Welcome to Branding Week 2017! We've got a great week planned filled with features on some of the most talented photographers in the industry, as well as tips on how to boost your branding. To help us kick off the week, here's Makayla Madden:
I have been shooting for seven years, but shooting professionally for a little less than a year and a half. I have always loved cameras of any kind since I was a baby, but when I was 12 finally picked up a little handheld digital camera and was hooked on taking pictures of flowers and nature.
In high school, I joined our yearbook staff and took a digital photography class that just showed me I clearly had an eye and love for it. After graduating high school, I prayed a lot about when would be the time for me to quit my "safe" job and do this full time, and in September of 2015 it all kind of just fell into place. I took a leap of faith and suddenly started booking clients left and right.
It's been a long journey, hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars invested in learning this trade and finding my niche, but it has all paid off and I love knowing things can only get better and better as my business grows.
After going to a workshop in October of last year, I really started developing my branding. Up until that point I had already read a little bit about branding, but after listening to Ben Sasso during his workshop I realized that I needed to find what I loved to do, what I was going to be about, and start marketing the heck out of it. It took a little bit to really find products and packaging material that truly reflected me, but once I did I felt so great.
Branding is so important to me. Not to toot my own horn but I'd say I've done a pretty good dang job at it. I haven't been an established photographer that long, but the majority of people in my area, clients and vendors alike, know who I am and what I'm about. And that's because I take branding seriously - I believe businesses thrive when they know what they are about, what clients they want to attract and serve, and what they want to offer to those clients. Branding is what allows people to get to know you and your business from afar, it's what attracts them to you. It allows people to automatically think of you when they hear of someone who needs that particular service.
My favorite thing about my branding is my raw and real way of capturing and connecting with my subjects. In my particular area I've found not many people edit their images like I do - I capture my subjects in candid, real, and sometimes very intimate moments, and the way I process my images is a very raw, filmy look to just enhance that. When I meet with clients, I make genuine connections with them and get to know who they are so that I don't just take their pictures - I tell their story.
After all is said and done, the Design Aglow sticker templates and my packaging is just another way I can connect with them when delivering their prints. I like to add those custom touches and show them that they are truly special to me, and I really know my clients feel valued and beautiful at the end of the day.
To me, the three most important things to remember when it comes to branding are:
After you’ve figured all of that out, you can start on your branding journey. When it comes to refreshing your brand, I would say to market the heck out of it once you've finalized it. Make everyone sees "This is the new us!" so that you don't have a gap in time or anyone confused about who you are and what you're about.
My business has grown exponentially because I made sure to be cohesive in my branding. My branding everything I am as a person in physical form:
All of this has been why it has been that much easier for me to market what I'm about because it just comes naturally no matter where I'm at or what I'm doing. My business is ME, and that passion has allowed me to get people to know who I am and spread the word about me.
Makayla Madden is a professional lifestyle and portrait photographer based out of Boise, ID. Specializing in boudoir, seniors, and couples photography, she loves to capture the raw, real, and intimate moments to tell her subjects' stories.
Excited for #BrandingWeek2017? So are we! Stay up to date with all things Design Aglow and get our branding guide (for free!) when you sign up to our newsletter: