Branding and Marketing ideas for photographers | Wedding Welcome Packet

For the longest time, I have felt the need to share to encourage y’all with the journey it has taken us to get there we are today with our photography branding and marketing side of the business. This is not easy to share because it exposes a side I think we all don’t like to talk about… it shows our vulnerability and that we are not perfect and all started from humble beginnings. We are here to tell you, it is NOT an easy journey, but it’s worth the sweat and tears invested if cared for and maintained properly. I have next to my desk the quote by Neil Gaiman that reads “If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.” I once told one of the girls I mentored, ‘If in your business, you’re getting too comfortable, shake things up a bit! If you feel like you’re gonna throw-up because you’re too nervous to step out of the box, GREAT! Keep it up. Continually push yourself to excellence if that’s where your heart is. God is the author of creativity, and what better way to point people to His love by using your art!’ Let me say that this is NOT a post to tell you how we have ARRIVED, and are doing all things perfect now. We are FAR from that… No business is perfect, and we all can better ourselves in one way or another.

In 2010, Green Tree Photography was born. Sometimes, I laugh at where we came from when it comes to our brand and marketing materials, our wedding packet, business cards, design… and am humbled by where God has brought us. We smile at our VERY first blog post, and reminiscence on the all-too-difficult and rewarding journey. The things we never knew were even a priority in a photography business. Marketing? Branding? Packaging? I have always been one to try and make things classy, and give it the VERY BEST when doing something. It’s a principle my parents taught me, and has stuck with me to this day. Give people your best, be NICE, have a servants heart, be giving, and most of the time you get the greater blessing. Be treated the way you would want to be treated.

Below is my humble journey from 2010-present. Our VERY FIRST business card was a picture taken in our back yard of some weeds; printed from Vista Print. I actually paid a little more a didn’t get the free cards with Vista Print’s logo. Pretty fancy huh? We then got a college student to design a business card, and the color chosen? Grey. Not sure why I chose grey, but there it is in all it’s glory. I knew Green Tree seemed “green,” so why not “go green?” The texture in the paper printed out, given to clients was a cream linen. The business card stepped up to a linen backdrop from a picture I had taken, and I added burlap and lace to folders I found at Staples. Glossy folders at that… Envelopes were also from Staples with a bamboo print. The Wedding Package pamphlet was designed by another company, that of course I didn’t research, and got them to design… never ending up with a product I truly was happy with. It never seemed to flow right, I was never happy with what I wanted to give to my clients who were choosing to invest with Green Tree Photography.

 

We researched online, read books, listened to audio marketing advice any chance I could, studied for HOURS upon HOURS, and prayed how to better the business… Branding and Marketing all started coming together. Three very influential women that boosted my confidence with GREAT advice was Leila Lewis of Inspired by ThisLaura Casey of Southern Weddings, and Summer Watkins Ball of Grey Likes Weddings. Their blogs are filled to the brim with information to better your business in a classy way.

When you think about branding of companies, some favorites that come to mind is Kate Spade and Anthropologie. Let’s talk Kate Spade for a moment… Everything you see of hers you can see it and know it’s her brand. The color, logo, font, structure of the bags, quality, and MORE. Learning this was a complete light-bulb moment for me. My degree was in Speech Pathology, so this talk was completely foreign to me! I subconsciously knew it existed, but putting it into practice with MY business? How in the world!? After having a one-on-one phone consultation with Leila Lewis of Inspired by This, everything started making  a little more sense.  And from there, we tweaked our colors, packaging, logo, contracts, materials given, products offered, and collections. After blogging about our Photography Studio Packaging, it was picked-up by one of the most recognized Photography Magazines in the industry, Chic Critique! Check out more on the feature below. What an honor to be recognized for our branding and mentoring program! Completely humbling journey…

2010-2014 business cards…

Above is the Wedding Packet that we currently give to our wedding clients who choose to book with us for their wedding day. It includes, Welcome Page, Notes Page, Wedding Details we ask the couple so we can put-together a timeline based on their particular needs, a list of the Wedding Professionals (Wedding Vendor List) they use so we can keep in contact with them, and provide imagery for their businesses to use, a business card, and an envelope to send us the items in the Wedding Packet once they fill it out. When clients come to the wedding consultation with us, we have Wedding Collections that we go through, secured in a tri-fold from Loktah with different albums offered, etc.

Moral of the story in this blog post? I love wildflowers. They are in ever picture shown… don’t judge.

