Suzan Marie - Warrior Woman - Personal Branding Shoot in Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford

I had soooo much fun photographing dear Suzan back in the Autumn in beautiful Hereford and at her lovely bright home just outside the city.

An incredibly inspiring person, Suzan works with women to help them come back to who they really are, empower themselves and go for what they truly desire in life. She works with coaching clients in her online program and runs in person workshops and events, creating sisterhood, community and conversation.

Having recently moved from her home in Cyprus to the UK with her lovely husband and gorgeous baby twins, they were in the process of settling in, and it felt extra special to be documenting the start of this exciting new chapter with them!

Getting to know about her journey and business was fascinating and inspiring as we mapped out her session and the kinds of photos that would be most useful for her website and social media. As she’s also in the process of launching a podcast AND writing a book!! we created a really fun variety of images for the cover and author portrait which I cant waiiiiit to see how she uses.

On our day we captured such a great variety of photographs and stories within them. Some of the themes at the core of her message are…

  • Self-love, care, connection, body acceptance.

  • Identifying your voice and speaking your truth.

  • Playfulness, adventure, fun, joy!

  • Being a go getter! Acknowledging and overcoming limitations. Letting go of what holds you back from what you really want. Improving your mindset.

  • Learning to be open to love in your life, working as a team in your relationship while staying true to who you are as individuals.

While we wanted to create images that showed Suzan in the way she’d show up for events and client work, we also wanted to capture informal photographs that show her in a very personal way at home, as a wife and in her new local area. We conveyed these themes through the smart and professional portraits at home, intimate boudoir images, photos of her exploring her new town and working on her business (at her workspace and from her bed of course).

Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford

When we’re using social media regularly to connect with our prospects, share our message, inspire and educate our clients, it can be super refreshing for them to get a glimpse into our day-to-day lives alongside the polished photos.

When you have a very personal and people-focussed brand, sharing your authentic personality is so important for building genuine, deep and long lasting connection with your clients, and helps your business to be fulfilling and sustainable, as it evolves with you.

I really love to capture those different aspects of my clients lives, because while there are many benefits to looking glam in your photos (it positions you at your best, creates the feeling that you care about the way you present yourself and therefore the quality of your work), it’s not necessarily how we show up every single day, and if that’s true for you it’s great to show that. Humans crave realness and the vulnerability that comes with that.

I really recommend checking out Suzans Instagram here, she is a really brilliant example of consistently showing up, sharing real life and inspiration. Find her online program here!

Interested to show more of your personality through beautiful high quality brand photographs? Send me a message here, and sign up to my mailing list on my homepage for tips on improving your online presence through photography!

Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford
Personal branding photographer UK Becky Rui Hereford

Curious to explore the kinds of photos that will help to grow your business with integrity and love?

Message me here and we’ll find a time to speak!

Joyce Oladipo - Enchant Life - Sexuality Coach & Erotic Influencer - Boudoir Shoot in London

Creating these intimate portraits with Joyce was such an honour and a beautiful thing to do! What a special shoot…

As a sexuality coach and erotic influencer, Joyce works with women internationally to help reconnect them with their sexual power, with pleasure as their birthright, and with the message that happiness comes from within. Part of Joyce’s mission is to help break the taboo around female pleasure and sex, inspiring her clients and women around the world to step into their confidence and power.

Our intention for the photographs was to create radiant and engaging images for her business that felt empowered, feminine and enchanting, tying in some of the rich colours and textures associated with her branding that she shared with me before our day.

We shot in lots of different locations around central London (see more photos from our shoot here), and this was one part of our day that I wanted to share separately on the blog, due to it’s intimate nature and how much of a contrast it is to the rest of our fab shoot.

These images will not be used as the main brand photographs for her soon-to-launch website, but rather as supportive images to share on social media, emails etc where appropriate. A boudoir session like this is also just such a beautiful experience and something I’d love to do more of.

