Marie-Claire Ashcroft, aka The Professional Rebel is a Self Image Specialist – a Personal Brand Photographer and Rebel Confidence Coach for unconventional, quirky and rebellious women.

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Copyright 2017-2022 Marie-Claire Ashcroft. All Rights Reserved



“Sassy, vivacious, caring and a great photographer. What’s not to like?”

Andy Johnson, BBC TV Presenter 

“Doing the shoot has changed the way I feel about being visible…” 

Not so long ago, I realised that there was no way around it, I needed to do some personal branding photos.

I didn’t want to, because when I’d tried it before, I didn’t like the way I looked, smiled, posed etc. I hated the idea of exposing all of the flaws that I saw every time I looked in the mirror. I didn’t think that a photograph could show ’the real me’ because the only photos I’d seen in other people’s branding were so posed, prescribed and peonified (not sure that’s a real word. Don’t care if it’s not).

After having discussed some ideas with Marie-Claire, before we even met, she presented me with a vision board that encapsulated EXACTLY the feel that I wanted to convey. I wanted to use my photos as a filter – if people liked them, then we’d get on. If they didn’t, then we wouldn’t. I wanted to be the real ‘me’, and having the vision board was instrumental in helping me identify exactly how far into being ’me’ I was willing to go.

Which, as it happened was significantly further than I thought. I had a WHALE of a time. I’ve discovered that I’m quite an outrageous introvert.

Marie-Claire made me feel relaxed, confident and in control of the process. She guided without instructing. She supported without leading. She inspired without engineering the outcome. She got the very best out of me. I’m not exaggerating when I use the term ‘Miracle Worker’.

I’m beyond thrilled with the photos. It’s been a massive confidence boost to see how they turned out, but honestly, actually doing the shoot has changed the way I feel about being visible. I know that I can do it. I feel more confident in every aspect of my business. I’m prepared to face the world now.

The value of what I’ve got out of my photoshoot with Marie-Claire far outweighs what I spent on it. I simply feel very fortunate that this time, I worked with her. I know that spending the same amount with someone else would (again) have resulted in drab photos that I wouldn’t have used because I didn’t like them. So I’d have still been in the same place as I’d started. Frustrated and blocked. 

I loved our entire session, but I think that the atmosphere of FUN (and Marie-Claire’s support through what was initially a very scary thing for me) is what I’ll remember the most. 

If you’re thinking of working with a personal branding photographer, then honestly, I can’t recommend Marie-Claire enough. Once you’ve worked with her, you’ll understand why. She gives you game-changing results and a life-changing experience.

Alli Graham, She Rules Online

I felt so at home with her…”

Unveiling my brand new pics! .⚡️🤩🦄🌈📷💖
So I want to tell you about a very special and magical woman. I am utterly blessed to have met her, to mingle in online circles, and finally to actually meet and work with her in the flesh!
She is a Happiness Ninja, facilitator of the Friday F*ck-It Bucket (not to be missed!), and Professional Rebel. Marie-Claire AKA Maz, AKA @theprofessionalrebel doesn’t believe in unicorns because they’re prrrty but because she KNOWS what it’s like to live a life without meaning or purpose, hiding from our own light and creative curiosity! And that is utter boll**ks, in Maz’s view! 
I knew I had to work with Maz. She seemed like MY kind of gal and biz buddy! But even so I was totally nervous and confess I almost called it off last-minute because I was getting stage-panic! But she calmly and lovingly lowered me down from my tree and said, “I’m already in Devon babe. Just literally checked in to my flat and am enjoying a pint. Just breathe, we will have a chilled time. Absolutely no pressure to achieve anything ❤️”.
Even when we met each other at the cafe, and it was literally tipping it down in bathfuls outside, Maz wasn’t fazed! We connected over pots of tea, giggled and talked about universal energy. Totally amazing start to the day 😃.
I took her on a stroll through a local NT estate, and I felt so at home with her I got straight into the water, despite the chilly day! These are exactly the kind of images I want to represent what I do – that ability to let go of all the societal guffery we’re conditioned to believe is so important. The ability to connect directly to our life energy whatever the circumstances. The ability and *drive* to find joy and wonder and delight in this moment, right now. And Maz caught it all on film! 
After playing in the river and woods, we adventured right up into the moor and captured my wild woman and witch essence. And then, windswept and happy, we zoomed back down to the cafe for a hot chocolate and some more intimate headshots. Yep, even in the middle of the cafe with local peeps staring at us,
I felt totally safe and at ease under Maz’s expert wing. She made the whole experience such a joy and so easy. Just like a mini gal-pal adventure with my crazy bestie 🤩💖.
If you ever have the opportunity to work with her, jump at the chance! Don’t quibble, don’t second-guess yourself – just DO IT! And tell her I sent you, because then she’ll know you’re her magical type 😍🦄
What do you think of my new pics? Lots more to come of course – I can’t WAIT to get them all over my new website too 😊.

