Podcast Episodes

Taking Branding Photography To A New Level Amidst The Pandemic – Nikki Gomez

What would you do if you were a photographer and the pandemic limited your ability to do in person photoshoots? That’s what today’s guest Nikki Gomez was challenged with, so she applied some creativity to do remote photoshoots with stunning results.

You can see more of Nikki’s work at Thenikkigomez.com
and on Instagram @thenikkigomez

Unknown Speaker 0:00

Alright, it's Tobin and I'm back with another episode of Book of Experts TV and listen as experts, you know how hard it is to go out. You're working so hard to boost your visibility. Get seen by the people you want to make an impact with? Well, what if you could also take that boosting of your visibility and look great doing it? That's going to be the topic with our guests today.

Unknown Speaker 0:23

Time for book of experts, TV, topics you love. Experts you trust. friction, free referrals. Tried tested, trusted. This is Book of Experts, brought to you by SalesMAP.me.

Unknown Speaker 0:56

Nikki Gomez, welcome to Book of Experts TV, we have a fashion industry expert here former model now photographer doing really, really interesting things with their clients. So excited to have you on here. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. Now, real quickly, you are joining I know you've moved around the map a little bit. Are you back in New York City now. I'm currently in New York City, I'm actually awaiting word to find out if I'll be moving to Tulsa for a year. Ah, Interesting. Interesting. Well, so a little background for folks out there that will be they will be catching this. Nikki and I actually connected through a common friend and client recently, who, you know, I saw the work that you did with Bri. And I'm like, it's stunning work and is very relevant in our space of working with experts, because you want to put yourself in that out there not only in a polished way. Like it's not just about having, you know, corporate headshot kind of photography, but style. And this is one of the things you I'm sure you love about Bree as well. She's got she's very unique in her style, that you were able to capture that in a way that it just, you know, it spoke to every image that she was sharing with us, it was really pretty Wow. So I want to talk about how you were able to do that sort of the big picture of thinking about taking your experience in the fashion industry and being able to bring that into the professional space, because I think there's a lot of people could really benefit from that. Yeah, I mean, I was super excited to shoot Bree because she is a friend and I got to spend a lot of time with her in Minnesota. We were actually housemates for almost four months during the pandemic. And so for me, my approach has always been about capturing the authentic person. And a lot of that has to do with my background in the fashion industry. Because while there's a lot of fantasy and a lot of glamour, it's very important to capture the true beauty and natural essence of the model. So that they can be marketed to clients clients don't necessarily want. And I say clients, I mean brands, designers, they don't necessarily want to choose a model based on all of the glamour and all of the glitz. They want to choose the person based on their natural beauty and their authenticity. And oftentimes a person's authenticity dictates what brand they'd actually be good for. So even as an agent, I was an agent for two years in New York. Oftentimes we'd submit a model to a client, and the feedback would be Oh, she looks great, but what does she really look like? And so that kind of gave me the foundation for going back into photography and saying, Okay, I'm going to capture people, and their natural essence, and I want to show their natural beauty. And to me, everyone's beautiful, I don't care if you're a model or a real person, entrepreneur, whatever it is, there's something about you that makes you so unique, that I just see as beautiful and I want to capture. And so doing that with Bree was really a highlight of our whole time together. Because here I understood this person, I understand her creativity and her love for what she does. And so he was the opportunity to showcase that in a very organic way. I love that finding, finding. So we in our space, we do a lot of outreach, you know, making new connections in the business world. And we one of the steps that we always talk about is finding the awesome in another person first, like that's how you enter their world and you're finding the beauty and other people so the the other thing that I really love about your story here is that you come from the fashion world. So I always feel like the most interesting ideas, the most innovative approaches come when someone is a domain expert in one space. And they take that what they've learned, you know, which maybe is common knowledge they write, you know, I don't know but it's it's that subject matter expertise, and carry it over into a new a new domain. So, in the business world we don't like I would never have described myself as a model of my business, the model in my business, but we all need those. Those sort of environmental shots like for websites and for social media.

