Virginia Beach portrait and lifestyle photographer specializing in comfortable portraits and candids
In the coming weeks, I’m going to be unveiling my new brand. I honestly thought it was going to be a lot longer and painful process than it has been. I think I based this on a few things – things I’ll get to later – but it has actually been mostly fun! I think that is due to the fact that I landed an amazing designer.
This entire process started almost 3 years ago. When I was in photography school, one of our assignments was to design a website – a digital portfolio to which we could direct our clients. So, in a week, we didn’t have much time to develop a personalized website, much less, hire a designer. So, I settled for a really simple template website. A place to show my work. I could even choose the colors of the fonts! [Sarcasm intended.]
So, since then, I’ve been doing my research. The cost of having a real, live brand. The type of designers out there. Website formats and programs and design. I knew it wasn’t the right time at first – I hadn’t shot too many weddings and really didn’t have a developed style or real idea of the types of weddings I wanted to be shooting…
In there somewhere, I hired a designer, Ashlee Proffitt Designs, to design a logo and a few print products for me! Turns out, I loved my logo and my little icon especially. I built a few more products around her design and went from there! It has really been great, but I got to a point where I hated my website. I hated sending people to a template with a contact form that didn’t work. It didn’t represent my service at all, and so this past year, I decided now was the time.
I had a list of designers. Two, actually. I never actually heard back from one of them. The other, although she advertises she is available, is not – too busy with no waiting list. So, I went to friends for recommendations. And there was one that came so highly recommended, I would be stupid not to email her.
So, I emailed Three Fifteen Design. And she was prompt. And she was organized. And I was loving the work she did for other photographers. So after praying about it, letting go of the other designers, and talking it over with my husband, I signed a contract with Ravyn! From the time I started looking to the time I committed to a designer, I learned a few things. These things probably won’t apply to everyone, but if you’re in the market, hopefully they’ll help you!
Practicality // You have to identify if this is the right time. I know that this is the boring side of things, and not everyone considers it. But this is a huge commitment. Not just financially, but the goal is to have this brand for a while, right? Do you have a handle on what you’d like to shoot, the style of clients you’re looking for? Have you spent some time identifying your style?
Inspiration // This starts before the designer comes, but they’ll probably ask you to do the same – start some type of inspiration board or collection of design items you like. Whether it be clothes, architecture, or web design, start compiling a few images that represent you. And, include some of your own work – work that shows who you are!
Make Contact // Email a few designers and see how [in my case, “if”] they respond to you. A lot of your contact with them will be over email, and so someone who is easy to get in touch with was important to me. Also, designers do things differently – find the services that really apply to what you want!
Go with Your Gut // But really. You have to love their work, trust and like them, and you have to “feel” good about it. The end.