Zoë Foster, Life Energy Alchemist


“She’s fun, she’s kind, and she can do epic things with a camera – you’ll leave loving yourself more than when you arrived.”

Laura Powner, Mind & Money Mentor 

“Omgiddyknickynacks these are AMAZEBALLS!!!”

“I’ve been holding myself back for years…”

A personal brand shoot is something that I’d thought about for a few years, but always seemed to be an extravagance; something that ‘other people’ did.  And yes, it was an investment.  But my goodness, it was SO worth it!  You’ve given me a great selection of images that I’m really proud to share, and given that the whole point of these was to populate my website & social media to get me more visible, you’ve massively over-delivered.  It was a brilliant experience, and now I am happy & confident in using these images to promote myself & my work.  Whereas previously I have felt it was all rather amateurish (because it was all DIY by me), these have uplevelled my overall image & look immeasurably, which in turn makes a huge difference to my willingness to promote myself.  I’ve been holding myself back for years because I wasn’t happy with how my website looked, and having these new images to use means that I look much more professional & like I know what I’m talking about.  It’s given me much greater confidence in myself.  They make me feel more valuable as a person – I know that may sound a bit odd, but it means I feel proud to share my work with these images attached.  So as far as an investment goes, this has been well worth it!

My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t like any of the photos, that I wouldn’t look how I wanted to, that I wouldn’t be able to pose or get captured naturally etc.  I am not a naturally photogenic person (it takes me several selfies before I get one that I like!), so I feared I’d just be spoiling both of our time together by not being able to perform or smile or so anything other than my normal resting bitch face.  So really I suppose that I wouldn’t end up with anything that I’d be happy to use (because of me!).  Also that it would end up being a waste of money, in that respect – i.e. if I wasn’t happy with the end result, I wouldn’t use them.  One of the reasons that I booked you was because I really liked your style of photography – it’s not boring contrived stock imagery, where I could be anyone.  It’s a reflection of me & my personality, which is what I wanted!  Just a nicely polished version 😃

I am not photogenic and I don’t like having my photo taken!  Also we hadn’t met in person, and as an introvert, I’m always a bit wary before a first meeting.  Luckily of course, you put me at ease within about 1.5 seconds of meeting you, and we had a really good laugh together.  You’d done your homework & found places for us to go for the photographs, and then when we were there, you were happy to direct me to move so that you could capture various different poses as well as the natural moment that comes with 2 friends out having a laugh!  This shows in the photos – they are natural & happy, rather than contrived & posed & awkward.

I think the way you put me at ease & it was like having a fun day out with a friend, that just happened to result in some epic photographs!  It wasn’t forced, or awkward.  You made me feel relaxed so that I could enjoy myself, and that’s come across in the photos.  So the fact you’d taken the time to understand me & what I was looking for through our pre-shoot questionnaire & then our chat definitely helped.

If you have been feeling that your brand & imagery is lacking oomph, or lacking that spark, or lacking that professional-yet-still-you feel, then you NEED to have a Professional Rebel photoshoot. 

If you want some epic images that capture you as a person, so that your personality shines through, you need to have a Professional Rebel photoshoot. 

If you want some gorgeous pictures of you that you feel excited and proud to share, then guess what… you need to have a Professional Rebel photoshoot.

If you want to have a fun day out, having a laugh, and also just happening to capture some brilliant images of you… you need to have a Professional Rebel photoshoot.

If you’re fed up of being embarrassed by the photos of you that you use to present yourself & your business (whether online or offline)… you need to have a Professional Rebel photoshoot.

If you want to uplevel how you feel about yourself and your business… you need to have a Professional Rebel photoshoot.

