going to react to your enthusiasm, and be interested and engaged. This is where you will start to stand out from every other life coach/ author/ yoga instructor that is playing it safe and sharing bland and vague status updates. How to do this in photos? We make sure we capture a range of expressions for you to use in your branding photos: the silly, the serious, and the energetic.  

 
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If you're going to make a name for yourself in your industry, you're going to have to stand up and confidently declare who you are, and what you do. You're going to have to be willing to be yourself, and let others love you for who you are and how you help them.  The faster you get excited about showing off what you makes you different, in photographs and other content, the faster you're going to attract your perfect clients. 

 

Excited to get more YOU in your business, but unsure where to start? Reach out to book a quick consultation call, and we can figure out how to best showcase you in your business!

 

Intentional Branding = An Intentional Life

 
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I firmly believe that by being intentional when designing your brand photoshoot, you will also intentionally design your dream life.

WHOA

Yeah, let me explain. I meet a new client, who needs branding photos for their business. She's an author, and about to embark on the speaking circuit, but hasn't landed her first speaking gig yet. We start to discuss her goals and preferences, and then design her shoot.

  • What does she want to be known for?
  • Where does she see herself ultimately speaking?
  • Who are her ideal clients?
  • What does she wear to meet her ideal clients?
  • Why does she want this dream brand?

In her dream life, where does she hang out, grab a drink, or socialize? What parts of her personality are we showcasing, and what future accolades are we preparing her for?

 
 

Didn't think all of that goes into a branding shoot? It does because we want to give you images that work for your current situation, but also for the future of your brand. When the media needs you to send over a headshot, or you get asked to sit on a panel, and they want to feature your website, you will be ready. If you've got goals of speaking to large audiences, let's get some shots of you behind a podium (yes, we can stage that)!

It's like a vision board. Once we create these images of you that showcase you authentically, in your dream version of your business, you are declaring to the world what you bring to the table, and what you'd like your life to look like

Identifying what you want to be known for allows you to hone in on your specialty, and lets us create images that speak to that niche. You'll know exactly how you can help others, and others will know who to refer to you, for your specific expertise.

What about locations? Where do you want to work, be it on stage, in upscale restaurants, or outdoors at the beach? By showcasing that in your photos you allow others to see what it feels like to work with you. They can imagine themselves there, and you'll start to create opportunities that lead you to these specific places. Additionally, you're more likely to spend time in these places, if your website and social media presence shows you there (trust me on this one). 

Once you nail down who your ideal clients are, we can create images that speak to them, and you'll start to see your days fill up with people whose energy you love. This leads to your days being filled with good energy. You stop attracting people who want you to lower your prices, or do work that's outside your scope of expertise. 

 
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You'll have a better idea of your style, because, look, we have photos of you looking your best, and you can easily replicate that. I bet that next time you're out shopping, you'll know which colors or style fit your brand, and regardless of budget, you can recreate that look. 

What is your why? Are you super clear on your mission, and why you want to make this a success? This one thing will clarify a whole lot for your business, and especially for your life. 

Believe it until you acheive it.
— unknown

And most importantly? You've got the confidence. You took the time to declare to the world that this is who you are, this is what you stand for, and this is who you serve. Being intentional about building that brand has led you to attract your ideal clients, spending time in your ideal locations, and even curating an ideal look. It's an ever-evolving process, for sure, but your photo shoot serves as a custom vision board for your life. 

Vision boards work. Not so sure? This article from Forbes, and this article from The Huffington Post both detail out the psychology of why these are effective: because visualization is a powerful tool for our minds. Everyone from Olympic athletes to top CEO's use it to create their results and they all agree it's important to focus on how you want to feel. I would suggest the same thing for your branding photos: how do you want to feel in them, and how do you want your clients to feel when looking at them?

 
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When you decide what you want your dream photoshoot to look and feel like, you know have a vision board to make that dream a reality. Every day. In your business and in your life. Having a portfolio of images that depict you at your best is not just an important investment for your business, but for your life. Create your vision, and let me bring that to life for you.  Ready to get started?  

