A couple of weeks ago I shared “why” I decided to re-brand to Brooke Murphy Photography. The decision wasn’t an easy one to make although it made complete sense – it is me, it is my name, I can’t get more “Brooke” any other way. But getting started on turning “Brooke” into something visual… well, that made me excited and nauseous at the same time. I know that I was letting my worry already set in – before I had even started, before the world even knew! – but I tried my darndest to push those feelings away and focus on the “what could be.” That’s no easy task for me. Kristen made it easier.
I decided to move forward with my re-branding with the help of Kristen Elaine, a digital designer out of Birmingham. I chose her for several reason: 1) she came highly recommended, 2) I was familiar with other photographers she’s worked with in the past and 3) she knew how to work with the programs and templates I had already invested in. The fact that she ended up being totally sweet, extremely creative and threw positive responses in my face after I gave feedback that made my knees shake? That was the whip cream, sprinkles and cherry on top of our metaphorical re-branding ice cream sundae.
Kristen made the process smooth and, not surprisingly, that helped me calm down. I loved how we worked together, how ideas were passed back and forth, the words she used to communicate with me and the way she brought it all into existence. That’s why I want to share this with you – because even though there was a lot of work to be done (for both of us), she made it fun and easy. I’m Kristen’s biggest fan right now. :)
I imagine that most design work starts off like ours did – with a questionnaire and creating an inspiration board. I turned to the interwebs for inspiration and used Pinterest to create my “Inspire Me, Please” board. (Gotta love Pinterest, no?) And from there, Kristen narrowed it down to this:
I loved it! So much color, so much fun, not perfect… it felt right. From here, Kristen created different logos and identified colors that would help define the brand, create a visualization that can be recognized without my face. We quickly determined the logo, which funnily enough was an easy decision for me. (Funny because that’s not normal.) I took Kristen’s creations and laid them over my images as watermarks – immediately, I connected with one. It seemed to evoke a feeling I didn’t have with the others – my off-centered approach had worked.
But after a few rounds of revisions, a little worry filled my mind with the color selection. I love bright colors oh-so-much, but the idea of having so many vibrant colors made me step back and wonder if it was too much. I don’t consider myself to have a Type-A personality – did these bold color scream “in your face”? After reassurance from Kristen that the use of white space would be important to how we presented everything, how the colors would “pop” and enhance, not overpower, I felt better. One small tweak, one last revision, and all was done: she had found “it.”
It’s a weird feeling. Working with someone you have never met. Someone you have never spoken to. (Til today, I still have not had a phone conversation with Kristen.) We’ve only emailed. And she gets me. Kristen “gets” me. Even in a side conversation with Katie, who was also re-branding her photography business with Kristen, we talked about how we were surprised at how she does what she does. But then Katie made a comment, a comment that unsettled me, about how she saw so much of her new brand in her home, in the colors on her wall, her furniture – it had the same feeling. I am not an interior designer and my house does not really contain a lot of bold colors. But I remember another wise photographer mentioning how she loved her brand so much that she wore it, literally. And then that unsettling feeling disappeared. Actually, all feelings of concern, worry, unsettling, negatives were completely gone.
Because I saw this in my closet:
I thought that was pretty awesome. I hadn’t noticed it before. But now I saw it comprehensively. This was me.
I may have fallen deeply in love with Kristen after I had this epiphany.
While visual representation isn’t everything that encompasses a “brand,” it’s one of the pieces to the puzzle. There was a lot of work that went into the process beyond this, much of it was homework I gave myself so that when Kristen was done, I would be ready push the new brand live. And the homework hasn’t stopped; it’s just shifted from the visual aspect to personalization. But honestly, the learning should never end – if we become complacent with ourselves, then we become unconcerned what we share with the community. And I kind of want to be more awesome tomorrow than I am today. ;)