Let's Get Personal: Why Caved and put MY FACE on my Brand
I don't think that anyone who's ever met me would ever describe me as shy. I am pretty confident, outgoing, a tried and true extrovert in a lot of ways, but for the last two years, I really shied away from making my face a part of my business.
WHY I DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT
- QUALITY CONTROL: To start, I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it. As someone who is in the business of visuals, I want to be a part of the composition of the image, paying attention to the lines, colors, lighting and shapes.
- "BUT WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?" AKA IT'S AWKWARD: I get a little shy in front of the camera! I am by NO MEANS a model of any kind and don't want to be perceived as one. I often don't know what to do with my hands or my face or whether to smile or look candid. The awkwardness also comes with a twinge of self-conscious. I don't want people looking at me when I am getting photos taken because I feel like they would assume I am a millennial fashion blogger trying to sell fit tea on instagram or be a cast member on Bachelor. (...only half true).
- TOO SALES-Y: Branding myself in parallel to my business felt like a cringe-worthy real estate ad. I want my work to speak for itself, not the other way around. For a long time I didn't want my name (well besides my initials) really intertwined with my work.
WHY I CHANGED MY MIND
- GIVE MY CLIENTS A CHANCE TO SEE THE REAL ME - This is where it really clicked. Who doesn't like to put a face to a name? When someone hires MKW Graphics they are working with ME, only ME and that's it. Some of my clients I don't actually meet in person, so it is important to me for them to see me and who I am by sharing these kinds of images.
- YOU ATTRACT WHAT YOU PUT OUT IN THE UNIVERSE...SHARING MY PERSONALITY - to combat the stuffiness of high school style portraits or realtor bench ads, we took photos in my favorite spots: coffee shop, the 101, and the beach. The photos are casual and candid-ish to attract the kinds of brands I want to work for... lifestyle brands that don't take themselves too seriously and like the same things I like, namely: puppies, wine, the beach, surfing, coffee, bright colors, coastal architecture, etc. etc. Because if you also like these things, we will probably get along.
- PROFESSIONAL CONTENT - As much as I love iPhone photos, the quality of a DSLR image is exponentially better. Nowadays, there really is no excuse for poor photography on social media and that's why a selfie every now and then just wasn't going to cut it. Now, I have a dropbox full of 400+ photos that I can pull from whenever I may need. Social post? Check. Email newsletter? check. May even use for a future postcard or business card design... hmm.
- CROSS MARKETING WITH MY SIS - I scheduled these shoots for when my sister was in town from Texas so we could get shots together to help promote each other (and also because it is a hell of a lot less awkward when you are taking photos with someone). I also just helped her launch her own event planning business, Sistered States.
We would LOVE to collaborate on events together in the future and think we could both use our creative skillsets to provide really unique experiences for our clients. She can plan, organize and style the event, whereas I can provide custom invitations, Save the Dates, t-shirts, snapchat filters, social media graphics, bags, gifts, etc. We want our clientele to get used to seeing us as a team!
- SUPPORT LOCAL - We got to work with two great photographers, Bijan Askari and Lauren Van Wechel (Glory Studios) and it was awesome! If you ever need photography, let me know and I will connect you with them! It is so important to keep the local business community thriving, and it's good karma. :)
Here are some of my favorites, coming to you insta feed over the next few months.