When I first started out as a photographer and began looking for advice on running a great business, the one concept I kept running into was the importance of branding yourself. At first, I honestly had no idea what exactly good branding was, and I thought that simply having a nice logo was the way to achieve it. But as my business grew and I continued to attract clients who did not seem to understand my mission and my own perception of myself as a boutique photographer, I knew I was doing something
After taking a good look at my website, my logo, and my marketing materials, I realized one thing that made my heart sink: nothing lined up. Nothing was cohesive. My
colors were okay, I supposed, but something wasn’t right. It took me a little bit of soul searching, but I eventually realized that I needed help and decided to seek out a
professional! Let me tell you, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made for my business. We, as photographers, have so much that we have to be not only good, but
amazing at in order to stand out and wow our prospective clients: editing and post processing skills, customer service, client relations, finances, not to mention that actual
photography aspect, as well as so many other things I could go on about all night. Why should we expect ourselves to know everything there is about great branding and
graphic design as well?
To be honest, I thought that I was pretty decent at basic graphic design and always assumed that it was a part of my business I could always take care of myself.
But when looking at the big picture and realizing that my own work lacked a certain polish, I knew that “decent” wasn’t going to cut it, and grew really excited about finding
someone who could help me bring my vision for my branding to life. Someone who “got” me. And when I finally found that designer (Rachel at Miss Poppy Design), she gave me a completely new look that perfectly summed up who I was, what my business meant, and the message I wanted my clients to see. It was completely worth the investment and something I highly encourage every professional photographer to do! Of course, branding goes so much deeper than the just the visual aspect. It is
also connected to how you present yourself in person, the relationships you have with your clients, and your actual work itself. But graphic design still plays a huge part, and
that’s why it’s so important to get it right.
Before you look into professional branding, make sure you ask yourself a few key questions about your business. If you could describe your brand in one sentence, what
would you say? If you could describe your ideal client, who would they be? What stores would they shop at? Pottery Barn? Anthropologie? Saks Fifth Avenue? Make sure you
find a designer whose work represents the general aspect you would like your own branding to fit into. ! For me, I knew that I wanted my branding to convey that I was a high-end boutique High School Senior photographer for teen girls. My business is also focused on professional makeovers and fashion for our clients, and so it was important that at least some feminine, glam, and sophisticated elements were included in my branding. In the end, my designer developed a simple yet elegant logo, a glam yet clean website, and a stunning color palette that all perfectly and succinctly summed up my business. Having a website that I was proud to show off (finally!) was amazing. It was such a relief to have had professional guidance that resulted in gorgeous branding that I myself did not have the skills to create.
So, let me encourage you to reevaluate your current branding. Does it sum up your business’s mission in its color scheme, your logo, your website, your marketing
materials? Is it professionally designed but long overdo for an update? Do you feel that your ideal client would be attracted to your overall look? If you aren’t sure about any of the above, I would strongly suggest looking into professional branding. There are many companies that specialize in branding for photographers and work with all budgets. ! I know it can be overwhelming to think about who you are as a photographer and the message you are trying to send with your branding, but it’s an essential part of being a business owner. That’s why hiring a professional graphic designer is such a great thing for you as a photographer: you’re letting someone who is great at what they do use their skills to tell the world who you are as soon as they see your logo, click over to your website, or look at your custom Facebook page. It’s a great start to attracting your ideal clientele, and one that can get you on the fast-track to success.