Creating a Brand and a Business

How I branded an image for my headshot and wedding photography business

STARTING OUT When I was 10 I asked my mom if she would let me take some of her pic during her photo shoots. Of course her answer was a resounding “no.” So I took off to practice on my brothers and other family members. I reviewed my moms work and learning from the best by the time the age of 16 came around I was ready to shoot.

Then: 2014-05-13_0001

Even though I started off creating products that people willingly paid for, looking back I can only wonder what they saw in the photograph. It seems like it was just a picture.

And now: Head-shots-girl-LA

family-portraits

But when you stay focused and keep up the practice you realize there is no right or wrong way to take a picture. Just like there is no right or wrong way to make a hamburger. Some people will choose to go to McDonalds and some people Carl’s Jr. The Carl’s fan may despises the McDonalds hamburger so he will choose not to go there. Well any company works the same way, even in the photography business.

A brand means that you have a product. Not just in what you are outputting but in HOW you output it: how you handle an awry client, how you react under pressure, how you take compliments, how  you are organized, and so many more factors. If you can answer all of those hard questions you will know your image. Put that image to work and bundle it into an arsenal of marketing materials.

GET A LOGO AND A PHYSICAL IMAGE TO REPRESENT YOU Start there. You can go on 99designs and get one done for very cheap. Or you can marry a designer and web developer like I did and get it done for free! Either way, don’t marry someone just so they can make cool things for you. But if you do or you afford to do it, hire a design agency to provide you with a logo, a website, and business cards that line up your image.

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 9.15.59 PM

KNOW THYSELF You can never underestimate the power of being who you are.  Becoming what you want to be is a matter of figuring out exactly what image of yourself you would like to see. But nothing will happen if you do not BELIEVE in what you are asking for. Know that above all things any gift you receive in this life comes directly from Him.

And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer, you will receive. - Matthew 21:22

Every night before going to bed Jake and I talk about 2 things. What we are thankful for and what we pray for. There is always something to pray for and just as many things to be thankful for. I would recommend 2 prayers of thankfulness for each prayer for something. It’s been a recipe for success for Jake and I. It keeps us humble and happy.

Anyway, we NEVER would have come up with my logo without praying for it. I wanted to quit so many times. It wasn’t Jake’s fault but every time he showed me a new logo it was further from  what I wanted than the last one. That is, until one night he saw my current logo in a dream. What he created that next day hit the nail on the head and it was wonderful! I couldn’t be happier.

3 things to wrap up this post:

  • Start now! Whatever it is even if you aren’t the best you have something you can market. And if it’s the right thing you will develop all the skills you need in time.
  • Stand for who you are and your product will too. What ever service or product is you sell make it an extension of who you are. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try but relish the moments when someone simply says, “thank you.” Those are the moments you are getting into business in the first place for
  • Know where you are headed. Without having a clear image of your business in you mind you won’t naturally know where to take it. Every step will be a guess instead of a conscious movement forward.

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