Do it!!!!!  And thank me later! 

Nikki Stephens, Organised Goddess


“Oh to see the world through your eyes for a day. You have such a special gift, the world needs more of you. You really do create magic…”

Lisa Williams, Apsara Dance 

“I now feel more confident about having an online presence…”

For about three months, I was in two minds about having personal branding photography done. I knew that I wanted to launch Fierce Consulting (my training business) with a bang and, yet, I wasn’t sure what the ‘return on investment’ would be from having professional photos. Over Christmas, I reflected on it, and realised that having a strong online presence would be critical for my business. And, I admitted that holiday snaps or selfies would not send the right message to my ideal client. So, I bit the bullet, and engaged Marie-Claire.

While I have not used the photos yet, I can see their quality. They are so much better than anything I could have achieved myself. They give a much better impression of my business and of me. And a surprising outcome is that I now feel more confident about having an online presence, which is a common concern that I share with other (esp. women) business owners. I am really happy that I chose to invest in myself through these pictures.

My favourite part of the experience was how much I learned. Just through observation and listening to her pieces of advice, I was able to understand her methodology – to ensure that there would be a balanced variety of images to maximise the diversity in looks and uses. I am pretty clueless about this stuff, so I am grateful for her extremely subtle nudges in the right direction, which led to a much better outcome!

On the day, I felt quite nervous. I am glad that she advised me to get my hair and make-up done professionally, as it gave me a more polished look.

To help allay my nerves, she took her time and gave me the breathing space to get comfortable and more ‘in myself’. It’s a very customised and personal experience.

I am happy to recommend Marie-Claire to you. Her persona is informal, friendly and a little bit nutty. Equally, she is a complete professional, an astute business woman, and is totally on top of things for her clients. It’s nice to be with another genuine, authentic business woman who can deliver a great product whilst being herself.

Uyen Vo, Fierce Consulting

All self consciousness evaporates within minutes…”

Rather than using a free photographer provided by the BBC, I chose to pay to work with Marie-Claire because I saw how natural, encouraging and enthusiastic she was when she was shooting at a wedding I DJ’d at. I really do not like having my photograph taken. Unfortunately (in this particular respect), I work in the media and having your photograph taken is a necessary part of the role.

Marie-Claire is very personable and empathetic. I think she can tell if you feel a little uncomfortable but is skilled at tailoring the shoot and her approach to you, so that all that self consciousness evaporates within minutes. She has very good ideas, works quickly (but doesn’t rush you) and is very reliable.”

Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales

Some of my amazing clients:

“Marie-Claire is an absolute joy to work with. She’s full of fun and great at making her clients feel relaxed. I couldn’t be happier with my business photos and am so glad I booked a shoot with Marie-Claire – it was definitely money well spent!”

Eleanor Toal, All Natural English 

“Not only did this lady make me feel relaxed in front of the camera, she made me forget it was there…”

This lady right here is magical!!! 

If you’ve ever met Professional Rebel in person I’m sure you would agree she is full of love, light, happiness & amazing amounts of energy. She lights up any room she walks in & always has the biggest, most beautiful smile on her face.

And I was fortunate enough to have her photograph me.

After asking only a few questions beforehand Maz understood exactly what I was looking for. When I saw the pictures last night my eyes filled with happy tears 😭

Not only did this lady make me feel relaxed in front of the camera, she made me forget it was there, it was like having a nice day out in nature with a friend.

The suggestions she made throughout the day brought me out of my shell & then boom! She captured me in all my glory, the real me.

This lady has a gift, a beautiful way of seeing people & the world & a talent to capture those precious moments.

I am overwhelmed by these pictures, I am so honoured to know this beautiful human & I can’t wait til we work together more in the future.

Maz – I honestly can’t thank you enough! ❤️❤️❤️

Rosa Lisa, Spiritual Dancer at Apsara Dance


“One word: perfect…”

I’d met Marie-Claire several times and that’s why I wanted to use her – bags of personality and professional at the same time. The session was brilliant. I’ve been in the company of lots of photographers before, but in different circumstances and this is the first time as the client. One word: perfect.

Yes, we can all take a photo now and again but it takes someone really special to understand what you want and deliver that professionally – and I have found that person!! 🙂

The photos were more than perfect. I was so pleased with the result and they’ve improved my marketing presence 200% – and I’ve booked another session for next week!”

