Monday Motivation for Small Business Owners | NJ Brand Strategist

new jersey brand photographer

MONDAY MOTIVATION

Monday's are tough! We're still in weekend mode but our list is long with things to do. Let's help each other make the transition a little bit easier. On Mondays, I will share a tip or trick I use to help me ease into the week. Hope it inspires you to take action and jumpstart into your day.

Today I want to talk about creative confidence. I often hear people say they can't do certain things because they think they are not creative enough. They think creativity is a natural gift that you are born with. I beg to differ.

I truly believe that creativity is a muscle that we all have inside. In order to be more creative, we need to nurture that skill. We need to put it to work through thinking, brainstorming, trying new things, embarking on new experiences and good old fashioned practice. The more we "act" creative in our daily life, the more creative we can be. 

So how do you get started? Here are three quick ways to foster your creativity today :

1) Pen to Paper. Grab a journal or sketch book and just start brain dumping or sketching all those big ideas in your head. Don't judge them, just let them freely come out. This activity always helps me organize my thoughts and connect the dots to new insights and breakthroughs.

2) Take a class. Learn something new. My creative juices are always jumpstarted when I am in a workshop or class room. Consider art, cooking, writing or join me for my upcoming Creative Happy Hour on May 4th in Summit, NJ. A DIY photo session where you can create visual content for your online brand - blogs, social media, newsletter, etc. We will be making flatlays and photographing them with our smart phones. It will be creative and fun!

3) Engage with Others. Put yourself out there and meet new people. Attend networking events, join Facebook groups, sign up for conferences. By interacting with people you don't know, you will be forced to introduce yourself and ask questions to learn about them. You may learn new ideas or skills, innovative products and services, a fresh outlook, a disruptive system....something different! This kind of connection can lead to creativity!

I hope these easy ideas help you unlock your creativity. We all have it inside and just need to spend the time to cultivate it. 

 

Leading Women's Entrepreneurs | NJ Brand Photographer

Good news here at MikiFoto + Co! Recently, I was nominated for a Brand Builder award with the Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners organization. They accepted close to 1,000 nominations for a special section in New Jersey Monthly Magazine over the last few months. Judgment criteria for all nominees included: Innovation, Market Potential, Community Involvement and Advocacy for Women. A listing of the Phase One Finalists will be published in the October 2017 New Jersey Monthly Magazine issue, which will reach over 750,000 households.

I just got word that MikiFoto + Co is being recognized as a finalist with 24 other businesses. I am beyond thrilled and excited to be a finalist in this Brand Builder category. What an amazing surprise! The Top 25 winners for this category and other categories : best entrepreneur, best intrapreneur and best socialpreneur, will all be announced on May 19th at the "Making it to the Top" finalist networking event. 

Win or lose, I am so excited to be part of this event and in such good company. If you are in NJ and would like to join me at this event on May 19th 11:00 am - 2:00 pm at Fiddler's Elbow County Club, Bedminster, NJ, I would LOVE to see you. Registration is here.  It will be a fun day of networking, learning and awards!

What is Brand Photography? | NJ Brand Photographer

brandphotography

With the rise of online marketing and social media, more and more people in business are talking about brand photography. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need images and visuals for websites, blogs, Facebook, newsletters and more. There is a desire to stand out, build relationships with our audience and be seen as an expert in our overly saturated worlds. 

What is Brand Photography?

Currently, there isn't a standard definition for this type of photography. It's a newer niche. I like to define brand photography as a collection of customized, cohesive images that represent the style and story of your brand. These visuals are professional photos that communicate who you are, what you do and how it feels to work with you. There is an intention and strategy behind this visual communication.

brandphoto

Why do you need brand photos?

Strong imagery can build brand awareness and a connection with your audience. Imagine telling the story of your business : your purpose, your personality, your process, your passions through impactful photos. You can take your audience on a journey of your brand experience through storytelling. This type of photography digs deeper and can help you capture your audience's attention.This helps the viewer understand your business better, builds trust and inspires them to take action.

How is brand photography different then a headshot? 

Brand photos and headshots are two different genres. Both important for your marketing efforts, but headshots are often used in your profile pics, LinkedIn and About Me pages. It's a portrait primarily focused on a person's face and taken from the shoulders up.  I consider headshots your virtual handshake. They communicate that you are a professional and a legitimate business owner, while also giving a hint of your personality. While we all need a good one to make a strong first impression, this portrait can sometimes be one dimensional and not great at communicating the many layers of your business. Sometimes a headshot is not enough to establish the know, like and trust factor. And if you are in a saturated industry, where everyone shares the same title, then you need to work extra hard to stand out.

