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The Rusty Lens Branding and facelift

branding A long overdue post on the branding and facelift for the site!

I created my website several years ago as a way to maintain a web presence and attract clients. It had my session information, recent shoots, galleries, etc. But in 2014 I stopped taking clients and my blog sat silent. When I decided that I would reclaim this space for my new photography endeavors I new it needed some polish.

If you had visited the site before you would have seen a very clean and simple slate. I looked through every single prophoto template and could not find a single one that I loved, or at least loved for 150-300$. It’s not that I’m high needs or picky, but if I’m paying for something, I want it to be exactly what I want. So, I just ran with the free template, stripped it down, and I liked it. But it was just a plain slate. Oh, and I kept the free template. All the modifications you see are ones that I did with the free site.

During all of this I came across a lovely photographer, Amber Willburn,  in one of the Facebook groups. I fell in love with her work and reached out to her to submit to some In Beauty and Chaos features. During our chats I found out she was a graphic designer. At the time I was in love with my simple branding and wasn’t ready for some of the big plans I had rolling in the back of my brain. And that lasted all of about two weeks. I immediately contacted her for a quote with my ideas and visions and she loved it and was on board.

She sent me a questionnaire to fill out and I send her a branding board I had put together on Pinterest to best represent some of the thoughts that I had going on. And during that time we chatted back and forth and fine tuned the idea and worked one some blog elements and fun ways to showcase the themes.

I also started contacting artists so that I could get some one of a kind art on my blog. At first I started with watercolor artists, but that didn’t seem like the right fit, and then I found this lovely ink artist, Sarah, through her etsy shop. I really wanted a way to connect animals, but was unsure of how to bring it together so I trusted Amber and Sarah to make it happen. At first I started with the idea of all monkeys, then my favorite animals, and then I ended up with six Alaskan animals. It’s a perfect fit for my story. Sarah is an ink artist from Australia, and I’m sure she had a little fun googling some of these animals she hadn’t heard of before, but they turned out so awesome. She sent in the files and Amber finished off the logo.

It took several weeks trying to find a catch phrase. I knew I wanted to incorporate my children, my photography, my love of nature, my home state, and my love of gardening, and I wanted something that just bring it all together. My final piece in brining the cohesion– Captured in the Wild.

So, welcome to my space.

What do you think?

Some thoughts on branding:

  • Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm. Think about what your vision is, your business model, your end goals, think about what makes sense. Think about something that will make you stand out. Write down what you need.
  • Know who you are. If you’re still working out the kinks on you, your style, or your work, mainly in cohesion, go with something simple and flexible before you commit to something. Especially if you’re paying a designer, you want it to last.
  • Make it fit you and your style. You want your brand to be something that is an extension from you.
  • Pinterest is your friend. Play with things you like. Create a mood or style board. Look up branding kits and think about the colors, fonts, or elements that you might like to see.
  • If you’re choosing a designer, check out their work! There are all different kinds that specialize in all different work and for all different budgets.
  • Don’t rush it. It can be quite a process.

 

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