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The Elevated Image: Three Reasons Why Working with a Professional Stylist Should Become a Non-Negotiable for Your Next Photo Shoot

The moment I saw her (let’s call her Patricia), I knew she was a woman who meant business. Everything about her exuded “woman of power.” Her style was effortless. Her make-up, flawless. Her steely eyed stare in the camera dared you to cross or challenge her. She embodied next level. 

The ironic thing is, I had known Patricia for years and had never particularly associated her with “power or success.” In fact, truth be told, I was utterly shocked when I saw her brand images because it seemed like someone else altogether. 

So, what happened? What lead to this radical transformation? 

Patricia discovered that if she were going to get the opportunities she had her eye on, she must take control of her personal brand and part of that process included getting really clear about how she was currently showing up compared to how she wanted to show up. She realized that she couldn’t close that gap by herself. She needed to hire professionals. One of those professionals was a stylist. 

Savvy professional women recognize that it is their responsibility to intentionally curate their image, and never leave it to chance. 

 For the past nine years, I have run a full-service Personal Branding + Elevation™ Agency (Brand id | Strategic Partners, LLC) that specializes in elevating the visibility, credibility, influence and impact of professional women, executives and entrepreneurs. I’ve dedicated my life to helping women “understand” and “own,” how they are showing up. Then, do what is necessary to elevate their positioning. Website: http://www.personalelevation.com/

Professional photography is a critical component to building your personal brand. Whether you are looking for the right executive headshot to accompany the article you are writing for your company’s monthly newsletter, an image of you speaking for your digital press kit or a fierce image to place at the rear of your debut book. But, don’t you dare hop in front of a camera without having an Undefinably Fierce Stylist by your side. Here’s why:  

1.    Skilled at the Effortless Look: Oprah has one. Michelle has one. Beyonce has one. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find too many Boss women who don’t. Having someone on your team help you strategically and intentionally put your best foot forward can be an absolute game changer for your success. Imagine knowing every time you walked into a meeting, new business pitch or on a conference stage, you dropped the mic before you ever opened your mouth. 

 2.    The Tell You the Truth: Face it, most people tend to gravitate toward the same type of look. They operate pretty-well at their current level, but don’t know how to “exude” next level. But a stylist can tell you help you identify your best color, look or signature style. They can help you see the patterns you need to break and the outfits you need to avoid. And unlike, a friend or significant other telling you, it is somehow much easier to hear.  

3.    Stylists Recognize the Significance of the Details: A skilled stylist knows exactly what it will take to convey the look you are trying to achieve. Their job is to make you look as if it was “effortless.” Even though we know that nothing could be further from the truth. Whether it is a turn of a collar. The placement of a ring. Or, simply smoothing out blouse after you move, they will make sure that the “t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted,” and you aren’t derailed from ignoring the little details. 

Note: The above personal branding photoshoot, of my client Dr. Monique Rainford, was photographed by the personal branding powerhouse photographer, Mary Gardella (http://www.marygardella.com/) and styled beautifully by the insanely talented Sheryl Scruggs. Dr. Rainford is a Harvard educated OBGYN who is empowering women on the importance of self-care in all aspects if their life, including their relationships: https://www.moniquerainford.com

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Jennifer Ransaw Smith, a Personal Elevation Strategist™, is the owner of Brand id| Strategic Partners. She equips women professionals, executives and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to elevate their visibility, credibility, influence and impact. Clients hire her when they are ready to “make a name for themselves,” in their organization and industry. She can be reached at Jennifer@Brandidsp.com or www.PersonalElevation.com