Personal Branding vs. Headshots

A headshot introduces you;

Personal Branding introduces your business. 


Personal Branding differs from headshots in many important ways. Headshots serve as an introduction to you as a person, while Personal Branding photography provides a vast array of marketing resources for you and your business. Continue reading to determine which one is best for you.




Headshots present what you look like.

This image presents a person.








Personal Branding conveys the essence of who you are and what you do.

This image presents a photographer.




What is personal branding?


“A personal brand is rooted in the minds of people in the market. Personal branding is the effort to communicate and present your value to the world.”


Branding, or personal branding, is more than just a headshot or logo. Branding is the visual representation and definition of your business and what it has to offer. We believe that personal branding is essential for individual entrepreneurs and business owners to “soft-sell” their business and services in a visual market. Resources abound when searching for soft and personal branding solutions.



The term “personal branding” was introduced in 1997 by a gentleman named Tom Peters. Peters told us that no matter what industry we work in, or where we live, we’re all CEOs of our own personal brand, and that means that we must market ourselves just as vigorously as any product or service.



If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re probably reading this to determine if you need to expand the visual library of your brand. We believe you already have the notion of “your brand” as an individual or a company that you now wish to share with your clients/customers to give them inspiration and confidence in you.



In order to gain a customer’s trust, you need to let them know that you provide wisdom, compassion, guidance and true value.  We are here to help you do that.


When planning your personal branding session, we work with you establish goals:

  • How do you want to be seen?
  • What is it that you do/provide?
  • What do you stand for?
  • Do your photographs represent you/your brand and the energy you bring to your business?
  • Will they make potential clients want to meet you in person?
  • Do your photographs create trust in you?
  • Do they show the real you now?
  • Will your photographs show the real you that you are becoming?


If you are ready to take your brand presence to the next level, we would love to work with you to create your perfect personal branding session. Give us a call, drop us an email, or click the button below to receive our personal branding magazine to help you prepare for your session!

If just a headshot makes more sense for now, we would love to help you there as well.  Click below to get started right away!


A Military Portrait Story


One of the most rewarding aspects of being a portrait photographer is meeting remarkable people with inspiring stories. Periodically we want to share sessions that have a particular visual, emotional and motivational impact on us.  A recent military portrait session brought these together for us.



Kevin had just retired from the Army as a well decorated Colonel and wanted a portrait in his full dress uniform to commemorate his career. Serving as a Commander of the 883rd medical detachment, he was promoted to  Chief Army Occupational Therapist. His pride for that uniform and what it meant to him was deeply inspiring.



Kevin had a long lineage of military service in his family spanning generations, but his journey would be different.  Kevin’s passion for helping others led him to the medical field. By the age of 40, he had established a successful medical practice.  However, there was something missing.  He felt a calling to serve his country and knew that he could use his skills for the good of those that defended it.  The legal cutoff age for joining the army was 42.

Getting in just under the wire, he served 2 tours in Iraq.



Kevin’s personality was magnetic.  His humility and leadership skills were evident as we got to know him during our session planning.  The relationship we formed with him as well as his succinct manner made it refreshing to work with him.



After the session Kevin spoke at some length with enthusiasm and pride about the meaning of the “fruit salad” – the rack of medals that each soldier has on their dress uniform.  In this interesting discussion, we learned that almost every country has some form of the “fruit salad,” and most soldiers can immediately identify the symbolized service and accomplishments at a glance!  ( Wiki Ribbon Rack )



In the end, we were honored to commemorate Kevin’s impressive story of accomplishment and continued military service lineage.

We are all exceptional in some way.  Everyone has a story.  Capture yours with a professional portrait that will be passed down through generations.

Check out some of ours here: Portraits

Couple’s Portraits – Not JUST for Valentine’s Day!


A Couple’s Portrait Session is the perfect experience to share with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, from planning your outfits together, to receiving your finished portrait: a visual representation of your love for each other. Of course, true love lives on for the other 364 days of the year as well!  Relationships thrive and grow every day, and any day can be made extra special by commemorating your love in portraiture.

There are so many ways that couples can capture their love on camera. You might consider looking at a few Pinterest boards to get inspired, and find something that really resonates with you and your significant other.

A great way to plan a  couple’s portrait session is to schedule it around a fancy event, like the Salem Masquerade Ball! You and your partner can get the most out of your evening look by capturing it in professional lighting.

Here’s a story about a lovely couple we worked with recently who wanted to create something beautiful together.

Jill is a national rock vocalist in The 1999 Band, marketing guru and Miss Massachusetts finalist. Her beau Matt is an ex military helicopter pilot and current paramedic. They decided to have a Couple’s Portrait session, for many reasons. The result? The truest expression of their love for each other captured in time. The best part however, was the fun they had together in the process.

If you are looking for an excuse to get some fresh and beautiful portraits with your significant other, we have a few you can borrow 🙂



The Couple’s Portrait Session Experience


Having fun planning and plotting something emotionally intimate together.

Jill and Matt spent a great deal of time plotting and planning a session that would capture some of their most intimate emotions. A major requirement for this session was to have some fun. Planning a portrait session should never feel forced or stressful. The goal of a couple’s portrait is to capture your love in it’s truest form, and this begins as you and your partner plot out the perfect look and feel for your portraits.


Sharing their feelings about each other visually.

Through images, Jill and Matt wanted to visually show their friends, colleagues and families how they felt about each other. Each photograph made a statement that accomplished this in some way. True love is too deep and complex to express in words, so a portrait session is the perfect way to create a visual representation of your timeless love.

Collaboration with the Photographer.

