Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Always evolving ...always changing

With branding comes a change in the studio.  I am currently working on cleaning out all of the props I don't use, and ones that have been used too much.  I am making room for the upcoming changes planned for the studio.  There will no longer be a child's play area as it wasn't used very much and takes up too much valuable space (if you've been in the studio you know what I'm talking about).  As soon as I get everything cleared out we will be painting the entire studio a nice crisp white.  Some of the existing furniture will be replaced with some more swanky chairs that can double as props during sessions (now that's a win win for all).  I found an awesome set of vintage wallpaper squares during my antiquing journey yesterday.  This will be dispersed between the restroom, new viewing table, and an accent backdrop wall to be used during sessions (another win win).  I have some great ideas for props to make with some existing supplies that have been sitting in my garage (taking up valuable car space!!!) such as a lemonade stand & fishing dock for upcoming mini sessions.  I am going to try to plan at least 6 mini sessions per year outside of the new yearly Valentine's Day, Easter/Spring, Halloween/Fall, and Christmas/Winter sessions.  All with neat themes that many of my local clients (new & potential) have never seen or done before.  I am also making plans to create an outdoor wall system to extend my shooting space into the alley space directly behind the studio ...this will allow for natural light as well as more options.  Who doesn't love MORE options????  I am raising both of my hands right now.  I just purchased 2 new floordrops that double as backdrops.  What do you think?

These will be great for the upcoming sessions and indoor sessions for children pulling a wagon, the lemonade mini session, and my boudoir clients. 

With the new changes, I will be replacing the curtains in the front of the studio to allow more light to come in and make it bright & cheery inside.  With removing the child's play area and moving the viewing area I will then be able to open up the windows and use that space for natural light sessions when outdoors isn't an option. 

I am also finally having my official business sign custom made ...I will save some details until the grand opening!!  We will be having a tour of the studio & new outdoor shooting space, hors d'oeuvres, and giveaways.  I cannot wait.  Unfortunately, this all takes time so I guess I better get to it.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A little R & R ...Rebranding & Refocusing

Welcome to my new website/blog.  I have decided to forgo the traditional website.  Last year I was trying to manage a personal & business blog, a website, & a Facebook page.  It's tough when you have a husband, two children, work full time, operate a business, & would also like to maintain some sort of semblance to a personal/social life.  After "attending" some online seminars I have found that some of the best photogs out there only maintain a website/blog & Facebook and their personal blog has merged into their business.  Okay, I know you're thinking I'm going to be airing my dirty laundry ...nope!  My mom taught me to never do that.  lol  What I do plan on doing is letting you into my personal life through little sneak peaks.  It will help you to get to know who I am as your photographer, as well as give me an outlet to show off my family's win/win right? 

On to the title ...After my first year of business I decided I needed some R & R.  No, I didn't take a vacation :(  I'm due for one though!  However, R & R to me is Rebranding & Refocusing.  What is that?  Well, when I began my business I chose a name I liked but didn't do any research prior to "setting it in stone" (i.e. all of my print materials, Facebook, blah blah blah).  After I did some research I found that there are literally hundreds of variations of Souvenir Photography or just businesses with the word 'Souvenir' in them.  I was quite disappointed.  If any of you know anything about Google, you know it is important for a business to be one of the top searches (most strive to be the first but I'm happy with being on the first page ...the first thing will come in time as I am the 6th one as it is right this moment).  So I did some soul searching and thinking, "What is it I want for my business?"  Well, my business is about me for one thing.  It is about who I am as a person.  The most important thing about me is my family.  My family name was an important factor in rebranding.   Therefore, the birth of JHawk Photography!  Along with freshening up my name, I had to choose colors that suit my style.  I had to redo my business cards and every other piece of print material.  I am a huge DIY'er so I took on that task myself.  Sure, I could have hired someone to do it for a hefty penny and had almost immediate results but I love that I was able to do it myself, save that penny for something else, and I learned a lot along the way. 

And just so you don't get totally bored is a picture.  These are the new business cards I designed.  

Now for the Refocusing.  When I started out I just did whatever.  Anything & everything really doesn't go with photography ...or at least not in my book.  In my opinion a photographer should be good in the areas they specialize in.  Maybe not just good, but skilled.  You must also have a passion for those areas!  I love photographing weddings.  I get into it & can sometimes get lost in creating a story for the bride & groom.  I have tried my hand at newborns & it's just not for me.  I found my niche in 6mths & up.  I LOVE doing milestones and birthdays; coming up with themes can be so much fun.  Working with children led me to sports photography; it is so much fun!  Then there are the seniors.  I love to capture that special milestone bridge from adolescence to adulthood.  There is so much diversity in a teen; that desire to just be a kid, & yet they struggle to look more grown up.  I want to capture them just as they are, so they will always have a lasting memory of their leap into adulthood.  To sum it all up, the areas I have chosen are milestones ...I guess you could call me the "Milestone Photographer."  hmmmm  Maybe that will be a catch line somewhere down the road???  I also do engagements (I mean you can't be a wedding photographer without capturing the awesome couple as they begin their journey), and my absolute favorite is boudoir!!  If you are interested in learning more about this type of photography please visit my other website/blog

The most important thing I have learned in R & R is only I can make my business a success & that is exactly what my goal for 2012 is. Building up clientele, branching into boudoir, marketing with businesses, & putting myself out there. Even though I have been known as another name for the past 18mths, I think the new name & branding will be my driving force. 

I hope you will join in my journey & call upon me from time to time to capture YOUR milestones along your own journey!