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Visibility and the great power of authentic photography

Visibility and the great power of authentic photography

Visibility & Photography

A few weeks ago, I saw this article, and it got me thinking about something I’ve known since I started working as professional photographer, but had never written about, or communicated with anyone other than my own clients.

It got me thinking that photography is both affected by who we are, and affects our definition of self at the same time. 

Let me explain.

A good portrait captures the essence of who you are, and how you show up into the world.

It has your same energy, and is recognizable by those who know you. It says things about you that it would take paragraphs to express in words. It conveys who you are and how it feels to be in your presence.

A good portrait is authentic and because of that, it is powerful. It provides people with the most real and authentic vision of who you are, and it does so in seconds. It’s like a banner that says ” This is me, this is my energy, and this is what I bring to the World”.

A great portrait allows you to realize that the person you hope to be, is who you already are.

It allows you to see (actually see) that those qualities you dreamed of having are already inside of you. And by doing so, it helps you step into your power, and claim those qualities in your day to day life.

A great portrait helps you become more visible and lose fear because it shows you the light that is inside you.

I often tell my clients that my camera is my wand and its magic lies in its two mirrors: In one, it captures your idea of yourself, and with the other it reflects back at you who you really are, in all your greatness.

It’s not makeup, or pretty clothes -though those may help, for as long as you feel like you when you wear them.

It’s knowing, with all your heart, that who you are is enough.

This is particularly powerful when it comes to business portraits and business lifestyle photos. 

It’s virtually impossible to succeed at business when we don’t believe in what we do or in who we are. This is what you Sue Bryce calls  “The stink”: the energy of “I’m not good enough” that repels clients and customers away.

The truth is, most of us start feeling like a failure, and continue to struggle with these feelings every time we face a big upgrade.

Business, like life, is not linear and easy. We don’t get to a point where we can confidently say ” That’s it, I made it, now there’s no more struggle over anything”. Every time we master one aspect, a new challenge appears, and new phase we must move into, a new area where growth calls us to show up.

Business, to me, is the greatest journey of self discovery for exactly this reason: we never get it done, and in order to step up our game, and move to the next level, we need to go within and become the person we need to be to get there.

The thing is, sometimes we don’t realize we have it in us to move forward, until we see ourselves embodying those qualities in an image. 

The process of change and growth is, many times, a gradual one. We transform within, shedding old skin, but we’re so used to ourselves that we frequently don’t notice the transformation until the camera shows it to us.

The best part? It’s the same with product and business lifestyle photos. Great product and branding photos help you realize the greatness of your work- and show it to others with pride.

An amazing portrait helps you redefine your identity and those of other women who do what you do. 

What does a powerful woman look like? How does a leader look like in your eyes? When I say successful, what do you picture first? What do you think about when I say beautiful?

For centuries, success was defined by others. More precisely, by men. The yacht, the private plane, the big house with golden everything, the power suit, the power poses. Luxury and Power evoked very defined ideas in most of us, because that’s how power and luxury were portrayed in advertising, movies, and the photos of glossy magazines.

The more and more women enter the entrepreneurial world, the more these ideas start to be redefined.

Luxury, for some, is being able to retire their husband, travel the world, bring the kids to school. Crystals and not expensive handbags is what we buy with our money. The causes we help with our money, the conditions under which we employ people, the lifestyle we choose to have are not defined by Vogue or the Financial Times any longer.

Taking photos of yourself and your business in a way that portrays what success, business, power, luxury and aspiration look like to you is an act of courage, and even rebellion.

Your photos make a statement about  who you are, what you believe in, and also about what is possible. They help others like you feel less alone in wanting something different. It helps them see new possibilities that may seem closer to their hearts.

They help you define, by yourself, who you are.  Shatter stereotypes. Reclaim your truth.

And that is powerful. And revolutionary.


Want photos that look like you- and no one else?

Click here to book a call so we can discuss your needs 


When you should hire a professional photographer

When you should hire a professional photographer

When is the right time to hire a professional photographer (2)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a controversial article. I told you when NOT to hire a professional photographer.

For days after I wrote it, I received emails thanking me for it, from previously overwhelmed entrepreneurs who now felt they could relax and focus on what mattered.

Most of those emails also asked a question. I know when NOT to hire someone, they said. But how do I know when to do so?


The missing piece, of course.

The moment that tips the scale and lets us know that the time has come, and that a photo-shoot is,not only an investment but even a necessity.

When does it occur? And how can you know? 

Here’s my take on it.

I believe the right time is marked by certain business timelines. At some point, not upgrading your visuals risks stalling your growth.

Can you have a successful business without professional photos or professional web design? Absolutely. Can you grow indefinitely without them? I believe not.

In the years since I’ve worked as professional photographer, I’ve come across certain situations that make hiring a professional photographer a must do. These are the ones I’ve listed below, and they’re based both on my observations and on conversations I’ve had with my clients.

Here they are:

1. When your time is better spent doing something else.

When you’re just starting out, DIYing is normal, advisable even. With no money to spend, and uncertainty over whether your product or service will take off, it’s wise to fiddle with foam boards, spend nights on youtube watching white balance tutorials, and climb on the kitchen table to get the perfect shot. A selfie taken with your phone or the laptop’s camera will do, for now. We’ve all been there.

But, as your business grows, and you start making money, your time becomes more and more valuable. The two hours you spent shooting that perfect salad and the morning your spent trying to make your home-made organic eye-mask jar looking like an ad by Chanel suddenly are costing your business money.

How can it cost you money, you ask? 

Because the time you spend in your business either makes you money or costs you some. 

[Tweet ” The time you spend on your business either makes you money or costs you some.”]

If you didn’t have to take photos and edit them in Photoshop, how many more products could you create? How many more clients could you book? How many more sales funnels could you write? How many more Facebook ads could you tweak? How many more guest posts could you pitch? How many more social media posts could you schedule? 

Spending one month photographing your cookbook may mean that you neglect blogging, or get to publishing time without a sales and promotion calendar. It may mean less coaching clients, or not launching that course you had in the back burner for years. It may mean less money, and it may mean less growth.

Spending a weekend  photographing and photo-shopping your products so they’re ready to be listed on Monday may mean no time with your family, and being over tired, and therefore less effective at work the rest of the week.

And that is the best case scenario, which assumes you can get the same results as a professional.

This was the case for my client Mayi Carles. She hired me because she realized that her money was better spent in activities that brought money in, the ones she couldn’t delegate, the ones that make her brand unmistakable. A couple of times a year, she emails her printable products and mails the physical ones for me to style and shoot on the other side of the world. While I style, shoot and edit, she creates, makes sure all parts of her business run like a well-oiled machine and takes time off.

Find out how much your hour of work costs. Find out which activities make you the most money, then do those as a priority and delegate the rest when you can.

