So some of you will have signed up to my newsletter and received 3 by now! I decided to start one in May, partly for marketing reasons and partly for a good way to show you all directly what I have been up to and all my latest offers. I really love doing these each month as I like to look back on what I have been doing, I like showing off lovely photos and I like to tell you what great deals you can get on my photography. Now some of you may be thinking, what is a newsletter, and why should I sign up? Well, lets talk about newsletters!
My last post on packaging was about my beautiful wedding discs, and you can read that here! Because I’m a photographer, (so I work with visuals) and because quite often the end product is digital, my photography packaging is very important to me! As you may have seen in my previous post, I love to make things look pretty and I’ve researched and worked really hard to make my packaging the best it could be.
I offer many different shoot formats, with prints and other offers included.
If you book a photoshoot with me that includes a disc of images, this is what you will receive.
A disc of images, with a personalised cover designed by me.
A photo keyring made with images from your session.
Some of my business cards to share with friends!
All hand packaged with luxury tissue paper and stickers printed by me.
If your session includes prints / canvases, these will also be wrapped with tissue paper and ribbon!
Recently I have been ordering from a few small businesses and I have been loving it! I absolutely love supporting small businesses, just like myself, and I usually find that their products and customer service are second to none. There were two things that I particularly wanted to help further my business at this moment in time, one was a stamp to help me with packaging, and the other was a gift voucher.
The stamp I have already use quite a lot within my business, as you can see here! I love it, I really do feel like it is a luxury product, and even though I am new to stamping, it came with a little product card with information on how to get the best results and store it properly. It came on a lovely acrylic block which made stamping so easy, and the whole thing looks really nice and posh too! I bought this stamp from Clarise Crafts (mine’s the biggest one incase you wondered), who also has a huge range of all things craft related. Thanks to this website I have the stamping bug and keep thinking of things that I can stamp!
Image by Clarise Crafts
I also wanted to show you my new beautiful gift vouchers! I hadn’t really thought about these before, until I was thinking about exhibiting at a local pamper evening. I wanted to find a way that I could still make bookings without the pressure sales you often get at events like that! For me, the evening was a way to find new clients (I had a sign up sheet for my newsletter) and potentially secure some bookings, but I really didn’t want to give the hard sell, I really hate that.
So I decided some gift vouchers would really help with that, for me, it’s almost like a deposit from the customer, and for them it’s a non restricting way to show their interest in my services. The vouchers look really nice and are a great gift, especially to someone who has reached a new milestone in their life (e.g engaged, new baby).
The gift vouchers were also designed and printed by Clarise crafts. I absolutely love them! What do you think about my new additions to my business?
This is my second post of this type and it was so hard to choose who my next one would be! But from looking through my Instagram Feed (I follow loads of incredibly talented people there), there was one lady that stood out. I found Bethany from Loving Dot through another person on Instagram and I’m so glad I did! The most inspiring thing about her is that she is only 17, working her way through college and her own business, and now she has an offer to go to university! I admire her courage, business sense, motivation and her beautiful design work.
Bethany’s website Loving Dot has many beautiful item including design work, nail transfers, pocket mirrors, badges, prints and much more!
During my re-brand I decided that I should take my new camera and go and take some photos! I wanted something that showed how I like to photograph, my style, and at the same time show off all the things that I can do. I have a variety of things that I like to take pictures of and I wanted to show my abilities through these photos. I decided on Beauty headshots, Wedding, Boudoir and Editorial, these are all important to me for different reasons. Beauty headshots because they are really useful and heavily used by make up artists and models. Weddings because that is something I am marketing myself for – it is lovely to be part of someone’s big day. Boudoir because I absolutely love it, it’s classy and sexy and so much fun, I would love to make more people aware of how amazing having boudoir images taken can be. Finally, editorial because while I was at university I loved shooting fashion style images and would love to continue, probably mostly on a time for print basis, but I would love to shoot for print at some point too! I hope you love my images as much as I do!
So as you may or may not know I have been changing the style of my brand for a good few months. It feels like it has taken forever but I can finally say that I feel that I have pretty much everything ready to launch my business looking exactly how I want it to. I began in 2010 with a pretty simple design made with Photoshop brushes and colours I liked, in 2012 whilst studying at university I did an overhaul on my branding as part of one of my professional modules. I didn’t enlist any help for either of these, I didn’t know any graphic designers and as a student I didn’t have the money to pay for design services.
I’m not sure what made me want to change my design, but I wanted something sleek, grown up and something that showed my target audience who I am and what I am about. So I enlisted the help of a graphic designer that I had seen on Facebook, she did her degree at the same university as me, but we have never met in real life! I gave her an idea of the colours that I wanted and we spoke about what I really wanted to get from the logo design. After that I also paid her to design and create my website, business cards and social media logos.