Example of headshots

Example of headshots

Brand photography on the other hand can take your audience on a deeper journey into your business. These images are customized and include environments, styling and props that were strategically chosen to tell your fuller story. These images communicate different expressions, moods and facets of your personality allowing you to create a recognizable style. These images have purpose and intention, encouraging your audience to connect with you.

Example of brand photos

Example of brand photos

Brand photography is a powerful tool to communicate your experience without the pushy sales pitch. It can build a strong connection to your audience leading to client relationships. It can create a memorable brand that not only solves your clients problems but inspires them. Consider investing in brand photography and soon you can create an engaging brand that moves from invisible to impact.

Want to learn more? Download my FREE Brand Photography look book which shows you more examples of brand photos of four women business owners in four different industries. 

 

 

Thriving Mama Reboot | NJ Business Owner

I call it beautiful chaos. The children. The home. The business. The hubby. It all comes together in a crazy swirl and there are moments that my head spins out of control. I often say "my brain is hurting" will all the things I have to do, remember and plan. 

Do you ever feel this way? 

I think many of us Moms who also work from home are conflicted. We constantly are doing BOTH - raising family and working on our businesses. They overlap and blend into each other. We are constantly being pulled in multiple directions. There are days that are easier then others. Then there are those days that are really tough. Those are the ones when you need a break and what my friend, Jennifer Bronsnick of The Mindful Family, calls a reboot.

Imagine being in a supportive group and learning how to feel like a peaceful and calm Mom. Starting May 1st for 5 days, Jen B. will be leading and teaching simple tools to reclaim the joy in motherhood. There will short videos, articles and prompts that will inspire us to work on ourselves.   And we can be part of a community of other Moms who are going through similar experiences. Coming off of a staycation with my three kiddos, I know I will be needing this reboot. Plus, there will be a chance to win some really fun prizes. 

Want to join me on the journey to becoming a confident and calm Mom who is loving her kiddos and loving her biz? Get the insider pass here : http://bit.ly/TMReboot. Hope to see you in the group!

Monday Motivation for Small Business Owners | NJ Brand Strategist

MONDAY MOTIVATION

Monday's are tough! We're still in weekend mode but our list is long with things to do. Let's help each other make the transition a little bit easier. On Mondays, I will share a tip or trick I use to help me ease into the week. Hope it inspires you to take action and jumpstart into your day.

Today let's talk about DREAMS. Do you have a big dream or audacious goal for your business? Do you write them down in a secret notebook or do you declare it loudly to the public? 

Either way, I would encourage you to block off some time during your week to dream big. Write out all the things you wish for, aspire to be and places to visit. Then also look back at your month, your quarter, your year to see what you've already accomplished. I do this practice of projecting + assessing often in my business and it really helps me stay motivated and focused.

But the one thing that really gets me working hard is when I announce my dream out loud. This holds me accountable and then fires me up to achieve the goal. If you are ready to chase your dreams, then post it here, on Facebook or Instagram, on video, just somewhere! Let's keep moving closer to our big dreams together.

Create a Mood Board for your Photo Shoot | NJ Brand Photographer

If you've ever invested in a logo, branding, interior design or a photo shoot, you may have heard of the term MOOD BOARD. It's a step in the creative process that helps you get clear on the story and style that you are trying to communicate. Many designers ask their clients to create one as the starting point for the branding process. Brand photographers also use this method as a way to help gather information on the visual direction for the session. 

What is a Mood Board?

It’s a visual tool that represents the look and feel that you are hoping to capture. It is a collection of images that acts as the inspiration for the creative direction for the photo shoot. A mood board is intended to inspire and set your creative wheels turning.

How do you create one? 

With your brand story in mind, start compiling pictures, via Pinterest, that fit the vision you have in mind. Think about the mood or feeling you want your audience to have about your brand. Pin pictures, colors, expressions, locations, outfits, moods, environments — anything that stands out to you and grabs your attention. Write a description of what you like about each image.

And if you are more old school and like to create and hold things with your hands, grab magazines, fabrics, art prints, photos, quotes or postcards. Put them together on a poster board or cork board. Arrange them in a way that feels good to you.

My Mood Board is done...now what?