Unknown Speaker 5:00

And we want to be real. And we want to create that, that magnetic personality that's going to attract the right people, and sometimes repel the wrong people equally as much. So that it accentuates and amplifies the work we're doing. So I just I really love, I love that aspect of your work. And what I want to talk about next is the pandemic because I can imagine, you know, you came, you were in New York City, you and Bree moved out in back into Minnesota, as you said, Yeah, but it must have as a photographer, it must have turned your world upside down. And maybe that will lead us into sort of your creative response to that. Yeah, I mean, as a photographer, there's photographers that love to shoot landscapes, and still life and all of those things that don't require interaction with people. So there's lots of opportunities there for them, even during a pandemic, because they can go out and shoot those things. I love to photograph people that is my area of expertise. And so in the beginning of the pandemic, being pulled away from that, and not having that creative outlet, to to photograph, people really took a toll on me. And I like to describe it as withdrawal. I go through withdrawal if I don't get to create, and this is my form of creation. And so yeah, I was going through that whole frustration. And then I had the opportunity to go to Minnesota. And ironically, that actually opened my eyes to new possibilities and new ways of doing things. And with that, I was like, Oh, I can photograph people virtually. Like, there's no reason for me to feel like there was a limitation on my creativity. And I had a lot of clients seeking that, that needs to create content. And so that was the solution. It's like, Okay, well, let's use the technology we have. Let's get online and let's do a photo shoot. And it's worked out beautifully. I've been able to do everything from photoshoots in Puerto Rico, to Australia to LA all from my bedroom in Minnesota. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 6:58

This is amazing. So when when Bree was sharing the image, and actually I'm gonna bring up on the screen, because I want I want folks to see, so this is your website? Well, we'll share that as one example. And then actually, let me bring in, I want to also

Unknown Speaker 7:15

show your Instagram feed, because there's a lot of great images there. I I'd love for you to, I wouldn't believe this was even possible. To be very honest with you. Like if you had said, you're going to be able to create this kind of presentation. You know, with your skill set your background from fashion photography, and you're going to do it as a virtual photoshoot. I would have said No way. So can you walk us through a little bit? Like?

Unknown Speaker 7:42

Like, conceptually, how do you even plan this out to get the results that you're looking for? Because these are, these are stunning images. And I met you know, again, some of these clearly from the fashion world. But yeah, you're capturing the essence of the person. And again, there's a real, there's a real world application for us in our with our expertise, expert based businesses. Yeah. So a lot of my feed is a mixture of both virtual and in person. So pre COVID, post COVID. And for me, it's really about the communication. And I think that the past eight or 10 years, with the advancements in photography, technology, and cameras, I think there was a lot of focus on Well, you're a good photographer, if you have the newest camera, and the camera was getting the credit for the creation. And one of the beautiful things that I love about virtual photography is it's more stripped down, it's less about what your camera is, it's less about the technology in that sense. And it's more about the communication between you and your subject. So a lot of these shoots, I'm basically having a test call with people ahead of time, we're checking their internet connection, we're talking about lighting, and so they're learning lighting at the same time, then we're talking about angles, so everything goes into the communication with your subject. And so that even opens up more of a connection. For me anyway, I work through intuition and and relating to my client. So that planning phase, that test call, we're connecting, we're figuring out how we're going to do this shoot, what angles we need, what outfits we need, what's the best place in their home for lighting, and we pretty much go from there. And I think that in some ways the industry got so reliant on technology that we often lost that human interaction and that human communication that makes it necessary to get a quality, authentic capture.

