PERSONAL BRANDING AND HEADSHOTS PHOTOSHOOT IN MELBOURNE'S DANDENONGS


Personal branding and headshots have become something which often get rolled in together but I think it is important to define the difference between them.


Headshots are literally that, a shot of your head (and usually your shoulders!). They are somewhat formal, and if I'm entirely honest often pretty generic, and are used for things like business cards, Linkedin profiles and maybe on materials like conference programs or magazine editorials where you are the contributor.


Personal branding goes beyond this and is more about telling your story and may incorporate props or a specific location and will often show you 'in action' doing what you do. Professional personal branding photography is certainly growing in popularity with the rise of websites and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and sits well with those who photograph in the lifestyle genre.


Earlier this year I was contacted by singer/songwriter Phoebe Bengough who was seeking both headshots to use when seeking musical theater work and personal branding images to use more generally. We shot in March in the beautiful gardens in Sherbrooke and this is what she had to say when I interviewed her about the experience.

Female in purple jumper headshot at Sherbrooke in Alfred Nicholas Garden.
Female in red coat amongst the hydrangeas at garden in Melbourne's Dandenongs.
Female in a blue hat with a lake behind doing a Betty Boop impression.
Artistic image of female singer with her guitar in Melbourne.

1. Tell me a little about your music.

I am an indie/pop/folk singer songwriter who wants to create an authentic, vulnerable connection with my audience through my melodically driven, emotive songs. My lyrics convey stories from past experiences that allow you to see clearly into my world. In every moment I share with an audience. I hope to create a reassuring atmosphere that will allow you to dream and reconnect with a moment in your life that you hold dear to your heart.


2. What made you decide to do a professional photo shoot?

The main reason I decided to do a professional photoshoot was for promotional purposes on social media. I was honestly very hesitant to do a photoshoot but my mind changed as soon as I saw Kate’s photography. In her photography, I saw that she was able to capture the true essence and personality of the individual and that was something I was looking for in a photographer. Authenticity and connection is something that I’m very passionate about and Kate’s work displays all of those exact qualities.


3. How do you plan to use the images?

I plan to use these images for my music biography, business cards/flyers and for social media when promoting certain gigs.

Female in red coat at boathouse in Alfred Nicholas Gardens, Melbourne.
Female in purple jumper sitting on bridge in Sherbrooke.
Female in colourful coat playing her guitar outdoors.

4. You said when you arrived you were nervous. Tell me about that.

I’ve never done a professional photoshoot before and I was a bit nervous that I mightn’t get any good shots out of the session but after the photoshoot, I realised that there was absolutely no need to be nervous.


5. What was the turning point when you started to relax?

I think the turning point for me was seeing how patient Kate was and seeing how much she cared about capturing the right photos. I also saw that she was a kind person and that she’d never get frustrated with me if I stood or held myself in the wrong way. The photoshoot was honestly just a lot of fun.


6. We incorporated lots of accessories and outfit changes in your shoot. Why was that important for you?

It was important to me because I like creativity, colour and diversity and I thought it would be good to incorporate different outfits throughout the photoshoot to bring those certain things to life.

Female in a bright coat hiding in a tree hollow and pulling a fun face.
Female singer in purple jumper hugging her acoustic guitar.
Female in violet jumper starring into the distance.
Female in purple jumper with Alfred Nicholas Gardens boathouse behind.

7. Which is your favourite photo from the session and why?

There’s honestly so many wonderful photos that it’s very hard to pick just one but if I had to choose I think it would be the photo where I’m giving my guitar a big hug. My guitar has been with me through many significant moments and that photo just shows my appreciation for having such a wonderful instrument by my side.


8. What would you say to someone else who is considering doing a shoot like yours?

Go for it. You’ll have such a wonderful time and I really do assure you that you won’t be disappointed with the outcome. I have so many wonderful photos for promotional purposes now and I’m honestly so very happy that I decided to do this photoshoot with Kate.


9. What is next for you in 2021? Where can people follow you?

The next step for me is to record my original music and release them on all music platforms. I’ll be announcing single launch dates later on in the year. I’m also in my final year at Box Hill Institute completing a Bachelor of Music Performance, so this year I’m really taking my time to learn as much as possible and experience as much as I can. I have music pages on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube under the name of Phoebe Bengough, so feel free to follow them if you want to hear my music and stay updated with future gigs that are to come!


Facebook: Phoebe Bengough | Facebook

Instagram: 𝐏𝐇𝐎𝐄𝐁𝐄 𝐁𝐄𝐍𝐆𝐎𝐔𝐆𝐇 (@phoebe_bengough) • Instagram photos and videos

YouTube: Phoebe Bengough - YouTube

Female in colourful coat and blue hat dancing in a garden.
Female singer starring along the length of her acoustic guitar in Melbourne.
Personal branding image of Melbourne singer songwriter Phoebe Bengough.
Female in blue hat gesturing towards the camera while smiling in Melbourne.

If you are interested in small business or personal branding headshots or photographs please contact me to discuss your vision and needs.

Kate Cashin is a family photographer based in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She specialises in nature sessions and forest adventures with the motto "Play. Move. Explore.".