 
 

Collaboration and Comparison

What happens when 9 girls with cameras descend upon a gorgeous coffee and florist shop in the heart of New Hampshire? Silliness. And also a whole lot of creation, collaboration, and even some soul searching. I blame it all on the lattes...

 
 Photo by the lovely Chloe Malsick

Photo by the lovely Chloe Malsick

 

Last week I invited my makeup artist and fellow photographer friend to join me at Apotheca Flower Shoppe in lovely Goffstown, NH. Half coffee shop, half florist shop, it's 100% Pinterest worthy, with a delightful side of caffeine. Once we posted in our Tuesday's Together Facebook Group, a handful of others wanted to join, and we were super excited to have it expand. Some of the girls were makeup artists, bloggers, or models, but most were photographers. Many were ones who's portfolio's I'd admired from afar, even if I'd not met them yet. 

 
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The day of the shoot was super fun, if not a bit chaotic. Apotheca was so gracious to allow us to shoot while they were open for business with their other customers in and out. We tried to photograph each other, grabbing behind the scenes shots of each other working, as well as creating photos for our own portfolios. I learned a few things about myself very quickly: a) I make weird faces when I'm photographing and b) shooting in front of other photographers made me NERVOUS. But it was super great to see how others approached different shots, meet some new people, and get the shots I had been envisioning for a while. Simple and done, right?

 
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NOT SIMPLE AND DONE. (is this called a plot twist?)

 
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Except, the next morning, as I lay in bed, scrolling on my phone, I began to see what the other girls were posting, and I quickly began comparing. "Whoa, I never thought to take that shot from that angle." "Holy moly, she captured the perfect expression." And of course, the classic, "Who's muffin top is that?!" (spoiler alert, mine). Instead of celebrating the gorgeous images that were created by these new friends, I instantly created a story about not being good enough. I spiraled down the rabbit hole that we all do, judging myself so harshly, and giving them all the grace and approval in the world. 

 
 Photo by the talented Kelly Anne Photography

Photo by the talented Kelly Anne Photography

You guys - WHAT THE FREAK?! Josh pointed out that the whole point was to create gorgeous shots with other people, and that's what happened, so what was the problem. "How are your photos? Have you even looked?" Ummm... no. I was too busy obsessing over how gorgeous their photos were, that I hadn't even bothered to look at mine. Do you think I'm crazy yet?

 
 Ashleigh and Friend wooping it up on the sofa - pure light from these two!

Ashleigh and Friend wooping it up on the sofa - pure light from these two!

 

Once I did look at my photos, I realized a few things. One, I have beautiful friends, who's energy radiates on camera. Love them and so grateful they were for my idea to shoot here. Secondly, I had some gorgeous shots that I am crazy proud of! Stunning images that are going in the portfolio. And thirdly, I was wasting an opportunity to learn, by pouting and letting my ego go all bananas. I think this is called imposter syndrome. 

 
Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.
— Google
 
 Isn't she lovely??? Kelly Anne folks...

Isn't she lovely??? Kelly Anne folks...

 

Then, I reach out to a friend that was there and confided in her about my crazy imposter syndrome, and she confessed she felt similar. And then so did another girl at the shoot. And another. And another. We were all so busy comparing ourselves, that we neglected to celebrate and be inspired. Once we let that all out, and realized we were all in the same boat, it seemed a little silly. Further more, we were able to learn from each other. I learned a new composition technique, and was able to share some of my posing expertise. I truly feel like I'm walking into my next shoot with more knowledge to create better photos. Oh, and I was inspired to edit my photos a bit differently this time, just for creatives sake. 

 
 Jenn Bakos working her magic...

Jenn Bakos working her magic...

 

We need to stop doing this to ourselves. We need to celebrate each other, without doubting ourselves. Kelly and Chloe creating gorgeous images, that are different than my images, is amazing and awesome. I'm so grateful for this experience, and so grateful to have realized we are all fighting the comparison monster together.