2. When you’re losing opportunities

Let’s be honest here: Sub-par photos will only take you so far. Why? Because visuals affect trust. 

If you don’t believe me, read this real life story by Derek Halpern, where he explains why he spent $25,000 on web design and some amazing portrait photos. In that blog post, he talks about how he submitted an article for a major mainstream publication but, when they checked his website, they thought he was a scam.

You may say, well that’s just because they didn’t know who he was. If they had contacted him, or spent more time on his site they would have known that he wasn’t a scam.

And all that would be true.

But people make split seconds decisions.

And people on high powered places are extremely busy and under no circumstances want to risk their reputation with someone who may not be trustworthy. Over and over again, I receive emails from my clients telling me how better photos helped them land press coverage and other opportunities that were closed to them before.

So, if the time has come for you to play in the big leagues, if you want to get your products on magazines and your recipes on select publications, start thinking about upping your game with professional photos too.

Help people realize as soon as they land on your website that your business is as professional you say it is. Help doors open for you easily.

3. When your current photos- though maybe pretty- are not doing the trick

Great commercial photos are not simply great looking. They help you direct the viewer’s attention where you want to, paint the right picture about your products or services, establish an emotional connection with your audience, position your brand and, ultimately, help you sell more.

In order to do this, professional photographers, like me,  study elements of design, visual persuasion, composition rules and theory of color, among others. We know how much blur to add to the background, how to play with lights and shadows to send a different message, even the psychological effect different portrait poses have on the viewer.

This is the true power of professional photography.

So if your photos are not converting into sign ups and money- consider hiring someone who can: 1) pin point what’s not working and 2) Create images with the wow factor your work deserves, images that pull in the right customers effortlessly. Images that make people CRAVE your creations.

My clients tell me it’s worth the investment. And they’re not the only ones that believe so.

4- When you’re getting your business professionally branded.

When our businesses start, most of us DIY everything and, as a consequence, our websites and visual presence sometimes end up being a mismatch of different styles.

My first logo was a blue and grey pennant banner with french script font that I had created in PicMonkey following an online tutorial,. My website’s background was  light blue with white polka dots digital scrapbook paper I’d bought on etsy. My blog photos looked  all different, as I experimented with different backgrounds, textures and styles. One recipe was girly, pink and romantic, the next one dark and moody. There was no cohesive style anywhere.

Maybe you can relate?

DIY design and DIY photos are normal when we begin…but if you’re upgrading your design, you should upgrade your photos too, or your website and social media presence will still look scattered and unprofessional.

[Tweet “When you upgrade your brand’s design, you should also upgrade your images”]

Great images convey everything your brand is about in seconds. Use their power. 

Does this mean that you need a massive photo shoot with hundreds of images? No, of course not.

I’m all for incremental upgrades and I believe that,when you’re first upgrading,15 personalized, stylish and versatile images are the perfect starting point. This is why my GROW package includes exactly this amount, together with video tutorials to make the most of your investment.

Start small, and build from there. As you reap the rewards of your new branded look, and your business grows, you can add more photos or update them later on.

5- When you want to enter a luxury market.

If you’re read my previous blog post, you’ll know I don’t recommend stressing about visuals when you’re just starting out.

But there’s a caveat to that, and it’s when you’re targeting a luxury market.

Luxury products and services require luxurious visuals. Period. 

[Tweet ” Luxury products and services require luxury visuals to sell.”]
Amateur images just won’t do in a market where everything is taking care of to a T.

True luxury is about refinement, craftsmanship and elegance.

As Vincent Bastien put it: “Luxury is the expression of a taste, of a creative identity; luxury makes the bold statement “this is what I am,” not “that depends”– which is what positioning implies. It is identity that gives a brand that particularly powerful feeling of uniqueness, timelessness, and the necessary authenticity that helps give an impression of permanence. Chanel has an identity, but not a positioning. Identity is not divisible, it is not negotiable– it simply is. Luxury is superlative, and not comparative. It prefers to be faithful to an identity rather than be always worrying about where it stands in relation to a competitor.”

Photos of luxury products should reflect this identity, this uniqueness, this timelessness. They should FEEL like your brand, and they should certainly feel luxurious. They should create dreams, not merely show your product or services’s qualities.

If the photos you take can’t achieve this, it’s time to hire a professional.

6- When there’s a disconnect between your photos and your written voice.

This is a big one, and one that I see very often.

Have you taken the time to think about the way you sound, and be intentional about it? All great writers are very consistent in the qualities in their voice, but sometimes they forget that their photos speak too, and that what they say should match their words.

Is your voice funny? strategic? warm? perceptive? sharp? genuine? elitist?

What idea of yourself does someone get when they read your words? What idea do they get when they see your photos?

Someone who understands this very well is Denise Duffield-Thomas. She is very clear that her brand is fun, chill and summery. This is why she doesn’t whine, and she doesn’t complain about winter. She wants people who land on her website or on social media to get a chillionaire vibe, and she makes sure she’s consistent about it.

My brand, for example, is not funny or shocking, though I know very well they are great for calling attention. My brand is loving, warm, magical…posting images that shock would be immediately perceived as out of character and erode trust with my audience.

Sometimes it’s easy to find stock images, or create some that fully represent what you stand for. Some others, not so much.

If you’re at a point in your career where your written voice is defined but can’t find photos that match your uniqueness, it’s time to get custom photos. 


7- When you want the experience of your brand to be different

Visuals affect how others experience your brand. They convey emotions better than anything else and pull, powerfully, the right persons towards our work-or repel it.

Ramit Sethi speaks about the importance of providing your customers with an intentional brand experience in this video, where he explains why he regrets not taking care about it earlier. Watch from the minute 17 onwards).

Ask yourself: how do you want your customers to feel when they see your photos? Do your current photos match that experience?

If they don’t, it may be time get custom photos, designed with that purpose in mind.

8. When you want to push a product.


Do you want to promote one of your products above all others, and really make it the best seller it’s meant to be? Make sure you have great photos of it.

Ask Mark Hayes put it ” Good pictures answer questions and lead to more traffic and more sales”, but sometimes a full overhaul of all your images is not realistic.

This is when I advised my clients to focus on one product they want to make a best seller. If you can’t photograph your whole collection, photograph first a new product you want to launch with a bang, or in the one that people are already responding to the most, so you can promote them heavily, and they can convert as you desire. Then, move backwards, and photograph the rest.

This is what my clients, Panamanian company Life Blends did last year. They were launching a new line of clean eating meals and knew they needed great photos to promote it, because ” we eat with our eyes”, as they put it. Since it was a new venture and they didn’t know if it was going to take off, they started with 3 recipes.

The launch was so successful that they ran out of food to sell on the first day and, that month, they broke a sales record. That’s when they hired me to photograph the rest of the meals. You can read the rest of the case study here.

