As more and more women strike out and launch their own businesses, the demand for ‘Personal Branding’ photography as a niche has also increased exponentially in the past decade. It’s an amazing opportunity to highlight ‘the Person as the Brand,’ showing potential (as well as current) customers and clients who you are and what you do across your digital marketing platforms. This is especially crucial if your business is service-based, where a level of comfort and trust between you and your clients is paramount. Authentic Personal Branding photography requires vulnerability, going beyond pretty pictures sitting at your laptop. As someone who hates being photographed myself, I understand how challenging that can be for many women. Just like the Instagram ‘highlight reel’ we present to the world, being silly or looking anything other than ‘perfect’ can really push you out of your comfort zone, but the results can elevate the visual storytelling of who you are and what you do, helping you stand out from the crowd and take your professional image to a whole new level.

The gallery below was captured recently for Peninsula-local Belinda Stark, in the lead-up to launching her new coaching business aimed at women over 50 who feel stuck in their lives, are going through a period of adversity, or are seeking a return to employment or career change that will bring them purpose and fulfilment beyond their roles as ‘Wife’ or ‘Mum’. For this shoot, we knew we needed some ‘pretty laptop shots,’ but beyond that, we wanted to share Belinda’s story of overcoming challenges throughout her adult life – from divorce, to single parenting, finding love again, a breast cancer diagnosis, a decade of running a successful retail store, quitting alcohol after recognising it had become a problem during the pandemic, and ultimately finding new passion and direction in her mid-50s. Together, we explored elements of her life that told her story – her love of fashion, her new puppy Bella, her ‘She Shed’ (the creative home office space she works from), and her affinity with the beach, which is only meters away from her beautiful home. Belinda wanted to convey the joy and freedom that can emerge from overcoming adversity, being brave enough to embrace change at any age, and when you stop trying so hard to be what you think you need to be for everyone around you.

Utilising the beautiful late afternoon summer light, Belinda and I started our two-hour shoot with professional office shots utilising the bright natural daylight that was flooding into the space. We then moved to the garden, barefoot and relaxed, as the sun started to lower and filter through the trees and introduced some of the additional storytelling elements of Belinda’s life and business. Finally, a quick jump in the car and down to beautiful Mount Martha South Beach at ‘golden hour,’ where Belinda was able to fully let her hair down (or get it wet if you want to get literal!), and express her personality with the spontaneity and freedom to play and have fun. Running fully clothed into the water, ethereal white dress getting soaking wet, Belinda embraced the freedom that comes with dropping the veneer of ‘perfection’ to become the most relaxed and authentic version of herself.

What story do your Personal Branding images tell about you? Are there ways you can you show yourself in a more vulnerable and authentic way for your clients? If you feel that your visual storytelling needs a refresh, but don’t know where to start or need that little push out of your comfort zone to do something fun and fantastic, I would love to chat about capturing the things that make you uniquely “You”, with a style of imagery that is uniquely Me!