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Meet Bernadette Marciniak

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bernadette Marciniak.

Bernadette, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Former Jersey girl and journalist, I came to Los Angeles in the summer of 2018 to chase a dream — never wanting to shovel snow in my life ever again.

Haha, no, but for real. My boyfriend got a job in Burbank. It’s possible that before he was even done asking me what I thought about moving the life I had known for 30 years to someplace new, I was already packing boxes, hoping this would be my chance to turn my entrepreneurial dream into a reality.

People are often shocked to learn that my background isn’t actually in photography but rather in literature and writing. I spent the first half of my journalism career being a reporter who occasionally snapped photos on assignment. When I was trying to settle down and find a more stable position, one of the editors I freelanced for said, “Well, I don’t have anything open for a full-time reporter right now, but you like to take pictures, right? Come in for an interview.”

I had no portfolio. The only photos I had to show him were some of the family “portraits” I snapped and a Facebook album of pictures I took on a cross-country road trip earlier that year.

Two days later, he called me in. I got the job. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had beat out an actual professional photographer for it. This was my first experience of having a reputable brand. He hired me because he knew me and my dedication.

Shortly after that, I started building a wedding and portraiture business on the side, attending every class, webinar, and what-have-you on photography and business. I was hooked on capturing visuals and even more hooked by the idea of using that to create my own company — I was always somewhat of a rebel who didn’t want to follow anyone’s rules, so as great as journalism was, I knew I always wanted to write my own script.

The pivot to brand photography happened after we moved to LA. Given the opportunity to finally give my entrepreneurial dream a fair shot, I found myself connecting more with coaches, mentors and strategists than I did with an extremely saturated wedding industry. I also felt like the stories I could help entrepreneurs tell about their own journeys and dreams aligned with me way more than one day of wedding theatrics. And again, it turned out to be something I had been doing for years already — connecting with members of my community, hearing their stories and translating them into powerful images that needed to grasp the attention of an audience.

It has been one of the most rewarding duties of my life — I am taking people’s hard work, dedication, endless nights of creation, and creating something tangible out of it for them to continue building their dreams. It’s a job I am honored to have.

Has it been a smooth road?
While my own dreams were big, my confidence was pretty shaken when I moved to LA. I didn’t know how to fit in, didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes and get off on the wrong foot in a new city. Like most of us experience at some point, I felt like things were moving too slow and I got frustrated by that a lot. And for someone who may come off as an extrovert, I’ve always felt like the unpopular girl in a crowded room so I would have much rather been by myself than going out.

But, if you’re going to make it out here, you kind of have to suck it up and put on a brave face, which is exactly what I ended up doing. I was happy to hear so many other entrepreneurs talking about not needing to be “perfect” and just showing up consistently anyway, which encouraged me to keep forging ahead. The more I did, the more magic unfolded and I started to have fun doing the things that had originally terrified me. It’s always going to be an uphill battle in some way or another, and knowing that has become somewhat of a relief.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a brand photographer and coach for entrepreneurs and small businesses who empower and create impact. I work with creatives, coaches, strategists, community founders, etc. who create spaces and opportunities for their clients to share struggles, learn from one another, and grow their businesses. I work with them to find their mission, their purpose and their WHY so that we can start telling their story from unique perspectives. It’s all about standing out from the crowd and just owning yourself.

My forte probably has to rest in asking the right questions to discover the answers to the aforementioned. That’s where my journalism experience comes in super handy. When you’ve been reporting for ten years, you learn how to create unique stories out of things many people might feel are mundane.

I’m most proud of being able to take someone’s vision and turn it into something tangible and beyond.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As important as photography is right now, video is dominating. I think you’re going to see a lot more entrepreneurs incorporating videos, whether that means long promos or snackable clips that provide more dimension to an overall story. There are literally so many ways you can make a video and social media platforms have already started giving priority to that media.

I also think you’re going to continue seeing more businesses putting a face and values in front of their brands. We’ve seen how this has been the case in the entrepreneurial world and I wouldn’t be surprised if bigger brands adopt this practice more in the coming years. This is exactly why creating a strong brand is so important.

In the long-term, if (or let’s face it…when) you ever choose to pivot the direction of your business, it will also make that process a lot easier. Once your audience gets to know, like and trust you, it won’t matter what service or product you’re providing — you’ll be able to make the switch a lot more smoothly.

Lastly, I think that quantity won’t matter as much as quality. I see so many entrepreneurs take too much stock in numbers such as likes and follows. You could have ONE follower and if that one follower is your dream client, who cares whether you have a million other apathetic people looking at your content? This is why even in an oversaturated space of content creation, it’s important to remember that your audience ultimately still wants to hear the information from YOU.


  • Branding packages with photography start at $1400
  • Consultation and strategy packages start at $750
  • A friend that will be your biggest cheerleader – FREE

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Image Credit:

Photos of Bernadette by Robert Paul

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