If you want a product or service to reach its full potential, get professionally taken custom images of it. Don’t be afraid to start slow, just make sure you get started.


9. When you hate doing it

I’m going to get all woo here and talk about how the energy of what we do affects its outcome. If you’ve been ready for a while you know I’m a hippie and this shouldn’t surprise you.If you’re new: welcome, I sage my studio before a shoot and play a singing bowl. Nice to meet you. 

Here’s the thing: If you hate taking photos for your business, and you hate editing and you hate the sub-par results you get, that energy of annoyance and frustration will permeate your images. This “deliberately introduces resistance into your experience” in the words of Abraham Hicks.

Either you find a way to start liking it, or you should delegate it to someone who adores shooting, editing and overall working on your photos, so that the energy of joy populates every part of your work.

If you’re in one of the above situations and would like to start upgrading your business images, here’s what I advise that you do:

1)Get a great portrait and a few lifestyle shots, so you have a wonderful photo of yourself to send to publications for guest posting, and with press releases. I am a big fan of  behind the scenes shots, that show your process and give people an insider’s pass into how you work.

2) Photograph your best sellers, or the products you most want to promote first. For example, if you’re launching a new line of earrings, make those photos your priority so they sell like hotcakes. If you provide services or info products, you could commission photos for a new course first, then move to making the rest of website and online presence stunning.

3) Photograph the rest of your collection so everything ties together.

Have you taken photos for your business before? How did the experience go? Tell me in the comments below! I’m listening.


Want photos that look like you- and no one else?

Click here to book a call so we can discuss your needs 

How to select the best photos for your brand

How to select the best photos for your brand

How to select the best photos for your brand

Last year, when I was offering consulting calls about photography and visual strategy, I met with over 15 entrepreneurs who had the same question for me:

How do I choose the best brand photos for my business?

How do I know what will work?

I understood, back there and then, that this was a major source of anxiety for my fellow business women. And, since then, I’ve been on a mission to find a system that you could follow in order to make sure that the photos you’re selecting are the best ones for you and your business. And today, I want to share it with you.

We’ll go, one by one, through everything you need to consider, and I’ll explain you why each of those items is important. I even prepared a handy (and pretty) checklist for you to go through it every time you need new photos, which you can get right here (but wait, read until the end, so you can understand why every item is there)

Ready? Let’s begin!

1.Start with the basics

A. Decide where you’ll use the photos

This is really the first question you need to ask yourself because it will affect a lot of other decisions.

Will you use them in your website? In printed material? In social media? If you think you’ll only use them for one thing and in one place, I encourage you to read this post I wrote a while back, to spark your imagination. It’s better to know how photos will be used before investing, to make sure that you can end up doing everything you desire with them.

Here are some of the uses you may desire: web design, graphic design for web and social media (lead magnets, memes, ads, promo material), printed material, branding collaterals, office decor ( by printing them and framing them) and many more.

B. Determine which sizes you need. 

The next thing you need to pay attention to, once you’ve decided what you want the photos for, are the sizes you require. For example, if you’ll use the photo as full screen background, like I do in my home page,  you’ll need your image to have a minimum of 1920 px wide in order to look good. If you’ll be using it for Instagram, you’ll need it to have at least 1080 px on each side (Instagram uses a square format), and if you’re planning to use it for Facebook ads, adding text with an overlay, your images need to be 1200 px wide x 628 px high).

If your images are bigger (like any images you get from me, which are generally 5500px wide x 3500px high), it’s easy to reduce size in Photoshop or with free compressing tools (I have video tutorials for my clients to know how to do this). However, if your image is smaller than your required sizes, it will look awful and you’d better not use it.

C. Find out which resolution your photos need to have. 

This is another important aspect you need to consider, especially if you’re looking for photos in stock sites, like Getty Images, where price varies according to size and resolution. If you’ll only use your photos for web, a lower resolution will do, but if you’re planning to print your photos, make sure you purchase or commission images that have a resolution of 300 dpi.

D. Verify that the license authorizes the photo to be used as you need. 

As a smart business woman, you already know that you can’t lift images off the internet because, if you do, you risk having to pay a lot of money for the mistake. But that’s not all. You also need to make sure that you’re using photos according to the terms of their licenses. In other words, make sure that you get photos with a license authorizing you to use it in the ways you intend.

I’ll write more about the different types of licenses in my next post, but for now, make sure to read the license you’re given thoroughly before purchase. Contact the photographer, or agency if you have any doubts regarding what you can or  cannot do. If you’re using images from a free site, review and download a pdf copy of the license they provide. And if you’re using a creative commons license, make sure it’s one authorizing commercial use.

2. Go deeper

Once you know the basics, it’s time to dig deep. Remember: the objective is to get photos that actually work to assist your positioning, and bring in new customers, so “pretty” alone won’t do.

When you’re selecting photos for your business, there are 3 things you need to consider: who you are, who your ideal client is, and what your objectives are. I call this The Triad of Photos that sell

Take a look at the Triad’s graphic below. In the next paragraphs I’ll explain what each of those circles mean, what you need to do with each of them, and how their interaction affects your photos.


a. Decide what your objectives are. 


This is the aspect that’s  most often overlooked, yet it’s fundamental to consider it in order to get photos that actually work.

By objectives, I mean what you want to achieve with the photos you’re using. This has two dimensions:

  1.  What are you using your images for? What are the business goals your images will support? 


Are you looking to build awareness about your brand? Differentiate your business from the competition? Educate consumers or potential clients about how you work and what you can do for them? Grow your fan base?  Engage your biggest fans so they keep you on top of their minds? Introduce a new product? Support a Launch? Position yourself as a thought leader?

Knowing what’s the ultimate goal you want to achieve is key, not just for selecting or commissioning the right images, but also for evaluating whether they actually worked or not after you’ve been using them for a while

[Tweet “Knowing your goals is key for selecting photos and for evaluating their results”]

Let me give you a couple of examples: If you’re using photos to educate your customers about how your products work, allow them to see how they would fit their lifestyle, and show your product range, you could use a mix of the following:

  • Styled photos with your products in them (creating scenes to make your customers dream about the lifestyle they aspire to, and visualize themselves there),
  • Photos of your products in action, showing key aspects that make them different from others,
  • Product close ups,
  • Photos of your shop (if you have a physical store),
  • Photos of your working space with your products in it.

Want an example? See how one of my favorite stationery brands, kikki.k uses photos in her Instagram profile. 


If you’re trying to show your product range, create hype about new products, and create community around your creations, you may also:

  • Feature customer photos (and encourage your customers to tag you in them, maybe even creating a custom hashtag),
  • Share backstage photos, including photos of your creative process, and photos of products in the making, apart from the type of photos mentioned above

Need inspiration? Check how The Fifth Element Life uses photos in her Instagram profile, and check this case study of work I did for Art Joyeux. 


Think about what you want to achieve, and treat images as part of your content strategy to get you there.