 
 I told you there was some silliness...

I told you there was some silliness...

 
Oh, and don't compare your unedited raw images to someone else's final photos 😉  
 

If you know someone else who needs to hear this message, please share this with them. Share it on Facebook, email them the link, or even just text it to them. We're all in this together, and have to remember to reach out and help. 

 
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Stop Their Scroll - Announcing Social Media Minis

 Photo cred: Kelly Anne Photography

Photo cred: Kelly Anne Photography

 

It's the beginning of the week and you're determined to get your social media feed all scheduled and ready to go. You've made it a priority. Ok, so what do you share? Where do you get stock images? What seems like an easy task quickly becomes an overwhelming time grab as you go down the rabbit hole of trying to find stock images, or trying to get shots of your messy desk to look pretty enough. It's frustrating, and frankly, is taking you away from doing the tasks in your business you really love to do. It's a waste of energy and money, and most importantly, your time. 

Consider your frustrations over, as I am so excited to start offering Social Media Mini Sessions to you, and give you swoon-worthy images that are custom to your brand, done quickly, and on a budget. Perfect for updating as quickly as your business shifts, or the seasons' change.

 
As business owners, we’re expected to have fresh content every day - and it’s exhausting.
 

What's included?

For an introductory price of $300,  you get a one hour session to photograph your behind the scenes, tools of the trade, and even styled layflats that fit your brand colors, themes, and story. You get 20 images to use, and I'll even show you how to crop them for maximum usage and versatility. 

(What's not included? Headshots, or lifestyle portraits. These are meant to be content images that support your branding, not portraits of yourself or your team.)

 
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Who is this perfect for?

Anyone who is looking to grow their social media following in 2018. If you're a small business who sells products or services, this is a good fit. If you're building a personal brand as an influencer, this is a good fit. If you're tired of looking at your competitors' social feeds and feeling less than, when you KNOW you can serve your audience if only you could convey your value, this is a good fit. If you're planning to book a full branding shoot for your website this year, and just need some images to tide you over, this is a good fit. 

 
 Photo Credit: Chloe Malsick

Photo Credit: Chloe Malsick

 

I want these to be the content filler for your days when you stare blankly at your phone and think... what the heck do I even post?? I don't want you to be wasting time trying to find images that maybe sort of work for your brand, when you should be focusing on serving your clients, building your business, and *gasp* enjoying your days. 

One last thing...

If you're hesitating because you're unsure if better photos are going to make a difference to your bottom line, remember that our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and the first impression of your business is always going to be based on the visuals. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression - let's make it one you're excited about!

 
 

Know someone else who's working like crazy to improve their Instagram or Facebook feed? Share this with them too! 

Where Health Meets Happiness - with HBFitness

Personal Trainer Holly Bly is like the fit best friend you can confide to about your insecurities (and also your inability to jump without peeing) who also makes custom playlists for your workout! Quirky, relatable, but also fun and goal orientated, she keeps you on track and cheers for you every step of the way. Workouts with Holly are more like hanging out, with a side of good endorphins and newly found core muscles. After I spent the day photographing her for her website and social media, I asked her if I could interview her for the blog, about her path to owning a business, and what makes her different from all the other trainers in NH. 

 
HBFitness Personal Trainer NH Photographer Lifestyle Branding Photography Headshots
 

 

Can you tell me about your background as a fitness trainer: I’m certified with NASM as a personal trainer. I'm also a member of IDEA, and am trained in prenatal and postnatal fitness. I’m continuing my education forever; I’m currently studying nutrition and functional movement. 

 

What made you decide to go into business for yourself vs getting a job at a gym?  Freedom and Family. I teach at my home, not a club for that reason. Freedom to set the hours that work for myself and my clients. Freedom to serve the people I work best with. Making my own choices vs being handed instructions from corporate, regarding how to train individual clients. My family is my number 1 priority, I really am a stay at home mom, who has also has a passion for this. So I wanted to do both.

