Part 1… YOU!

Personal Brand Photography can get personal. It is about capturing your story, your products, services and YOU. People don’t just want to see what you sell, they want to see who you are and know something about your story. Personal Brand Photography gives your audience the visual content to be able to really connect with you. 

With this series of blog posts, I’ll be sharing my thoughts, photography and even exercises you can play with to help you connect through the camera lens.

In this post I will cover… I mean I’ll uncover, how to resonate your personality through the camera lens so you’re happier with the results.

Haitch Zeida – People Development Empowerment Coach & Founder of The Boost Project


say about 80% of people before I photograph them
Jo Child – Founder of the Cowomen Network

Before my camera comes out for a headshot or personal brand photography session, about 80% of people say that they don’t like being photographed. I can honestly admit that one of my deepest fears on photographing entrepreneurs, was feeling this energy of discomfort from them. Over the years I would find strategies to avoid feeling awkward, so I could get on with the photo session. I would be as uplifting as possible and remain positive BUT deep down, I felt an unease. 

This all started to change when I worked on the book Generation Share with my good friend Benita Matofska (pictured below). As we travelled and I photographed inspiring global changemakers, I came up with a strategy to enable these incredible people to resonate through the camera lens.

Generation Share book with pages coming out
Generation Share Book published June 2019

I realised that bringing out their sense of purpose, unleashed their inner sparkle and made them wonderfully photogenic. In turn, it allowed my photography to be more powerful as their awesomeness resonated. 

Benita Matofska headshot session, Sophie Sheinwald, Personal Brand photographer
Benita Matofska – Climate Change Consultant & co-creator of Generation Share

From that point forward, I decided to bring this philosophy into each photo session and I have been growing this inside/out approach ever since.

I’m on a mission to help people shine out through the camera lens despite their discomfort. For me, personal brand photography involves a really personal connection.


We are so lucky to be able to show what we do online so very easily with our websites and social media channels. Visibility has never been so simple. However, so many entrepreneurs I speak with, admit that they are not comfortable being the focus of attention. And yet, don’t we love to see photos of the people who are behind a business or project? When you came to this page, did you wonder what I looked like? 

Darren Abrahams - coach - Sophie Sheinwald Photography
Darren Abrahams – Coach, Therapist, Trainer & Edupreneur

We seem to be intrigued with each other, an underlying curiosity and thirst for human connection.  So let’s look at this discomfort, this refusal to show up as who we are in front of the camera. 


Lucinda Leo – Coach & Hypnotherapist

A state of being can be said to be a pure relaxedness where we radiate an aura of calm. 24/7 we radiate something regardless of us being conscious of our output. We give off vibes, we create an atmosphere and others can feel our energy. As previously mentioned, some of these flows are uncomfortable. This invisible stuff is often bypassed, because, as it stands, words have a higher ranking in the order of understanding the world and its meaning. 

I’ve often wondered how much of what we transmit across to the camera lens during a photo session, translates beyond the image to the person viewing the photo. 


In Feb 2022 I started an inquiry and interviewed people about this discomfort. I decided to choose people who had a mindfulness practice as they were more likely to experience these subtle flows of energies. 

In the interviews, I asked them about their practice and learnings and what tools they would use to lessen the power of discomfort.  I also asked what it meant to them to be in pure state of being, not an easy question, but an interesting inquiry. This is where I often got delicious goosebumps. As the answers unfolded, the energy rose with uplifting sensations from both sides of the interview. There is something inside of us that sparkles when we talk about the depth of who we are and the source of our potential creative expression. There is a feeling of joyfulness.  

As I continued this investigation, I realised how important it was for me to capture this joy. That inner sparkle that delights us when we deliver a great product, that makes us dance when we get a recommendation, that gives us deep gratitude when we reach a milestone. That is the WHO, that’s what I choose to photograph. Recognising this has brought a new magic into my photo sessions that I am deeply grateful for.      


I’ve written one of my exercises for you to experiment with. You can try it out to see if it makes a difference to how you feel about being photographed and the results when you are feeling uplifted. 

You can do a before and after photo and see if there’s a difference and please let me know how it goes!

Exercise to awaken the changemaker in you


  • A trusted friend.
  • A smartphone or camera.
  • A well lit private space.


  • Get your friend to photograph you close up, head and shoulders. 
  • Give yourself a few minutes to breath in for a count of 6 and out for a count of 6. Do this a few times until you feel more relaxed and a feeling of owning the space. 
  • Get your trusted friend to ask you about who you love your business, what moments of joy and satisfaction, the feeling it gives others, the results, recommendations, anything that you’ve enjoyed seeing, that’s made you say – “that’s why I do this!”
  • When you are in the throws of feeling uplifted, maintain the upliftment without speaking aloud. Consider the these contributions you give to the world. 
  • In this silence your friend can start photographing you as you look through the lens, feel this delight.


Did it work? Do let me know what happened!

Sophie Sheinwald Personal brand photographer