Unknown Speaker 9:40

What kind of questions are you asking or in these conversations are you thinking about to to capture the like, what what I'm trying to orient myself even what this might look like to come out with the output that is going to facilitate and like I said,

Unknown Speaker 10:00

Help people because boosting visibility is a big topic that comes up. Because a lot of our experts, they are subject matter experts, they have the ability literally to impact the world of the people around them. But they often feel like best kept secrets. So this feels like a secret ingredient here to helping them present themselves in a way that will bring more folks into their world. Yeah, I would say, um,

Unknown Speaker 10:26

a lot of it goes into what they've already done. So I have to see what type of images they have out there, how they represent themselves, in social media and on various platforms. The other part of it is really good old fashioned human interaction, it's, it's pretty simple, from my perspective, because I've always called myself an intuitive photographer. So what I do is less about the latest lens and the latest technology and more about the human interaction and, and the ability to kind of feel for a person. And so it's in that feeling for a person. And I often say, I'm very Goofy, so it's hard to be nervous in a photoshoot with me, because I'm going to laugh with you, I'm going to play with you, we're going to joke and have a great time. And that kind of disarms people a little bit, and we get to capture more of them. And then when it comes to questions, it's really, you know, what is this for? What is your mission? What are you going to use the images for? Who are Who's your target audience like that all goes into it as well. But I feel like the biggest component is really that human connection.

Unknown Speaker 11:34

And I think it's often overlooked, but so important.

Unknown Speaker 11:39

Yeah, this, this is great. And I want to share, Mickey, so Andrew, a member of our audience jumped in and said, This is fantastic is so relevant. And, and I love this too. I'm also curious, like now that you've sort of discovered this new space of doing virtual photoshoots, what does the future look like for you? Well, will you continue? Will you have a hybrid model as things as as the opportunity to go back to somewhat normal, becomes more and more available to us? What what how are you thinking about how has this changed the trajectory of the work you're doing? I feel like it's inspired me in a new way, you know, for so long, it was like, oh, if I want to shoot my friend in Ireland, I have to get on a plane and go to Ireland and shoot her. And now it's like, No, we could do some really cool stuff virtually. And there's no need for that disruption in, like our life or location, or whatever. So I want to incorporate it into whatever happens in the future as well. So it's an option that I'm never going to get rid of. It's just another option. And I think it specifically really lends itself well to corporate entrepreneur type of photos as well, you know, like you mentioned in the beginning, you know, there's a corporate headshot, which kind of feels so formal, that it's almost removed from the person you're trying to connect to. And then there's a way to do that in a very approachable, real sense. And so I would love to just like, branch out more into that and keep that as part of an offering that I can that I have going forward. Yeah, I love that. So I want to share with folks it yesterday, we had a fairly robust discussion on LinkedIn, talking about their wares. And I don't know if you've maybe even seen this news story, but there was a consultant from I think she was in North Carolina who had the typical corporate, you know, power suit headshot, that was part of her LinkedIn profile. And then she's, uh, you know, she's been at home, she's, she's doing our consulting calls from home with three little ones under the age of 10. And finally, she just put up a real photo of herself, like, what she actually looked and she said, You know, this is who I am, this is how I'm going to show up on the zoom call. same person, same brilliant strategy mind, but without all the Polish, and it created this huge buzz on LinkedIn. Yeah, because it was, you know, people arguing back and forth about, you know, what does this new space mean for us as people become more authentically who they are working from the home environment, for example, and showing different sides of themselves, compared to what traditionally, in the business environment, a lot of people have felt this pressure to sort of keep up I mean, I'm broadcasting here I've got my T shirt on, I'm not you know, putting on a suit and tie for our conversation. What What is your take on this, particularly because you know, you are the subject matter expert in visuals in Britain, bringing high end, fashion style photography into the world.