 
HBFitness Personal Trainer NH Photographer Lifestyle Branding Photography Headshots
 

 

Who are you trying to help/work with? My main focus will always be other moms, young girls, women who need help building confidence. It’s not just about being fit, it’s about finding your happiness as well. Beyond workouts, we focus on nutrition, habits, check-ins, camaraderie, support, accountability, motivation, goal tracking, outside perspective to remind you of your goals and successes, and knowledge to help overcome obstacles. Inspiration. A positive mindset will be the thing that makes you successful long term. 

It’s not just about being fit. It’s about finding your happiness as well.
— Holly Bly

 

What’s your favorite part of your job? Teaching people something new. Specifically with moms who are former athletes. You get so trained in one sport, that you often forget about the basics, creating balanced muscles, and new skills. Seeing the lightbulb moments and then the progress is so validating and exciting. 

 
HBFitness Personal Trainer NH Photographer Lifestyle Branding Photography Headshots
 

 

What was your big vision for your life as a mom, and how does this fit into it? I wanted to be MILF! Haha, just kidding, don’t put that in. (Kristin’s note: obviously I did.) I always wanted to be healthy and inspiration for my kids, by letting them see that I work out every day but also that I help others as well. I’ve built a business around my family, not the other way around.

 

Where do you see yourself in 1-3 years? Changing lives of the women in Souhegan Valley!

 

What makes you different from the other personal trainers in NH? I have a beautiful in home gym, not affiliated with larger corp, where my clients can come.  I meet people where they are at, I don’t put my clients in a cookie cutter routine. Individual plans for everyone! I am forever learning and investing in new trainings to be on the cutting edge for my clients, while having the background in education to weed out the fads that won’t produce results. I teach my clients how to create a lifestyle, not a quick fix, to create lasting health changes beyond a pants size. I want people to know that I’m not affiliated with any other product. I recommend what’s best for each individual client based on their needs, and not based on what I’m compensated for selling.

 

HBFitness Personal Trainer NH Photographer Lifestyle Branding Photography Headshots
 

 

What are some common obstacles your clients face? Time. Knowledge. Habits. Structure. 

 

How do you help them overcome those? Accountability. Giving them the tools and the map for the process. I don’t let them go on their own until we are both confident that they know what to do, how to do it, and have the habits built to sustain their new lifestyle. 

 

What would you suggest for anyone just starting out on their fitness path? Listen to your body. What if my body is saying more carbs please? Then you get them in fruits and vegetables, not bread. Trust in the process. Don’t give up so quickly. Focus on how you’re feeling, and not just what you’re seeing. 

 
HBFitness Personal Trainer NH Photographer Lifestyle Branding Photography Headshots
 

 

As a former athlete, would your advice be different for new moms who have an athletic history? No, but, I’d add that you REALLY need to trust the process and to not hold your body to the same standards you had pre baby. Our bodies are amazing, and moms know that more than anyone, but you really need to trust the process, and take it one day at a time.

 

You and your husband both run, and compete in many of the same races. Who’s faster? I used to be, before he was a runner. Then I signed him up for a 5k, and asked him to start running with me… bad idea!! Now he is… 

 
HBFitness Personal Trainer NH Photographer Lifestyle Branding Photography Headshots Runner Girl NHSRTT
 

 

How do you manage to both get your workouts in, if you’re busy juggling jobs, a business, and two young sons? I prefer working out before they get up, and he prefers working out at night. When it was just one son, we’d take turns pushing the jogging stroller and get our runs done together. 

 

What would you say to the busy moms (ahem all of us) who feel like we can’t make time for workouts? You can’t take care of your family 110% if you don’t take care of yourself first. Besides, it teaches your kids how important health is, and it also shows them it’s ok to take care of ourselves. 

 
 

 

What races or events do you have on your calendar for 2018? Where can people find you? Harpoon 5k! Reach the Beach, again, this will be our 6th time. Horseneck Half Marathon. Possibly some others, we are keeping it open. 

