Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been practicing photography professionally? What was your road like to becoming a photographer?
Hi friends! My name is Alicia from Alicia Lucia Photography. I am approaching my fifth wedding season as a photographer and while my path to becoming a photographer wasn’t always an easy one, I knew in my heart that I was always meant to do exactly this!
When I first started out, I was constantly photographing my then toddler. Soon, friends and family were asking if I could photograph them and their families. A year later in 2013, I decided to extern with a local wedding photography studio in town. I learned so much from their team and will always be so grateful for the experience but a short year later, I was booking up weddings on my own pretty quickly and not as available as they’d like me to be so I decided it was time to do this on my own.
When and how did you develop your branding? When did you begin incorporating that into your business?
I started developing my branding early on. Coming from a long line of entrepreneur family members, I knew how important branding recognition was. While the look of our brand has changed drastically since 2012, the integrity behind the colors, logo, and representation has remained the same.
It wasn’t till early 2016 that I knew my business was booking 9 out of 10 of our target clients and that it was time to rebrand and restructure our look and experience to them directly. It was then that I invested in a professional branding strategist and designer, Magnolia Creative Design Studio to kick it up a notch. The experience of working with her was so entirely personal and she really prompted me to dig deep! After much soul searching for myself and my business, she came up with a look for my website and logo that completely encompasses what my business represents.
How important is your branding to you, your business, and your clients? What do you think or hope it represents?
I have always held branding at a high regard since early on in starting the business. It is SO important to have a solid look for your brand. I implemented the colors black and gold to one of our early logos back in early 2013 and since then we have constantly had clients, friends, family, and vendors who will share and tag us in something with those colors, or clients who gift us with black and gold décor.
Our goal was always to have our brand be remembered but constantly refined through the years.
What is your favorite thing about your branding? Why?
My favorite thing about our most recent branding is that it represents how hard we worked to get here, while still keeping our roots the same. We still print hard copies of our couples wedding photos, but instead of delivering them in an envelope we tie them up in silk ribbon by Honey Silks & Co. put them in a beautiful gold lined glass box by La Rousse, and top it with a gold glass USB by Design Aglow. It’s investing in an experience that our clients will love and appreciate for years to come while still being true to your look and brand.
Tell us what you think the 3 most important things are to remember about branding your business.
Start with what you have at this very moment. The first wedding I ever shot, I delivered the images on a CD and tossed it in an envelope, slapped a label on it and called it a day. It doesn’t discredit my efforts or the sincere appreciation I had for those very brave clients of mine. I still included a heartfelt thank you card and I worked with the budget I had at the time (which was none). From there you and your business will grow, and I believe your branding and the experience you deliver to your clients should 100% represent that.
While we know Photography is mainly a digital and visual industry, nothing beats the beauty in printed products. Don’t forget the importance of exploring all the other senses when it comes to branding your photography business. When we meet with potential clients at the studio or if we have a booth at wedding show, we make sure to have a plethora of albums in a variety of different material , we light our favorite candle (Anthropologie Volcano candle for the win, extra points if we find it in gold to match our branding), and play your favorite tunes. It is all subtle but it gives them a sense for who you are, your branding and for the painfully awkward like myself, it helps lighten up the vibe.
Don’t be afraid to change it up. My most recent brand update in early 2016 came not even a year after updating it with a local designer. I was hesitant at the time since it wasn’t even a full calendar year of really taking advantage of that but I knew in my heart it wasn’t quite the high end look or experience we needed to book our dream bride. We were financially in a place that allowed us to invest in a full-on re-brand whereas before we could only afford a logo or rack card design. This time, Sofia with Magnolia Design was able to update everything and keep it all cohesive from website, to logo, to product design. Everything flows, and my type a heart couldn’t be happier.
If someone was thinking about refreshing their brand, what advice would you give them?
When it comes to refreshing your brand. I would really do as much research as possible when it comes to possible designer options. Read their business reviews, ask them for past client referrals and reach out to them and ask for an honest opinion on their experience with their branding design. There are so many options when it comes to branding and graphic designers and if you are wanting to do a full on rebrand, website included, it’s best to save and research for the best out there!
How do you think your business has benefited from incorporating your branding?
For me not only did my business grow tenfold in 2016, but Type-A heart just felt better to have a website and brand that complimented my personality, that was cohesive from the minute they opened up alicialucia.com to the price sheet they get when they inquire via email, the tote bags they receive with the custom magazine at our consultation, and the thank you cards that are delivered along with their USB and wedding photos. I love giving a full on true experience to our clients!
Alicia Padilla is the lead photographer and owner of Alicia Lucia Photography. She is a moment-driven wedding and lifestyle photographer based in the southwest. Her work can be best described as emotion filled and whimsical inspired.