Publicity Photos For Speakers And Thought Leaders


Publicity Photos For Speakers And Thought Leaders

In this episode, you’ll learn about:

  • Branded Publicity Photos
  • John DeMato
  • Four Types Of Publicity Photos You’ll Want
  • Portrait Shots
  • Lifestyle Shots
  • Solid Background Shots
  • Prop Shots
  • Pia Silva ‘Badass Your Brand’

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Inspirational Quotes



There is a quote I love which says “stories make people listen, but it’s visuals that make people remember”. If you’re a professional speaker, author, entrepreneur, executive or thought leader, then you probably want to present yourself and your message to the world in a powerful, purposeful and authentic way. One of the methods we use to do this is branded photography. Done well publicity photos visually punctuate the stories you want to tell about your business, brand and life. Done badly and your audience will feel that there is a disconnect between your message and your brand. So here’s some advice on creating great publicity photos.

It starts with getting really clear on how you want to use branded lifestyle photography in your marketing so that it that presents you as a thought leader, illustrates your expertise and gives the audience an insight into your personality. I’ve had the good fortune of working with some incredible photographers over the years and one of the best is New York based photographer John DeMato. Let me explain the different between working with a photographer like John who understands thought leaders as opposed to the average main street photographer.

When you work with a photographer like John, one who specialises in creating images for thought leaders, then it will often start with the two of you doing some kind of discovery call or meeting. In that meeting the photographer will help you identify who you are, who you serve, what makes you unique, and why do you what you do. This conversation will shape your branded photo session – what outfits you’ll wear, the locations you’ll shoot in, what props to bring, and the overall mood and vibe of the portraits.

There are four types of photos that you’ll want. The first is the standards portrait shot which you’ll use as a profile image on your website, across your social networks, and for media purposes.

You will also want some nice lifestyle and working shots. For example if you are a professional speaker then you’ll need some hero shots of you on stage, if you are an author get some with you at your laptop or writing in a journal, if your main business is consulting then perhaps it’s images of you brainstorming with a group of people. However don’t forget the lifestyle angle. If part of your brand is about projecting a jetset lifestyle then perhaps there are shots of you at an airport or getting into a limousine.

It’s also essential that you create a series of photographs with you against a solid background or surrounded by empty space. These are invaluable for things like quote images for social media or so that conference organizers can add their branding.

Finally there are prop shots; if you are an author its the images of a stack of your books or you holding a copy, if you are an inventor its shots of you with your invention, if you are a guitarist it’s you holding your guitar.

When you work with a great photographer like John DeMato he already knows how you’ll use any photos so when he is framing and doing post-production on shots he is ensuring that they will work for all three major uses. Those uses are:

Your website. You’ll need different images for your homepage than your about me page or your onsite banners and email forms. You’re average photographer will not know this which is why it’s worth paying that little bit more to hire a photographer who is use to working with thought leaders.

Then there is social media. After a one day photoshoot with John he was able to give me enough social media friendly images so that I could post once a day for every day of the year. I hear all too often speakers, musicians and authors who will pay thousands of dollars for a one day shoot only to get two or three usable images. You’ll want to work with a photographer who can give you over 100 usable publicity images.

There are also certain types of images you’ll need for printed materials. John DeMato took one of my favorite book covers photos ever, for Pia Silva’s book ‘Badass Your Brand’. Check out his website to see what I mean. A good photographer will also know what kind of images will work best on book covers, giveaways and printed materials.

And regardless of whether you are male or female I’d suggest hiring a hair and makeup person. If you are a professional speaker, musician or thought leader then you are the product and you want that product to look great.

If you’d like to learn about doing a photoshoot like the one I did with John DeMato or get more publicity photo tips, then go to

Thanks for watching.





creativity blueprint

creativity blueprint

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