 

Favorite guilty pleasure: Beer and pretzels! My husband and I love craft beer. 

 

What’s your favorite current exercise? What’s your least favorite? Well I just got a Slamball and that’s pretty fun!! Burpees are also awesome! I loathe doing anything boring. Things that are repetitive, aimless purposeless…. like walking on the treadmill. Working out to check a box, and not knowing what specifically I’m working on.

 

If you only had 15 minutes to workout, what would you do? HIIT: weights and cardio burpees! Effective, fast, and total body. Best bang for the buck. 

 

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What fun things can we expect from HBFitness this year? I’m super excited to be offering group classes starting in February! They are perfect for all fitness levels, an alternative to happy hour with the girls, bring your friends, and indulge in some endorphins. 

 

 

I think what's most contagious about Holly's energy, is her belief that being healthy leads to happiness. She believes in balance, moderation, and fun! If you're interested in checking out her classes, you can find her online at www.hbfitnessnh.com, or follow her on Instagram or Facebook!

So, what would you want her to put on your workout playlist?? I'm always in the mood for some Beastie Boys or some Mackelmore when running...  

To Makeup or Not? That is the question.

I've been working with Sarah Bombard of Premiere Makeup for about a year now, and she's been such an instrumental member of the KHP team. She puts my clients at ease, asks all the right questions, and her work is flawless. From the truly natural look, to a smoky eye, she's got it dialed in. I asked her to answer a few questions about makeup for your branding photoshoots, to give you the inside scoop. 

 Sarah Bombard, photo by Lindsey Snavely Photography

Sarah Bombard, photo by Lindsey Snavely Photography

 

First of all, do you NEED professional makeup for your shoot? You might not. If you have even skin tone, get enough sleep and water, and don't wear makeup when you meet your dream clients, then I'd say it's totally fine to skip it. The camera does tend to wash most complexions out, though, so even if you want a natural "no makeup" look, it may be worth it to go with a professional makeup artist, like Sarah.

 
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What sort of look do you want?

When you sit down in front of Sarah, the first thing she's going to ask you is "what do you want", because she's kind and cares about your opinions! However, if you're like most clients, you don't know what to ask for. So I had her break down the 'looks' for us, so you can get a feel for what's what. 

From Sarah:

Light makeup is what Holly chose (right), and can be best described as light coverage on the skin, light eyeshadow, and maybe pale liner with mascara. A light lip or nude is often chosen, as well. Kristin's note: For a comparison, on the left here, is Mia, who chose no makeup. She wanted to appear as she normally does when meeting her clients, and as a triathlon coach, this is pretty accurate. She also is a nut about her hydration and skin, and is one of the few people I know who can pull this off :) She showed up to her shoot, slicked on some eyeliner and lipstick, and we were off and running. *pun intended. 

 
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Medium Makeup would be a contoured eyelid with colored shadow, eyeliner, and mascara. An example can be seen here, on the beautiful Gina (left) and Angela (right). Perfect for those who wear makeup in their day to day lives, and who want to look like themselves, only more polished. Goes great with a bold lip color!  

 
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Heavy Makeup would be darker colors, bolder lashes and/or when the shadow line and lashes stand out. Sometimes clients ask for a smokey look, when they want a heavy look. A smokey eye is actually a technique and not referring to its color. A Smokey eye is when the shadow, the liner. and the lashes are all blended together. This can be in a dark color or in a subtle way! Darla (left) and "Meg I'mNotAfraidOfMakeup" (right) both chose a heavier look, but it's done in such a beautiful way to enhance their features. 

 
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There are so many pros to having your makeup done professionally for your shoot. A pro like Sarah understands where the light is going to hit, and how to avoid hot spots in camera (those are shiny bright spots on your forehead and such that we don't want!!). She can contour your face (without looking like a tiger) to accentuate your best features. She can camouflage imperfections, and most importantly, she can make you feel uber confident - which always translates to the camera! 