Do go find Joyce on Instagram here and Facebook here. Thank you for having me capture you <3

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Curious about having your own beautiful and conscious boudoir photography session, or a personal branding shoot? Email me here and we’ll find a time to speak.

On Social Media and it's Impact on Identity, Our Relationships and Mental Health

I posted this on my personal Facebook page and appreciated the feedback and conversation it started, so thought I’d share on my blog too as the themes I am exploring are important and something many of us are facing.

Social media plays such a huge part in our individual worlds, if you’re on it most days (or all day). There are things that are amazing about that, and aspects so concerning to me, that are coming to light in research more and more of the time and being talked about. I wrote most of this over a year ago to clarify my feelings just for myself, but didn’t share it at the time because I was confused about it and felt paradoxical to post, but now it feels like I should.

This post is not to belittle the positive aspects of our online culture, but to bring awareness to its impact on our mental health, and really to think openly and talk about it.

I feel some fear to share what I have to say because of the work I do as a personal brand photographer; specifically helping people to represent themselves online, and not wanting to put down the validity of my own work or make it less credible. I have always held the values of love, truth and integrity above all, and have never been supportive of telling any story visually for a business or a person that is untrue. If anything, the work I have been doing for these past seven/eight years has given me so much insight to examine the phenomenon of social media as I have used it in such a big way, and look into how to get this right for ourselves and for the people we impact by being involved with it. As someone who is having conversations about ‘how to show up online’ most days, I feel like this is more important for me to talk about than hide from.

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So… Social media has created a kind of reference point for everyone using it, about what is ‘normal’ through what we see from each other, yet as we all know, this is based only on what people choose to share, and we don’t always remember that. We’re overloaded with information about the people we’re connected to online when we use Facebook or Instagram for example, and the wider world , a lot of the time without even realising it because it's so 'everyday', with information that tells us little bits about what’s happening in other peoples personal lives, relationships, businesses, travels etc. These are things that can help us feel connected and inspired, and things that can create feelings of being totally inadequate, far away from ourselves, our dreams and each other, when we forget that we're not seeing the whole picture or hearing the full story.

We see a curated world, based on how we’ve been interacting online since we started playing with social media, and since the internet was a thing. What you’re looking at is a uniquely refined feed of what algorithms understand that you, personally, will most engage with, enjoy, find of interest — and will keep you online (and I think I think it’s not unfair to say - addicted and buying). I feel that the world we each experience online has been being carved out slowly but surely, like a river, over the years we’ve been using it, and it has affected our interpretation of what the world is, and most likely our tastes and opinions and the way we use our brains, as the river gets deeper, it’s current stronger.

We are each seeing a body of content that is filtered specifically for us, based partly on our choices and interactions, and a partly automated never-ending stream of content. With the amount of time many people spend online, it’s become a huge part of our daily life, our reality. I can't help but ask myself the questions... is that okay? Can this be a positive thing? Can this be a bad thing? Is it just the way it is now? Everything seems totally fine with social media when we’re doing well and have things ‘in balance’. But so many of us just don’t, are struggling with this, and are afraid to say that. Some of us find balance only in going through periods of engagement and then abstinence to be okay. Why is that? And what is it that tips us from one way to the other and back again? I’m curious about how everyone is finding it all, and how we each are developing ways to live with its very real presence.

From my own experience and through conversations with friends and clients, I know that so much of the time we are comparing ourselves to what we see of the lives of others online, and so much of that is unconscious. As I mentioned, we can forget that we're only seeing parts of the lives that friends/creatives/entrepreneurs/influencers are choosing to make public. We accidentally idolise and unthinkingly figure that other people have got it sorted and we are failing behind when we’re not in a good place. We don’t see any of the other stuff going on in their day, the human issues they face, that we all share and don’t always know how to talk about. (I am aware of some amazing users and influencers who really do share the very difficult or weird times too, so I know this is not 100% of people, but it is the majority.) I want to draw more attention to it so we can be aware of how it’s affecting us personally and culturally, and aim to have a healthy relationship with it if we are to continue using. I’ve got some thoughts on that later.

