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Personal branding starts with a photograph

Today’s blog is about personal branding, such an important part of our everyday lives.  We had the privilege of doing a personal branding shoot with Surisa Nel, a dynamic and very professional lady with a zest for life.  My sister Maureen Grobler was responsible for her wardrobe as well as make-up.  She also organized the venue.  I asked Surisa to share with our readers how she experienced the photoshoot. This is what she had to say – 

A great big thank you to Marethe and Maureen, not only phenomenal women but great friends that bring their authenticity to every aspect of their work and effortlessly make any one feel like a super special, super star. Thank you for your expertise and time, giving me a moment in the spotlight and providing me with a crucial element in my own communication journey.

As a communication strategist, public speaker and entrepreneurship champion I know I need to portray my personal brand with audacity and honesty. Assisting organisations and individuals with giving their brand a voice, I hope my example will inspire others to unlock their potential and be who they were meant to be.

A bit more about me: Surisa Nel is Executive Strategic Director at WILDFIRE, a strategic communications agency offering a bureau of services with the purpose of executing business strategy and giving your brand a voice.  WILDFIRE design bespoke solutions to bring unique expression to the business strategy through strategic and inspired thinking, and seamless project delivery.

She is also the COO of the African Sustainability Summit and serves on the advisory boards of a number of NGO’s.  


SURISA (n.) inspired, focused, determined and fun

Me in two words:  grace and grit

What do I wake up for and live by? To inspire others to recognize their greatness; and in turn, to be a part of something extraordinary. In every person, every situation, every business, every brand, lies something uplifting and powerful. I love digging for that gold nugget in the proverbial mine and then presenting it to the astounded mine owner. All of us are meant to excel and live extraordinary lives, changing humanity for the better – bit by bit.

All I need to relax is:  a nice long run to find my soul and center

Before I die I want to:  make a change in this country for her people and do that with audacity and honesty

The fire song that best describes me: “Light my fire” by The Doors

communication strategist

Dynamic!  Beautiful too.




I also asked my very talented sister Maureen Grobler to share with us her thoughts – I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read:


Do you remember that feeling you got when your Mom told you to clean up your room? Playing at this intense level really wrecked a room. How could it not? Palaces were built and demolished. Prince’s got haircuts. Wardrobes were manufactured. Vacations at the seaside were had. And for every occasion our creative little minds conjured up endless possibilities of what item could serve for what purpose. Which left us with a room that looked like a tornado had hit it.

As soon as my Mom’s orders to clean up the room fell on my little ears the very heavy feeling of duty also gripped me. Laziness? Perhaps. Or not. I mean – why not just leave the room like that for tomorrow’s play? So with the order my little mind wished with everything inside of me that I could just, with the click of my fingers, put everything back into place. Like they do in the cartoons. Click and everything single item develops the ability to know where it belongs. Oh did I nurse this little impossible dream… to this day I still wish I had that super power.

But I don’t. I’ve developed other super powers. I’ve developed a very deep sense of who the person is that I am dealing with. Surisa is definitely Wonder Woman. Her superpowers have left me in awe on many occasions. The value that she brings to all her relationships leaves me humbled and incredibly thankful that there are still people walking this earth that has her value system.

May these photographs strengthen the already strong personal brand you carry Surisa. I’m with you all the way – just click your fingers and I’ll be there.


Thank you Ladies.  It was a pleasure working with you.  Here are some of the looks that we created for Surisa –



This image has to be my personal favourite.  Not only does she look very elegant but also confident, calm and in total control.  This image portrays why personal branding is important – when a possible client look at your photograph, they immediately make a connection with you.  You don’t want a quick cellphone “selfie” to represent your brand – there is nothing professional about that.  You need to invest time and money and take some professional photographs that will give a clear message – I know what I am doing, you can trust me etc.






If you are in need of a confidence boost in your professional life, book us for your personal branding photo shoot.  Usually such a professional shoot will cost you R5000, but it’s Woman’s month and we need all the woman entrepeneurs to step up their game… come get it for R1500!  The shoot consists of three different looks, make-up included by Maureen Grobler.  You receive 5-10 photographs and images to be proud of.  You will be very glad you did!

Thank you Surisa for being such an inspiration!


All the best to you and your business,





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