Think about the written content you’ve planned, and ask yourself:  How can written and visual content interact and support each other so they both tell the same brand story? Which type of photos would help me reach my business objectives?

2. What practical objectives do you have for each photo?

In the question above we looked at photos as a compound, and I asked you to ponder whether every photo you choose or commission fits within your overall strategy, and supports your business objectives.

In this question, I’m asking you to look at each photo and ask yourself what effect you want that specific image to have on your audience.

Do you want people to pay attention to your words? Do you want them to feel shocked  Do you want to intrigue them? Do you want people to dream of a life they’ll love living (and you can help them achieve)? Do you want them to feel understood? Do you want your customers to relate to your personality and way of doing things?

Let me give you some examples:

  • Have you ever wondered why desk photos became so popular? It’s because they allow us to feel like we’re part of the life of the persons we’re doing business with, especially when there are hands in them. Purchasing items or services online may be very practical but we all crave personal connection, and we are more loyal to businesses we feel like friends. Real photos and videos, allow us to feel like we’re right there, creating with you. They allow us to feel that we’re doing business with real people, who care about their craft and their customers. If you want people to connect with you, and differentiate you in a crowded market, real photos are key.
  • If you want to show people how you work, so people can understand what goes into your craft, how special it is what you do, and so they can relate to your business,  you may choose backstage photos, lifestyle photos of your work space (or similar), the details you care about.
  • If you want to show the dream life your services help your customers achieve, your images will paint the picture of what’s possible, instead of showing their current reality.
  • If you want your audience to be subtly reminded of evergreen products to increase sales off season, you may add them in lifestyle scenes that you share in blog posts and social media, all along the year. You can read about how we did this with Mayi Carles here. 
  • If the purpose of your photo is solely to call attention to your words (for example for an ad), it’s better to select images of people looking or pointing at them.
  • If what you desire is for someone to pay attention, you may want to choose a face looking straight at the viewer.
  • If you want people to relate to your images, you may choose to show human presence without showing a face (eg: hands, legs, someone’s back).

Different photographic techniques, different lighting, different angles generate a different reaction in the viewer, so it’s important that you’re aware of the reaction you want to cause.

Before you go browsing for stock photos, or commission some to a professional, take some time to think about these two type of objectives and select 2 to 3 for each category. Your objectives should always guide your decisions.

Knowing what you want to achieve will make any search faster and more fruitful.

b. Determine what your brand is about, and the story you want to tell with your brand photos.


You know what you want, now it’s time to connect your objectives with what makes your brand unique. It’s time to show some personality and character, and use your photos to tell a compelling story.

This is the YOU circle and it’s the key to having photos that people identify with you and you alone (even if they’re stock). But I need to offer one word of caution when it comes to this, if you have a personal brand: Remember that we bring who we are to our businesses, yet our businesses are not us. They have their own soul.

[Tweet “We bring who we are to our businesses, yet our businesses are not us. They have their own soul.”]

Why does this matter?  Because your photos need to focus in those aspects of your personality that are important for your customers, because their function is to reinforce your positioning.

Here’s how to do it.

1.Start with you

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What qualities do you bring to your business, that make it unmistakable and unforgettable?

Are you detail oriented, fun, quirky, kind,loving, bossy, strong? Do you think strategically and have the ability to make the complicated, simple? Do you see the bigger picture with ease and can show someone the next steps? Are you cutting edge creative? Do you inspire transformation? Do you help others connect to a sense of peace and childhood innocence?

Make a list of the 5 most important qualities you bring to your business. The ones that make you different from everyone else you know. The ones your clients keep telling you were important for selecting you.

If you’re not sure which ones these are, ask! It’s always quite a revelation when this happens.

  • What do you want to be known for in your market?

I first heard this tip from Miss Monetization, Star Kechara and thought it was genius. How do you want others to think about you and your business? Are you the Spiritual Aromatherapist? The Rebel Chef? The Loving Jeweler? The Mystic Nerdy Photographer? (Wait, the last one is taken, that’s me 😉 ).

The point here is this: Be conscious about what you want to be known for and bring those qualities to your images.

  • What makes your services and products different from similar ones offered by others? Why should people choose you?

What makes your rings different from other gemstone rings? What makes your clean recipes different from those of other nutritionists? What makes your healing services special?

Let me give you a few examples:

  • When I started photographing Life is Messy Kitchen, we chose two words to guide the photography of the book: Lip-licking delicious, and Real. A key concept of the book was that clean eating didn’t have to taste like cardboard, so it was important that each recipe was shot in a way that made people WANT to cook healthy. We also wanted all photos to look real, as in possible to make without chef’s kitchen equipment. We wanted all recipes to be styled like beautiful and inspiring family scenes. We wanted people to desire cooking those recipes, and to feel confident that they would turn out as in the photos. We chose these words because we knew that delicious and doable was what made LIMK recipes different.
  • Derek Halpern mentions another interesting example in this blog post, where he talks about the genius photography of the MacBook Air. In it, he shows a photo of the original ad, where someone (a hand) is putting the laptop in a yellow envelope. Why does this matter? Because size is what made the Air different, he explains, and the photo allowed everyone to understand that quickly.
  • In my case, people chose me for two things: highly customized, holistic & strategic photos, and kind, do it all for you and make your life super easy service. The symbols in my website photos (though not immediately apparent) talk about this: the color pink, the rose quartz, the vescica piscis, the phoenix, the flower of life, the cookies, the cappuccino, the spiral, the heart. In future blog posts I’ll explain the symbolism behind every photo I take (nothing is random in my styling), but for now, think about your “special sauce” and make sure you’re crystal clear about it.

2. Think about the story your brand tells. Ask yourself: What story about your brand and the results your provide are your photos helping you communicate?

The people that make your audience want to know who you are as a human being, to see if they can trust you.They want to know whether other areas of your life re-affirm what you claim you can do in your business.

Let me give you an example from someone I admire greatly, Tara Gentile. Tara mentioned once that the reason she posts photos of her love of artisan-brewed beer and the food she prepares, is that it reinforces her image as a detail-oriented person. Whoever reads her work, and then follows her on social media, can get a clear picture of the personal qualities she brings to her job.

Tara lets people peek into her life, while giving a cohesive message of who she is and what she can do, at the same time.

You should do the same.

The perfect photos for your business need to make people think about you in the way you want them to. They need to help you tell a consistent and cohesive brand story. 

[Tweet “The perfect photos for your brand need to make people think about you the way you want them to.”]

And remember: everything has a visual attached to it, because humans have thought with images since the beginning of time. Symbols and archetypes have always been our way to understand the world around us. So there’ll always be a way to put into photos the qualities you want your business to be known for (more on this in upcoming blogposts too).

[Tweet “Everything has a visual attached to it, because we, humans, have always thought with images.”]