Then it comes to our contribution. Social media is an amazing tool, AND we I feel need to be responsible about the way we interact; personally and in business. Once you add the ‘cultivating of an online personal brand’ and having a service based business that you may feel dependent on for your income, there’s another layer to it all that can be very challenging as you are forced to go within, clarify your identity and message on a public platform and decide how much to say. We as business owners obviously must be true and real at every touch point we have with our followers and clients online and IRL, as ever, but how does having an online presence that you use to represent yourself personally and professionally affect your deeper sense of identity on an ongoing basis?

I don’t mean to blow this out of proportion or scare anyone, but I really feel its important to look at this.

I have been using social media to grow my business for years, and hadn’t had any real trouble with this in my heart. It wasn’t until I was very low for some time, that I questioned what I have been doing, as I realised I felt unsafe to say how I was actually feeling during that time. I touched on it in some of my posts, but I felt way too vulnerable to really share about depression and what was going on… I had been through some pretty big life changes and was finding myself again, and that was my personal journey. It felt messy though, because I thought I needed to keep using social media to run my business but didn’t feel I could be fully honest without damaging what I had already built. It was like flipping between being different people depending on how I was feeling that day… I stayed true in what I did say and still did a great job in my work (my work with my clients and our photo shoots inspire me and add to my creative energy), but I felt unsafe to tell the truth online in my darker times. I felt guilty about that because I was projecting a version of myself that was not whole. I also questioned how much of our full experience is appropriate to be sharing when we have no obligation to say anything at all. If it is acceptable to post only when you’re happy, then what are we using social media for? Who are you writing to? What is it doing to us? And what online identity had I created if I couldn’t be completely honest within it?

I know we wouldn’t walk down the street talking to strangers, friends or clients about everything difficult going on inside for us, so we shouldn’t feel we have to do that online either, but I’m curious about where that line of privacy and self preservation is for each of us, if there is one.

Overall I believe we do have some responsibility to use our social for good, and to be open about the shadow side to the online world. I’m seeing so many business owners trying to find ways to express themselves with their full spectrum of human experience - that the shiny happy posts are not the whole story of every single day, that there are difficult times too, and they’re doing their best to keep it real AND position themselves in their expertise. I think that is really great to see and a relief for many, it starts a healing process.

Every single profile has opened a door to the once private world of each person using it, and no matter how well intentioned we are in our posts, I think it is healthy to question what we’ve been sharing, the stories we are telling, and what ripple effect that causes.

What representation have we crafted about ourselves and our lives over the years of having a personal brand? How connected do we truly feel to the version of ourselves that we share online? How does going on social media make you feel most of the time? How do you feel social media is affecting you?

For the people using it/sharing regularly, as I used to and probably will again, we are posting in the first place to contribute, to stay in touch with those we know, to share ideas... and then we find over time that we have formed an avatar of who we are, an impression of our lives and thoughts based on what we were comfortable sharing or proud to say in that moment. This is happening on a mass scale. I’m not necessarily saying that it’s bad or wrong, it is what it is… we are learning… but by using it at all, we are contributing to the positive and negative effect it’s having on us, our people, children and planet. (And there is so so much good that is happening as a result of fast spreading information which I love and am so grateful for.)

As it will continue to be a thing that most people use, I believe we each need to take personal responsibility for our own consumption of social media and our contribution to it. We need to find our own ways to have a relationship with it that is healthy, kind, inclusive, honest and well rounded. It’s not going away and it is growing. I feel taking this responsibility is especially important for us to do for more vulnerable people (particularly for children and young minds that I believe we have a responsibility to look out for as we build the world they are coming into). I’m sure this is a real phenomenon of our times for all people, not just 20-somethings and business owners.

