Branding is one of the most important investments you can make in your business – and it can also be a major downfall to a photographer’s success. As a prelude to the free branding workbook I’m releasing in just a few weeks, please enjoy this week’s installment in a series of insightful Q&A’s I conducted with some of the areas most well-known and well-branded photographers. Be sure to catch their interviews – complete with photos that exemplify their brands – in the full branding workbook! Check back on the blog or follow Camille Catherine Photography on Facebook to plugged in on updates and newly published Q&A’s.
This week’s interview is with Katelyn James and I could not be more excited to feature her on the blog! I first heard Katelyn speak at the Torpedo Factory and was blown away by her authenticity, charisma and love for God. I so admire her business and branding acumen as well as the way she seems to genuinely care for people and her couples. Katelyn was gracious enough to lend me a bit of her time and answer some questions about branding!
1) Tell us what Katelyn James Photography is all about. What makes you you and different from your competitors?
KJP is about people first, pictures second. It’s almost impossible to photograph a wedding and capture genuine emotion when you don’t know your couples personally! Michael and I love creating a community within our brand and that enhances the overall experience for our couples!! It’s also what makes us different! If I am constantly marketing ME, that means that no one else can ever compete with me! Brides that fall in love with our brand fall in love with more than just images, they fall in love with us!! And that’s valuable!
2) If you only had room on your website for four words or one sentence to define Katelyn James Photography what would you write?
I would write ” Katelyn James Photography exists to create joyful, genuine and timeless images while also positively impacting marriages and relationships!”
3) What things have inspired your brand and where do you seek inspiration?
We JUST rebranded and the whole new look was inspired by our home! More specifically, our foyer!!
4) If your photography brand was a bride what would she be like? (i.e. what would she wear, drink, do, plan for her wedding?)
If my brand was a bride, she would be bubbly, joyful, classy, vibrant and genuine! She would wear a fun dress that’s timeless but still flowy and fun to photograph! She would have some beautiful clean colors in her weddings and would probably have a hint of teal and a piece
of statement jewelry!
5) How have you gone about formulating your brand into what it is today? What were some pivotal moments or key learnings for you in discovering who your brand was/is?
I needed TIME to figure out my brand. It was a constant evolution of becoming more and more high end and sophisticated without losing the “Katelyn” feel! For example, when we reached a certain price point, we changed my logo from black to grey to create a classier look! 🙂
6) After starting your business how long did it take you to get your brand to a place where you felt it was a true reflection of you and your work? Have their been several iterations of your brand since you first started?
Again, I think this is an on going process. I have definitely transitioned into new seasons with my brand but my work as transitioning too! I think I learned very quickly that there were some elements that I would ALWAYS have and the rest faded out with time!
7) What were some of the greatest challenges you faced in identifying and creating your brand?
Not creating something that was just “pretty” or “trendy”!
8) What’s the most important advice you could give someone starting the process of identifying and creating their brand? What resources, experiences or money spent was most fruitful for you?
Working with Jen Olmstead from Tonic Site Shop was a game changer. I just adore Jen and she literally transformed my brand in the most amazing way. WORK with a designer if you have a strong sense of your brand and you can invest. I’m so thankful that we took that step!!