Once you have your inspiration, it’s time to start brainstorming with the photographer.  The consultation and planning session is one of the most important meetings. This is where we will decide the look and feel of your contemporary portrait, and translate your ideas into a session plan, including posing, lighting, wardrobe, and attitude.

Jill and Matt collaborated with Louise and found their inspiration from editorial, magazine styled portraits. Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Annie Leibovitz were heavy influencers as well. Their ideas intersected amazingly with Louise’s. Establishing an emotional, trusted and productive relationship between client and photographer is a key ingredient to an awesome session.


An excuse to get some awesome outfits.

Any portrait session is a fantastic excuse to snag a few outfits to fatten up the closet. Intentional styling always brings a portrait to the next level, and it allows you to express yourself in a whole new way! Jill and Matt had a very clear vision for the look and feel of their portraits. After some collaboration with Louise, it became clear that a few new garments were required. No one complained about that!


The session was a success.

Our session with Jill and Matt was a total success. We captured the fun, glamour, sensuality and connection that this couple shares. In the end, their love was forever captured in time, and they created beautiful memories together in the process.

Don’t wait any longer to schedule a Couple’s Portrait Session for you and your loved one! Find your inspiration, and work with us to create something which will bring many smiles and memories for years to come.


Call the Studio to Start Planning Your Custom Session Today!

Gift Certificates Available

Marriage Proposal – Salem MA

Of all the types of photography sessions that we do, shooting a marriage proposal is absolutely the most fun.  It’s one that allows us to become small part of the event, witness it first hand and capture it for posterity.

Your proposal moment will be filled with passion, intimacy, joy and surprise.    These shoots are always exciting and rewarding for us and above all the couple.


We help guide the “proposer”, usually the groom through the planning and execution of a marriage proposal captured photojournalistically and followed by beautiful professional engagement portrait session.

Photograph of woman astonished at marriage proposal

Location awareness

Location awareness is one key to a successful proposal.  We have been shooting in Salem and around the north shore of Boston and know lots of great spots and backdrops.  Balancing locations, time of day, weather contingencies and other factors make a big difference on the outcome and reduced stress level.   Less stress and more fun is the goal.

We use two photographers to guarantee perfect shots from multiple angles.  We will be sneaky and will be hidden in plain sight.

photograph of man sliding engagement ring onto woman's finger


An initial planning session via phone or Zoom lets us know what your overall plan and desires are.   We get your location preferences as well as your overall plan to pop the question if you’ve got one yet.  This often happens weeks or a month before hand.  Some prefer a very quiet intimate proposal, others go all out.  Here’s a list of 66 ideas from The Knot

We get on the phone with you as the day gets closer.  You can always reach us and we are always ready to be your eyes and ears here in Salem.

On the morning of the event you will take and send us a selfie showing how you are dressed.    We’ll give you instructions like “ once you arrive at the common, text us and walk counter clockwise around the common until you get to point X”.

You text us when you are in the area.  At this point, tiny constant changes usually happen for one reason or another, but that’s part of the fun.  You’ll see us and know that the time is at hand.  From that moment, it’s up to you.  Our job is to get provide a photojournalistic view of this special moment.  The actions and reactions.  The laughing and the tears.

Photograph of post marriage proposal embrace


Afterward we’ll head to an area locally to get very professional portraits that you can use for wall art, gift prints, Save-the-date cards, Facebook banners – whatever you need.  The portraits we take are composed and captured to show you both as a couple.


Photographic portrait of post marriage proposal couple

We have many great locations but one of our favorites is Winter Island in Salem.  It’s got some old spooky historical building, the ocean, a lighthouse, deep woods and rolling fields.  There’s something for everyone there.

Post marriage proposal port with new engagement ring


Afterwards, there are great restaurants in the area to go and celebrate your new life together.

Photographic portrait of post marriage proposal couple

Let us know how we can help you with your proposal.

What’s YOUR favorite portrait season?

True New Englanders relish the gift that Mother Nature gives us as she serves up four uniquely beautiful seasons.   Our local landscapes experience a wardrobe change each season and we here at Louise Michaud Photographer would love to photograph you in each one.  Portraits and headshots for all seasons!

This is why we have started an “All Seasons” portrait portfolio to capture your beauty in each season.   If you have an absolutely favorite season, we can certainly shoot your portrait then.  BUT,  there is certainly no reason to lock your headshots or senior portraits into just one season anymore!

Check out the Fall and Winter shots below.  Stay tuned for a blog that will highlight the Spring and summer work that will round out this client’s portfolio.

By the way, consider browsing my Senior Portraits and Headshots pages.

Fall portraits burst with color and change



Have some fun with the yellows, reds and browns of fall.  Rest in the beautiful end of season change.  Celebrate the change of light and color.







Listen to the leaves rustle as you wear some of your favorite fall styles that help you blend into the season for a cool day outside







We all look different in each season, just as nature does.  If fall is a special season to you, be sure to capture your portrait.



Winter portraits – reflection and looking forward




Crisp blue skies, fresh fallen snow set the stage for outdoor activity.  Bundle up and head outside.








Winter allows us to reflect on the year past and to prepare for a new year.    We wear layers of clothes that still preserve fashion.  A portrait in the Winter will remain a treasure for you and your family for generations forward.









Without a winter portrait you may never remember how beautiful you look in a snowfall.








Think of the year that has passed. Understand what you have achieved and what you need to think about in the coming New Year.  This is the time to plan your resolutions and work on fulfilling them.

Get ready for your Spring portrait!


image representing all four season

Winter, spring, summer or fall,
All you have to do is call,
And I’ll be there

Portraits and headshots for all seasons!

Camera, flashes and all, Louise

p.s.  For fun facts about seasons, see: