Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Fernandez.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Linda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I go by the alias Lin Marty (nickname) as a photographer. I describe myself as a wild creative with strong business sensibilities. I love photography, storytelling and brand marketing. I knew from a young age that storytelling is the foundation of any great brand and as a career I wanted to be in the center of it all. At the age of 12, I knew I wanted to work in advertising and pretty much loved photography as long as I can remember.
Prior to becoming a full-time personal brand photographer and co-founder, I worked in the advertising industry across multiple advertising agencies in Los Angeles [and New York] for well over a decade. During my time in corporate I specialized in campaign strategy and online media, which meant I invested my client’s online advertising dollars and managed the strategy behind custom creative executions with partners like Buzzfeed, Conde Nast, Refinery29, and PopSugar. I feel very lucky to have built a career in Los Angeles with it being one of the largest markets in the industry. Los Angeles has some great accounts, so I had the opportunity to build campaigns around highly recognized media events such as Super Bowl, World Cup, and Academy Awards.
In 2015, I picked up photography professionally as a side hustle that quickly started to grow from a client and personal passion standpoint. After two years, I found myself ready for a change and looking back I had already achieved the goals I set for myself in advertising. By June of 2017 I decided to flip the script and pursue photography full-time while taking some part-time freelance advertising gigs to help me through the transition.
When first starting out as a photographer I pretty much took any gig I could get. I was shooting families, professional headshots, and a handful of Instagram influencers. As I built my portfolio and gained experience my passion led me to personal brand photography. Personal brand photography is the focus of using high-quality images to showcase a person’s personality, place of business and expertise. I don’t like the standard headshot, so my aesthetic is editorial in style. I love personal brand photography because my images are used as marketing assets, so I am invited by my clients to get a look behind the curtains of their business and they trust me to be an integral part of their team.
Once I established myself as a photographer I wanted to incorporate advertising back into my workflow. During my time as a part-time freelancer, I realized there wasn’t that many resources to stay up-to-date within the advertising industry and remain close to the community, so I sought out to change that and co-founded Agency Lite. At Agency Lite we provide tools and resources for freelancers in the field. Agency Lite is still in its infancy, so I am super excited for this new endeavor.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road and to be honest I don’t think it ever will be, but the growth comes from how you deal with situations as they arise. In the beginning it was hard for me to say no to opportunities or clients I knew weren’t a good fit and I compared myself to other photographers that secured gigs I could only dream of.
When first starting out as a photographer I took on every opportunity that was thrown my way to build my portfolio and get my name out there. In the beginning it was needed, and I actually encourage it, it was just figuring out when it was the right time to start saying no. There comes a moment when you need to value your time and worth. After a solid year and a half of saying yes to everything I was completely exhausted and was dealing with difficult clients I honestly didn’t really want to work with to begin with. It’s very scary to turn down business, but I promise you a new door, better door, will open. I knew it was time to start saying no when I looked at my week of upcoming gigs and felt dread more than excitement. Once I started to turn down undesirable shoots, it opened doors and gave me time to work with some highly recognized personal brands on Instagram.
As for comparison, that one was hard to deal with until I decided to work on my personal development by hiring a personal coach and building relationships with mentors. Through their guidance they helped me see my story, my journey and put me on a path for success. I learned the importance of celebrating my small wins and taking note of my progress. I no longer find myself scrolling through Instagram envious of others, but rather am grateful that I get to do what I love and I know my path is unique to me.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a personal brand photographer for online influencers, entrepreneurs and executives. I am based in Los Angeles, but available for travel and often shoot gigs all over Southern California, Las Vegas, and starting to venture out East, specifically in New York. I shoot both on location and in-studio using natural and artificial light.
Since my focus is personal brand photography, my clients are very dynamic, so they often need images for a variety of reasons; they sell products, write books, offer online coaching services, have their own podcasts, throw their own events, run advertisements, participate in speaking engagements, and the list goes on. To cover a variety of their needs, through my photography I shoot portraits, products, and events.
What makes Lin Marty Photography unique is in addition to capturing brand photography, I also offer creative direction and content marketing consulting. Since my clients are their business, it’s a great way to bring my photography and background in advertising together for a 360 view and service.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was very outgoing and ambitious. I wouldn’t call myself popular, but I made friends easily and was definitely not shy. I was the happy kid in school, but I stuck up for myself when needed. There were times when I gave into peer pressure, but overall I was a well-rounded teenager. I lead my life through the lens of happiness, so before jumping into most decisions, I often ask myself, will this make me happy?
I grew up in a city outside of Los Angeles in a modest household. I didn’t grow up with much, so if I wanted something I had to work for it; including my prom dress, car, college tuition and activities with friends. Most would view that as a disadvantage, but for me I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In hindsight I gained a lot of skills well ahead of my peers that really set me up for success. Because I had so many jobs by my early 20s I knew exactly what I wanted to do professionally after graduating from college.
Outside of photography I really love to be a mentor to others and connect with female-led organizations centered on leadership and entrepreneurship here in Los Angeles. I have always been a “gals gal,” so I literally have groups and groups of really close girlfriends. My husband pokes fun and tells me I need to stop making new friends because shopping for birthday presents is getting really expensive lol.
I also love being of service to others. It seems very selfless, but it really feeds my soul, so to me it is a bit selfish as well. A really close friend of mine, Dana, once told me the song “I Was Here” by Beyonce reminded her of me. If you haven’t read the lyrics, check them out. To date, I think that is the nicest thing a friend has ever told me. That is how I want to live my life and my hope is that is the footprint I leave. My advice is never let your current situation dictate your future. Know you are in control, you can shape your future, and most of all never.ever.give.up.
- Packages start at $500
- New Clients, mention this article for 10% off The Content Creator or Personal Branding Packages
- Website: www.linmartyphotography.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @lin_marty
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-fernandez/
My personal photo is by Ographr (Instagram handle @ographr); All other photos are mine, so under Lin Marty Photography