How to Become a Personal Branding Photographer

How did I become a personal branding photographer? A question I get asked a LOT!

I didn’t grow up thinking "I want to be a branding photographer one day…"  

I wanted to be (in no particular order) an architect, a stockbroker, a real-estate agent, Mrs. Richie Sambora, and a truck-driving hairdresser traveling around the country helping people look beautiful - interestingly, this one may be the closest to my current occupation.   Go figure! 

I started my photography journey shooting boudoir.   In an effort to grow my own business, I dug deeper and deeper into the online marketing world and quickly became obsessed. Over a period of about 3 years I took close to 100 online classes (you read that right) on everything from web-design to branding to Facebook ads (with an occasional "How to Read Your Own Astrology Chart" thrown in for good measure).

For the first time in my life I felt like I had found my "tribe" of people. I started traveling to events, signed up for masterminds, and cultivated a circle of business besties across the globe.

I made a natural transition away from boudoir to brand photography in 2014 & I haven't looked back.  

At the time, there were only a handful of branding photographers and, unlike boudoir, family and wedding photographers, there was NO ONE out there teaching you HOW to grow your business in this market. 

But that didn’t stop me. I was determined to succeed. I also had two teenage daughters still at home counting on me so failure was NEVER an option.

While I made some mistakes along the way, I quickly grew a business that allowed me to work while my daughters were in school and get paid to travel while they were on summer break or at their dads....

I seriously could NOT have imagined I'd have a business like this, with so much freedom, in my wildest dreams....

If you're reading this you too are probably intrigued by this fabulous new market!  You still love photography, but are burnt out with weddings taking up your weekends, cringe at in-person sales, or have grown tired of competing with low-end shoot and burn photographers. 

Guess what? I haven't done an in-person sales session since 2013, I rarely photograph clients on the weekends, and I really don't believe in "competition". I believe we should all work together supporting and encouraging each other to succeed! There is enough business for ALL OF US!

I know, for a fact, that there is a HUGE untapped market out there just waiting for you to take it over.  It's not about to slow down….instead it's JUST getting started.

Online business owners NEED photographs.  They are READY, WILLING & ABLE to pay top-dollar for a photographer (you don’t have to convince them - they recognize the ROI it will give their business) but they can’t find photographers in their area who understand what they need! 

This is ONE area in the photography world where I believe there is actually more demand than there are qualified photographers to meet that demand. 

I’ve worked, played, masterminded, surveyed, interviewed, networked, traveled (and drank endless amounts of wine in about a dozen countries) along side your dream clients for the past 5 years. I KNOW what they want from you. 

And, it’s NOT what most photographers out there are giving them. 

A few years ago, I created my first course on Brand Photography. Now, I'm opening up the doors for more photographers like YOU!

In my course "The Business of Branding Photography LIVE" I share exactly what your dream clients DO want, how to attract them, and exactly how to plan your shoots so you can grow the business of YOUR dreams! 

Check out the details here.


Heidi Hapanowicz

Heidi Hapanowicz is a personal branding photographer and visual marketing expert for online entrepreneurs.