Oh hello, I’m back. I’ve been gone for a bit for reasons, and I promise to tell you about all of them as soon as I can, but in the meantime, remember how I mentioned that there were things going on in the background for me? This little enormous project – a full visual rebrand (designed by friend and amazing creative Jennifer Olmstead), an updated website with amazing new content, and a fresh new focus for Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co. – is one of the things, and I’m SOOOOOOO excited to share this sneak peek with you, even if it is only a tiny preview. This is not my final logo, but when this came through on my logo comps from Jen yesterday, SO. MUCH. fell into place for me. I have been smiling and giddy and absolutely over the moon with the dreaming.
I held out on hiring a designer for years because I was being generally stubborn about wanting things *my* way and paying somebody money to do what I could already do myself.
I, quite honestly, stumbled into my business, and for a long time, I wasn’t sure if I was going to take it the design route or the photography route. I didn’t know if I wanted to shoot commercially, or if I wanted to shoot everything and the kitchen sink or just weddings or the fine art that just wakes me up in the morning. I wanted to do everything.
As a new business owner, it’s hard to know where to begin when you are marketing yourself and your services – you have this idea of who you are, but there is a huge gap sometimes between your experience and your dream. I needed time to putter, and time to decide where I was going, and time to learn my limitations and my workflow. As the business strengthened and my work grew to the level I’d wanted it at the beginning, we realized that we needed to invest in a designer to make the front end of Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co. as strong as the back end. I don’t know about you (many of whom have suffered patiently through my metamorphosis and loved me anyway!), but I can’t WAIT to see the end result.
I wish I had done it sooner. I wish I had been able to let go of my need to control every aspect of my brand, because there are some things I’m just not as good at as other people, ability be hanged. I wish I had invested much sooner in someone who could take the “feel” of me and my work and make sense out of it all in a coherent design.
I do think my constant redesigns have damaged my brand. I have owned that, because I knew I was growing, and it was MY brand and MY choice. But I stopped marketing outside of my blog and some publications this year because I wasn’t ready to be a full blown business to the whole world yet. I knew there was more to me than I had presented before, and I needed to learn what it was before I really pushed my name out there.
But now I’m ready to stick with something. For a good, long time. And that, I think, is what excites me the most about this process, because the value I’m placing on myself, my work, and the design surrounding my work is very, very high. I want the design to be something that will last because I want my work to be something that will last.
My photography isn’t just something that anybody with a nice camera can do. It is passion and personal and memories and so thoroughly its own thing that I love to give to my clients. It’s something of a forever thing, pulling eternity out of the moments, and I’m officially all in. I’ve been off the fence for a while. I hope you’ll bear with me while I prove it.
If you’re a photographer plugging away with your visual branding on your own, I absolutely recommend hiring yourself a real designer, someone who knows a LOT about branding, someone who can differentiate their design for a variety of clients.
This process has given me the chance to react to my visuals the same way I react behind the camera – instead of putting all my mind into “getting it right,” I’ve been able to respond emotionally and uncover exactly what feels right to me. After three years of struggle to make it WORK on my own, that feeling is worth every penny I’m paying, and then some.