Personal Brand Photography Markets You're Ignoring

We all know that influencers and big brands need photographs, But there are other personal brand photography potential clients you may not be thinking about! These clients will be the bread and butter of your day to day business.


1. The 55+ consultant

These men/women have worked in corporate jobs for years and are now doing consulting work. Many of these clients know that the people hiring them are young + hip and expect them to have a great online presence.

In the past, the clients in this market didn’t have a need for an online presence as they worked for companies who had departments that handled that sort of thing.

The most they ever needed was a decent headshot for LinkedIn. But times have changed and these talented business owners are ready to invest in full-on personal brand photo shoots because they recognize the ROI (return on their investment).

2. Professional Speakers

Professional speakers need GREAT images to submit with their speaker bios. And, they need something FABULOUS that helps set them apart from other potential applicants.

They need at least 1 headshot, a killer lifestyle type photo that shows their personality and something showing them actually speaking in front of a group.

3. Realtors

Realtors are one of my top clients in my local market. Think beyond the typical headshot and get photos of them that they can use on social media - visiting some of the local hotspots in their area. Remember they are selling a store to potential clients about the lifestyle that they would lead in that neighborhood. They will come back to shoot several times a year and can be a consistent source of revenue for you once they see how well their social media images works


4. Product Based Businesses

We don’t traditionally think of product based businesses as needing personal branding photos but people want to know the story about the creation of the product - they love to buy from small

Incorporate the story of their biz. Did they start making candles at home with the kids dipping the wax?


Why You're Not Booking Personal Brand Photography Clients

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I hear it all of the time from new brand photographers. They want to shoot branding but they can’t find clients. They don’t believe there is a market in their area.

Here’s my top 5 reasons why you’re not booking brand photography clients:

1. Nobody knows your a brand photographer!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done a little research on one of my new students and when I click on their social media page nowhere does it even MENTION that they shoot brand photography!

If a potential client clicks on your website is it clear IMMEDIATELY that you’re a brand photographer? Or do you simply have a tiny tab hidden somewhere between weddings, boudoir and pet photos?

I guarantee you that if you go to an event full of women in biz and tell them that you’re a personal brand photographer (don’t just say “photographer” bc then they’ll assume you they will be intrigued and want to know more!) You need to shout it out - from your social media channels, to your website, to local networking groups!

2. You’re so focused on working with “influencers” You’ve forgotten about the tens of thousands of other small business owners right in your own back yard who need you.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to work with influencers. (Hi! Amal Clooney, call me!) It’s the up and comers, the local businesses, the moms working from their kitchen table that REALLY need your help and will be the bread and butter of your business. Please don’t be so caught up in trying to make money off of “influencers” that you forget about the business owners right on your own block.

3. You’re hanging with the wrong crowd.

And I don’t mean your oldest friend, Stacy, who used to roll joints in homeroom and now owns an edible chocolate cookie company (let’s be real - she’s probably your DREAM client) but you’re not moving far enough outside of your immediate circle.

If all of your friends are now stay-at-home moms whose biggest challenge is finding the right baby yoga class then you’re probably going to need too expand your reach a bit.

Invest in yourself and your business. Get to know new people. Join local networking groups, hang out at a co-working space, sign up for business building courses where other business owners are and start creating REAL RELATIONSHIPS with the kind of people who need your services.

4. You assume “If you build it they will come…."

While that may have worked for Kevin Costner, it’s NOT real life. You need to get your ass out there, step way the hell outside of your comfort zone and let people know who you are! (See reason #1 above) You need to educate your clients. You need to send people to your website and then educate them once they arrive.

For years, a big portion of my clients found me bc they were searching for headshots, came upon my page and realized they wanted this “personal brand thing” They had never heard of personal brand photography - but they knew that they wanted it!

5. You’re not giving potential clients what they want.

Too many photographers today are still trying to up sell branding clients with wall portraits. While I think there is a legitimate market for this - REAL personal branding clients want DIGITAL images that they can use for their business. They don’t want (or have time) to sit thru in person sales sessions only to be up-sold to wall portraits or albums!

Don’t worry. I have a lot more to say on this.

Check back soon…

What Personal Brand Photography Clients Need from You!

Personal branding photography isn’t really a NEW thing.  People have been hiring photographers to take professional photos of them ever since photography was invented. 

But online marketing is changing the way people are photographed. It used to be that a good headshot every five years or so was all you needed to put together some marketing materials that made you look professional.

