Kimmie’s new site is the perfect demonstration of how brands evolve. Running a small business requires constant change and education. Not only are we constantly learning more about business basics like time management, handling money and finding new clients, we’re also learning more about ourselves–our strengths, our weaknesses and what makes us unique.
I met Kimmie a couple years ago at a workshop retreat. She was new to photography and still in college. Her soon-to-be husband was just a boyfriend and she was about to start an internship with another one of my amazing design clients – Nikki Santerre.
When I asked her to describe her target bride, this is what she told me:
She would love all things classical & traditional while adding a bit of trendiness into her life by shopping at Anthropologie. She would be obsessed with all things rustic: barns, antiques, beautiful architecture, and mason jars. My bride would love the small details and would love to add props into her day. She would also want to have beautiful florals & details with vintage characteristics.
This is the mood board I put together for her and at the time:
And this is the brand we came up with last year:
And at the time, the site worked really well for Kimmie. But this girl, and her work, have grown leaps and bounds in the past year. So a few months ago she emailed me about making a few changes.
My vision for my brand has changed drastically over the past year! When I started working on my rebrand with Krista, I felt like a sponge, soaking up everything around me. This was good & bad, because I was willing to learn and willing to start fresh with new elements. However, I quickly realized that I was creating and working to build a brand that had been created before. Everyone has to start somewhere, though! I didn’t know who “I” was or who “I” wanted to be in the industry. So, my brand, while beautifully designed & crafted by Krista, was not truly authentic to who I was or what I wanted to reflect!
The vision for my brand last year was created based on this idea that I had to be 100% unique and have something look & feel different than any other photographer. So, I chose colors, images & textures that were simply unique, as opposed to creating something that maybe wasn’t as unique but more true to who I was and what I loved. I struggled for MONTHS in choosing cohesive & consistent images that reflected me, because I kept telling myself that I wasn’t “allowed” to be like everybody else, somebody had “already done that.”
I went from having a very organic, natural, & eclectic brand, to molding into a more classic & traditional feel. I finally realized that it was OK to like the same things that other friends in the industry liked. As long as I wasn’t copying their ideas because it had worked for them, and I made it unique to me, then we could make this work! This vision came from digging within myself to find something that was more aesthetically appealing to me. It is more authentically me. It involves everything from colors I like to the types of clients that I want to reach! My business has come from a place of it being all about what I “thought” I needed to create, to a place where I am creating something that I love, something that inspires me and helps me to serve my clients & invest in them wholeheartedly. This new vision helps me to help my clients in an entirely different manner.
This was the Pinterest board she sent me for the brand refresh:
We went through the site and updated images, removed background images, softened colors and changed a few fonts. The basic structure of the site stayed the same and we kept her logo (because it still worked really well with the new look).
Kimmie’s work is beautiful and she has such an incredible heart. She also shares amazing tips for other photographers and I really love her posts about Things She would Do Differently if she started her business today, How to Stay Focused & Be Productive and all the posts about her cute little farm house.
And to close, from Kimmie:
I can more freely express to my clients that I genuinely care about their wedding, that I think that their wedding is the most important one that I am working, because I’m not bound by something I think I can’t do. The vision I want to continue to craft and create is now all about my clients. I want to know them, be involved in the process of creating their dream wedding, and help them to enjoy this beautiful process of planning a wedding! Last year, I didn’t know how to be involved in my clients’ weddings, and I didn’t know how much I wanted to get to know them before their wedding. My vision is to create a brand that reflects how much time I plan to invest into both them & their wedding, a day that happens only once and matters well beyond that one day itself.