I went to a really great marketing roundtable discussion sponsored by Women for WineSense about promoting brands. Dave Schuemann of CF Napa, a wine & beverage branding business, came with case studies and a powerful slide presentation on branding. First step: build your story in a two sentence statement. That got me to thinking, "What's my story and my brand statement".
Funnily enough, I had just spoken with a potential client about my services and as we were talking I said: "I'm here to channel your vision through my artistic eye." So maybe that's my story. I'm a medium who channels her clients with the help of my camera. I like working with clients and I really like it when I can interpret their needs with my camera using my knowledge of composition and light and shadow.
I know a few photographers who hate to work with clients and simply want to be left alone to create their own visions. I'm actually more comfortable with the limitations created by a clients' needs. Getting to know the client, the product, the audience, the marketplace are all interesting parameters to factor into the shoot. It can be a little scary at first, when a whole crew of people show up at your studio or on location and you have to make art together, but in the process of making art, you get to know a person and anticipate what he or she will like. And there's no greater feeling for me than when the client says "I love it".
I like the process of watching a shot develop from initial set-up to final version. Thanks to digital imagery and my laptop for client previews, the process is easy for my clients. I certainly don't miss the old days of polaroids and transparencies.
I especially love shoots where there are a lot of props and stylists to create a tableau. Once everything is set up, I'm free to roam the set and find the perfect angle, adjust the lighting, come in close or pull back. Time is always short when there is fresh food, so the sense of urgency keeps everyone focused and engaged in the process.
So here's my branding sentence:
"Using a camera, setting, lighting and composition to channel your visual needs through my artistic eye."