Want to read more about why this matters? Check this blog post I wrote last year. 

c. Who’s your target audience? Who’s your ideal client? Who are you trying to reach?

ideal client

You already know that you should write content and copy with your clients in mind. It’s the same with photos.

As I’ve mentioned in this post, if your clients are nowhere to be found in your photos, they won’t engage or buy. Your photos need to appeal to those who 1) you can help with your work and 2) want to be helped by you and are ready to pay you to do so.

Demographics (age, gender, location, social status) and psycho-graphics (needs, feelings, problems, perception of self) influence how your audience responds to the photos you select, and what they’re attracted to.

Do you remember this post, where I told you why you should be careful with luxurious-looking stock photos if they’re not what your brand represents? In it, I told you about my client Laura, whose customers didn’t connect to aspirational photos, and preferred photos that looked more real, closer to their own lives. This is why knowing your audience matters so much.

Let me give you a few examples of what happens when you don’t create photos with your customers in mind:

1.What do you think about when I say the word WIZARD? I tested this with several people, in different groups and I found that Baby Boomers pictured Merlin, Generation Xers thought about Gandalf, and Millennials said Harry Potter almost immediately. Why? Because different generations were influenced by different literature, different TV shows, different music, even different brands and different ads. Here’s a mini poll I did on facebook, as an example


2. Do you think some TV shows are wide-known classics across generations? Think again. I recently found out that many teenagers have no idea, nor have they ever seen the 90s TV show Friends, which is a favorite of mine. If my audience was teenagers and I was talking about my “Rachel” Haircut, and showing photos of it, we wouldn’t connect. 

3. A creepier example is that of a failed Bloomingdale’s Christmas ad below.


I have no idea who approved this ad, or frankly what they were thinking, but the implicit suggestion of adding a roofie, and of date rape back-lashed pretty fast. I’m not even going to get into how this looks like statutory criminal offense to me…for the sake of keeping this on topic let’s just say that, at the very least, this is really bad customer research.

Choosing photos that our clients adore and are happy to share is a matter of care, connection and empathy. Getting to know your clients is about actually caring about making their lives better.

Remember:When you fake it, it shows. Don’t put a cupcake in your photos if you don’t like them and talk about how much you love them, just because your clients like them. Don’t be that person. 

In order to make sure you’re on the right track, ask yourself these questions:

1)Who do you love working with? 

Remember the time you worked with someone who inspired you to do your best work? Someone who loved the work you do, and appreciated everything you bring to your business?  It doesn’t matter if that person was not a client…maybe it was your boss when you still were in a 9-5, a teacher in high school or a colleague you really clicked with. What matters is that you remember how you felt, because as Mike Iamele teaches, that’s how you can call in the same energy.

Once you’ve connected to that energy, think: What do those that you love working with have in common? Is it the way they talk? The music they listen to? The brands they prefer? Or is it the way they’re feeling when they reach out to you for help?

Ask yourself:  How do your best clients live? Where are they in life? What do they like? What kind of life do they aspire to have? What makes them happy? What are their values?  If you’ve been in business for a while, answering these questions is a matter of talking with your favorite clients. If you are new to business,  you can read this blog post where I give you ideas on how to research this, and explain what to pay attention to, and listen to this episode of Cult of Hybrid.

Here are some more questions to guide you:  What do your best clients like? What causes do they support? What’s their spirituality? What books do they read? What movies do they adore? What do they watch on TV? What do they do in their free time? Who do they want to become? What are their hopes and dreams? Who do they identify with? Who do they follow? What quotes move them? What makes them cry? What makes them laugh? What do they need? How do they want to feel that they’re not currently feeling and why? What magazines do they read? What do they pin?

Make a list of their qualities, likes and dislikes, find the connection. Pay attention. 

I make it practice to connect regularly with my clients on social media. Ok, it’s easy because I love them, but it’s also always a joy to find the similarities between them, and the things in which we are similar. I call it understanding the flow of energy that connects us.

The more you know about the people you want to attract, the easier it is to gear your visual content to speak specifically to them. If you want your photos to generate all the Ohhhs and Ahhhs you work deserves, it’s important that they’re tailored to your market.

2) What do your customers need from you? What do they want from your products or services?

I mentioned above the importance of knowing your “secret sauce” when planning/selecting your photos, and this is similar, yet slightly different.

In this case, I’m asking you to consider your products and services from your client’s point of view. I’m asking you to make sure that you really understand your client’s motivations for buying from you. I’m asking you to make sure that you understand that what your clients truly want and the reasons why they want it are sometimes unsaid.

Take eating healthy for example. Do your clients want to eat healthy to prevent disease, to gain energy, or to lose weight? Are they driven by fear, frustration or tiredness? What would the ideal solution be for them?. Ask yourself these questions. Make sure that you know the answer.

Why does this matter? Because photographing the end result and the specific qualities that attract your customers to your products and services makes your photos more effective. You’re showing them what they need to see to commit. 

[Tweet “Photograph the qualities that pull your customers to your products to make photos more effective.”]

Ask your customers about these reasons. Observe how they use your products.  Then select or commission photos with your findings in mind.

3) What do you want your audience to feel when they see your photos?

Did you know that different camera angles, colors and photographic techniques cause different reactions? I’m not asking you to know how to use these techniques, study archetypal symbolism or learn about visual persuasion. That’s my job, don’t worry.

What I’m asking you to do is be aware of this fact, and be clear about what you intend others to feel when they see your photos.

Pick no more than 2 or 3 intended feelings, then do this exercise: Go to Pinterest and create one board for each of those feelings. When you find a photo that, for you, conveys that idea, put it in its board. After a while, review the board and observe the patterns: Do they have colors in common? Angles? Maybe a certain filter, mask or texture? This will help you gain clarity, and it will make searching or commissioning photos easier and faster.

Review the answers to all questions above and keep them handy. Download and print the worksheet, and get ready.

Now comes the fun part.

3. Connect the dots

You’re clear about the basics and your objectives.

You know who you are, what differentiates you, and the bigger story your brand tells.

You know exactly who you want to attract.

Here’s what to do next:

Grab a page,  and draw three big circles in it (You can also download the worksheet).

Based on the questions and prompts above, do the following:

  • In the first one, write everything related to your objectives.
  • In the second one, write everything related to you and your brand.
  • In the last one, write everything about your ideal clients.

Looking at these  independently, won’t tell you much, but here’s the secret: The magic happens in the connections. 

Let me show you:

A. The Engagement connection

Remember this post where I showed you this graphic?


In it, I told you that unless your ideal clients were present in your photos they wouldn’t engage and you wouldn’t sell.

This combination has the  “She really gets me! ” and the “OMG she’s like me!” effect. This is what happens when you post a photo of your Yoda action figure knowing your best clients are also Star Wars fans, a photo of your green smoothie knowing your audience cares about eating healthy like you do, or a photo of your cat sleeping on your keyboard, knowing your ideal clients are cat owners too.

