What do Wonder Woman, Ms. Magazine and designer shoes all have in common? Power. Strong female energy to be precise. These three things created a mood board of sorts for our recent photoshoot with freelance editor and writer Gretchen Stelter.
Gretchen is a full-time freelance editor and writer specializing in book publishing. She literally does it all. She writes, edits, collaborates, brainstorms, organizes, revises and helps develop manuscripts in a number of genres. The work speaks for itself.
She’s worked on New York Times, USA Today and Entertainment Weekly bestsellers, and has worked on NPR Best Books, Best Books from Bustle and Paste Magazine, and those with starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and the Library Journal. Check out her website here.
“I wanted professional photos for my website that more accurately reflected the tone and professionalism of my business,” she says. “A lot of my brand is me, so it's important that my website — and any photos of me — reflect who someone is getting when they hire me. These photos are the first point of contact for a lot of people so it's important that they make a good and accurate first impression.”
With help from professional hair and makeup by Emily Mercer, the impression she makes is fierce and fabulous. We captured a glimpse of her workspace, including a stack of books she’s brought to press and an iconic Wonder Woman candle. The photos are professional yet personal, showcasing both her editing skills with pen and paper and the softness of her smile.
“The photos reflect me,” she says. “They show my professional side and the way I want my business portrayed, but there's also a lot of personality and fun in them that it so important in my work.”
Gretchen’s personality is just as exciting as her style. She looks instantly chic in a black blazer and vintage band t-shirt. In the next pose, she alluring in a red velvet blazer, matching booties and skinny jeans. But don’t be fooled by her smirk. There’s a knowingness in her face, an unyielding confidence. She knows what she wants and how to work for it.
“From the first phone call, Crystal's professionalism and interest was exactly what I wanted from my photos,” she says. “She made me feel like I was going to be in good hands… there was a personal level of not just service but care — care about my comfort level, my expectations, my business, and more. It was a truly great experience.”
In a series of standout photos we can’t help but pick a favorite. Capturing Gretchen’s lean in moment, her power pose in bright pink heels on the sofa still gives us shivers. Gretchen has already used the photos to update her website and business social media accounts. She plans to also use the photos for interviews and conference brochures in the near future.
“It was a genuinely fun experience and I got exactly what I was looking for,” she says. “Some beautiful shots for a redone website as well as a few more playful shots for both my personal and professional social media. I immediately want to book again just because it was fun and I never like photos of myself!”
Are you ready to elevate your brand? Whether you’re building a new business or working on upward mobility at work, Personal Branding Photos can help take you to the next level. We love working with ambitious women who aren’t afraid to take up space and strike a good power pose. Schedule your photoshoot today!
Crystal McMonnies is a fine art, fashion, and editorial photographer based in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR. She creates custom, styled sessions for clients, and is passionate about capturing love, and wild, emotional stories for women, couples, families, and badass boss babes.