 

 

How to pick the perfect lip shade

Finally, a few friends on Instagram asked her for recommendations on choosing the best lip color. Here's what Sarah had to say: 

The topic of choosing the perfect lip color could be written about for hours! I’ll try to keep it brief and simple. The short answer is you first need to determine if you are a warm skin tone or a cool skin tone. How does one do that you ask? Lift up your sleeve, or your multiple sleeves (geez it’s really fricken cold here), and take a look at your forearm. Do your veins appear blue? Then you’re cool my friend! Do your veins appear green? Then you are warm! Do some veins look blue and some look green? You’re both!!

 
 Bite Lipstick

Bite Lipstick

 

Once you find out what color family you should stick with then all you need to do to choose a lip color that’ll look good on you is to pick a cool or warm tone. Everyone can rock a red lip or a bold trendy color they just have to choose the right tone! Cool lip colors will have a blue undertone and warm lip colors will have an orange undertone. Those of you lucky ducks who have both can wear either! Quick tip, if you choose a bold lip color, bright or dark, it’s best to keep your eye makeup on the subtle side. Always choose eyes to stand out or lips! Don’t want to overpower your face. Let you shine through!

 

 

A giant thank you to Sarah for spelling this all out for us! If you need a makeup artist for a your next speaking gig, a night out, or a wedding, be sure to reach out to her. And of course, all branding photoshoots with KHP include hair and makeup! 

Ready to show up flawlessly on your website and social media? Book your branding shoot by contacting us here

Why Authenticity Matters in Photography

Bob Burg is famous for his quote, "People do business with those they know, like and trust." Great advice, but how do you get your audience to know, like, and trust you, so that they will do business with you? 

Be authentic.

Anyone else feel like the word authentic was so 2017?? It was a hot buzzword for sure - and therefore it might not even be registering in our brains anymore. Here's why I still love it though: because finally, after 32 years on this earth, Authenticity is one of my core values. Truly, I have found so much freedom, joy, and yes, success this past year, once I stopped trying to be everyone else's version of a photographer, and chose to be myself. Authentic. 

 
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Let me tell you a story about my favorite human, Josh. Okay, I'm married to him, but that doesn't make the story any less relevant to you. 

About 3 years ago, I was having drinks with my best friend Amber, and a few other casual acquaintances. One of the women had not met my husband yet, and somehow he got brought up in conversation. I started to describe him the way any wife does: he does this for work, I met him here, etc. Amber, who has actually known him longer than I have, interrupted me. 

"Whether you've known Josh for 20 minutes, or 20 years, he's the exact same person. He's himself, always. No matter who's in the room." 

I paused when she said it and realized she was so right. Josh is himself, and he doesn't care if others like him. She didn't mean that he's exactly the same person he was 20 years ago, but that whether he's known you for 20 years or for only 20 minutes, he treats you the same. He is himself. He doesn't have different versions of himself that he shows to different crowds. He TRULY is authentically himself, no matter what. 

I have tried to embody this quality since the first time Amber pointed it out. It's so admirable because through his authenticity, people naturally like him and trust him. They can tell that he's not pretending to be someone else. Sure, some people probably don't like him (#dummies) but whether you do or you don't. you know who he is, therefore you trust him. 

 
 

Branding is the same way. When you are yourself in your business, or 'on the field' as Gary Vee would say, your audience will naturally trust and like you. It's a human thing - we can spot a phony a mile away, and with the evolution of social media and influencers, we're only getting faster at it.  

How do you be authentic? 

It seems simple - be yourself! Ok, that seems simple enough, but that doesn't mean it's easy. When sharing photos, share photos of your real life (clients love a good behind the scenes). Share food or drinks that you ACTUALLY eat/drink. Use words that resonate with your clients, but that you truly use in conversation - out loud. Share your opinions and preferences, and not just what you think you're supposed to think/say. 

What about fear? Afraid that if you show your authentic self, then your audience won't like you? Well you're probably right to some degree - whenever we are 100% ourselves, some people won't. But those aren't your people. And the people who DO like you, will connect with you on a much deeper level. 

