Transforming The Brands Of Women Business Owners
“Embrace who you are; you are your brand.”
You’ve spent five years shooting for world-renowned photographer, Michelle Valberg, out of Valberg Imaging. Now, you’re on your own, sharing a space with the talented crew at Westboro Studio.
That’s right. Michelle is a fantastic mentor, as are the other photographers in the collective. But I want to focus on a new area — personal branding for women entrepreneurs.
Why female entrepreneurs?
As dynamic and fierce as they are, female entrepreneurs often need help to push past fears about being in front of the camera. They hesitate about being the face of their brand, in a way that men don’t. I work with my clients to uncover who they are, who their ideal clients are and what type of branding statement they want to make. Through wardrobe, prop and location guidance, it comes to life. Clients leave with amazing images that renew their confidence in themselves and their business.
It’s interesting that you’re focusing on women entrepreneurs, as a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry.
It’s true, but here’s the thing: I feel that being a woman gives you an advantage. We communicate differently and see the world from a different angle. It lends a new perspective in how we portray the person on the other side of the camera. Unfortunately, I still have challenges when senior executives are expecting a male photographer. But, if you work with confidence and are assertive with direction, they respect your professionalism.
You’ve also been deeply influenced by Michelle, as a photographer and philanthropist. What’s been the highlight?
My greatest achievement has been documenting Michelle’s Project North initiative, which provides education and sports programs for Inuit youth in remote Arctic communities. I travelled to Canada’s North to capture a magical trip that brought the Stanley Cup, hockey equipment and a whole lot of joy to these places. It was a life-changing experience. I was also honoured when First Air used one of my images for tail art on one of their planes.
If you could look into a crystal ball, what would you want to see for your future?
I hope I’m doing fun and champagne-filled quarterly international branding photoshoots set in iconic cities around the globe for businesswomen. I would have all-inclusive weekend retreats, starting with coaching on wardrobe, posing and finding the best light, and ending with personalized full-day photo sessions. They’d leave feeling pampered, confident and with a complete toolkit of on-point branding images to use across all their social media platforms.
Photographer: Brittany Gawley
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