When you create, select or commission photos that connect the core of who you are and, as stand for as a brand, with deep knowledge of your ideal clients and what you have in common, the results are powerful.

The result is true connection, engagement, identification.

When your photos resonate with your audience, they will comment on them, share them, and remember you more.

[Tweet “When your photos resonate with your audience, they will comment on them, share them, and remember you more.”]

How to use it: Get the YOU list and the IDEAL CLIENT list and look for what you have in common. Start sharing images of those things on social media, and monitor reaction. Pay attention to what resonates and what doesn’t.

When to use it: All the time, especially when building an audience.

Risk: Only one, remember that just because people connect with you, it doesn’t mean they will buy from you (or subscribe to your list, or join your facebook  group). In order for them to do that, you need to be clear about your objectives too. This is what we’ll talk about next.

B.  The Sweet Spot

Sweet-Spot- Marcela- Macias-Photograhy-Cyprus-How-To-Select-Best-Photos-brand

This is where the real magic happens. I call it the ” She gets me and she has exactly what I need. I’ll talk about her to everyone” effect.

These are the photos that, not only help you connect, but also help you grow your business. The ones that help you expand your brand message, grow your email list, convert into sales.

These are the money making photos. 

These are the photos of your product, artfully placed in a desk scene that resonates with your customers and reminds them to buy. These are the before and after photos, showing the results your products provides. The photos of your crocheted baby toy, in the hands of a sleeping baby, telling a new mom that your creation will help her baby soothe herself at night. The photos of a lunch table full of diverse people, telling others your recipes are loved by everyone, and can help them create special moments with their loved ones.

How to use it: Take a look at the YOU, IDEAL CLIENT and OBJECTIVES lists, and find out:

1) what you (your brand) and your ideal client have in common, and

2) what your business provides that your ideal client needs.

Use these words as keywords when searching for photos. Give the info to a professional photographer when commissioning images.

When to use it: Always. This point of connection is particularly useful during a product launch, promotion of evergreen products or seasonal products outside of their peak season (example, promoting planners in June, or fitness/diet products in January).

Risk: None

And the other intersections?

They come with some warnings.

1.If you choose photos that only talk about YOU and are solely focused on your objectives, your visuals may not connect with your audience. This is what I call the “ME, ME, ME, Look at me, I’m so awesome” risk. I recommend that you avoid it, with one exception: when you are testing engagement, and seeing what resonates with your ideal clients.

At the beginning, when you’re getting to know who you want to work with, and attract your first fans and clients, you’ll need to test. And when you’re testing, you start with what you know best: YOU.

It is important, though, that you pay attention to what resonates with the right people, and as soon as you have a clear idea, switch to either engagement or sweet spot, for maximum impact.

2. If your only focus on the connection between ideal clients and objectives, you miss the chance to add personality to your business and you risk becoming forgettable.

So there you have it: the method I use for creating photos that engage and convert.

Now download the worksheet below and start using it to make sure your images help your business grow.

Questions? Doubts? Comment below, I’m here to help!

how to select ipad 1


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How Luisa uses custom photos to be recognized easily

How Luisa uses custom photos to be recognized easily

How Luisa uses custom photos to be recognized

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my client, Chinese Astrology and Feng Shui expert, Luisa Silva, of Luisa Bazi, when she mentioned some good news.  I told her I had created a case study about her photos, and she told me that she was very happy because people had started to recognize her by them, and that they always had a great impact on her followers. Her business and her brand have started to get identified easily and attract the clients she wants, which means she is positioning her brand in the right way, and building a brand she can be proud of.

It’s always exciting when a client comes back to me with great news such as these. For us, small businesses, every action counts, every investment is important, and it’s exciting, exhilarating even, when we start to see the fruits of our efforts. When things pay off- that’s when we feel that we can touch the sky with our hands, and want to karaoke I feel good in our living rooms.

When things pay off and we know why, so we can repeat it, that’s the best feeling in the world. Which brings me to today’s post: the reason why Luisa is having great results with her photos.

Or better said, the reasons, because there are two: Congruence and Consistency.

Luisa’s photos are congruent with who she is, her style, her message and the rest of her web presence. They have her personality, the objects she uses and likes, the colors she prefers. They have her voice, because they were designed especially for her. Luisa’s photos were created with one idea in mind: support her positioning as a modern, elegant, highly professional astrologer.

In order to do this, we worked together for three weeks prior to shooting. I studied her personality, we discussed in detail her ideal client, and her business objectives. I designed a mood board, to make sure we agreed on the look and feel she wanted for her photos, and purchased props with it in mind.

Luisa’s photos contain very few and very specific Chinese objects only, because Luisa wanted to differentiate her work, which is precise and serious, from mere superstitions. We used her brand’s colors, in certain props bought only for her, and used plenty of negative space and simple lines, because Luisa is, herself,  minimalist and organized.  We used printed versions of her work, to make it tangible to her future clients.

Everything in Luisa’s photos was designed to make those who know her feel ” This looks like Luisa!”, and those who don’t know her get the right impression about her.

In other words: Luisa’s photos don’t confuse her clients, and this is important because a confused mind doesn’t buy. 

People need to know you, like you and trust you in order to buy from you. If your photos say one thing and your videos and your words say another one, they won’t trust you because they won’t know who is the real you.

Congruence is particularly important for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, whose personal image is intertwined with that of their business. In Luisa’s case (and that of many of my clients), she IS her business. Studies have shown that people connect to photos that are real and relevant, and only then stay on a site and experience it.  In Luisa’s case, people needed to understand and like what she believes in, what she stands for, and to appreciate the professionalism with which she conducts her business.

Luisa needed all aspects of her business to tell the same story, so she could build trust with the right people. 


[Tweet “Remember: all aspects of your online presence tell a story and it should be the same one.”]


It is important to remember that your ideal clients are real people who want to connect to real people too. Custom photos designed with only you in mind, to showcase your personality and the greatness of your products make this process easier.


Congruence was my job. Consistency is what Luisa did brilliantly.


Here’s the thing: You can have the most perfect photos, but if you don’t use them consistently, they won’t shield results. We’re bombarded with images and information, so people sometimes need to see something more than once to pay attention.

Once you decide what you want to be known for, it’s time to maintain that idea in the minds of potential customers over time, for it to take hold. Rome was not built in a day, neither will an association between your name and the services you provide be created instantly in the hearts and souls of  the people you long to work with.

Luisa understood this perfectly and made sure she used her photos, adapting them as necessary, across all her online presence. Take a look below to see how she used them:



Luisa made sure that her photos were present everywhere: On each page of her website, on all her social media accounts, and on her email newsletter. Whenever you enter in contact with her business, one of the photos will pop up…and because they all share her colors, her style, and the same objects (props), carefully selected for her, people started to recognize her and think about her when they saw them. 

