I had a great question come in today from a photographer that’s starting up a new business, and contemplating name choices. “What should I name my photography business?” As I was typing up the answer, I began thinking about how many of you may also be thinking of similar things, and thought I would post about it here as well.
The first question I would have to you is, “How do you want to grow?”
For some people, it’s all about the art. They have dreams of becoming a household name with their photography. Think Denis Reggie, Anne Geddes or Annie Leibovitz.
For some people, it’s all about the business. They have dreams of building a large studio in which they can hire multiple photographers, and offer a variety of services using multiple talented people.
Both are great business models. However, both should be named differently.
If it’s all about the art form, and you’re goal is to have your art recognized instantly, your name should be incorporated into your business name. Jane Smith Photography or Smith International would work well. The key is to build the business with you as its leader. You are the heart and soul of the business.
If it’s all about the business, your goal should be to have a recognizable name that talks about your specialty as opposed to the art form of one individual. Creative Weddings International or Children’s Portraits tell people what to expect as an outcome, and speak to the business side as opposed to an individual. (Yes, these names aren’t the most creative by any means, just using the names to show you how to think.)
Let me give you another idea.
When Andrew and I first started our photography studio a long time ago, we chose the name Eyes On Photography without thinking much about it. We used it for almost ten years before we decided to take our business international. So we added a tagline to our name – two little words.
With this one change, our business changed 180 degrees. When people called us they would ask where our other offices were in the world. They would ask how many people worked for us. They expected our fees to be high – wouldn’t you pay more for artists that worked anywhere in the world?