Today, every business has a website (or they’re basically obsolete, let’s face it), and most also have a social media presence across countless platforms where they are encouraged to connect with audiences on a regular basis.

And how to people connect to other people? By being seen!

People are MUCH more likely to connect to a brand when they KNOW who is behind it. I mean, REALLY know. Mere recognition is no longer enough. Your clients want to get to know you.

Business is personal these days. People brand themselves rather than a cutesy name, because they know it WORKS. My brand is not Personal Branding Photography. Or even International Personal Branding Photography. It’s Heidi Hapanowicz Photography. People want ME! (Aww, that feels so warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?)

But it’s true. 

So what do these entrepreneurs need from you? On the outside, they need great photos to help them look good online. Yes. But do you know what they REALLY need?

  • To feel comfortable in their own skin. Most people HATE being photographed. They feel uncomfortable. They don’t know how to move or what to wear. They get nervous. If you can make them feel comfortable from your very first interaction, they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth. (Seriously!)

  • To be taken care of. It doesn’t take much to create a high-class experience for your clients. But you definitely want to automate the process! By creating templates and even offering some tips and training beforehand, your clients will feel like they are in good hands. 

  • To create a BRAND, not just take a good headshot. There is so much more to personal branding photography than a headshot. You’ve got to get to know their BRAND’s personality as much as their OWN personality. It’s a blend of art and science. Let your intuition guide you, but do your homework so that you know what direction the brand needs to go.

  • To self-actualize. What strengths do you see in your clients? Let them know! Where do you see them shine? Accentuate it for them. Knowing that you’re in their cheering section can mean all the world to someone who sometimes struggles with putting themself out there.

I love what I do. You, too, can build a photography business YOU love!

Click here to find out how you can build your own Personal Brand Photography business.

Help Google Find Your Images - SEO Tip for Personal Brand Photographers


When someone does a search on Google, you'll notice that there is a tab at the top with images related to the query that was entered. 

So how do you get your images to show up there? 


1.  Save your image as a jpeg.

A name like 0_123578.jpg means NOTHING to Google. Instead give your image a name that tells them what it is. Example: Tampa-Pet-Photographer.jpg.

A name like 0_123578.jpg means NOTHING to Google. Instead give your image a name that tells them what it is. Example: Tampa-Pet-Photographer.jpg.

2. Make sure you image is appropriately sized for use on the web. There is no need to have a HUGE image.  If you're a photographer, you can easily do this in Photoshop.  My clients get the choice of downloading original & web-sized images. If neither of these are available to you go ahead and use a free site like compress.png.

A name like 0_123578.jpg means NOTHING to Google. Instead give your image a name that tells them what it is. Example: Tampa-Pet-Photographer.jpg.

3. Name your image. 

Most cameras will download your image with a numbered filed name. Example: 0_12689.jpg. This doesn't tell Google a thing. You'll want to rename your image to something that makes sense like Tampa-Dog-Photographer.jpg or even Photographer-Kristin-Barnes.jpg. 

Google is smart. But there are some things even Google can't figure out. Example. If you want to be found for "Tampa Dog Photographer" having an image 

Guess what this image was named?  That's right. Tampa-Pet-Photographer-06.  

How do you change the name of your image? I use Adobe Bridge to batch rename for my clients, but if you don't have access to that, it's as simple as a right clicking on an image and "renaming" it!  

I share a how-to in the video above.

4. Alt-Text 

If you use a site like Squarespace, the image name will autofill into the title section. SS's word for "alt-text" If you are using a WP site, you may have to manually enter this.  

How is alt-text used?

This is just another way to tell the viewer what the image is. If a site is slow to load or the images are not showing you'll see the "alt-text" instead. Side note: This is also a way for visually impaired people to know what an image is.

It's important that your alt-text accurately describes what's in your image. If you have a photo of a boat, don't name it miami-wedding-photographer.  

Look what happened here? 


When we did a google search for Tampa Pet Photographer, Kristin's photo and her image pulled up in Google Image Search.

Notice the name under the description matches the name we gave it on the computer before we even uploaded it to her website. 

Easy, right?

I'll be back with more tips on getting your images to rank!

Mistakes Personal Branding Photographers Make

Treating a personal brand shoot like a glorified headshot session or portrait session.

A personal branding shoot is NOT the same as a portrait session.

Not educating your headshot clients what personal brand photography is.

Many people have never even heard of brand photography - they’ll still be looking for a headshot or corporate photographer. Your job is to educate them from the minute they land on your website!

Not giving clients rights to use images.