After you've created your mood board, take some time to really look at it. Study the themes and ideas that emerge from the board. Look for patterns or common threads that unite the visuals. Ask yourself - What kinds of images am I attracted to? What feelings or moods are being portrayed on the board? What overall style is coming through? What stories are being told? Write down everything and consider how you can use that information as part of your visual strategy. 

Soon, an aesthetic and style direction will formulate. Soon photo themes and concepts will arise that fit your story. Share this information with your brand photographer and later with your hair and makeup artist, your stylist, your copywriter, your web designer — anyone who is involved in the creative process. This will become the visual guide to the brand photo stories that your photographer will capture.

What can it do for me?

Think creativity, clarity and confidence. This process helps us open up our minds and articulate our thoughts and words through visuals. Often, it is hard to really express what we want to say and show about our brands. The mood board can be a catalyst to brainstorm and get our creative juices flowing. It can help us get clear on our brand message, style and story. This clarity helps us feel more confident that everyone on the team (photographer or other creatives) are all on board and understand the objectives and goals.

Mood boards are useful, inspirational and versatile tools that can help bring your brand photography vision to life. Are you interested to learn more about brand photography and why you need it to stand out? Grab my FREE Brand Photography Look Book and get an insider look at what brand photography looks like for five women in five different industries. 

 

Monday Motivation for Small Business Owners | NJ Brand Photographer

MONDAY MOTIVATION

Monday's are tough! We're still in weekend mode but our list is long with things to do. Let's help each other make the transition a little bit easier. On Mondays, I will share a tip or trick I use to help me ease into the week. Hope it inspires you to take action and jumpstart into your day.

Today's Monday motivation is to encourage you to be the FACE of your business. And before you give me every excuse on why you don't want to do it, let me remind you that people do business with people. Not logos or websites or portfolios. And yes, of course those elements are important parts of your branding. But the real connection and the strongest first impression will be made by showing your face. So, make sure you have a current professional photo on your website and all your social media profiles. Introduce yourself online with a photo and your bio. Add your picture to your email signature. Every step counts when trying to build relationships with prospects. 

Do you feel nervous putting your image out there? Why? 

Are you a pro at being the face of your brand? Where do you share your photos?

Share and inspire us! And if you need a professional portrait for business or personal, let me help you. I am hosting my next Get Gorgeous headshot event on June 6th in Summit, NJ. Registration is HERE.

Style Report for Women in Business | NJ Brand Photographer

Your photo session is booked and you're finally ready to be the face of your business. Now the big question arises...

WHAT TO WEAR FOR YOUR PHOTO SHOOT?

Clothing is key for any photo shoot. You want to wear something that reflects your personality, your style and your brand. It should fit what you do and how you work. It should relate to your audience yet also be a bit aspirational.   

I photograph a diverse group of women in business from creative entrepreneurs like designers, makers and artists to service based businesses like coaches and personal stylists to corporate-esque types like lawyers and real estate agents. Every career or position has its own flair.  So how do figure out your winning outfit?

I have collaborated with my friend and NJ personal stylist, Priya Virmani of Privee by Priya to share style inspiration for different kinds of entrepreneurs in different industries. This will be an ongoing series where she provides styling tips and outfit ideas for you to consider for your next photo shoot, as well as for your everyday style. 

Today's style report will focus on the creative entrepreneur. This woman is passionate about design, fashion, art and self-expression. If you are a photographer, interior designer, wardrobe stylist, artist or graphic designer, this one is for you. 

STYLE OBJECTIVE::

Creative, bold, expressive, unique, "Boss" style with an edge

WHAT MY STYLE SAYS ABOUT ME:: 

I am an influencer and a motivator.  I choose to be my own boss and my lifestyle.

I am a creative leader.  I think outside the box for both my business and my personal style

My products and service (and my style) are a reflection of other boss ladies, art, design, and color that I admire.

KEY ELEMENTS::

Colors that are bold and stand out.  Yellows, blues, fuchsias.  Could be in the form of shoes or a handbag

Textures are a must.  Leather or faux. Fur or faux, rich fabrics like velvet or silk, and lace. The perfect touch of any of these would elevate any outfit

Shapes helps.  Loose button down shirts with a fitted skirt, dresses with pockets, fun printed tops. polished jeans or even distressed with a jacket.

Hope these looks inspire you when looking at your our own closet or shopping around town. I love the fun patterns and bold colors. Remember, these are simply ideas for you to develop your own personal style. If you want more fashion inspiration, make sure to visit Priya by Privee on Instagram