You Are Complex: Meet Brand Photographer Kaitlyn Casso
Here at Vibrant Health, we believe health is an inside job, unique to you. After all, you’re one-of-a-kind and your needs are complex – that’s why your supplements should be too.
To celebrate all of the beautiful complexities of our lives, each month we’ve been highlighting individuals in our community – taking a peek into the behind-the-scenes of their work life, wellness routines and all the wonderful things that make them who they are.
In honor of National Entrepreneurship Month, this November on the Vibrant Health blog we got to chat with Connecticut-based Brand Photographer, Kaitlyn Casso. As both a photographer and brand strategist, she is passionate about helping other women entrepreneurs find clarity and confidence in their brand story.
In this insightful interview, we got to chat with Kaitlyn about the ebbs and flows of entrepreneurship, her go-to morning routine, and tips to unlock your inner confidence (in front of the camera and in everyday life). We hope you enjoy our series…and remember, keep being you!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Motivated, caring, and dedicated
What does a typical day in the life as a Brand Photographer look like for you?
Every day can look a little different depending on if I have a photoshoot or not. However, one thing does stay consistent no matter what I have going on that day — and that's my morning routine. Every morning I wake up and go for a walk to get some movement and nature in. Then I do a guided meditation depending on what I'm trying to call in, followed up by journaling to get out any thoughts or work through anything that is holding me up. And then it's all wrapped up by doing a home workout. I love using this time as "me” time since I know I will be dedicating my energy to others for the better part of my day.
If it's a photoshoot day, I typically try to get through any sort of administrative tasks needed (responding to emails, completing tasks, etc.) and then prepare for the photoshoot that day. Every brand can be so different from each other so there is a lot of preparation that goes into each photoshoot; I want to make sure I'm as prepared as possible to help bring that brand to life.
Then comes the photoshoot! My most popular package is a half-day photoshoot so we will typically spend four hours going to two to three different locations to really highlight all of the different qualities of the brand. I love being able to capture a variety of photos so my clients have different content they can continue to share for at least a few months. Then once the photoshoot is over I love to share some behind the scenes videos I took on Instagram so others could see what it's like to work with me. If it's not a photoshoot day then I'm especially focused on creating content (Instagram posts, emails, blogs, etc.) to help attract my dream clients.
November is National Entrepreneurship Month. What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur and running your own business?
Oh, so many things! I honestly can't imagine myself doing anything else. I absolutely love running my own business. One of my favorite parts is being in control of my schedule and tasks. I love this because I feel like it can help ease my mind when needed. When being put on strict deadlines, I would feel the stress in my body. Now I know how I would feel if I put that added stress on myself so I make sure not to do it. I'm always making sure to not overwhelm myself with too many photoshoots, calls, or deadlines at once (even though some months I do better than others).
I know and understand my energy levels so I am constantly checking in with myself and making sure I am not putting too much on my plate at once. I want to make sure I'm providing quality work to my clients so staying focused on that has been helpful. It's an added bonus to also be able to make those mid-day doctors appointments and take off time for vacation without any limits!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Have patience and accept the ebbs and flows of being an entrepreneur. It takes time to build a business and get to a point that you're feeling it all come together. And with that being said, I still have times where I'm thinking "Oh my goodness... is this going to keep working or is it going to all fall apart?!" That's totally normal! Every industry has its ebbs and flows. So when business is doing really well, enjoy it.... and when it's not exactly where you want it to be... enjoy that too because you know it's only going to go up from here. Patience is an important piece of the process.
As much as we'd all love to be at a certain point quickly, the process is important. There's a lot of lessons in it and you'll look back and understand what they were after. Just continue to trust yourself and the process while continuing to work at what it is you love to do every day. There's always more to learn.
Helping women build confidence in their brands (both in front of the camera and in their lives) is important to you. What's your best foolproof tip for boosting confidence?
Confidence is so important... especially as a business owner! Something I always say to my clients is, "You are your brand" which means so many things. One of those things means that you are the reason why someone is making a purchase from your business— whether that's a product or service — and that's why confidence is so important. If you aren't feeling confident in what you do or what you're selling then your audience is going to see that which might lead to hesitation in making a purchase.
When it comes to a photoshoot, I understand that not everyone necessarily loves their photos being taken so a part of my brand is really helping my clients feel confident during their photoshoot because if they aren't feeling confident it can definitely show in the photos. A few things I make sure to share with my clients are actually very similar to my morning routine. Mindset is key when it comes to confidence so I try to help my clients get into the right (confident) mindset before their photoshoot.
I have a whole list of ideas and tips that I share with them! This includes doing a meditation as soon as they wake up to clear their mind, journaling out the gratitude they are feeling for this opportunity to do a brand photoshoot for their business, getting some light movement in, and even doing some mirror mantras to remind themselves how amazing they are. Otherwise, I truly believe that preparation can help lead to confidence which is why 50% of the photoshoot package is really designated to planning and preparing for the photoshoot. That way when it comes to the day of the photoshoot, everything will be ready and all you have to do is show up where I'll work my magic.
Outside of my photoshoots, I'm also helping other entrepreneurs create and build their brands from the ground up through my brand strategy and coaching program. This is where I help them understand who their ideal clients are, how they are different from others who do what they do, what their brand represents, and what marketing strategies would make the most sense for their brand. So many entrepreneurs start a business to do what they love to do and automatically go right into marketing it before even creating a brand which leads to confusion. If you don't understand what your brand is and what makes you different, it's going to be so hard to attract your dream clients and really stand out from others. I always say that clarity leads to confidence so if you are clear on what your brand is and how to best market it then you will feel confident within your brand.
What are your favorite healthy snacks or meals to fuel your workday?
I have been starting my mornings off with an egg white omelet after my workout for the past three years and love it! I feel like it gives me such a great amount of protein and really fuels me when starting my work day.
As a busy entrepreneur, what do you do to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
I truly feel like my morning routine helps set me up for a successful day. Having that "me" time and taking care of myself before taking care of anyone else has been crucial. Balance is also something I love in general no matter what it is. When it comes to my work, I always need balance.
You will not see me doing the same kind of work every day because I personally need to change things up to have more of a balance. I love having one day dedicated to a photoshoot, another for content, another for editing, another for meetings, etc. I feel like this helps me stay creative to keep things interesting. With that being said, since I am in charge of my schedule I am always making sure I can have these things balanced so rather than booking two or three photoshoots consecutively I will have a day in between to work on something else.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness means feeling good mentally and physically no matter what you're doing. It means taking care of yourself so that you can feel good, whether that means asking for help, balancing your scheduling, having a self-care routine, scheduling in "me" time, having healthy snacks on hand at all times, or saying no when needed. The more you take care of yourself, the better you can be for others and that's why it's so important to always put yourself first. If you aren't, who is going to?