Step Into A New Version Of Yourself With Nick Onken’s Identity Alchemy Photography For The Personal Brand

Nick Onken is a highly creative individual with a unique and purposeful approach to photography. He authentically captures entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, coaches, and more with his method of elevated realism. Through Nick Onken’s lens is a crystallized story of the people he works with, and has helped new entrepreneurs and big-name celebrities authentically connect with their audiences.

The power and authority photos hold in marketing are more than you may think. When an article has a relevant accompanying image, it will get 94% more views compared to articles without images. Individuals can only retain 10% of the information they are exposed to after three days, but with the inclusion of an image, that percentage jumps to 65%, as stated by MDG.

The term “content is king” is not limited to written content, it applies to all types of content. Images are extremely essential and influential for any entrepreneur or thought leader, and are especially useful for social media and promoting a brand. If a website or social page has poor-quality and unprofessional photos, it communicates the same message about the overall company or brand. Consumers are driven by trusted, reliable, and authentic businesses and individuals and are more likely to purchase products or follow an influencer they can relate with or feel connected to who they are as human beings.

Onken understands the importance of imagery and has developed his own form of lifestyle photography. “I work with a kind of style I call Elevated Realism,” Onken shares. “It feels elevated but also very relatable. And that’s what the personal brand needs.”

Often people disregard the amazing potential of photography, especially portraits, and how they can not only position themselves as a thought leader in their industry, premier brand, or niche but can also attract mainstream press by doing so. Onken’s photography has led his clients to sign book deals, land high-paying gigs, and elevate their brand to generate a larger consumer base.

Nick Onken is an innovative and altruistic photographer with extensive experience photographing celebrities and shooting editorials for magazines like GQ, Esquire, and Marie Claire. He has worked with personalities such as Justin Bieber, Tom Hanks, Usher, Jessica Alba, and Tony Robbins. On top of working with some of the most successful and inspirational people in the world, he is also a renowned fashion designer for his Onken Made self-expressionist totem crown hats, a passionate host for his popular podcast Onken Radio, and a supporter of Pencils of Promise and has been for over 10 years. Onken is a strong believer in giving back to make a difference in the world and commits to serving one child in education for a year with every commissioned photoshoot package.

Similar to the way Onken captures your true essence through photography, his Totem Crown hats are an extension of that representation. Hand-crafted and Custom-made in Brooklyn, New York, the hats are designed to help you connect with your authentic selves and ancestral guardians through personalized and individual expression. The crowns are made with magic and inspired by exploration representing the journey within. They are not simply a statement piece, but an embodiment of your true inner being. “A lot of my hats have a very deep spiritual meaning and ethos,” Onken shares, and the spirituality of some of his custom creations is instilled with sacred geometry, the Merkaba. The three-dimensional energy field, a formation of a star, is sewn on the top of the hat and activated once placed on your head to provide protection and transport your being to a higher dimension. The hat is a wearable art form and the crystallization of the inner you.

To ensure the crown is an emblem of your identity, Onken has his clients fill out an intake form so they can gain more insight into things that are meaningful to that person. He also conducts a similar process for his photoshoots and has his clients fill out a form prior to meeting to form an understanding of who they are and what their missions, values, and priorities are in life.

As part of the process for his identity alchemy photoshoot, Onken ensures he has all the necessary information to make his clients as comfortable as possible to best capture their true essence. He then conducts a creative design consol call to bounce ideas off each other for shoot concepts. He refers to this approach as “Create Your Moments” which allows his clients to have creative direction with makeup, hair, location, props, and other variables that will be physically present in the photos.

“The way that I capture people is very unique… I create these moments that feel authentic… A lot of times you can feel the emotion of somebody in that photograph.” From wardrobe styling to props, Onken covers all bases to have a personal understanding of his clients to accurately convey their stories through his lens.

“I interact with the talent or the personality of the person we’re photographing,” Onken explains in our interview, a smile brightening his face. “This creative dance happens,” he shares, as a result of his interaction and connection with the individual. “Part of me telling their story is learning who they are and how they operate in their mind, their mindsets, their philosophies, and their ways about them.”

Elevating the soul and spirit through photography is not only Onken’s specialty but more importantly his passion. His lens is part of the individuation process, and like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, he unlocks the true essence of individuals in his photographs, a method he calls identity alchemy. Identity alchemy is a process by which Onken awakens the authentic spirit of the people he works with through his photographs.

“It’s through creativity that we unlock our true potential and live to the fullest, most authentic versions of ourselves,” Onken believes, which is what his photography opens his clients up to. Through his approach with elevated realism, his clients transcend to a newer version of themselves that is authentically expressive and evokes an emotional response to connect with their audience.

If you’re ready to level up your brand aesthetic and step into a new version of yourself, get in touch with Nick Onken by booking your identity alchemy photoshoot now!

Written in partnership with Ascend