For now what I would love us to remember as we move forward is that…

1. What we see on social media in general is a curated feed and is not the whole truth.
2. Even though we know at a deeper level that everyone has ups and downs, light and dark, good times and bad times, know that they don’t share all of these personal details of their life because it IS personal and not necessarily safe or appropriate for them to do so. Respect the privacy of others, know that theres a bigger picture behind everything you see. Don’t judge others by what you observe online - there is so much more to them. Be kind.
3. Let’s know that social is an amazing tool for connection and relationships, information and education, inspiration and ideas, yet can also be a tool of harm. Let’s bring awareness to how it is personally affecting us — try to consciously release thoughts of judgement on ourselves and others. For example, when we feel negative emotion come up while using social media, I find it helpful when I can to name what I’m feeling and consider the thoughts that led to it. e.g. ‘I’m not good enough, I should be doing better’ — if that came from actually comparing myself/art/life/home/career/relationship/friendships with something I just saw, I try to notice what it brought up, and take a moment to reconnect with my own truth and what lights me up.
These triggers can be used as a navigational system to help us reconnect with what WE truly desire, what inspires us, or what we genuinely do want more of in our own lives. Sometimes feeling the contrast of something we’ve seen reminds us of our own values… that’s when it can make a positive difference; when it inspires clarity, action or positively motivates us.
4. The only truth that we can hold on to is our own personal truth. By that I mean , as always, we have to trust our own intuition/gut about things, try to notice those moments where we’re comparing ourselves to what we see online, bring our focus to what we’re doing well in our lives and what we care about, what we have to appreciate and be so humbly grateful for… and to know that we are whole — no matter how segmented you may feel because of the impact of technology, no matter where you are at right now and how you’re finding all of this.

As social media and more advanced technology continues to find it’s way into our lives, I want us to consciously think about how we interact with each other through it, in a way that is healthy, if we are to use it at all.

We will navigate this together, and for now and as always I think, taking personal responsibility for our own usage, talking about how we're feeling about it, and bringing kind self-awareness is where we start.

Rachel Royall - Director of Communication NHS - Personal Branding Shoot in London
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It was great to work with Rachel Royall, Director of Communications and Women’s Network Lead for the NHS on her personal branding portrait shoot this summer.

As a speaker, writer, visiting lecturer and internal communications expert, she was looking for up to date, engaging new portraits to use on her social media, alongside articles, interviews and other opportunities that she was confident to share.

It was so interesting to learn the story of her career so far, from her time studying in London at Kings College, to working in communications within local and national public services including the London Ambulance Service & The Department of Health, the UK Government and HMRC. I wanted to bring elements of her journey and vision together in her session, so we chose locations around the city that told different parts of it on our day, which was so special!

Rachel’s work is based on her strong values of openness, integrity, transparency and honesty.

She most loves the service aspect of what she does, helping to improve the organisational performance of companies and organisations, their reputation and relationship with their users and customers. She has set up social media feeds for example to give voice to end users of online services for the NHS, to give platform to the public, and holds a vision to improve society through good communication, trust, and creating spaces for connection.

You can follow Rachel and the work she is doing on twitter at @RachRoyall. Here are a few photos from our time together!

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Time to update your social media and professional portraits? Want to tell the story of your career through natural, location-based photography?

Email me at becky@beckyrui.com and let’s explore the kinds of photographs that will best serve you!

Jo Chrobak - Interior Designer & Mentor - London Brand Shoot
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It was so exciting to work with amazing Jo Chrobak on her personal branding shoot this Autumn. Our first call was so great and interesting - we could have talked for hours! I loved getting to know about her journey - from her life growing up in the Blue Mountains just outside Sydney (which is like, one of my most faaavourite places on Earth!) to her extensive work in architecture and design in Australia and now the UK, some of her favourite projects, her values and passions, personal development and spiritual journey, and of course to find out her vision for the future. She’s such an experienced expert in architecture and interior design, and she’s one of the funniest, kindest, most creative and high-vibing people I know.