Unknown Speaker 14:33

For a long time, I have said to my clients, and I've said to many, many people, that authenticity is the way of the future and perfection is passe. There is no there's less of a market for perfection than there is for authenticity. People want, who they can relate to. They want to find that person that is right for them. And so whatever your business is, if you are presenting yourself in an authentic manner

Unknown Speaker 15:00

You're gonna find like you mentioned even at the top of this, your right clients, the people that you're trying to attract and a lot of ways you're going to repel the ones that are not going to be right for your business. And that's okay because there's, there's always someone right for your business, but it's best to show who you are. And I think that's that was like one of the goals of shooting Bree is that we wanted to unapologetically show her as she was because the clientele she's going to attract is going to want that it's going to relate to that is also in need of showing themselves as they are, and not this perfect

Unknown Speaker 15:38

cookie cutter version and of themselves. And for a long time, this is me showing a little bit of my age, we were taught that it should be polished and perfect and this and that and Photoshop the certain way and you know, and and in reality that just removes you further and further away from your target client, your target audience, whoever that may be. And so even in the fashion world, I've been kind of always striving for more of an authentic real take of the person. And I find that younger generations, you know, millennials and younger are also embracing that. And that's a core value for a lot of them. So it should be expressed in the work as well in the photos. So this is super fascinating because not only is it working better in the in the professional space, the business space because people are more. They're they're allowing themselves to present more authentically who they are and people are responding in positive ways. But I'm hearing you say that even the fashion industry is starting to shift because people are are asking for their requesting. They're craving more of that real connection with folks and less of that polished, airbrushed, photoshopped, you know, the world is perfect. We're all perfect, which we know we're not right so we can take us with our imperfections, but actually make that real human to human connection with folks. I really love this. So I want to bring I'm gonna bring back up on the screen for a moment we'll look again, this is Nikki's Instagram feed, which you can find her you can actually follow her work. encourage you to follow her work on Instagram at the Nikki Gomez or sorry, the websites the Nikki Gomez. Instagram is at the Nikki Gomez that's with two K's and Nikki, you'll see that on the screen as well.

Unknown Speaker 17:19

Yeah, where else should folks go Nikki for them? If they're interested, they'd like to connect with you and your world have a conversation about this? Where would you like to connect with them. I mean, you can always come through Instagram as well as my website at the Nikki gomez.com spelt the same way.

Unknown Speaker 17:37

Yeah, my emails all out there. So you can reach me through either or, and I'm always happy to talk. So appreciate you taking a little bit of time to share your perspective, I found this in this story fascinating. One because of the shift that you had to make. And again, it's pretty amazing what you're able to accomplish in a virtual photoshoot. I I think this is one of those cases where I just wouldn't have believed it until I saw the output. And I was like, Wow. So this is actually what's possible when when you do it in this new form. So all kudos to you amazing work. appreciate you taking a little bit of time to share your story with us here on book of experts. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited for all the possibilities. And I just want to remind everyone that Necessity is the mother of invention. If you see a roadblock, think outside that block outside that box and come up with a solution that works for you because it's all possible. Great, great message for the day be resourceful. And for our audience out there. Listen, if you liked this episode of book of experts, TV,

Unknown Speaker 18:38

follow the guests like go find them on social media, find the doorway that you can walk through to connect with folks. So Nikki's just told you, you can follow and connect with her on Instagram. I encourage you to rate review, send a recommendation, listen, we'd love that with book of experts as well. That's important. Anyone that's creating an audience and putting content out there. The best thing you can do to make a real connection is actually take a few minutes, go where it matters, you know, go on Apple iTunes, rate us review us, tell us what you're thinking. We want those connections with you as well. Join us in the comments. were part of the conversation and make sure you also join us next week we have an expert panel. This is coming up on October 5, we're going to be talking about building online communities. We have three experts coming in. We'll be talking about LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, and even groups outside of social media. Like when there's not owned by the big social media companies. You want to go somewhere else to gather your audience. We'll be talking about that and doing networking raid afterwards. That's next, next Monday, October 5. So appreciate you Nikki, thanks for taking the time and we'll see you guys on the next episode. Thank you Tobin

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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