I had a special party last month. You can call it the small scale version of what I hope to be doing one day ... large scale.
There's something about branding that I simply love. I'll be chatting with a photographer and suddenly I start piecing together the identity of their brand from our conversation. There's always quirks and characteristics of a person's life that define them. But I think it's SO difficult for us to do that with ourselves. To step back and articulate what our style is. Right?
You have ideas, sure, but to start omitting the junk and refine your message ... well, that takes..
A BRANDING PARTY.
So there we were. An intimate group of working professionals: photographers, event coordinators, jewelry makers, and engineers. I asked each photographer to bring their favorite THREE photos. Photos that they would confidently say "these images represent my style of photography."
I created stations for each photographers to set their photos up. Then I handed each one an index card to privately write THREE WORDS that they would use to describe/define their style.
Fold it up. Tuck it away.
Now everyone would receive a set of index cards (photogs and non photogs), and go around the room and privately write 3 words on a single index card, per photographer, that they personally thought of when they saw this photographer's work. Keep in mind they have not seen what the photographer wrote for him/herself.
When everyone finished, each photographer took their set of index cards and one by one, we each read aloud and revealed what words we ended up with.
I'll share some of mine: romantic, comfortable, classic, captivating, flowy, sensual, honest, emotional. The funny thing is when I read "sensual" aloud, others spoke up and said "yeah! that's a good one!" I also had romantic three different times!
Featured Photographers: Jillian Hogan Photography, Dream Photography Studio, This is Life Photography, and Imaginale Design
I absolutely love, love, loved the discussion we all had about our words, why those were chosen, and our honest thoughts about how they portrayed our work. The word "sensual" lingered in my head and now I've turned it to --> intimate. My style is feminine, intimate, and playful.
Can I just ask, why is it that the only 2 males at the party had THE B.E.S.T. INSIGHT?!
After the discussion, I gave everyone a handout with action steps on what to do now that they had specific words to apply to their photography. One of them involves coming up with your target market. As in, WRITE IT DOWN IN A SENTENCE. I remember I first heard about this through Promise's presentation on the PASS Tour and it has stuck with me.
There's so many times that I want to write on my blog for everyone. Does that ever happen to you? There's so much freedom in understanding and accepting who you are, what your style is, and knowing that people will both embrace it and reject it. Yes... reject it. And that's okay. Because honestly, your talents will never shine if they don't represent you. Love you because you are the only difference between everyone else.
SO! Would you throw a branding party in your city?! Do it! I would be insanely excited to hear about it :) If you need help planning, just contact me! alejandra(at)imaginaledesign.com