Having trouble naming your photography business? Let us help!

So maybe you’re just starting out, or have been in business for 10 years and want to make a change. Either way, naming your photography business is clearly one of the most important parts of establishing yourself in your local photography market and creating your brand. There are really two options when it comes to naming your business. You can come up with a catchy phrase, or you can name your photography business after yourself.

naming your photography business
How do you decide on a business name (if it’s not YOUR name)? A few quick tips!

  1. Make sure it is unique and something your clients can easily remember.
  2. Avoid any unusual spellings, and an extreme play on words (that only YOU understand).
  3. Try to make sure it’s easy to pronounce.
  4. Make sure it’s classic and that you won’t change your mind down the road.
  5. Simplicity is KEY, avoid techincal words that your clients don’t know!
  6. Make it relevant to the type of photography you are specializing in! Meaning, don’t limit yourself with your business name.
  7. BE YOU! Find a name that calls to you and represents your art.

A catchy phrase.

If you choose to name your business something catchy, we want to keep a few rules in mind.

Keep it simple!

Naming your photography business doesn’t have to take months of racking your brain and paying thousands for experts to tell you what works best for you!

More than anything, if you’re using a name other than your own, like a catchy phrase, you want to keep it simple. That means both keeping it short and sweet.  Keeping it simple and clear makes it easier for people to remember! You don’t want someone to get your business name confused, and then tell everyone! When someone is raving about your business to all of their friends, we want to make sure that they SAY IT RIGHT.  Getting the name confused is going to make it really difficult for that potential new client to find and contact you for a session or wedding.  If you go this route, make sure to have business cards handy to give your clients so they are more likely to remember the exact name of your business.

For example, “Apeture Priority Photo Studios” proooobably isn’t something people are going to remeber easily!

Make it memorable!

We all know that catchy and funny phrases tend to stick in our long-term memory verses boring and confusing.  Making it funny is ALWAYS a great way to give people a giggle AND send that name right into their memory bank for future reference.

Classic is key!

Choose a name that will stand the test of time.  Try not to go with anything too trendy because five years from now, you may notice that trend has passed and people associate your business name with something out of date.  Ask yourself a few questions. Would this appeal to ALL types of clients? You could end up moving or getting higher end clients in the future! You’d hate to have to rebrand if something changes. If you only photograph a certain niche, don’t be afraid to name your business after that specialty. And if you DO decide to expand your photography, you can always start an entirely NEW business with a new name.

Set yourself apart from the crowd.

Naming your photography business really needs to set you apart from the crowd.  Think of five words that describe YOU and your photography and see where that takes you.  What type of client do you plan to serve? Would THAT client like or resonate with your name and brand. That’s really what will set you apart. Remember, this isn’t ALL about you, you also need to appeal to your ideal client.

name your photography business

Naming your business after yourself.

As you’ve probably noticed, many photographers name their businesses after themselves.  Some did it because they saw the trend, and others did it for very specific marketing reasons. There IS a reason that this is the more popular choice. It’s because YOU are your business. Let’s break down this option of naming your photography business, more in-depth.

You are the face of your business.

There is no separation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out at the park with my kids, or at a party and introduce myself to have someone say, “Oh, yea, you’re the photographer I’ve seen online!”  When you are the name of your business, people don’t have to remember two different names. This also lets them get to know YOU, both as a business owner and as an individual. We WANT people to know what we do, and this is a pretty great way to achieve that! Naming your photography business after yourself adds the benefit of being open to all different genres of photography and will follow you wherever you go (which I suppose can be a good and bad thing…so keep it professional)!

It helps your friends spread the word!

The thing is, your friends KNOW who you are and know your name. Duh! It makes it FAR easier for them to casually mention you in conversation. Like, “oh, hey, my friend Jenn Adams is a photographer! I’ll connect you on FB!” There is direct link and it’s just easier for people to refer you!

What if your name is confusing?

This is a tough one. I know first hand that names can be confusing. My last name is Acs (it’s Hungarian…and hearing people pronounce it at restaurants in the US is probably one of my favorite things to hear).  I could have gone with Kelly Ann Photography, or something that takes the guessing game to a minimum.  So what if your name is seven syllables or just overall confusing?

  • Maybe think of alternatives, like using your middle name or potentially shorting it to avoid confusion. A confusing last name can potentially cause people to miswrite it when searching for you online…and we don’t want that!
  • If your name could be slightly confusing, make sure to address it on your website. In you’re “about me” section, help people out by showing what your name rhymes with, or the phonetic way to say it! This could potentially help transition into an explanation of your cultural background or where your name originates.
  • Get ready to hear people mispronounce it!

naming your photography business

What about a photography logo?

When it comes to creating a logo for your business, you can make one yourself, or hire a graphic artist to make one for you. Websites like Fiverr, UpWork, and 99Design can put you in touch with the talent for hire at reasonable prices. However, if you want to create your own logo, the following suggestions can help you get started.

For more on photography logos, check out this in-depth article. 

How do you put your name on your photos, known as a “watermark?”

So what exactly is a watermark? In photography, it’s usually a transparent image that is embedded in a photo that is clearly seen but doesn’t obscure the main picture, like the bottom right or left of the photo. Think of it as the artist’s signature on a painting. To help understand watermarks, it may be helpful to know what watermarks were originally designed for.

Originally created to be used as an anti-counterfeiting measure in paper currency and legal documents, a watermark is an image or pattern in the paper itself that appears when viewed under certain light. It was generally made using embossing variations on the paper. They were added to the paper stock before the paper was dried. Since the paper was still wet, watermark became the term. Interesting, right?!

For photography logos, a watermark can be placed somewhere in the photograph to protect your image. So, any time that picture is downloaded, viewed onscreen, or printed, the watermark is part of the image. It’s particularly useful with proofs or on digital samples you provide via an online gallery system, like Pixieset and Shootproof.  It’s great when you want your clients to share on social media. A watermark should help ensure that no one uses your art without you being compensated (at least that’s the hope anyway)!

A few things to keep in mind!

When naming your photography business we want to make sure we are avoiding any potential legal issues.  You need to do a search and make sure that no one is currently using your intended name.  If you plan on registering your business in your state, you can do a search of current business names.  Just Google, “YOUR STATE Secretary of State Business Search.” This should come up with an official state page where you can type in your intended name and see if it’s currently in use.

For tips on how to make your new business official and legal, read here!

Another great resource is, What I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Photography Business! It will help you get the real picture of running your own photography business and help you avoid some common mistakes!

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