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  • Personalise your Personal Brand (Part 6) with guest blogger Keli Lenfield
Personalise your Personal Brand (Part 6) with guest blogger Keli Lenfield
Written by
Keli Lenfield
May 2016
Written by
Keli Lenfield
May 2016

In her highly acclaimed hit book, "Everyone is a Supermodel. Secrets for any career based on my modelling experiences.", Keli identifies and shares the 7 core skills that will help you differentiate yourself both online and in person on a global scale. In today's post it's Lights! Camera! Action! as Keli reveals the sixth core skill.

Core Skill #6 Camera confidence

YouTube has changed the way we communicate and search for our wants and needs. How you come across on camera can be a deal maker or a deal breaker so knowing how to speak and communicate effectively on camera will allow you to create your brand and build your community online and in person.

What is involved in a photo shoot and in the making of a television commercial as well as an introduction to the correct use of speech in order to further improve your confidence, ultimate employment outcomes or further learning interests?

Understanding the camera

For you to get the best possible outcome when you are in front of a camera, its a good idea to have a basic idea of how it all works .. wouldn't you agree? I mean any knowledge that gives you the best advantage with the least amount of input surely has to be a good thing.

I'm going to keep this really simple, because unless you are a keen photographer your eyes will glaze over and that never looks good on film! :)

The elements you need to be aware of are;

  • Lighting:

  • Sources; electrical, natural or reflected

  • Colored or direct

  • Shadows caused by lighting source, props or human form and/or specific pose used

  • Distance:

  • Details

  • Specific focus

  • Distracting details

  • Background

  • Foreground

  • Focus:

  • Movement

  • Sharpness

  • Blurring

  • Contrast detail:

  • Image and background

  • Clothing and make up

  • Image and foreground

  • Makeup:

  • Well applied

  • Type of make up used (pancake)

  • Use of color

  • Oil or shine on skin

  • Powder

  • Light absorption properties

  • Exaggerated effects such as eye brows, eyes, lips, finger nails, face or body paint, body shimmer

Next are the main differences between filming or shooting inside and outside.

  • Inside:

  • More equipment

  • Stronger electrical lighting

  • Reflectors

  • Specific pose positions marked on the floor or wall

  • Type of make up and number of touch ups

  • Some privacy

  • Small space (studio)

  • Outside:

  • Natural element changes (rain or wind)

  • Little to no privacy

  • Natural surfaces (rocks, sand, water, dirt)

  • Looking into the sun

  • Type of make up used and number of touch ups increase

  • Travel to location

Don't be afraid to have a go and take a few shots. A picture does speak a thousand words so make sure the words being said are what you want to say. Here are some pointers to help you identify the main advantages of both still shots and video when presenting an advantageous first impression.

  • Still shots:

  • First impression based solely on presentation and facial expression

  • Stays in the viewer’s memory

  • Can be used for corporate profiles, on websites, on resume or CV

  • Good experience for print media, catalogue work or portfolios

  • Video:

  • First impression based on person’s speech, articulation, energy level, personality, presentation and eye contact

  • Can lead to journalism, television commercials, infomercials, spokesperson for a brand or cause, online training or sales videos for companies, acting or television hosting

Photo styling techniques

Now for the fun stuff – strike a pose! The best way to work out your best side, most flattering pose or best angle is to get some instruction from professional photographers and practice various poses while having a trusted friend on hand to take some shots in different light.

The best times of the day to take photos are early morning and late afternoon... so schedule a shoot around that time and you're good to go.

Being aware of the following affects will also be of help when you look at the end product. These include;

  • Lighting projections on arms, neck, chin, forehead, stomach and knees

  • Shadows can hide details and add odd shapes to body parts

  • Some sitting or squatting positions can look awkward, uncomfortable and unflattering

Have some fun with the various pose examples and using the instructions from the photographers and feel free to share – positive feedback is guaranteed.

Depending on the look you want, some make up may be required. Again this is totally up to you, but in case you were interested this is what you will need;

  • Primer

  • Solid foundation (pancake)

  • Light reflecting powder

  • Strong colors

  • Defining pencils and eye liners

  • Oil free moisturizer

  • Shimmer compacts

There are two main styles for still shots being the head shot and the full body shot. The head shot is primarily for profile purposes and attaching one to your resume or CV is a great idea.

Some tips for your head shot are:

  • Appropriate clothing that suits participant’s coloring and shows style. For example, professional, sporty, fun loving etc.

