Every now and then I think it's important to take a step back and evaluate yourself — take a look inward to ask yourself how you can improve to reach your potential and hone your creative skills. In other words...evolve. Over the course of the winter, I did exactly that. I immersed myself in the works of some of the photographers I admire and studied their creative practices to see if my current course of action would elevate me to where I wanted to be. The answer was no. It was a hard truth to see, but it was one that I needed to see.
So, I put my mind to work and began working on things that I would need to begin pushing myself in the right direction. After some careful thought, I decided that the best place to start would be to refresh the way that I present myself, the foundation of my business. In other words, my brand.
Enter the Rebrand.
I decided to change my overall look to go with something modern, clean, and bold. I wanted to create an overall look that accentuates my work and mirrors the mindset behind the work I strive to create. While this project is still very much in the works, I decided the best way to present it is in 3 phases - logo and website, printed materials, and packaging. Let's dive in to phase 1.
The New Logo
It all starts a with a symbol - a common element attached to everything involved with my business and something that summarizes both myself and my business as a whole.
The logo itself is essentially a triangle, also known in the Greek language as delta, a symbol for change. I chose this because I always want to remind myself to continuously progress and evolve. The overall triangle shape is easy to see, but if you look closer, it is comprised of two intersecting triangles that have a deeper meaning where each point represents a critical element of my work and business.
The outermost triangle is representative my business with the three angles serving as qualities that I want to build into every client interaction. As time goes on, I want each of these to become stronger and more prominent to hopefully set myself apart from the sea of other professionals.
Quality — This is something I strive continuously to build into my brand. When clients come to me, it's because they are passionate about photography and are seeking images that will make an impact. Above all else, I always strive to excel in this area by creating unique photographs that are rich, vibrant, and stand the test of time.
Simplicity — As my past clients know, everything with me is a case of "what you see is what you get." In the case of weddings, I've gone through great lengths to make the entire process easy from the booking, preparation/wedding day organization, and even the final stages such as album creation and print ordering. I also structure my packages in such a way that each client is well aware of the services they are getting and exactly what those entail — no fine print, tricks, or gimmicks.
Experience — Creating a good experience is what gets people talking and more clients beating down your door, so it's something I've been working on to make my business stand out. When working with clients, I'm not just a photographer — my role is much more broad. I routinely help clients plan their wedding days, offer words of reassurance when things don't go quite right, run wedding day errands, and even act as a shoulder to cry on if necessary. My hope is for my clients to realize that I am unique and will bring things to the table that they can't find anywhere else.
Now that we've covered the outermost triangle, we are going to move in to the middle and discuss the inner triangle. This triangle represents my photography and immediately you'll notice that it takes up roughly half of the larger one meaning that it's only part of the business — albeit an important part. As I said before, each point on the triangle stands for an aspect of my photography that I try to take into account with every click of the shutter.
Lighting — In my opinion, lighting can make or break any photo. Actually, the word photography literally means capturing light. When I'm shooting I try to make sure I'm shooting in the best conditions possible and also use the light to flatter and accentuate the subject or moment. In some cases, the lighting almost becomes a subject in the photograph when it flares behind the subject and adds life and drama to the image.
Moment — Capturing a critical moment is what we photographers set out to do. Because, honestly, what good is a shot if there's nothing going on? In most cases, a great moment can trump everything because, as photographers, we want our images to tell a story and elicit an emotional response. Along with lighting, this is something I'm always watching for when my finger approaches the shutter button.
Location — This element is the third part of my photography triangle and just as important as the other two. A great location can really kick your work up to the next level. When shooting my clients, I want to put them in locations that add to the shot and often times differ from the norm to create some truly unique images.
As you can see, I've given a lot of careful consideration to the logo that will represent me going forward. My goal is to have it stand as an easily-recognizable symbol for all of the qualities listed above. Of course, a logo is just step one. Now we're going to dive into the biggest asset — something that attracts clients, showcases my work, and sells me...my new website.
The New Site
As I mentioned before, the goal was to create something bold and modern. After carefully analyzing my old site, I came to the realization that it just wasn't creating the impact that I wanted. Sure it was clean and minimalistic, but the images were small, with more emphasis put on load time than presentation. With this new site, I wanted to go bigger, bolder, and also keep load times in check. This is the result.
Home Page — Visitors are greeted with a large image and some descriptive text so immediately they are aware of what the site is and also intrigued to dig a little further. The navigation menu is a sliding drawer on the right hand side so it is always present, but doesn't distract from the overall experience. Below the large welcome image are featured posts laid out in an efficient grid format complete with titles and excerpts to give readers a quick summary before clicking.
Interior Pages — The interior pages are designed to continue with the overall theme and feature more content/information to better sell myself and inform the reader. At the bottom of each page are buttons to quickly send the reader to related pages or ones that give other valuable information.
Post Pages — Post pages have been redesigned to house larger images and larger text to ease readability. At the top of each page is a featured image that runs wall-to-wall as well as a bold title to easily identify the post. Each post now has a larger first paragraph to serve as an intro and to set the scene for the rest of the content.
Connect Page — The connect page is now a separate page instead of a simple sliding tab. I've designed it to be as simple as can be and allows readers an easy form and information to communicate with me or send in their inquiries.
All in all, this site is a welcome change and one that I hope is well-received. Above all else, I feel the site promotes my brand and work to a greater degree than the previous version. In addition to a new appearance, there will also be some new content including helpful articles for clients, insights into how I run my business, and more personal posts.
As I said before, this project is on-going and will be broken up into 3 parts so stay tuned for part 2 where I showcase my new printed materials.
*Raises coffee cup*
Here's to moving forward! Cheers!