I always knew it. One of the hardest things to do while running my own show would be the upkeep on my own business as my efforts were spent on my clients. Branding is such an integral part of any organization, and I’ve noticed many of us [photographers] overlook it. When we are providing something to others, too many times we neglect to service our own business. And it isn’t a big deal until we lose the interest of someone in need of photography because we don’t look “put together”. It’s always a thought burning in the back of our minds as we are out in the world that we need to get back to that computer, to pine over our own branding. Rarely does it get done though, especially not in the way we intended it.
Now I am a hybrid. My college degree was Graphic Design/Multimedia and I learned photography second, out of my own obsessions over it. I still do much graphic design, primarily in the user interface side of the internet and consistently with wedding branding. Wedding branding is guaranteed to lead itself into invitations of all kinds, showers, babies, you name it. You would think that this hybridity of mine would excelerate my productivity level. Quite the opposite, because I tend to think I can do it all on my own. For example, I’ve always been an enthusiast of typography, and forever will be. For a few months, I even thought I could tuck one more skill under my belt and become the next awesome typography illustrator out there. Negative.
Learning point: You really can’t do all things in your business, especially when you are picky, and rightfully should be. You will learn this after you try to be all things. After endless sheets of scribbles, I pulled up the awesome Dribbble community and found an amazing typography artist out in Indonesia. He scripted up this beautiful thing you see here, and after I applied my infamous birds to the corner, boom, off to the printer it went. Branding your photography business starts with the tangible basics. The online world is a different story that I will blog about at a later time:
0. It starts here: You need to find a kickass and reliable printer. Vista Print doesn’t have the homegrown quality I’m looking for as a professional photographer but suit yourself. There are many printers right inside your city. They’re the best ones for my needs I’ve learned. Going to local printers, I even get to see a proof of my print before I spend all this money upfront for tons of cards that land on my doorstep and I realize there was a typo, or the color of my brand is off, etc.
1. You need a business card that tells who you are. Your customers will learn what you are as they follow your work. [Oh – Don’t print on glossy paper unless you want to be categorised with the rest of the old school photographers.]
2. You need branded CDs/DVDs if your business model includes high resolution image packages.
3. CD slip covers make your CDs shine.
4. Custom mailer labels adds the finishing touch to your envelope instead of a messy scribble.
If you find yourself in a bind, reach out to me to help start branding your photography business. I am well versed in printing standards of these things having worked at a printing company for 4 years. At the very least, if I can’t help you, I can point you in the right direction.