Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Tuesday

Today's game plan is more work on branding and identity. So important! It was fun yesterday, and I made some serious progress. However, two days in a row feels a lot more like work...

Monday, August 30, 2010

All good things come to those who wait...

In February, I thought for sure I had to have a website to be successful this year. I thought it had to be perfect. I even had some written text for some of the pages. Then, my external hard drive crashed. (still feeling the pain from some lost images of my boys) So, that set me back months. I did finally purchase my domain name, and threw some stuff up, but it is so far from perfect that I try really hard to not show people... not exactly the purpose of a website! Summer came along, and I got busy, and the website stayed the way it was, even though it's, well, it's, um.... it's crap. It serves a purpose, but yeah. I can definitely do better.

I've been working on some ideas, and I'm loving where it is going. Yea Me!

Good enough...

So, I've had this blog, and I even have a website. But, they're nothing I'm thrilled with. They are a chance to communicate with existing clients, people already in love with what I do. But they don't represent ME, or LHP. So, out they go. Sort of. I'm working on newness. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Styles. Contrast. Two halves of a whole.

Most everything I design, create or do feels like it doesn't have a flow. I know what I don't like, but I also know what I do. So when I take samples, pictures and visual representations of what I like, it doesn't ever seem to go together well. In attempting to find some patterned paper for my blog site, I've come to a realization that there are two separate souls that reside inside my body. One is clean, fresh, minimalistic. The other is vintage. How the heck do you merge those two?

In my home, there is no merge. Of course, right now all is chaos. I admire people who have beautifully designed homes while also being home with children, but it's not a part of my genetic make-up. So, instead, everything here is primarily based on function, durability, and organization... of a sort. :)

In my sessions, as I review images and purge, sort, select, there are often images that just call out to me for something else. As a general rule, I don't post-process my images beyond making a few corrections, and a very slight color pop. (Remember? Clean. Fresh. Minimalistic) But these other images, they have such potential for something more, something different. Out of all those options available in Photoshop, the ones that appeal to me are (of course) vintage.

So, I'm considering creating two area's. LHP Fresh, and LHP Vintage.

Ideas, thoughts, and randomness...

In January, things were sketchy. No computer, another hard drive crash, lost images (which still feels like a punch in the chest when I think of what is gone forever). Doubt, insecurity. Gradually, I made some decisions. Gradually, slowly, I took small steps. Other than in October when I registered LHP legally, there was never a point where I thought "THIS IS IT" and went all-in. I still haven't. I still feel like I could back out if I wanted to.

I don't want to.

What an amazing summer. Inch by inch, step by step, things have progressed. I've had phenomenal clients, amazing support, and gorgeous weather. I still don't feel that moment of 'all-in'. I still feel like I am taking small steps, but I feel growth and forward movement, even if it is slow. It is a pace I'm comfortable with.

I've been watching an amazing, epic event at creativeLIVE with Jasmine Star, Wedding photographer. Although it has confirmed that I have no desire currently to subject myself to the stress of photographing someone's wedding day, it has a lot of value in other ways, particularly in learning about her work ethic, marketing techniques, and branding philosophy. I'm definitely a person who takes what I can use, and leaves the rest. I have heard before, and will hear again that it is best to brand yourself into a niche, Family Photographer. Pet Photographer. and have separate branding and websites, etc for that niche. That doesn't work for me. As a client, I am a huge fan of 'one stop shopping'. What can you offer me, all in one place, thank you very much. Don't make it hard or confusing, or I'll just be annoyed and go somewhere else.

My philosophy is that I want to capture memories, moments and connections. (weird - I think I just came up with my 3 words - also a J* marketing/branding idea) and that happens with babies, pets, families, married, single, gay, straight, black, white, special needs, PEOPLE and RELATIONSHIPS. Cutting myself off from a group so I can be thought of as specialized makes no sense to me. So, this verbal diarreah that I have on the blog after 8 months of silence is to try to find ME inside my business. Try to find the parts of me that I want represented in my marketing. Marketing is the one part of the business I haven't focused on (and with joy I can say that I haven't needed to. unreal!) But true growth happens when you put yourself out there. So that's my 6 month plan... to finish the website and blog, and to start adding content relevant to me and my business.

In the inner workings of my brain, something about the separate branding kept coming back to me. It wasn't an exact fit, more like a rounded cornered block into a circular hole... no sharp edges but almost could work... so one of the things that I'm considering will be posted next, to keep things separated. (gotta keep 'em separated)