In the highly competitive battle for new business clients, Northland entrepreneurs are stocking up on stronger branding imagery for impact on social media, says a Whangarei photographer.

Sarah Marshall, who has been operating Sarah Marshall Photography since 2013, recently launched creative business branding packages, which are unlike the popular corporate headshots as they delve into the real lifestyles and personalities of Northland businesspeople.

"This is a new trend and one which has caught on quite quickly here in Northland," she said.

"Social media entrepreneurs, especially, are needing banks of photos for social media branding."

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The 32-year-old said the lifestyle portraits/magazine style images portray business owners as real people that you can know, like and trust.

The photos are taken on location and offer a behind the scenes look into the various businesses.

"Branding is no longer just logos and colours - it's your image as the business owner and the images of yourself that stand out and become memorable," she said.

Social media allowed business owners and leaders to show more personality.

"Your images should say 'I'm easy to work with - come and work with me'."

Ms Marshall is also a Northland wedding photographer, and has also launched Family Documentary Photography.

Ms Marshall's father was Geoff Bosworth, a Whangarei portrait photographer from the film age of the 1980s and '90s.

"Our laundry room was often turned into a darkroom and a backdrop often put in the lounge for our own family photos," she said.

But Ms Marshall didn't get interested in photography until she was 17, when the photography modules at Whangarei Girls' High sparked a new passion for life behind the lens.

She decided to turn a photography hobby into a business when she was a young mum at age 23 and went on to study photography as well as a Certificate in Small Business Management at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

She has had lots of news media experience too and understands what it's like to be on the other side of the camera, having a Diploma in Performing Arts and lots of stage and photoshoot experience.

Ms Marshall has also modelled for a variety of Whangarei photographers.

"It can be nerve-wracking. It takes heaps of energy and I can understand that - I can help my clients get through it. It's important that they feel comfortable," she said.

Ms Marshall said companies should use personal branding imaging everywhere, from websites and social media, to print handouts and company stationery.

Ms Marshall had been located at the One-Stop-Wedding Shop on Bank St in Whangarei until November 2016, but has now gone on location and is offering weekday shoots at the location of the client's choosing.