They are hiring you to create images for their site. They shouldn’t be treated like corporate clients and be charged for each use. Your client is a personal chef or spa owner - not Nike.

If it annoys you to see your clients use their images, then you aren’t charging enough. You should be THRILLED and excited to support them.

Trying to sell them “products” or “wall art” they don’t need.

Branding clients are using their images for their website - therefore they need digital images not giant canvases for their walls

Tampa Photoshoot Hot Spots

Tampa Hot Spots for Photographers

As a personal brand photographer based out of Tampa I get a lot of clients who want to fly down to this up and coming area for their photos in the winter months. Not only are they escaping the cold, but they’re also exploring these great cities of the Bay. A lot of times photographers get burnt out when it comes to shooting at the same 3-5 locations. Let’s mix it up so you’re not bored, and your portfolio shows diversity. You can get a cool international feel for your images without ever having to pull out your passport.

Here are my Top 10 Tampa Bay Hot Spots for photographers!

Ybor City (7th Ave. /Centro Ybor)- Ybor has so much history and that can easily come out when shooting in this part of the city. Whether you’re shooting on the Trolley or up against some cool graffiti art, this area is for sure to never disappoint.

Thai Temple - A beautiful and serene place that instantly makes you feel Zen. Thai Temple is a hidden gem, that not many Tampa Bay residents know of. The Thai Community in the Tampa Bay area opens it Temple grounds each Sunday morning for a market. Guests can purchase great Thai food, orchids and enjoy the beautiful and exotic scenery along the Palm River. If you’re a brand photographer in search of something that feels a bit more “travel inspired” for a client check it out!

Downtown St. Pete- Head across the Howard Franklin bridge and you’ll instantly feel a different vibe as you make your way into downtown St. Petersburg. From waterfront views to urban neighborhoods, St. Petersburg won’t disappoint. This area offers beautiful architecture, culture, and don’t skip on the great dining experiences.


Dali Museum- This museum is one of St. Petersburg’s finest. Just the architecture alone when viewing it from the outside is stunning and like no other place on Earth. Inside offers beautiful stair cases, and natural lighting that’ll require the littlest bit of editing. Every Thursday from 5-8pm admission is only $10!

Tampa Heights- This neighborhood in Tampa has an urban/progressive vibe with just the right amount of cool. Ulele Restaurant & Brewery, and Water Works Park is right off the Riverwalk. Hidden Springs Brewery and The Hall on Franklin are also other businesses that will for sure lend to many great shots. Not to mention the insane variety of graffiti art walls all created by local artists!

Bayshore Boulevard- The views are breathtaking, and you are sure to get a fun outdoor shot right on Bayshore. It’s a 3 mile stretch with gorgeous mansions and landscaping that is so picturesque you’ll consider this #goals.

Le Meridian Hotel (Downtown Tampa)- I have shot here time and time again and not only are my clients ecstatic with how well their picture turned out, but the hotel has reposted some of my shots on their Instagram page! It’s safe to say that this place is IG worthy and then some. It’s the perfect mix of contemporary culture and a European Heritage.

Franklin Street- Up and down Franklin Street in downtown Tampa are beautiful brick roads full of old city buildings. You can get great shots in front of the Tampa Theater or the Gin Joint. Wherever you shoot, this street has got you covered when it comes to variety and charm.

Rialto Theater (Tampa Heights)-. A great shot is right in front of the blue doors of the Rialto Theater off Franklin St, you can’t miss it. It’s a beautiful event space. The texture of old brick walls, painted plaster details and blue tile work create the perfect contrast of old and new.

Foundation Coffee- Just as you walk past the blue doors on the same side of the street you’ll stumble upon Foundation coffee. They have a gorgeous outdoors seating area that brings in all the natural light while giving you simplistic decor for the perfect shot.

Hyde Park Village- The fountain is in the center of all the shops and wonderful establishments in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood of Tampa. It’s a great spot to go to during the holidays. You’ll be sure to snap a great photo near the giant Christmas tree. Even apart from the breathtaking Holiday décor, this area is full of shops and beautiful spaces and places.


Oxford Exchange - From the library to the atrium to the café, this establishment is truly an experience. The grand stair case has such charm, you’ll be sure to get the perfect shot. Oxford Exchange not only has a European feel, but it also is a great spot for natural lighting. Oxford Exchange does NOT allow professional photographers to shoot there without prior permission. However, you can Instagram on your cell as much as you please and it’s definitely Insta-Worthy!

While you’re here, be sure to check out the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts right downtown!