Updated: Sep 4, 2020
This blog post is a bit different to previous ones as it features none other than yours truly! Yes, I am in front of the camera this time with the very talented Silke of Zebra Jojo Photography capturing my branding story. I wanted to write a blog post about my experience to illustrate the importance of us creatives and entrepreneurs being able to tell our story well, not only with the powerful use of our words but also with beautiful, emotive imagery that is aligned with who we are, not only as business owners but also as humans. Who is behind Nic Imai Photography? What drives me? Why do I do what I do and does my philosophy speak with yours? I plan on delving into this a bit with this post through my story and through the beautiful images that Silke captured of me.
In preparing for my actual shoot with Silke, I got sent a questionnaire to fill out about my business, who I am as a person, what I like to do etc. I'll say this - the MORE information and details you provide the better! It makes sense if you think about it because there is no way for Silke to know everything about me even if she can see what I do on my website and social media platforms - the questionnaire is your chance to describe the essence of who you are and what you do so that Silke is able to see visually in her mind what kind of shots and environments would best bring that essence out. So though it may take a bit longer to fill out, I really do recommend spending some time on this. It's only in your best interest! 😉When Silke got back to me with her ideas on where to shoot and the types of images she had in mind it was like she had been inside my head...and I guess she had! 😆(read: detailed answering of questionnaire!). I loved all her ideas and we managed to get them all...if you know Silke, she is super organised and will make sure to get what she has in mind all the while keeping YOU at the forefront. I remember thinking this is what sets professional branding photography apart and how the approach is quite different from other types of photography. And it made me feel like I was in very good and capable hands with Silke. Having followed her on Instagram and interacted for a while, it also felt very natural and comfortable for me to share more personal aspects of me and my business with her. Not that it's hard to warm up to Silke at all with her infectious laugh and positive outlook on life. I truly had so much fun with her on my shoot and with both us being photographers we had so many things to talk about.
So how did Silke capture me? Enough blabbering and show us the images right? 😉I will but not without sharing some of my story too. My day with Silke started at the beach on Sentosa - she wanted to capture the shy, introvert part of me (yes, she exists!) and the part of my soul that recently also suffered a very great loss with the passing of my mother. I share more about this here and here. She envisioned me by the water surrounded by a lot of sky (I have great love for both) and capturing me in more contemplative, quiet moments. She did this perfectly. Just as I love being around other people and connecting with beautiful souls, I also love my own time (bit challenging with a toddler but not impossible!) and really do enjoy my own company. Reading, editing, taking nature photographs and meditating are a few of the things that bring me balance and harmony. And yes, you read that right about editing being something I really enjoy even though it is an integral part of my job. So it's both work and not 😆.
Silke then wanted to capture me "at work" and when she suggested my home I very quickly steered her away from that because the light in our dining room is not optimal, to put it politely 😆. There was no way any shots were going to be taken there in my workout clothes (my editing work attire - hey, a mama's got to be comfortable!). She then offered her studio to get these Nic-at-work-editing shots and if you've seen Silke's gorgeous studio with the most incredible light, you know I did a little happy dance (and I may or may not have secretly been hoping for this suggestion haha). And of course I would have to upgrade my wardrobe too to fit in with said studio 🤣. Silke really managed to capture how I imagine myself to look when editing - I've mentioned on Instagram that I often find myself smiling/laughing when editing as the images that I've captured of my beautiful clients just take me back to each session, and I'm reminded of all the love, light, beauty and connection that I felt during the shoot. And yes, even in the delightful chaos and unpredictability of working with toddlers! Now I just need to manifest Silke's beautiful studio into a home office! #futureofficegoals.
To complete my branding story, Silke naturally wanted to see me "in action" so she accompanied me to a recent family shoot to get those behind-the-scenes shots. Being photographed while photographing others is not something that usually happens and while I thought beforehand that I would be a bit self-conscious, I hardly noticed that Silke was there. Another feather in her cap 😉. I become totally engrossed in capturing those moments for my clients so it was such a treat to be able to see what that looks like thanks to Silke. I love the images she captured of me working and I can't wait to share more on my Instagram as well. And yes, that is me on a stool (I always bring one to every shoot) because #shortgirlproblems.
So this is my story - not the full story because that would probably mean days of posts and ain't none of us got time for that! Gotta love Instagram for being able to share snippets of our lives and businesses 😉A beautifully executed branding session provides you with images that you need to tell your story and I couldn't be happier with Silke's work. Her style is also similar to mine which makes her images blend well with my own which is especially important on more visual platforms like Instagram. Thanks to our session I now have so much content to share about me and my work and let's be honest, that's really important in today's world. There is no big team behind Nic Imai Photography. It is just me, one woman with a lot of heart and passion for what I do and through what I share I hope that my clients will relate, and feel safe and in good hands by choosing me as their photographer.
I can't end this post without expressing great appreciation for Silke - I love what she does and how she does it. Yes, we are both photographers so in a sense "competitors" but I believe in healthy competition. What does that mean to me? It means lifting other photographers and their work, even those very similar to what I do and my style because I believe there is enough room for everyone. Someone else's success does not take away from mine and together we are always stronger, especially in the same industry. So thank you Silke for seeing me, listening to my story and bringing it to life just the way I do with my own clients.
For creatives and entrepreneurs in Singapore who are looking for someone to help tell their story visually, I cannot recommend Silke enough. Is a branding session worth it? I think you already know my answer to that - is it worth investing in yourself and your business? I don't think many would say no.
Find out more about the wonderful Silke of Zebra Jojo Photography here. And while you're checking her website out, be sure to read some of her incredibly insightful blog posts all about visual story telling and her plethora of tips for us entrepreneurs like top tips for killer social media copy (in partnership with Peta Delahunty), how to visualise your brand story, creative prop ideas for your branding photoshoot and sooooo much more!