On Coral Shirts For Photographers

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was in the first year of my business striving to identify who I was and separate myself from the rest of the industry… I had high hopes from the beginning.  So I did what I thought was best: read photographers’ informational blog posts one after another.  And this was great for me because I didn’t start formally studying photography in college for another year or so, and I was in the honeymoon phase of soaking it all up!  I found their tips incredibly helpful; from family formal strategy to reception lighting and everything in between.  Some people also covered important business strategy and I feel like in a lot of ways, their mistakes saved me from making some pretty big ones! However, I feel like when it came to branding and finding your style, a lot of people gave the same suggestion: look at your closet.

Now if you haven’t read photographer’s blog posts from three to four years ago, then you wouldn’t know that when they talked about branding, one of the ways that they suggested defining your style was to look at your closet.  The colors that repeated over and over again could be a good indicator of what your “brand colors” could be inspired by.  Well, I decided that I really loved the color coral and thought it would be the perfect representation of my brand.  Because what 18 year old girl wouldn’t love the color coral?  Therefore, I went to Marshall’s the very same day and bought a few coral tops so that my closet could be filled with coral.  This was obviously going to help me define myself and my brand better.

Guys, I actually did that.

And here’s the thing that I think happens all too often.  When we’re just getting started we start dreaming so big! We think that we have to have it all figured out from the start, when the truth of the matter is, style and branding is something that is constantly evolving over time.  Every frame you click in your lens, you’re learning more and more about what you’re drawn to.  Even industry greats, like Jose Villa, are consistently shooting new ideas in new spaces!  You don’t look at one of Jose’s posts and see the exact same images with just a different couple in them.  Instead you see carefully crafted images, that I’m guessing, are strategically placed to 1) bring him even more couples that are drawn to those images and 2) to showcase his latest inspiration.

The other thing that happens when we’re first starting out? We cling to the rules.  When you’re starting your business its so easy to look for some semblance of structure from anywhere you can get it: after all, you’re on your own making all of these important decisions by yourself!  And when you’re first starting, it can feel like saying yes to the wrong thing or no to the right thing, can make or break your business.  It’s normal to want to have some sort of guide to doing things, but don’t let the fear of messing up, get in the way of being who you really are.  If you’re going to build a successful brand, it ultimately has to be an authentic one.  Whether that’s grungy and chic, or cozy and casual, find who you are and what you want to be represented by.  And then, don’t be afraid to change something over time.  I promise you, you will look back on your first website and cringe one day – no matter how in love with it you are right now! Because as creatives, we should want to be evolving!

And that’s the beauty of being self-employed… through all the hardships and loneliness sometimes, there is so much freedom in this little dream of our friends! Embrace it!  Don’t let fear squash your ability to be who you are… because chances are, coral doesn’t even look good on you, and you don’t need to buy something new just to try and fit in.




June 3, 2016

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Wife, mama, wielder of light & joy, and capturer of moments.  I thrive off of conversation and genuine connection.  In between wrangling our kiddos, and hanging my husband, you'll find me dreaming up my next idea or creative endeavour.  It's these things that culminate to give my imagery a warmth and joy to them - the greatest compliment I could receive.







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