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 This, Laura 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.
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