Snap Snap Snap
I shoot a few more photos of my friend and take a look on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. “These are great!” I tell her.
“Let me see!” she says, reaching for the camera.
“Ahhh, I’ll show you when I’ve got them on the computer,” I say. Or I hold the camera and give her the slideshow myself. Anything to keep her from actually having possession of the camera, control of the buttons.
I learned long ago that if you take photos of a girl and then give her access to the saved photos, at least half of said photos will be deleted before you have the chance to back them up.
This is really unfortunate for someone like me who really enjoys off-the-cusp, unplanned, unposed photos. If all I ever get are boring, say-cheese-and-smile-for-the-camera-with-your-best-side-forward shots, I may as well stop carrying around my camera because damn, they’re boring.
That being said, I understand WHY they want to delete those photos: they’re managing their personal brand. Or at least what they perceive to be their personal brand.
Perception Is Everything
The aspect of personal branding that most people leave out is elimination of the things that don’t fit with what they’re trying to communicate. Sure, they’ve got the website with the right graphics and typeface, they’ve got the clothing that jibes with what they’re trying to get across at work, and they’ve accumulated the trappings of the type of person they are and want to be.
But there are all those Facebook photos that don’t quite fit (you know, the ones from that party where they had the impressive keg-stand and the stripper-themed Halloween costume from a few years ago) that take all those other efforts and chuck them out the window.
These are the photos my friends are trying to delete, but what they don’t realize is that a non-posed shot is a lot more legit than a safe-for-the-family, 3/4 grin in an unexciting photograph.
Why not just live your brand instead? Make it a point to always be doing what makes you YOU, and just own it?
The point of personal branding is to focus attention on the traits that you think will most effectively get you where you need to go, but it’s not about hiding who you are. Would you really want to get a job where you had to conceal a big part of your personality? Hell, would you want to live a LIFE where you had to pretend to be something you’re not?
Ladies, let those photos be and may you always pose freely.