How & Why I Became A Personal Branding Photographer

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My story of becoming a personal branding photographer was a happy accident.

For nearly a decade I’d been working in the fashion industry, assisting on the editorial and website photoshoots. I would be styling the clothes, making sure we got the exact shots we wanted, as I was in charge of the website aesthetic.

I’d always had a great eye for composition and was the chosen photographer amongst my friends for events and memorable milestones. Back in 2007 I started a blog as a creative outlet for my photography, love of fashion and travel. Sadly (or not so sadly) the blog no longer exists but my love for photography grew.

I bought my first camera that year on Black Friday and would go on to take even better photos; my best friends wedding, street style editorial shoots for the fashion company I worked for; mini shoots for my Influencer model friends for their social media - the list went on. All of this was fuelling my passion but back then it was just a hobby.

That changed when an author I loved (a life coach) was coming to England for a book signing. At the event I was surrounded by so many entrepreneurs, many of whom were coaches. I followed one of the ladies on Instagram and saw that she’d credited the photographer - whose profile stated she was a personal branding photographer.

Bam, lightening bolts!!!

That’s exactly what I wanted to do, yaaaas!

At this time I’d been searching for a life coach to help guide me into a new period. So many of the coaches I came across had outdated photography and websites. I just knew that there was a market for all of the skills I’d honed over the years. So I set about focusing on this new career that truly sung to my heart!

Practical Advice

For those of you looking to become a personal branding photographer, these are my tips…

  • Become really clear on who your ideal clients are.

  • Create a list of 10-20 dream clients that you’ve found online. Reach out to your top 3 and offer them a complimentary half day shoot for social media photos or website updates, in return for a testimonial and credit on their social media. Go through your list until you have 3 shoots lined up.

  • Join groups on Facebook where your ideal clients are hanging out. Be social and interact, with a mind to serve people in the best way possible - don’t just promote yourself. Form real connections.

  • Go to events in your area where your clients might be, or people that compliment your skills. I’ve built up such an incredible network of inspiring women over the past few years. These women aren’t just connections, they’re friends and would happily recommend me for projects because we want to help one another.

  • Research your new market. I specialise in female entrepreneurs in the wellness world, so my photographs are usually very informal, in nature/cafes - not corporate at all! Your new market may require you to look at expanding to shooting in new locations.

  • Practice, practice, practice! At the beginning I would practice various shots with friends that I knew my clients would love - just so that I could deliver the absolute best experience for them possible.

Since discovering my calling, I’ve had the most fulfilling job ever. I get to bring joy to all of my clients, through gorgeous photographs. Gosh I love my job so much.

If you’re a personal branding photographer too, I’d love for you to leave a comment below to tell me how you got into it…


If you had a similar lightening bolt moment in a different career I’d love to know your story. Please do share so we can inspire others to follow their dreams.

Liz ElleryComment