Career Lifestyle

My Personal Branding Story

December 3, 2018

Today, I want to talk about the mini-journey I recently went on to revamp my personal brand. I teamed up with Lisa Kay Creative Photography to give me a brand revamp.

For the last several months, I have been focused on fine-tuning my personal brand. Albeit on social media (Instagram) and professionally (think: LinkedIn and business cards). You probably read my post on personal branding here.

I have had a number of titles throughout the years: Social Media Strategist/Content Strategist (my full-time job), Content Creator and Blogger (my Instagram), and eCommerce Owner (Vine & Page). On my free time, I also do creative writing, sew, and craft fun projects for myself.

Why You Need Professional Headshots

Believe it or not, I count my hobbies as a profession, too. All of them will one day look amazing on my resume or on my professional profile if I ever decide to go out on my own as an entrepreneur. But this leads me to answer my own question: All these titles and hobbies are great, but how will I ultimately present myself to the public?

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

Branding Yourself With Creative Headshots

I didn’t want to have the same run-of-the-mill headshots business people have. That’s vanilla for my personal brand and vanilla for my personality. How do I showcase myself in a way that represents me creatively? That’s where Lisa came in.

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

About the Photographer

A little background on Lisa: Originally from Michigan, Lisa is a transplant to the Chicagoland area. She started her photography business several years ago after meeting and then marrying her husband Don, who also happens to be a family friend of over 22 years. Lisa photographs engagements, weddings, families, professionals, and bloggers alike. She’s had her work featured in the highest of publications, including being WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice award in 2017 and in 2018. Sufficit to say, she’s too legit to quit.

I spent the day with Lisa shooting a lovely collection of professional photographs aimed at branding myself as well as some creative content for my blog. We went everywhere; from her comfortable in-home studio (where I got to meet her charming cat, Elvis) to an eclectic and hip coffee shop in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago, and finally, to a nearby park.

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes


My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

The Journey

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a while since I have done a photo shoot, and I am used to shooting with my Instagram boyfriend, so I was a little nervous. Not to mention the fact that these photographs are going to be the first thing clients and other professionals see when they see me. Eek!

But Lisa’s warm and inviting personality shined through, and my nerves were soon eased almost immediately when I walked through the door. She has a relaxing atmosphere and really welcomes you at home.

She and I went into our shooting day with a plan – to get the most creative shots. We both had the same vision with the headshots and with the blog photos. We wanted to break out of the norm for both of them and let my personality shine. We used props such as my laptop since that’s where most of my work is done. And chose outfits that weren’t confined to a suit.

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

Creative Headshot Photography Session

As she snapped photos, we caught up on all things in our lives. We laughed, we talked about our past year, and those emotions really show up in her photography. Lisa has a contagious personality, and I know from her work personally and with all her clients, that her vibrant personality shines through the camera, even after her final edits. Her work shows.

After the studio work was complete, we hopped in her car and headed to a local coffee shop she found. You’ll learn more about the second half of our shoot in my next post, but for now here is a sneak peek:

My Personal Branding Journey | Steph Shakes

Creative Photography Services

If you are looking for a photographer, don’t hesitate, take a look at some of her past work and reach out to Lisa. You won’t just find your go-to photographer, but you’ll also make a friend.

If you’d like to check out her social media, here is Lisa’s Facebook, her main Instagram page, and her headshot Instagram page.

I love the work that Lisa did that day. They met our vision, and I am so happy to share them to represent my professional image. I can’t wait to show you more!

Until next time,

Steph Shakes




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1 Comment

  • Lisa Kay Kovilic December 3, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I loved working with you Steph! Thanks for your kind words! 🙂

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