This is the Wedding Packet given to our precious wedding clients when they choose to use Green Tree Photography. We chose white and lace because we want our brand to “flow” well. We RARELY use Krafty products because we feel the clients that choose to book with us aren’t looking for Kraft, they are looking for a finer ART product, great textures, and something that is elite in the industry. We still use linen paper when we print materials, only white so everything flows together nicely.

chic critique feature

In honor of the individuals who have taken the time to encourage and help us along the way, we want to pay-it-forward and offer a FREE one-hour branding and marketing consultation to someone in-need. To enter:

1. Leave a comment below with any challenges you may have faced, people who have inspired you, what you may be facing currently

2. Share a link to your website in comment below (if applicable).

3.Please also share on instagram and tag @jan_greentreephoto with hashtag #greentreegiveaway for a chance to win the FREE consultation.

Look forward to hearing your stories, and meeting the winner! Will be announced Monday, 10/20/2014. xo

What a journey this has been… How ever grateful we are to the people who took the time to invest in our lives to grow us into the people and business we dreamed to be! Give us a chance to GIVE BACK!!! Don’t forget to share your info with us, and enter our drawing for a FREE consultation!!! xo

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Alexis LaForge - October 8, 2014 - 1:09 am

This would be awesome. My husband and I started our photography business during the last recession. I have learned everything I know by googling and researching and writing everything down. I have shared my info with a few of my friends who were starting their own businesses in baking or doulas.
My challenges are: branding. I am not sure if I even want to keep our current logo/brand. I would like to offer a packet but do not even know where to start, where to buy and what I should include. Honestly branding scares me and I have been overwhelmed with it. Marketing I have relied on referrals and SEO (been trying to blog to help as well). Beyond doing a groupon and a failed vendor booth I am at a loss. I really want to brand and make our end product something to be proud of.
People that inspire me Stacey Reeves, I read from Rock the shot and P31 group.
Website http://www.laforgephotography.com
Thank you for paying it forward :)

Laura Hagood - October 7, 2014 - 12:55 pm

What a fantastic gift!! This is so beautiful and amazing and if I were to win, I would definitely find a way to pay it forward. With my 3 little ones I barely have time to work on my brand so this would be such a huge blessing!!

Amber Lynne Richards - October 7, 2014 - 12:07 pm

What a sweet gift to offer fellow photographers!! Your marketing products are beautiful!

Challenges: Having been in the business for just shy of two years, I’m at the point where I think my branding and marketing efforts need to become bigger parts of my professional and business goals. I truly think I could help take my business to the next level by designing/redesigning things like my website and creating tools such as a “What to Expect from your Session” and “Pricing & What to Wear” Guides, and other products that could really use a branding and marketing consultation from folks that have already been through the process and can share what has worked for them! Help in deciding how my products should look and feel to best represent what I have to offer would be amazing! I think I can sometimes want my products to be perfect and I get so overwhelmed that that prevents me from doing them at all! And that needs to change! :)

Folks that inspire me: Emily Jeffords, Jenny from Little Green Notebook, John & Sherry from Young House Love.
Website: amberlrichardsphotography@smugmug.com

Thank you! Amber :)

Stephanie Rogers - October 7, 2014 - 2:45 am

This is so amazing! My husband and I are rebranding and I am changing everything about my business. I have a friend who is designing our logo and branding stuff but would love all the help we can get in this process! Thank you for offering up this!

Tara Stallings - October 6, 2014 - 9:56 pm

How amazingly generous!

I’ve been working on my photography with a ‘slow and steady’ attitude, without ever putting much effort or care into marketing. Our youngest isn’t in school yet and I’ve tried to focus on having her at home with me. And next year, she’ll be in kindergarten which will leave me an amazing amount of time to spend on this art I love! Personally, life situations are uncertain right now too, so having the marketing in place to bring in a sustainable income is of utmost importance and something I need to figure out quickly.

I would love to be able to focus most of my time on shooting weddings, with some families too :). I so appreciate the consideration! http://www.tarastallingsphotography.com

Lucy Thompson - October 6, 2014 - 7:34 pm

Oh my goodness, Jan! I SO need this! I’m trying to get my brand to where I want it to be, I have so many ideas but can’t put it into motion. I need HELP!!! I just moved and I’m trying to set myself apart and be noticed. I crave a more organic and natural feel to my brand and the style I want to portray, I just don’t know how to do that. And now with this wild move, I don’t even know where to purchase business cards and such anymore. I would LOVE to have a meeting with you about branding, whether or not I win your incredibly gracious gift. Please let me know. :)

People that inspire me… So many! You, Lauren Keeton, Carla Lawrence, Dewdrops Photography, Organic Bebe Photography, just so many!

