Hey, I’m Jo, a wedding photographer serving Staunton, Virginia and the surrounding areas. I’ve been in the business now for six years and reached out to Amanda for branding photos in coordination while a new website, logo, and full rebrand. Now, why would a photographer hire another photographer for branding photos? I thought I wouldn’t need to once! But after years of winging my own branding, I decided to trust a professional.
One of the things I’m trying to accomplish with my new brand is truly nailing down who my ideal client is and how I can connect with them more easily. I can only articulate so much of my personality, style, and value in website copy or Instagram posts. This is why I trusted and hired another photographer for my branding photos. Along with copywriting and the rest of my branding, these images tell the story of who I am, what I do, why I serve my clients, and what I love most about this work.
I’ve been making the mistake of piecing together DIY branding for years from a combination of my clients’ events that are all kinds of different styles, behind the scenes photos my husband has snapped on his phone, images I’ve staged at home, and even some professional family portraits from a few different photographers. But this inconsistency has left my brand lacking.
When planning the session, I really couldn’t think of anything besides holding my camera, working at my computer, and talking to clients. Really, my job is done at my laptop 90% of the time. Between editing, emails, marketing, and planning for my business, I am always online. What a boring thing to photograph! But the story of my business is more than what I do. It’s why I do it. It’s how, too!
A wedding photographer could just be there to take wedding photos. But for me, I love to make the process less stressful for my clients. I create a timeline for them that gives them as much time with their guests as possible. I bring an emergency kit packed for any first aid, fashion issue, non-functioning boutonniere pins, missing chalk markers, or other wedding fiasco that could trip up the day. After the wedding, I send a sneak peek right away. Sometimes the very same night! And, I typically follow my clients back on Instagram and keep up with them long after the wedding day. These are things that not every photographer does. They’re differentiating, value-adding features of my brand that might entice someone to book me.
These facts inspired parts of our session. After a short interview with me, Amanda was able to plan a shot list that captured how I serve my clients differently than other photographers. She had me bring my emergency and styling kit, and photographed me trimming spare florals and styling details. She was so creative in how she staged the day, since we didn’t have a bride and groom to work with. Had to think outside the box!
If it weren’t for my family, I probably wouldn’t be a wedding photographer. Being in control of my income and time so that I can give my son the world and enjoy it with him is a huge motivator for running my own business. And I would be nothing without my crazy supportive husband! Amanda had me include my two boys in my branding session. Not only was it a mini family session disguised as a business write off (score!), but it is going to help me weave my family into my business story without breaking the style of imagery, or having to take them myself. I can neeeever get my son to smile for me! He’s a typical photographer’s kid.
The imagery I have now is a game-changer for my brand. It tells my story, feels like me, and includes everyone and everything that’s important to my business–backstory and all. It is so much easier to look at a content calendar and plan the month ahead knowing I have all the imagery to match the content.
Okay, now don’t go poking around my Instagram just yet! I just got these images this week. But I promise, it’s going to change my marketing game!