Branding: What image are you portraying without any words?

January 27, 2022

Having gone through a successful rebrand recently ourselves, we thought it would be great to share our experience and thoughts with you.


What exactly is branding? 


“Branding is a way of identifying your business. It is how your customers recognize and experience your business. A strong brand is more than just a logo — it’s reflected in everything from your customer service style, staff uniforms, business cards and premises to your marketing materials and advertising” (Source: www.business.qld.gov.au)

These days with everything being on social media and the internet, the focus is very much on the importance of visual marketing (ie; images, videos, and other pieces of multimedia content) These can include images of you, your products/services, your team, office space—anything that makes your business unique. Branding is a “kit” that visually represents, and fits your business identity through specific use of color, packaging, fonts and more. 


When we first decided to rebrand, we had a very specific look, and feel in mind—Luxury and Professionalism. We had a general idea of colors, tones, and textures that we wanted, but were also open to ideas. We even did some legwork by visiting our favorite local boutiques and shops, and their respective websites. So when it finally came down to choosing our Branding Expert, it was easy for us to pick one based on our preferences. It was important for us to find someone who visually understood the direction we wanted to take our branding to. We decided to go with Ashley Ferreira (Ashley Ferreira Design (https://ashleyferreiradesign.com)— and boy did she deliver! 


Because we had changed our name from Christine Nicole Photography to Portrait Boutique by Christine Nicole, everything had to be recreated and ordered—color schemes, logos, website, email signatures, business cards, thank you cards, rack cards, packaging (designed by Christine!)—all the works! We even had our studio shutters painted to match our branding colors. Copywriting was done in-house by our Studio Manager, Mara, team headshots by Christine Nicole, and hair/makeup by Lily. Jennifer Gracin (Jennifer Gracin Photography https://www.jennifergracin.com/ ) who was coincidentally visiting from Illinois, took Christine’s stunning headshot— I mean really, how lucky are we to have talented friends in the industry? 


 When conceptualizing a “theme” for our team headshots, it was important for our images to A) be a cohesive representation of our brand as a whole  and B) represent our style of portrait photography. Our team headshots were actually one of the last tasks on our rebranding to-do list, as we wanted to make sure our images incorporated or had touches of elements included in our Branding Mood Board. 


And finally, the website. This was probably the biggest and most tedious task when it came to re-branding. Because we are in the Photography Industry, all images on our website had to be carefully chosen—right down to organizing each series of images. It really all came down to details, details, details. We went through several rounds of edits, resizing, and SEO optimizing every single image, with guidance from our Branding Expert, Ashley Ferreira. Everything you see on our website, from logo placement, font type, colors, and styles etc were all carefully chosen. We weren’t kidding when we said details! 


So what are our thoughts on our new branding?—We are OBSESSED! Our website reveal from Ashley came on a Friday, and we had to wait an entire weekend to see it just so our team could view the website together. The best way we can describe our website and branding is—this is SO us, and this is SO our clients! That is the moment we collectively took a sigh of relief, and some hugs and high-fives were exchanged. Our job was done.


What can branding photography do for you, and why is it important to hire a photographer who understands branding? 


Personal branding photography represents your business as a whole without saying a word. The branding images you take should fit your target demographic’s “visual identity” in a way that is familiar, comfortable, or inspiring to them. Brand association is what helps you stand out from the competition. Think about how and why you pick and choose the brands you buy from.


Lucky for you, we are experts in DETAILS! Each branding session we do comes with a style and concept consultation first. Outfits, accessories, hairstyles, and makeup are all meticulously planned and carefully chosen prior to your shoot, so that all you have to do is show up. The work does not stop there for us, we work with you through each outfit change, walk you through poses, and our assistants are trained to make sure that your hair and outfits are in place during your entire session. During each ordering session, we sit with our clients to pick their favorites (probably the hardest task for our clients as they end up loving many!), and take notes on specific changes and edits needed to be done when retouching. Our final goal is for you to see yourself the way your clients should see you! 


Is it time to take your branding to the next level? Contact us at hello@portraitboutique.com. We look forward to photographing you! 

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