The Process of Photographic Storytelling: A Personal Branding Shoot for Yumcha
My work doing Personal Branding Photography is all about storytelling. I tell the story of the person, their passion for their business, and, about the business itself. In order to do this incredibly well, I need to meet and get to know the person before the camera even comes out of the bag.
For me, this is imperative so that I fully understand who they are and what vibe they’re looking for in their images. I have my own process of getting to know the client which also includes a client questionnaire so that I get all the details necessary for a successful shoot.
Meet the Client
Tiffany Chu is the owner and Brewmaster of Yumcha Local Artisan Kombucha, inspired by Traditional Chinese Herbalism.
“I love creating new flavours. Although we only have a few flavours for now, we are constantly playing around with fruits, herbs and vegetables. One of the major parts of creating a new flavour is blending ingredients together with traditional Chinese herbalism in mind. With each component of the flavour profile, we consider how it affects the body’s yin and yang.”
Traditional Chinese Herbalism as taught by her Grandmother
“Every summer I indulge in fresh lychees, BBQs and anything deep fried. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, those are all foods that will throw my body’s yang off. My grandma used to always tell me that would give me a face full of pimples and a mouth of canker sores unless I balanced it out with cooling foods such as watermelon, cucumbers and whatever that special soup she made me drink was made of. And I always listened because I knew that if I didn’t I really would get pimples, canker sores and overall a feeling of heat.”
“This is just one example of the many idiosyncrasies that was passed down to me. Now I get to use all that knowledge my grandparents and parents taught me, and share it with others.”
Bringing People Together
“I’m a huge believer in food bringing people together. Growing up in a big family, I learned at a very young age that food is a huge part of my culture. Big family dinners happened almost every month for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Now as an adult, I often associate food and drink with quality time with friends and family. On days that I don’t want alcohol, I often find myself being limited to pop or juice but sometimes a girl just wants something a little more sophisticated!”
“For me, kombucha was the perfect alternative. I love the idea that Yumcha can be that alternative for people when they spend time with their friends and family. It’s like we are part of people’s stories and that really inspires me. It’s neat to think that years from now, someone might look at a Yumcha bottle and it reminds them of a memory.”
The Photo Plan
Vibrant Tiffany loves the creativity of her work and then sharing it with her family and friends. Naturally we wanted to get images of her at work experimenting and creating her kombucha, but also celebrating together with friends and family enjoying her incredible brews. Her newly opened brick and mortar store in Victoria was the perfect backdrop to do her shoot and her friends were more than happy to participate.
Covid Update for Yumcha
Just three months after her new store opened, Covid hit. While Tiffany was more than prepared for a hugely successful year at farmer’s markets, holiday fairs and events, above and beyond working her retail store, everything stopped. For the first while she waited for Covid to just end but then realized she’d need to adapt.
“We are now in the process of giving our labels a facelift and making it bilingual in hopes that we can get into grocery stores. Since we are going to be doing less direct sales, the plan is to switch over to wholesale opportunities. Our space has been reorganized to make workflow easier with the new sanitation and distancing protocols in place. And we are doing a slight branding update to really highlight our story and core values. I learned that everything in life can change in a matter of days and that plans have to be fluid. And to always get pandemic insurance!”
“I loved working with Michele! I have never had a business photoshoot done before so I had no idea what to expect. Michele walked me through the process and sent me lots of information beforehand so that I could prep myself and my friends. She’s super nice and fun to work with.”
Thank you so much for your very kind words Tiffany. I loved working with you and your friends and you made my job so easy by being super prepared. Thank you!
If you’re dreaming of tasting all the yummy flavours of Yumcha, go online to these channels:
Personal Branding for Your Business
I’d love to help you with your business and show you the process I use to get you the best images possible. I offer complimentary consultations so we can discuss your wants and needs and figure out right away if you and I are the right fit. Contact me!
Images shared with permission.
I Look Forward To Having
You In My Vancouver Boudoir
And Portrait Studio!
Michele Mateus is an award winning Vancouver Boudoir and Women’s Portrait Photographer. Serving Coquitlam, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Langley, Abbotsford, Squamish, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster and the Great Vancouver area.