According to the book Visual hammer “The three rules of advertising are 1) Repetition 2) Repetition and 3) Repetition. So you need to hammer away, not just for years, but for decades. And not just in your advertising, but in everything you do, from websites, to business cards, to annual reports”. When you get branded photos, designed and executed to support the way you want your customers and clients to think about you, use them as much as possible.

Putting the photos in your website and social media is just the tip of the iceberg. Let me show 7 more ways in which you can use photos, and a little tutorial to show you how I created all the examples you’ll see using just Canva. You can have access to more specific video tutorials and recommendations when you become my client.

Ready? Let’s go!



Or Opt Ins. Or little presents with your best information that you can give to your readers and other members of your community.

With just a few easy clicks, you can use your photos, your brand colors and your fonts to make them look professional.

Kimberly Jimenez shows you how to do it in this tutorial, using free tools. This example was created in less than 5 minutes using Canva.









How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 2




Using a graphic, with a photo, at the beginning of your blog posts, serves two purposes: catches attention and makes the blog post Pin- friendly. Images also attract much more attention when sharing them on social media. Here are some statistics:

  • Photos get 37% more engagement on Facebook that posts with just text.
  • Articles containing relevant images have 94% more views
  • Photos get retweeted 35% more times than just links.

Convinced? Watch the mini tutorial below to see how you can use your photos to create graphics like this one.


How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 5
luisa bazi 1
How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 4



Do you organize live events? Do you send presents to your clients after working together to surprise and delight?

You can also use your photos to create postcards, leaflets, flyers, notecards, stickers, greeting cards…you name it! This leaflet for a (fake) course was also created in Canva, but you could do it directly with MOO as well, for example.

In this example, I only added photos, and changed text and colors,but you could also add your logo and change fonts for full customization.

How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 7



Custom photos, taken with professional cameras, like mine, are HUGE. Which means you can crop them easily with loss of quality, to suit your social media needs and add variety to your feed (and yes, my license authorizes cropping (except cropping elements out to create Hero images), and adding overlays.

In this example I cropped some of Luisa’s photos to create a fake Instagram profile. Imagine adding quote graphics, photos with overlays, and skins, and you’ll always have something to post!

How Luisa Uses custom photos Marcela Macias


Do you have a  vlog? Do you create videos for your business?

You can make them look beautiful and cohesive by creating a custom thumbnail that you can upload to youtube or wistia when publishing the videos.

This one, as well as the one in today’s tutorial were also created with Canva in less than 10 minutes.


Astrologia ¿China u Occidental



Are you planning to attend a conference? Have a speaking engagement? Do business cards are still used where you live?

You can create your own, using apps like Canva (where I created these examples using pre-made templates), or printers like MOO.COM.

In these examples you see different fonts and colors because I don’t know which ones are used by Luisa, but you can customize everything to make every single piece of promotional material your own.




How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 3



Do you want to create a magazine in your area of work, and publish it with services like ISSUU to expand your reach?

You can use your custom photos to design a simple cover, or illustrate the interior.



PicMonkey Collage 2


All the graphics above were created using a free app called Canva in less than 5 minutes. I’m not a designer and, as I normally say to my friends, I consider myself ” design-challenged” . Choosing colors is super easy for me when it comes to photos but difficult like learning an alien language when it comes to graphic design.Fortunately, there are apps that help me find ways to do what I need and courses that teach me what I need to learn to run my business.


Ready to learn how I do it?

I made you a little video below for you to see how I created these graphics. It’s my first, so I must have recorded at least 10 versions of it (ha!) but I hope it’ll be useful for you. Click play and get started!



Aristotle said that the soul cannot think without a picture.

What I want you to think about today is what images are you feeding your customer’s minds? Are you given them images that speak about you, with your own voice? Or are you sending mixed signals? 

[Tweet “The soul cannot think without a picture. So what images are you feeding your customer’s minds?”]


If you have custom photos created for your brand and love them, use them

If you don’t have custom photos, and would love to get some, contact me . 

If you’re not ready for custom, but would love to know how to select all your business photos with intention, strategy and soul, join my community using the sign up box below, because I’m preparing an exclusive gift that you won’t want to miss. 


Doubts? Questions? Comment below and I’ll come to your rescue! 🙂



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How to make your visual content engaging: the strategy of empathy

How to make your visual content engaging: the strategy of empathy



One of the biggest misunderstandings about visuals and marketing that I see very often is the belief that high resolution photos will instantly equate more engaged fans, higher sales and a perception of professionalism that will allow us to charge higher rates.

Let me give it to you straight right now: It’s just not that simple. 

If it was, with so many sites where you can get good quality photos for free or for a minimum price, everyone would have a cult following and a thriving business.

We would all get a drag and drop theme for our website, find a free high quality image to use as Header, or purchase one, and bibiddy babiddy boop, we would have hoards of followers waiting for us to produce our first product, which we would, of course,sell out in 5 minutes maximum.

If it was only a matter of pixels and dpi, everyone with a DSLR camera… or even an iphone, would be rich and famous.

And we all know that it doesn’t work like that.

So what works, you may be asking yourself?

What is the magic trick that will make your visual content engaging, helping you generate the all mighty tribe of 1000 true fans and followers that will, in turn, purchase everything you release?

What makes a photo effective when it comes to marketing, and what makes it just another one of the pile that we never even notice?

How can you use visual content in an engaging, effective and strategic way?

That, my friends, is what I set out to discover last year, as I mentioned in this previous blog post, and what I want to talk to you about today.

I’ve said before that I wholeheartedly believe that the key to effective marketing and effective visuals is caring for everyone that comes into contact with our businesses.

Truly, deeply caring about them, even if they don’t buy, even if they just read our social media posts and don’t sign up to be a member of our communities. Caring for the work we do, and caring about the effect it has in our followers and customers.

What does this have to do with visuals? 


Visual content is a form of communication. We either use it as a way to scream from the top of our lungs how awesome we are (even if no one listens) or we use it to start conversations, to connect, to tell stories.

[Tweet ” We can use visual content to scream our greatness with no one listening or to start conversations.”]

Visuals, when used right, are a conversation starter.

When it comes to words, we all know that in order to start meaningful conversations, and communicate effectively we need to listen, to observe, and to be aware of other people’s feelings. Visuals are no different.

Let me explain. Some people believe that their visuals are supposed to be about them: what they like or don’t, what their life looks like, their aspirations and dreams. Others believe visuals are supposed to be all about their customers, regardless of what they like or don’t like, and regardless of whether what they post fits their personality or not. Both positions have some truth in them, but both forget something important.

If your visuals don’t appeal to your customers, they won’t connect and they won’t buy. If your visuals have nothing of you in them, they will sound off and fake and sooner or later, you’ll lose face.

