John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

Focus on trustworthiness, not yourself...


Focus on trustworthiness, not yourself...


...when you focus on the other, that'll help you get past your hangups.


For many of my thought leader clients, the idea of creating a high-volume, image library is an intimidating and, ultimately, avoidable proposition because it forces them to be in the position of exposing and highlighting all of their insecurities regarding their appearances in front of a camera.

Believe me, as someone who ran away from the sight of a lens for the first 30+ years of my life, I totally get it.

Regardless, the work still needs to be done in order to create a content portfolio that is needed not only to create content posts for social, but also for their websites, social profiles and speaker/podcast/keynote submissions.

So, how do we work to move past this paralyzing, fixed mindset?

Well, one of the many principals that I instill in my clients revolves around focusing their efforts on those they serve.  Specifically:

Focus on creating trustworthiness, and not on yourself

Rather than falling down a rabbit hole of self-loathing regarding aspects of your appearance, put those toxic, worrying thoughts aside and focus on building positive, emotional capital by creating image content that fosters a sense of trustworthiness with those you serve.

This activity, undoubtedly, is a more fulfilling, productive and empowering use of your time and attention prior to your session than spending it worrying and catastrophizing that the session will be a total nightmare.

So, how do you go about establishing and building trustworthiness exactly?

Establish credibility

What is your body of work? Where have you shared this work in the past? Who and/or what influences your thought leadership?  

Talk with your photographer prior to the session to strategize about the types of portraits you want to capture to visually punctuate these types of stories.

Have you written a book? Let’s see some branded image content of the cover, chapter titles and selected passages.

Given a keynote? If you don’t have actual, event photos of you speaking in public, you can simply fake it during your branded lifestyle portrait session. For example:

  • If the space in which you’re shooting has a lectern, stand at it and present
  • Write notes on a whiteboard or poster board
  • Sit at the head of a conference table with your slide deck projecting behind you

Podcaster? Let’s see some behind-the-scenes images of you in action.

There are many other ways to establish credibility, but the key is figuring out the ones that work best represent you and your brand.

Establish an intimate relationship with your tribe  

Although it’s always a pleasure to share your “wins,” it’s just as important to teach a lesson through your miscalculations and setbacks, as well.

Be honest.  Be vulnerable.  Be you.

And that will endear you to your tribe.

Talk with your photographer prior to the session about capturing portraits that show a more reflective, pensive and thought-provoking tone in order to visually complement these types of stories.  

Be consistent and reliable with your social media posts

Are you a once-in-a-blue-moon, social poster? When was the last year that you sat down to write a blog?

C’mon now, you know that that flaky, inconsistency isn’t exactly winning anybody over!

In order to truly gain your followers’ trust and attention, you must be deliberate about keeping a consistent, social media posting schedule. After all, this is one of the main reasons why you need a high-volume, image library in the first place.  

Don’t be that person who just invested in a ton of amazing photos and spends more energy creating excuses to not post, then actually creating the content itself!

Don’t be a “Me-Monster”

When you do post content, is it sales-driven copy meant to pressure people into buying your product or services? Do you only talk about how outlandishly amazing your life is without attaching it to your purpose and showing gratitude for your success?  Do you ever engage the comments section of your posts - answer people’s questions, point people in the right direction or at the very least, show some appreciation and acknowledgement of their engagement?

This is classic “Me-Monster” behavior - and it’s hazardous to your business’s and brand’s health.  

If you seek to connect and provide value to a flourishing community of followers, you need to cut this shit out immediately before people only begin to notice the “Me-Monster” posts.

Remember, other people matter - otherwise, what would be the purpose of creating a highly visible, social media presence for your thought leadership?

When you narrow and focus your attention on those who will benefit from your expertise, the concerns and anxiety you have regarding your hangups about your appearance become less magnified.

And, with that break from stressing about yourself, you will allow your guard to drop and let authentic aspects of your personality shine through in ways that you’d never expect from yourself, which, is a nice lil’ empowering addition to the effort, :)

Did you find the information in this article valuable with respect to easing your concerns about your next branded lifestyle portrait session?

If so, there’s more where that came from!

This is an excerpt taken from an article I published entitled, I’m Not Photogenic: How To Get Your Mind Right For Your Next Portrait Session.

I’m Not Photogenic outlines several applied positive psychology interventions and principles designed for the reader to amass a wealth of positive, emotional capital before their next session in order to ease their nerves to present themselves powerfully, purposefully and authentically in front of the camera.

Give it a read and let me know what you think!

Also, if you are looking for a photographer who can help guide you past your emotional landmines in order to capture a truly authentic, content portfolio full of portraits and other image content, I know just the guy for you, :)

Schedule a call with me in order to see if we’re a good fit to work together!

PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)