One of the things that was so clear about her work is that she isn’t just looking at projects with an aesthetic and style oriented approach (although she does create the most stunning spaces as you’ll see from her Instagram), but this is about co-creating an environment with her clients (whether it’s a personal or corporate setting) that positively impacts the way they feel, that allows them to express their inner world or values, that enables them to live the way they want to live, to feel good in their space, to be happy in it and to share it. She does this by getting to know her clients at a deep level, understand what’s important to them, and works with their personality and taste to design a unique space that allows all of this to thrive.

With her 20+ years of experience in the industry, she also mentors and trains up and coming interior designers which she clearly loves!! She was preparing to launch the Interior Designer’s Business School when she contacted me, and needed photographs for the brand new website and for her existing site to position her in this and provide her with lots of personalised photos to use across her Insta and web pages.

Most of my clients are in the middle of a rebrand when they come to me, or are about to launch something new for which they need up to date photographs, and in this case Jo was looking for both rebranding shots and photos for the launch of her new business.

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I wanted to capture her as the accomplished leader that she is, while also in a friendly and creative way, showing how she works with clients, the process she takes them through, and the personal connection she creates so naturally.

Everything was so in flow on the day and we had the most fun and creative time together at our interior and outdoor locations. Her wonderful husband Daurius couldn’t have been more supportive and helpful as he brought the best vibes to our session, helped us out with the space and transported us, and we got a few lovely shots with him too!

You can check out more of the photos from our day below, and see Jo’s website here: www.jochrobak.com, and more on the exciting new Interior Design School here: www.idbs.online.

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Are you about to launch a new business or in serious need of a rebrand?

Email me at becky@beckyrui.com and let’s find a time to catch up and explore your best shoot.

I have three spaces left for Jan 2019, is one of them yours?

Joyce Oladipo - Enchant Life - Personal Branding Shoot London

It was sooo hard to narrow down the many favourites I had from this shoot with sexuality coach and erotic influencer Joyce of Enchant Life this summer… going through the shots again filled my heart with appreciation to remember our amazing session and all our inspired conversations around it. It was so divine!! So fun and so playful.

Joyce works with women internationally who are wanting to reconnect with their sexual power and pleasure as their birthright. They are feeling stuck, blocked or numb and are struggling to reach that place of connection on their own. Joyce’s work is also about breaking the taboo around female pleasure and sex, and inspire her clients and women around the world to step into their confidence.

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Our intention was to create radiant and engaging images for her new brand that felt empowered, feminine and enchanting, tying in some of the rich colours and textures associated with her branding that she shared with me before our day.

With the business name and theme of enchantment in mind, we explored ideas for perfect locations… She was flying over from Luxemborg to London for the session and I envisioned…

  • luxury hotel spaces for the themes of quality, worth and high vibration,

  • the beautiful gardens we are blessed with in our capital city to symbolise pleasure as a birthright, as a part of our nature, as flowers bloom with ease and without self consciousness,

  • vibrant London city settings to show her love of travel and connection with the world,

  • and boudoir images to bring the sensual, self-love aspect of her work to the session.

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We wanted to get the essence of love, connection, orgasmic life and fun coming through, and a sense of intimacy and harmony.

Over our day in London we captured so many stories relevant to her life and brand for her soon to launch website, social media, and adverts. From the boudoir shots, business portraits, dreamy garden shots and city vibe photos and image including props relevant to this work - we certainly created a lot that will be great for many of her posts online. You can check out her instagram here and Facebook page here.

Here are some of my favourite images from our day, and I’m going to share the boudoir images separately, as they were so intimate and beautiful I felt they deserved a post all to themselves!

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Ready for your personal brand shoot or want to find out more about the process? Email me at becky@beckyrui.com and let’s find a time to catch up!