In conversation with Mississauga’s Vanessa Burns, owner of Vanessa Burns Photography.
1. What inspired you to start Vanessa Burns Photography?
I had always been the self-proclaimed family photographer – snapping photos at every family gathering and event. Once my children were born, I wanted to learn how to take really good photos of them. I soon had my first DSLr camera (thanks hubs!) and began my photography journey. After many years and many courses and workshops I eventually honed in on my area of expertise – Headshots! With the exceptional mentorship I received in this area, I found the confidence to open my own studio and voila!, Vanessa Burns Photography was born!
2. What does Vanessa Burns Photography provide?
I specialize in Corporate headshot photography. What does that mean, you ask? While I do have the occasional model or actor, my focus is on corporate individuals who need and want a high-quality tight headshot that is ideal for LinkedIn and Website purposes. Also – I’m fun to work with – if I do say so myself! I get it, most people don’t like being in front of the camera. That’s why I will give you all the guidance you need to have a successful shoot and enjoy the experience!
3. What’s been the most impactful lesson you’ve learned being an entrepreneur?
Oh wow. Am I an entrepreneur? That sounds so fancy for a girl who went to acting school and then learned to take pictures. The most impactful lesson is that I am capable of more than I know. As someone with a background in the arts – I never would have thought I would ever have to learn things like financial forecasting, seo optimization or any of the other unglamourous sides to having a business. But I’m doing it! Holy cow – I’m an entrepreneur!
4. How do you unwind?
I really like to be busy. Actually – I LOVE being busy with work. But, apart from binging Netflix shows in my downtime, I absolutely love spending time at my daughter’s hockey and soccer games. I wouldn’t call these “relaxing” events – but hugely enjoyable for me, as a proud mom.
5. What succinct advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Just Do It. Seriously, Nike said it best. I think it’s great to discuss and plan and map things out, but I have seen so many people talk the talk and not walk the walk. You have to get out of your comfort zone and go for it, or it won’t happen. You can apply this to all areas in life, really. Damn Nike, you guys are good.
6. What are your goals for 2023?
I am planning to start a marketing campaign in January 2023 so that I can make Vanessa Burns Photography more visible! And that visibility will hopefully bring me more clients so that I can spend more time shooting, make more money, expand to a bigger space and then eventually rule the world…or something like that.

Modern Mississauga is about exploring Mississauga through the lens of the 21st century. We cover everything from a uniquely Canadian perspective – culture, style, living, technology, arts, entertainment, and community – and aim to represent the diverse blend of interests and experiences of Canada’s sixth-largest city.
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