  • Try not to wear too much jewellery

  • Make up to be appropriate and not too heavy

  • Hair should be immaculate

  • What do you want the viewer to see?

The full body shot is more for marketing purposes and ideal for your own business.

Some tips for this are;

  • This shot can be full body, close up or ¾ body

  • Clothing should be flattering to the body, dress for your shape

  • Hair and make up to be immaculate

  • What do you want the viewer to see?

Before we finish up and I let you loose with your cameras let's talk nudity. I am a huge art fan and appreciate the human form in all its glory – in context. You do realize that we live in a world where everything that is published, sent, recorded and shared is available for anyone to see for as long as you live. So unless you are Madonna, please think twice about where a certain photo may end up, because one day it might turn up at that door you are trying to get your foot in to and it might just slam in your face... just saying.

Professionalism in front of a video camera

Working in front of a video camera is a whole different story and as you can probably imagine, takes some preparation and practice. Know what you want to say, practice with different lighting and remember your audio needs to be the best quality you can afford, In fact the professionals dictate that audio is more important than the visual.

Get comfortable with your stance, your arms and your hands. Talking with them like this as well as bobbing your head will do you no favors.

Now we need to practice your speech for the audio – great audio deserves your best voice.

Here are some pointers before I direct you towards some exercises;

  • It is an asset to possess a clear and expressive voice

  • Voice expresses personality and the communication of meaning

  • A good voice is clear, pleasant and animated

  • Practice will give control of information, pace and volume

  • When you are nervous, you naturally speak faster, so practice relaxation exercises and pauses

Record your voice... trust me, you will shudder and turn it off after the second syllable but keep going. If you aren't comfortable with your voice no one else will be and so go ahead and practice the voice exercises I have included if you feel your voice needs improving – this may take a while as you should make lots of mistakes – mistakes are good!

So, you are standing comfortably, you have a clear voice, your hands are sorted, what about your body language? As a viewer I have all the time in the world to look at every detail while I am listening to you... am I right?

Here are some things to keep in mind before and during your presentation;

  • Appear prepared and ready

  • Eye contact as directed

  • Facial expression as directed

  • Show control in unforeseen circumstances or interruptions

  • Improvise if necessary

  • Be aware that all mannerisms, vocal inflictions, “umm’s”, “ahh’s” and swearing is recorded

Video is king and all of this comes into play when your workplace needs your newly acquired camera posing skills and knowledge. This could include;

  • Corporate website or profile updates

  • Individual photo for resume or portfolio

  • Television commercial

  • Online training or sales video

  • Workplace newsletter

The possibilities are endless and video is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself on a global scale.

Social Media Etiquette

How many social media platforms are there.. hundreds right? And they are not just confined to social interaction, these platforms are readily used in the workplace. Strangely enough social media etiquette is not readily discussed or part of an employee's training and it is so important as you are representing yourself and your company to potentially millions of people every post. Social media in the workplace is used for;

  • Connect to potential and existing customers

  • Define demographic by interests, likes and dislikes

  • Support petitions

  • Champion a cause

  • Connect with friends and family

  • Create new friendships

  • Share photos and videos

  • Voice comments and concerns

  • Leave feedback about a product or service

  • Promote a person, website, blog, product or service

  • Instant access to a global community

  • Viral marketing, having present customers comment positively and talk about your product and service for you

  • Access to competitor information

  • Search for vacancies and employment contracts available

  • Opportunity to better understand and communicate with other cultures

  • Ability to follow trends and find sale opportunities

Here are your rules of engagement – comment, share and tweet it out! @Kelilenfield

  • Use social media only as directed by the organization or employer

  • Be aware of Twitter ‘Trolls’ and report any type of negative, offensive, bullying or damaging tweets

  • Combine for marketing campaigns

  • Do not criticize or make personal comments that could jeopardize your reputation, promotion opportunities or career

  • Be aware of sensitive issues such as discrimination, sexual harassment and privacy when using social media

  • Be creative and remarkable

  • Abide by the rules outlined by each social media platform

  • Be smart and conscientious as you never know who will read your comments

Keli Lenfield is a single mother, author, course developer, social entrepreneur and animal ambassador. She delivers courses to disadvantaged youth and writes for a number of magazines including The CEO Magazine and Haute Living. Her book has gained worldwide reviews and she is the founder of Keli Lenfield.com and Model Alliance.Global. Her tag line "Be the Difference to make a Difference" motivates her to be the walking and talking example for all who admire and inspire her.

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