So should you not try to be a polished brand? No, not at all. You can be true to your values and your personality, while still putting in the effort to be consistent and polished. Professional photos that show you working and solving your client's problems are still authentic! They are the best kind of authentic - you at your best. You can still choose to stick to a color palette for your brand and showcase things in your life that are within that color palette. When taking an Instagram photo, maybe remove some of the clutter from your desk before snapping the shot. It's still authentic in that it is your desk, and your items and your moment, but it's more visually appealing. 

 
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Lastly, it's easier to be yourself. Your branding photographs should show you in amazing clothing or locations that you would actually wear or hang out in. You should be photographed looking comfortable and confident, not with a fake smile plastered on your face. Your audience wants to know what it feels like to work with you, and designing a photo shoot that captures your energy and your expertise are what's going to do that for you. 

If you're ready to show up as the best, most authentic version of yourself, I'd love to work together. Feel free to message me to book your session, or call me directly at 603-718-0094. 

Be you,

Kristin

The first mile is the hardest...

One of my hobbies beyond photography, is running, (and swimming and biking, I like triathlons). Some months I'm super dedicated and log miles upon miles, and some months, like November, I log 3.3. Thankfully, this month I'm feeling in the groove again, and logging more.

 My "just 1 mile today!" selfie for my running group!

My "just 1 mile today!" selfie for my running group!

As I was out today, it occurred to me that the first mile, NO MATTER WHAT, is always the hardest. Whether I'm headed out for 30 minutes with my dogs, or a half marathon, it's the same. I've run every distance up to a full marathon and a Half Ironman, and I can say without any doubt, that every first mile is the hardest. It doesn't matter if it's a race or a training run or a group run with my girlfriends. You can't breathe, your legs feel like cement, and you wonder where this so-called 'runners high' is. The first mile sucks, and sometimes the second one does too. 

But then it gets a little easier. Your breathing regulates, your limbs feel looser, and you start to find a rhythm. Eventually your fitness increases, you get stronger, and your brain knows what to expect. It becomes enjoyable (for me, at least). What does this have to do with photography, or branding, or business?

 The rewards... beer post race with my husband! 

The rewards... beer post race with my husband! 

Business is the same way. Branding is the same way. The first mile sucks. I can tell you that the first few years of business were HARD. I worked all the time, I lived in a state of uncertainty and fear, and I kept wondering when the so-called 'dream life' that everyone talked about would happen.  Then slowly, as you develop new muscles, new skills, and a new mindset, it shifts. You start to find joy in the little things, and you start to see the payoff of your hard work. The business that you've worked so hard to build starts to take off, and you can finally transition into maintenance mode, until it's time to train for the next big event (insert whatever launch, project, client, etc. makes sense for you)

Now, if you quit altogether? Just like fitness, you'll have to start back from scratch. And that's TOTALLY FINE. I'm not beating myself up for losing fitness in November, my priorities were else where that month. If you lose traction with your audience and your sales because you focused on a different project for a few months, then don't beat yourself up for it, just take action. One mile each day. Or however you want to approach it. 

 
The first mile always sucks. Keep going,
 

My point is this. No matter what you're starting, it takes a whole lot of physical and mental energy to get past that first mile, literal or figurative. If you give up, you'll never get to the pay off, with the faster times, better endurance, and yes, the runners high. If you do quit, you can ALWAYS pick back up again, you'll just have to run that first mile or two again. When you do stick with it, though, you get such a wonderful reward, that you'll be itching to go out, and tackle a few more first miles. 

Do you run? Do you see the correlation between fitness and business? Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks the first mile is always a chore...

Small Business Saturday

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

 
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Happy Small Business Saturday! I'm so grateful for all of the love and support I've been shown over the past year, that I'm offering something special to you! 
 