Alabama Vineyard Wedding | Client spotlight

Allow us this morning to brag on these clients a moment… From the start, they were incredibly kind and trusting. When we say kind, we mean the people who every time you think of makes you smile really big with love in your hearts because they have been uplifting, caring, understanding, thoughtful, and everything in-between. When it came to our guidance and professionalism Griffin and Jessica trusted us each step of way. In return, it allowed us creative freedom, and through Skype consultations (they were living in North Carolina at the time) to see what they envisioned for their wedding and imagery, was the start of something all too wonderful! They researched Huntsville Alabama wedding photographer’s that fit with the style they had in-mind for their wedding imagery, and loved our soft, elegant, timeless photography.

The engagement session took place here in Huntsville Alabama, and was all too wonderful with a glorious, southern-vibe at one of our own local Alabama vineyards here in North Alabama! Jessica’s creative ideas and inspiration landed this lovely engagement session on one of the top wedding blogs!

Their wedding-day was nothing short of magical. Jessica and Griffin knew exactly what they wanted to make the day as lovely as possible. We talked before and had them fill-out a sheet that told us who they wanted in the pictures, what style they were going for to make the day special, vendors involved, the important aspects of the day they want us to focus on, and more! You can see the careful precision they invested in their day by checking out their GORGEOUS Alabama, southern mansion plantation wedding at Creekside at Colliers End here. With every aspect of the wedding day perfectly planned out, the day couldn’t have been more seamless. The Knot actually thought so much of the wedding, they decided to feature it as well! You can see their feature below =)

Just to give you an idea as to why our heart swell with love for these people… here are a couple emails that when I’m having a rough day, will go back to read… “You completely captured all of the joy and happiness of the day and I do not know how I could ever thank you, enough!! You have been such a blessing to us!!” and”We adore our wedding pictures and would absolutely love to have you shoot some more memories for us.”

No Griffin and Jessica, are adore YOU!!! xoxo

p.s. This below is a collage of the Wall Art going up very soon in their home, above their couch!! Some of their wedding and 1-year anniversary session!

-C&J

Griffin & Jessica WALL ART wall

The Knot_Griffin and Jessica

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Free People inspired bohemian senior session | Huntsville AL. Senior Photographer

Where to start with this precious soul… I met Lizzy about 2 years ago while attending church in Madison, Alabama. Her strong faith in the Lord and honest spirit is what attracted me to her; and made me want to learn more about this sweet jewel. The love of God radiates through her soul, and is quote visible in her senior portraits! Wouldn’t you agree!? The more we get to know this family, the more we love them to pieces. I mean, look at them. They’re adorable.

This young lady has recently received homecoming queen, voted most friendly (not surprising), and we can’t be more proud of her accomplishments! Lizzy, may you continue to follow God’s ways in all you do. You have been, and are a blessing to me in many, many ways.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Makeup by: Sylvia Smith with Pro Makeup Artist Studios

Hair: Christina Waldron with The Transformation

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Jamie Clauss - October 1, 2014 - 6:04 pm

Oh my goodness, Jan. What a beautiful and creative session! Seriously, so creative. :)

Huntsville, AL Engagement Photographer | The Westin engagement shoot

Where to begin with this dear couple… We have absolutely loved working with Matt and Sarah from our first meeting. We hit it off so well, we ended up talking for over 3 hours and bonding with our excitement and interests. Their kind and easy personalities made for the perfect fit! From day-one they trusted us with our ideas and talent making an all too perfect engagement session.

It all began one evening meeting for dessert here in Huntsville, Alabama at Grill 29 in August 2012. A little over a year later Matt was proposing to what blossomed into the love of his life! Matt and Sarah’s love for one another is absolutely breath-taking. Matt simply adores Sarah with every ounce of his soul. The way the two of them light-up when they’r together is palatable to all. He showers her with affection and love she deserves. Their adoration for one another made for a charming engagement session. Don’t you think?

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Anthro inspired senior portraits | Huntsville AL. Photographer

It’s that time of year when our seniors are flooding-in to shoot their portrait sessions here in Huntsville, Alabama! This particular Huntsville, Alabama senior simply shot for an Anthro-inspired senior portrait session. She nailed it. The clients that come through our doors these days, we keep to a minimum. Our heart is to give the best CARE and ATTENTION we think you deserve. We invest time into our seniors to give them the best boutique photography experience, and to give unique, high-quality, fine-art products that will stand the test of time. Photography is not only lovely imagery to share digitally, but our mission is for you to enjoy fine ART in your home. Something you can be proud of. Every image captured is thought-out, and carefully curated for a purpose. Choosing the right photographer for you is vital for a lovely experience you can’t get back for one of the most important times in your life. Oh, How we cherish our clients. xo

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