Workstyle/Personal Branding Case study: Guided Touch Massage, Ithaca, NY

During a web design meeting with my personal web designer months back, I was trying to explain to him my vision for a page on my website where I could promote a photography service that I often find myself doing for my clients.  I kept telling him, its not quite personal branding, because personal branding is xyz…its not headshots exactly either… because its more than just a headshot. I described it to him as “lifestyle photography, but for people’s jobs and work instead of their families. you know people doing their work!?” And there we coined the term “Work Style Photography”~

So what is work style photography? It’s a service that I provide to my community where I visit their workplace for a few hours and photograph them in a candid way doing their work. In some cases, it can involve one person doing their job, in other situations, it may be that I’m photographing an entire team. They combine some candid and some informal headshots, but their main focus is to document a day in the life of the business owner. Most times these types of photographs are needed for website/promotional use. Some of my clients use them for their Instagram feeds, FB cover photos, or general website photographs.

Local massage therapist Christopher Keller contacted me that he was in need of such images. He needed some photographs that illustrated the various types of massage therapy services that he offered, while also needing some images of his massage therapy room as well. The room, like most therapy rooms was dimly lit, and it was long and narrow in shape. He had tried to take some good photographs on his own with his I phone~ but found that his camera was not able to capture the entirety of the space, nor expose the photograph well because of the dim lighting. The headshots he attempted to capture on his own were not attracting the high end clients he was looking for either. What is of utmost importance to a massage therapist is to convey trust and sincerity to their prospective clients.

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Originally, like many small business he started out trying to use some stock images on his website, but found that they weren’t *him* and they didn’t convey his brand, which is all about creating a sanctuary like healing experience for his clients. He wanted something customized, not fake. I assured him that this was my specialty. As a professional who is skilled to handle a variety of different lighting situations, I came prepared with the proper equipment to fully capture the massage therapy room, as well as get some great headshots of Christopher that really showcased his kind and gentle personality.

While the shoot was “staged”, his model client actually fell into a deeply tranquil space that we collectively held space for, and so the images retain a very organic, natural feel to them. Our focus was on creating images that were inviting, relaxed, and calming. You simply can not get those types of feels from an I-phone photograph which is limited in its capabilities. Staged Work-style photography shoot does not have to be unauthentic or hokey. In fact, it should be quite the opposite.

Many of the phone calls I receive are from clients, just like Christopher who have tried the “do it yourself approach” to photography and soon came to realize that it was more complicated that they had imagined. I was grateful that Christopher called me and that we were able to work together to create images that truly reflect how gifted he is. He now has a collection of images that he can use not only for his website, but also for social media and marketing strategy.

to learn more about Christopher’s massage therapy services, you can visit his now updated website at www.guidedtouchmassage.com

 

 

 

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