Photographers : Branding Series

I’m back this week to continue my series on branding and this week we are going to talk about your logo.  If your just tuning in feel free to catch up by reading the previous posts:

Pinterest for Photographers

Branding : Style

Branding: Color

So lets dig into logos, I’ll tell you about my logo designs and how I’ve arrived at my current logo.  Reminder that I am not a graphic designer and if you can afford one they are awesome and worth your investment.  Just make sure they are the right fit for you.  So as I’ve talked about before I had zero money to hire someone to make a logo for me and I had no idea what I wanted.  I know many of you are in the same boat and it’s okay, remember that you are starting out and I promise you your brand will evolve.  Remember I was pink and brown with scriptina font when I started.  So once again I’m going to tell you to start an inspiration board on Pinterest, yes I’m completely obsessed and I’m not sorry  ;).  Start paying attention to logos you like, they don’t have to be photography logos either.  Any company you like, maybe you love the font that the cupcake place down the street uses.  Maybe you hate designs and really just want something simple with your name or you want an object to represent you.  It is completely up to you but you have to figure out what you like and don’t like.  A great option is to buy a pre-made logo from someone.  There are plenty of them on Etsy and in photo template shops.  Just remember that you might end up with the same logo as 5-10 other people unless the designer specifies that it is a one of a kind design by them.  I wish I had gone this route when I first started, instead I opened Photoshop and picked a brush and started there.  Add in the lovely Scriptina font and bam I had a logo.

Yeah that was my first logo, it’s a bit rough around the edges.  Seeing the price for logos on Etsy now I so wish I gone with a pre-made to start.

So after about a year I decided that I needed a new logo and I hired someone to create one for me.  I loved it at first but pretty soon I realized it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.  It wasn’t the designer’s fault, she asked me questions and sent me ideas and adjusted it to my liking.  I was still growing in my branding process though and it wasn’t where I wanted to be going forward.  

That was the point when I realized that I wasn’t happy with the colors I had chosen for my website and now I had a logo that didn’t match.  So I played with it a bit and used that logo for awhile too.  At this point I had settled on the orange and blue for my colors but what really bugged me about this logo was that it was off center.  I did like the handwriting style font though.

So I still didn’t have a logo I loved and I didn’t have the money to hire a designer to help me.  So I headed over to Etsy to try a pre-made logo and while I was looking there I started getting some ideas for what I liked and didn’t like.  I decided to go back to the drawing board and once again opened Photoshop and started playing around.  You would think after my first experience I would know better!  Luckily this time I came up with a concept pretty quickly and had a new logo in one evening which is a shock!  I think it is pretty and elegant and that fit with what I was trying for in my weddings.  The only problem I have run into is trying to have a die made for an album company and a stamp made with my logo.  The fine little curly q’s are too small to work so they asked me to fatten them up.  Since I created this logo with a brush I had no way of doing that, I’m pretty sure a real graphic designer would not have made that mistake.  Luckily I was able to pay someone to just remove them for me and my stamp looks great!

Looking at all my logos here I can see some common themes throughout, I like fancy curly q’s and handwritten style font.  It was just a matter of perfecting my vision.  I’ve had this logo for awhile now and I’m happy to say I still love it!  So if you are still struggling with your branding and you know you aren’t where you want to be yet don’t worry.  You will get there, it takes time.  If you’ve got a clear vision and know what you want then definitely talk to a graphic designer or a branding specialist.  They can turn your vision into a brand most times much better then you can.  Check back next week as we keep diving into the branding pool and I really hope that this helps some of you out there.  I’ve chatted with a lot of photographers who feel lost when it comes to branding so these posts are targeted at you!!

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Melissa is currently on maternity leave herself until 4/1/2019! She will be checking email sporadically so there might be a delay in her response.