I love my logo, I feel it is perfect, it really suits me and my brand. I also like that I have a logo for my photography and one for my boudoir photography which means I could have a separate website for each if I wanted to. My website took the longest of all, I found it daunting and really didn’t know what I want, I found that it was easier once the bulk of it was done – I could then pick out what I liked and what I didn’t. Now I have a working website, logo, business cards and pretty much everything I need for my business.
2014 has been a year of many changes and many achievements, I began the year in my final year and University and will finish with all the tools I need to launch my Photography business. Although New Years resolutions are often overdone and boring, on a personal note they are important to reflect on the year and see how far I have come. Last year I fulfilled most of the things on my list, with a few exceptions and this year I hope to do the same!
1.) Fully launch my business, advertise and book in clients throughout the year.
2.) Be creative in photographing, shoot more, liaise with other creatives.
3.) Do a photography course, read some books, learn more skills.
4.) Keep saving for a house.
5.) Keep crocheting and finish projects!
So there you go, a small list this year because I feel I have achieved so much already! Small but important things to me that I hope to carry out in the coming months – watch this space!
All throughout my re-branding I have thought about what I wanted to use for advertising my business. Online adverts, print, business cards and social networking are all options and I needed to think about what would work and what wouldn’t.
The first thing I thought about was the medium I have been using since I started my business – Social networking. It is an easy, free and quick way to share your work and can allow images to travel between people very quickly. Going viral is one of the best things about the internet, and while being internet famous doesn’t ensure bookings, you are more likely to get bookings when you are being shown to a larger audience. I also like that it allows your audience to look into your lives and see what you are doing behind the scenes. It’s personal to whatever you like and you can create your own online business persona.
The next important thing that I knew I wanted was Business cards, they are professional, nice looking and a very common and productive way to network. I like that they are small and can fit in purses or wallets but big enough to have good sized logos and designs on to catch people’s attention. You can also fit a good amount of information and contact number on. My Business cards are from MOO.com.
Flyers are also another staple for advertising. I feel that with flyers you can add a lot more information and any information that may be only valid for a certain amount of time such as a discount offer. They are big enough to catch people’s attention and you can display your artwork in print form which is usually nicer than the web.
A little luxury but not a must have that I also invested in was a couple of car magnets. They are square magnets that you can attach to your car and advertise your business. I like the idea of these because it is a good was to display your artwork and plenty of information including contact details. I work part time as well as being a photographer so I thought this would be a great way to advertise my business while my car is sat in the work car park all day!
Finally, as a photographer, a website is SO important. It is pretty much the number one way that clients will view your work. The site needs to look good, be easy to use and be quick to use. Other requirements are large images, high quality and good information to ensure that your clients take away everything they may need from your site.
Do you advertise all these different ways? Which is your most successful way of advertising?
I have wanted a Jo Totes Camera bag for over year, perhaps even two! I already have two camera bags, my big boring one that my boyfriend no longer wanted and gave to me, and my Disney Land Paris one that I paid £20 for on Ebay (and love with all my heart but it’s only a small one). I really wanted something stylish and beautiful, yet practical, and big enough to put everything in. I didn’t want it to be TOO big though, so I could take it on days out and it didn’t take up too much room.
Searching the web I had seen various bags that I liked, all for over £100, and non within my price range! Then, I came across Jo Totes Missy Mint – and I never looked back. There are only a few bags on the Jo Totes site which fit the bill for me, the Missy being one of them, and the fact that it comes in Mint colour won the vote for me. Incase you hadn’t noticed, mint is the colour of my branding, my website, my laptop case, and many other items I own, it’s a gorgeous colour and makes the Missy bag look stunning.
I saved up some money while at university and bought the bag as present to myself for finishing my degree and graduating. I was so excited for it to come, and at $119 for the bag and $13.95 shipping it came to around £83 which I personally feel a bargain for such nice bag. Jo Totes has distribution centres in the UK and I think my bag came in just under a week. The exchange rate and UK shipping are what make this company great value and easy to deal with should there be any problems and don’t want to wait for long shipping dates.
Onto the bag itself, it looks beautiful and stylish and is huge in the sense that it just fits so much in! There are so many compartments, zipped pockets and separators inside and out that there is what seems like never-ending storage.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my website, my colours and the overall look of my brand.
However I feel like it needs polishing, making more professional or even just a little more ‘grown up.’ For this, I have enlisted the help of Graphic Designer Christina from Ivy Belle Designs. I have spoken to her about a logo design that I can use to tie in my website, social media and print advertising, along with keeping my colour scheme and simplifying it. I have also asked her to re-design my website and business cards for me. This is a huge job and will take some time but I feel it is very worthwhile and will help me to convey who I am and what my photography is about through my branding.