#1 $100 towards any photoshoot booked in 2018

#2 Book a headshot, and receive a free Branding Audit

#3 Get the KHP Branding Photoshoot Prep Guide - FREE


These incentives are for anyone who's ready to raise the bar in 2018, and needs pro photos for their business as well. If your heart is telling you it's time to step up and do more, to be more, then I'd love to be a part of getting you to that next level.

Don't wait - offer must be redeemed by 12/1/17! See the differences between a headshot and a branding photoshoot HERE, and redeem your gift by emailing me HERE

 
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Do's + Dont's of Holiday Cards

Tis the season for celebrating the seasons, and your clients shouldn't be left out of the fun!! I personally love giving and receiving holiday cards (the written word is part of my love language!) but there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do this for your brand. 

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Sending holiday cards is an opportunity to connect and say thank you - it’s NOT an opportunity to Spam your list.
 

Here are a few do's and don'ts of sending Holiday cards:

 

Do's

Make it personal. No one opens the cards that are very obviously mass printed and have never seen a pen. Handwritten is best! 

Include a short note: "Grateful for you this season, and all year." "Hope the Holidays bring you joy!" "Looking forward to seeing you in 2018!" It doesn't have to be long, but make sure it's something more than your name scribbled. 

Do include your face or your team's face. Want to stand out from all your competitors who ordered 500 boxed sets of a winter scene? Include YOU in the card. It doesn't need to be your formal headshot, be creative here, and involve the staff! A local doctor's office did a photo last year of the whole staff recreating a scene from A Christmas Story. It was both fun, AND memorable. (oh and don't think it has to be complicated, this took them about 10 minutes of time outside, and was also a great team building moment!)

Do make sure it's on brand. You knew I was going to say this right? Choose a card that fits your brands overall aesthetics. Don't go with rustic if your brand is really chic, or with something super formal if you're more lighthearted. Be intentional here, you want your clients to recognize it as from you, before seeing the name. 

Send it to both clients, and vendors you have relationships with. The partners that you refer business to, a thank you to that one vendor who's tackled a tricky situation for you or anyone you want to appreciate. 

 
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Don'ts

Please for the love of all the donuts, DO NOT send cards that you did not sign. Stamped?! Printed on the computer?! BLANK?? Put some pen to paper here, or don't bother. 

Don't send a card that has no message. What's the point? (I've received enough of these that I really feel like I needed to add it.)

Don't send a card from an entire Business. "Happy Holidays from Conglomerate" doesn't have the same warm and fuzzy feeling as "Happy Holidays from Bruce, at Conglomerate", does it? Put a name on it. If you ARE sending a card from an entire group, whoever has the actual relationship with the client should sign it, aka "from Steve and team!"

Don't send whatever card is cheapest. I'm not saying you need to break the bank here, but if you are sending low-quality dollar store cards, that don't match your brand and are super generic... what will that do for your brand? Think of what you want to send based on your brand (see above) and then find options that will fit your budget. There are plenty of options, from templates to custom designed work. I personally use Tiny Prints (affiliate link), because the quality is stunning and the price is right, but you can also order from wherever your marketing pieces come from. All of these designs I mocked up in Tiny Prints to give you an idea of what you can create. 

Don't send to your entire list. This one might be a bit controversial, but if you have 5000 people in your database, but only have done actual business with 500 of them, send cards to those 500 people. Consider who you actually have a relationship with, and who you want to love on, and send to them. 

Don't be overly religious. It's likely that you'll have people of many different faiths on your list, and you want to be inclusive to all. If you don't normally include religion in your branding and marketing, then don't include it now. 

 
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This is such a fun opportunity to love on your clients, show your appreciation and also let them see a bit more of your brand's personality. You could do a Thankful card around Thanksgiving, or a New Years Card after the holiday, or just a proper Holiday card. 

If you need photos for your team, I'd love to help! There are so many ways to work holiday props, funny movie scenes, and even just basic wardrobe choices into a photo to give it an elevated look for this. The opportunities are endless! Contact me for booking NOW - time is a wasting! 

 

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Kristin

Branding Photographer