Successful visual content lies at the intersection of who you are and what your customers like and need from you. 


Your visuals need to have your personality, reinforce your positioning and contain elements that your followers already identify with you, in order to anchor these in their mind. They need to look like you in order to be authentic.

This is why, when I start working with someone, I read all the copy from their website and their blog posts. This is why I their social media, paying special attention to the posts that get more engagement and how they are already connecting to their customers. This is why I ask my clients to take a series of branding personality tests and to fill a questionnaire I’ve especially designed for them.

The props I choose in a photo are directly aimed at generating an instant connection in the mind of my client’s customers that makes them recognize her photos and anchors the right elements of her personality and her brand in their mind.

This is why I use cubes to spell the current year when shooting Mayi Carles printable planners, because I know one of the key elements of her video backgrounds are cubes with her name, and that her followers associate cubes with her.


This is why I make sure that the colors, backgrounds and style of my client’s photos match what people already know and love about them.

And your visuals need to consider your clients as well, so they can connect to you on a deeper level. And this is a matter of observation, empathy and care.

If you want people to engage with your visuals, make sure you’re creating them with your clients in mind.

[Tweet “If you want people to engage with your visuals, create them with your clients in mind.”]

Here are a few ideas on how to do this:

  1. Always post what is authentic to you. Drop the fear of not “looking premium” or “professional enough”. You are who you are and who you are is enough. Be proud of what you have to give and the story that brought you where you are. You don’t need macarons on a golden desk if you’d rather eat a chocolate chip cookie on a beach-side wooden tablen with your toes in the sand and a mason jar with lemonade and a paper straw in your right hand
  2. Take an interest in those who follow you. Visit their profiles, engage with them from the heart. Engage first, from a place of true interest, honesty and caring.
  3. Observe and listen actively: what do they like? What do they share? What do they connect more to? What photos drive more engagement? What photos drive more sales? What aspects of your personality and your brand resonate more with your customers? What do you share with them in terms of likes, values, dreams and aspirations?m (hint: I observe reality on instagram and facebook and aspiration on pinterest. Sometimes they match, sometimes they don’t and that’s very interesting).
  4. When something works, do more of it. For example, the pen that you see in the photo of Mayi’s printables above, that looks like Gru‘s spaceship with polka dots, is always a hit. Whenever Mayi posts a photo with the pen in it, she gets comments about it. The reason I originally chose it was that 1) Mayi was pregnant and I wanted a more child like fun prop in her photos (before we had been using one with Florentine design because Mayi studied art in Florence). 2) The shape looked like a rocket, and we were introducing it for a launch 3)  Its polka dots colors are present in Mayi’s printables. When it became a hit, we continued using it and now it’s a prop I only use for her photos because it has become part of her brand. (side note: I totally took it from Zoe’s pencil case but let’s keep it between you and me, ok?  😉
  5. Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Remember why you’re doing this, who you help and how. Remember that people have different tastes and there’s not a single definition of beauty. Consider the emotional impact what you post can have in your ideal customers.

One example about this: I was once working to define the styling of a client who had been using, until hiring me, very luxurious looking stock photos. I asked her how those photos had been doing and she mentioned that not well at all. She was puzzled. The photos were gorgeous but they were getting 1/3 of the engagement than her more ” real” ones. And she couldn’t figure out why.

Here’s the thing: For some people, luxury is enticing and they like to browse aspirational sites to day dream of how they will one day live, when they have that kind of money. For others, though, luxury is a trigger that reminds them how far away from that they are, and instead of provoking enthusiasm, it depresses them.

You need to be aware about this differences in perception when planning your content, if you want your visuals to help you grow your business. You need to know who your ideal clients are, what they’re going through and what they need from you to craft visuals that help you grow your business.

And the only way to do this is by testing, observing, listening and caring.

Now let me know in the comments below: how do you plan your visuals? What type of visuals get more engagement from your audience?


Who you are matters







Who you are matters


The strategy of being you




Every time I’m meeting with a new prospective client, or doing a consultation, I ask the same first question after the initial meet and greet.

My question always leaves my clients speechless for a while, regardless of how many years they have been in business. Some of them stutter, some lower their eyes, and many become visibly uncomfortable.

The question I ask is not irreverent, inappropriate or adult rated. What I ask is, simply:

 What makes your work special?

Why should people hire you?

I don’t ask this question to be mean. I don’t ask this question to make my clients uncomfortable.

I ask this question because the reason my photographs sell is that I photograph what makes my clients and their products unique… and I can only photograph it, if they know what that is. 

I ask this question because I know it’s hard, and I know they need to explore the answer in a safe place.

And I ask this question because I can see the light in them and the higher purpose of what they do as soon as we meet, but I know that they need to discover it, own it and embrace it by themselves if they are to fully step into their power.

Why is this such a difficult question?

I started exploring this question when my children were diagnosed with special needs. I’d always believed that we all come here with a special song inside of us (As Wayne Dyer used to say), and that my role as a mother was to help my children find theirs.

I could define my children by what they found hard to do, or I could allow them to define themselves by that which they excel at, by that which they feel called to do, by that which makes their heart sing. I could raise my children to believe that they lacked something, or I could raise them to believe that their resilience, the love in their hearts and the talents they were born with, were more than enough.

We could have focused on their needs, but we chose to focus on that which makes them special.

 And as beautiful as this may sound, I would be a huge hypocrite if I didn’t tell you too, that it wasn’t easy. Not because I couldn’t see the light inside my own children, because that was the easy part. That’s pretty much a gene that gets inserted into us when we become mothers.

No, the difficult thing was setting the example, because I had no idea what made me or my work, special. 

I understand my clients

because I was in their shoes a while ago

I was 100% aware of that which I was not good at, and I grew up ashamed of not being excellent at everything. For years, I felt undeserving of success, because I was not perfect. And I grew up thinking that being proud of what I did well, was bragging.

Perhaps you can relate?

I want you to know what makes you special

I want you to step into your own power.

This is why I’d like to share with you a resource I’ve only shared with my clients until now, and that is part of series of explorations that we do when we start working together.

It’s a short test called Stand-Out. I found out about it through B-school and, when I read the results, I felt I had found a radiography to my soul. I was amazed at how it reflected the things that people had always praised me about-and that I had discarded because I was used to not thinking of myself as worthy of praise.

The link I’m sharing with you goes to LeanIn, because there there’s a code to take the test for free.

In the next few blog posts, we’ll explore how to bring personality to your photos, and how to use your photos as a tool to connect on a deeper level to your audience. But, in order to use the techniques I’ll share with you to their highest potential, you need to first know what’s your secret sauce.

So go ahead, take the test, and then come back and share your results in the comments.

Let’s celebrate, together,  our talents, and our greatness.

If you found this post useful, please share it! Let’s build a World where everybody’s talents can shine!


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