marcy browe san diego branding photographer

My journey to becoming a branding photographer

My journey to becoming a branding photographer started many years ago.

As a young girl, I remember going to my grandparents house and exploring my grandfather’s darkroom. 

my grandfather in his studio
my grandfather in his studio

My grandfather made a living as portrait photographer. In his basement he had built a professional photography darkroom. 

I was fascinated with all the equipment he had in the darkroom. It smelled like a mix of leather camera bags and photo fixing chemicals. Everything he used in his photography business was organized and stored properly on shelves lining the room.

A darkroom is a magical place where film becomes a tangible photo that you can see and hold and pass on to your family for generations to come. 

I loved that darkroom. 

I loved all of his cameras. 

And it was with one of my grandfather’s cameras that I learned to be a photographer.

Growing up, I was obsessed with the photographer Herb Ritts and his gorgeous black and white photos of Cindy Crawford and the supermodels of the 90s. 

I studied Annie Leibovitz’s photos of celebrities for Vanity Fair and music legends for Rolling Stone magazine.


These were the photographers who inspired me to no end! 

Just like my grandfather, I was always wanted to photograph people. 

I had no interest in photographing sunsets or architecture. It was faces and movement and expressions that immediately captured my interest. 

But honestly, as much as I loved photographing people, I didn’t immediately set my sights on making a living from photography. 

I was also obsessed with advertising and marketing and branding. I was fascinated with how ads were created and how marketing language was created. 

I was in 7th grade when I set my mind on working in the advertising industry. I graduated with a degree in advertising and spent 15 years working for high end, tech-driven companies in their advertising and marketing departments.

I was thriving in my corporate career, and loving being part of the engine that shaped a company’s brand image and generated sales. 

For much of my career, I worked for TV Guide. 

I came into that company at the exact time they were making a behemoth transition from your grandfather’s TV listings magazine to a digital powerhouse in the booming landscape of digital content and streaming platforms.

Being at TV Guide as it metamorphosed into an entirely new company with a transforming brand taught me so much about branding and shifting perceptions and controlling the narrative of your own external image. 

But while I was deep in the corporate marketing phase of my life, I was also developing a growing passion for portrait photography. 

You see, a lot of times, we don’t think our hobbies and passions can make us an entrepreneur.

My photography was a side interest, something I did when I had free time. Or on occasion I provided photography for my company’s marketing pieces and headshots for my friends. 

My 7th grade self was stoked! I had a dream career working in the industry that I loved. I got to travel the world managing multi-million dollar marketing budgets, I was named a Top 40 Under 40 influencer in the Consumer Electronics industry, I was invited to exclusive sales retreats and was in the room with high level executives.

I had an office in downtown Hollywood that looked directly on to the location where the celebrities walked the red carpet for their movie premieres and posed for photos right under my office window. Super glamorous, right?! 

Eventually the corporate career got tired. Can anyone else relate? 

Even though I had the career I envisioned as a 7th grader, I was running out of steam, I felt like I was constantly in sprint mode in the rat race. I was getting resentful with traveling so much of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel, but the corporate travel started to feel like a grind to me. I was working long hours – I felt trapped in that world because I was making good money. Golden handcuffs, right?

When I felt this feeling of dis-satisfaction setting in, I embarked on a journey of soul searching, and asked myself what it would be like if I turned my side hustle, my passion for  photography, into my main gig? 

That’s exactly what I did! 


Leaving the comfort of a six-figure salary for the un-charted waters of an entrepreneur’s lifestyle was not easy. I had so much to learn about starting and building a business. 

However scary that transition was, I knew I made the right decision when I combined my love of advertising and branding with my portrait photography passion, that’s when all the stars aligned for me. I had finally found my calling!! 

Now, I proudly declare that I am a branding photographer!

marcy browe san diego branding photographer

I help other entrepreneurs determine their personal brand and I get to create images that are perfectly aligned with their vision.

The skills I learned in big-business marketing absolutely apply to smaller businesses and solopreneurs too. I LOVE when I get to help my clients with their marketing and their personal brands. 

The photos I create all come from a strategic branding perspective. These are not just beautiful photos — these are photos are are perfect for my client’s unique brands. 

And the #1 reason for creating branding photography is to attract your ideal clients. Can I get a “hello!” ?

Thank you for being on my journey with me! 

If you would like to learn more about developing your personal brand – please reach out to me. These conversations light me up!! 

It would be my honor to help you get clear on your brand and translate that into photos that help you feel like a rock star, and which attract a steady stream of your ideal clients to you!

About Marcy

Hello, I'm Marcy Browe! I specialize in personal branding photos for business owners in Southern California. I'd love to know more about you.. let's connect and create some magic together!

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