Why I Made the Pivot to Personal Branding Photography

Over the course of my career as a photographer, I’ve made several pivots. In this post, I’ll be sharing why I made the pivot to personal branding photography.

When I got my first “real” job out of college, I was working for a textbook publishing company. I worked as a marketing assistant where I worked under a workaholic boss. She was my first indication that I did not want to lead a workaholic life. I moved on to working for the editorial team under a boss who understood the beauty of balancing work and life. She still remains as one of my favorite managers I’ve ever had. But, I knew that there had to be something outside those cubicle walls.

I made my first “big-ticket” purchase of a digital SLR camera in 2008. I remember being so nervous since online shopping was still fairly new back then. When my new camera arrived, I couldn’t wait to take it out of the box and start tinkering. During this time, I was also planning my own wedding which introduced me to a whole world I had no ideas existed: wedding photography. Gone were the days of cheesy wedding photographer stereotypes. Digital photography was becoming the norm and here to stay. I set out to figure out how to get into wedding photography.

Starting Out in Wedding Photography

When I first started out, I thought that I was going to be a wedding photographer. It seemed like such a cool job. You “only” worked on weekends, got to go to people’s parties, and eat wedding cake. It seemed so glamorous…on the outside to someone who had no idea what all was actually involved. At the time I was working in a cubicle, so anything else looked amazing.

Well, wedding photography was fun for a time. But I realized after about 4 years that it wasn’t for me. I was tired of giving up my weekends and time away from my husband who worked in a 8-5 corporate job. At the end of a long work day, I just wanted to veg out, but there would be a workload of culling and editing hundreds of photos.

It was in those moments that I realized that wedding photography was no longer “it” for me.

Pivot into High School Senior Portrait Photography

deep ellum senior pictures

So I pivoted towards portrait photography.

That was about the time I landed on high school senior portraits. I could photograph clients on location, I could still give them the full portrait experience, and conduct in-person sales appointments for a higher touch experience. After I built a small portfolio, I slowly started to get my name out there. I had a few senior model teams and it was super fun.

It was super fun until I couldn’t figure out what seniors wanted anymore. I felt like every year the wants and desires for photos for high school seniors changed drastically. It was exhausting to market to both high school seniors and their parents (essentially double marketing). I slowly started to see that another pivot would be in order.

Meanwhile, in the background of all of this, we were trying to start a family and it was proving more complicated than we expected. So I actually took a bit of a step back from photography to figure out what was next.

Pivot to Branding Photography

Fast forward and after that bit of a sabbatical from photography, I was expecting our son. When he turned one, I still had the desire to do photography, and I knew that another change was necessary. During my time on maternity leave and stints scrolling on social media, I came upon the world of branding photography.

While branding photography has always been a “thing” it has only recently become more “mainstream.” What I mean is that people have always needed photos for their marketing and promotion, but it wasn’t really it’s own genre, per se. People didn’t seek out “brand photographers” unless it was a larger company looking for a commercial photographer.

In recent years, however, branding photography has become more and more important. If there was one thing that 2020 showed business owners, it was the importance of having an online presence, particularly when in-person business was limited indefinitely. You can’t do business online if you’re not online.

style consultation pivot to branding photography

What made personal branding photography different

The thing I love about personal branding photography is that it’s a combination of photography and business strategy. You’re not just taking pretty photos. You’re taking strategic photos that will help businesses make more money, ultimately.

I decided to make the pivot to branding photography because it meshed more strategy with photography as well as being more friendly to my lifestyle. As a new mom, I didn’t want to give up my afternoons or weekends for family or senior portrait sessions anymore. I wanted to be there for every moment of my son’s life.

The beauty of personal branding photography is working with other business owners who want to get this taken care of during business hours. No more late afternoons or weekends (unless I choose to) to give up in order to work. I’m more able to establish boundaries and working hours.

Curious about making the pivot to branding photography?

Now, I don’t know what brought you to this page, but maybe you’re curious about making the pivot to branding photography. Maybe you’re a photographer who’s ready for a change.

Are you…

  • a wedding photographer on the edge of burnout
  • a family photographer tired of missing your own kids’ sports games
  • a senior portrait photographer exhausted trying to figure out GenZ and Gen-Alpha (and whoever is next)
  • wanting to add another offering to your photography business

Imagine if…

  • you didn’t have to give up your weekends or evenings anymore
  • you could set your own hours and choose when you booked sessions
  • make more than your current sessions without taking more clients
  • streamline your workflow so that you could book and serve your clients with ease

If you’ve been curious about making the pivot to branding photography, then join the waitlist for my upcoming group coaching program!

1:1 Coaching – Pivot to Branding Photography

If you are a photographer who is tired of giving up your weekends and evenings to go to photoshoots, and feel like weddings and portraits are the only ways to make money with photography, then let’s chat! Feeling like you may be ready to pivot or add on to your offerings for more freedom and flexibility? Schedule a call below!

Step 1. Get in Touch – click and contact today

Step 2. Discovery Call – we’ll chat about your business and where you want to take it

Step 3. Book your Coaching Spot – if we’re a “match” let’s get you on the schedule and start coaching

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I’m Catie, and I’m a personal branding photographer for female business owners who are ready to stand out online and increase their impact and income.

I'm based in North Dallas, serving the greater Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Here at Catie Ronquillo Photography, I provide strategic marketing photos that will help you grow your business.

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Meet Catie

I'm Catie! Brand photographer based in the North Dallas, Texas area.

I work with busy women CEOs who crave more thangeneric stock photos to promote their business. You want an effortless strategy to connecting with your ideal clients through personal branding photography




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