Richard Smith, The Wine School of Cheshire

“I felt like a goddess…”

Although I am not really lacking in confidence and I am quite happy to bare some flesh in front of people (??), I do (surprisingly) feel really awkward in front of a camera. I don’t feel like I am photogenic and I have always been disappointed with photos taken of me in the past where I have felt like I actually looked better in the flesh. This can have an effect on your confidence by making you feel like your own perceptions are flawed or inaccurate. 

In July this year, I had worked so hard on my aesthetics training and dieting for a fitness competition that I asked Maz if she would shoot me. I knew she would be the perfect choice and I was right! She was so warm and unassuming, I felt at ease straight away. She listened to how I felt about looking directly at the camera and she captured the look I really wanted to achieve. I wanted to show muscularity and definition (which I had worked so hard for) but in a feminine and sultry way. She took her time with me and was so patient – especially as I was extremely tired and hungry whilst posing as it was peak week of my prep!! She was also extremely encouraging… I left the studio grinning. I felt like a goddess which was a huge ego boost just before my comp too (which I went on to win!!) I can’t recommend Maz enough – a true professional and an innovative photographer who is just gorgeous and so down to earth!!”

Gemma Ayers, Pure Elite Pro Winner



…about events & experiences



I would like to firstly thank you for creating this challenge. I felt it was something completly different from other challenges and that’s mainly because of your infectious enthusiasm. I really enjoyed the positive twist you gave and how I could relate it to my everyday life. I enjoyed your energy, & how creative the challenge was. I could have done a few more days! 

I felt excited at the start to try something different. I wasn’t sure what to expect so went in open minded. Over all I felt happier and loved the fact that the tips you gave I could use over and over, so will be using them.

I love your style it’s so refreshing. I am deffo a super fan.

– Amanda, Participant of the 5 Day Happiness Challenge


Marie-Claire Ashcroft is the real deal.  She is honest and authentic about her own struggles.   She is also an advocate that there are many simple tools out there that can help.  Her delivery is fun and upbeat.  She shares what has worked for her and encourages others to do the same.  Her focus is on easy wins and small tweaks that add up to a happier you. Her daily emails are like a happiness injection. The videos are short and Marie-Claire’s infectious (in a good way!) personality radiates and compels you to pay attention.  The group is fantastic for accountability and Marie-Claire is active in it to support you.  The best thing about the group is the feeling that Marie-Claire gets you.

– Marie, Participant of the 5 Day Happiness Challenge


The challenge came at a great time for me, had 2 months off work after a bit of a breakdown and this was a great opportunity to test myself.

I love your style! It’s so refreshing to see someone in your line of work that’s relaxed and genuine and just more my kind of gal! I can imagine having all the fun with you at a festival, dancing our tits off!

All in all, proper well good and thank you so much. I need reminding of these fundamentals of well-being all the time please!! How do you do it??! I’ve started writing post its and sticking them on the fridge so that’s a start 🙂

Anyhoo much love and luck and happiness in your endeavours

– Anais, Participant of the 5 Day Happiness Challenge


Just wanted to say thanks for the challenge. It was a particularly awful week for me and I very nearly pulled out of the challenge altogether. However I actually think it helped. I did at one point completely lose my shit in a spectacular fashion which I have never done before but I think that also helped. It was like a release and then breathe and start again.

– Gemma, Participant of the 5 Day Happiness Challenge


“Thank you for everything, I enjoyed last week immensely; thought I might be on a tremendous downer now but the great thing is, you’ve invited us to stay so, thank you again. I love your videos, I said before, you’re a star – so much better than watching the TV (there is so little on there these days, ha ha). So was it a good week overall? Of course it was. Would I do it again? I think. Maybe. Not too difficult though? Definitely want to continue, with something.

So thank you again. You are wonderful. Where you get all your knowledge from I can only imagine, I must read more of your blog(s), perhaps I’d find out then.

– Robert, Participant of the 5 Day Happiness Challenge


Thank you for you happiness dares last week. The activities I try to do anyway, but it was great to have a reminder to do them as well as a supportive community to share experiences with. Keep spreading the love and happiness, you’re doing a great job! 🙂 xxx

– Holly, Participant of the 5 Day Happiness Challenge

“What you do saves lives!”