Behind the lens: PR and social media pros know how much images matter

Starting or running a business means that the work you're used to doing, what you brought you to this point - well that's only half the story. 

Days are filled with gaining new skills (oh hello accounting! It's been ages), meeting prospective clients or business partners and getting new work systems into place. I knew all of that going in. 

I also knew one valuable slice of building a new brand hinges on its visuals. A writer my entire life and PR and social media pro for many years, I understand the impact an image can have, what and where it should be placed and how it can benefit a brand. 

One can't be an expert at everything - and creating visuals are not my strongest suit. So  I called in the pros. In the case of images - I took up Detroit Photographer Marvin Shaouni on an offer he'd made a while back to assist me with current head shots. I can be as guilty of a selfie as the next person but when it came to a realistic, current image of myself nothing from my Instagram or Snapchat would do. 

me tall

Not only is Marvin a complete professional and a longtime friend I could trust behind the lens, as it turns out he can produce amazing results even when faced with the oddest of circumstances.

When it came to starting Prologue, I knew right away I'd be fighting against the odds. What I didn't know? The odds would not involve the usual impossible situations I address in public relations or social media. Instead they would include tech problems, a broken heater and a mini flood - all in 2 weeks time! The day before our photo shoot the location we chose - my home - was a brisk 55 degrees Fahrenheit so I called Marvin to reschedule. Then, the repair company rescheduled as well! It all had to happen at once so, to quote Tim Gunn, we made it work.

Me look up

Every time I look through the photos Marvin shot, I will recall with glee two things: the mix of fear and excitement in my stomach (half due to the photo shoot and half due to the new business), and the way we set up an elaborate backdrop and perfect lighting only to have the kindest heating repair expert running between the laundry room, kitchen - onto the set - to check all of the vents and controls.

This went on for a while. He and Marvin developed a kind of choreographed routine in the tight spaces and when it was done - somehow I came away the winner. Warmth and wonderful images. What else could a PR girl ask for?  

A few of the shots from that session are below. I'll be using them in various ways - but always fondly thinking of how they came to be. 

Me sidelook

What images define you or your brand? And why?

Stephanie Angelyn Casola founded Prologue as a writer, social media and PR professional with more than two decades of experience in media. She's addicted to wi-fi and minimalist design, holds high expectations for coffee, craft beer and pizza, and grew up an avid fan of scary movies. Recently dubbed the "Queen Bee of hustle, media relations and coolness" when she's not working, she's probably ducking into a movie, rock show or museum (so she'll text you after). Email her at stephanie@prologuedetroit.com