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.

Visual punctuation is not simply a nice-to-have


Visual punctuation is not an option...’s a requirement if you want to create impactful content that resonates with your audience.


I was recently scrolling through my Instagram account and came across a post from a colleague.

In the portrait, he was sitting down at a table outside during a very bright sunny day, looking relaxed and at ease while flashing a confident smile directly to the camera. 

The photo inspired me to stop the scroll and read, which is great, but I was left confused after checking out the post. 

You see, when I come across a photo like that, I expect to read a story that has a happy ending and positive spin to it, conveying a message of joy, gratitude, peace, or sharing some type of win in life or business. 

Instead, the story touched on self-doubt and owning a scarcity mindset.

While the portrait was lovely and the message was poignant, the combination is a mismatch.


One of the biggest reasons you need to leverage branded lifestyle portraits is to visually punctuate the sentiment of the stories you share with your audience. 

This combination helps create a more impactful post because the emotions you share through your story is reinforced and enhanced by emotion of the image - and in particular, the expression on your face.    

If you leverage portraits that present you in a flattering light without any thought to the emotion they convey with respect to the sentiment of the story in the caption, then you’re missing out on an opportunity for the lessons you’re sharing to resonate more deeply with your audience.

Make no mistake, there are places for snappy happy, smiley photos throughout your online presence.

But your image content portfolio needs to house photos that fall across the entire emotional spectrum. You achieve this by instructing your photographer to prompt you to look reflective, pensive and vulnerable in addition to all the fun cheery stuff.

That way, when you write a post about self-doubt, you can visually punctuate that story with a photo that represents and enhances that specific sentiment.

The more emotive the post, the more memorable and relatable it is to the person viewing it.

The more relatable you are, the deeper the connection becomes between you and those you serve. 

Just because you hired a professional photographer who captured a series of beautiful pictures of you doesn’t mean they all are appropriate for the stories that you want to share with your audience. 

Vanity is only a piece of the equation.

Diversity is the other.

By that, I mean diversity in your expressions, emotion of the image, lifestyle activities in which your engaging, composition of the images, lighting and location. 

The more diversity you have, the easier it is to pair your stories with image content that will enhance the message you’re conveying. 

And you’ll avoid the misfortune of posting content that sticks out like a sore thumb because the photos are incongruent with the stories you’re sharing.

Keep that in mind before you post anything new to your social feeds.

If you’re new to my blog and aren’t subscribed, I preach from the mountaintops often about visual punctuation and many other elements of visual storytelling strategy. 

If you’d like to receive these articles directly in your inbox, you can sign up for them here (I’ll throw in something nice for you when you do!).

Have questions about updating your image content portfolio with images that better visually punctuate the stories you share with your audience?

Let’s get on the phone and talk about it.