As much as I wish that photographers only had to worry about the picture-taking process, the reality is they need to develop a strong business sense to be successful. One of the first ways to tackle this process is by selecting a name to have your work known for!
Here is our guide on how to pick an ame for your photography business.
Why Is the Name Important?
A business name is the first thing that a client notices about your business. It’s the key identifying marker that separates you from other photographers.
Alongside that, your business name expresses who you are as a photographer. Are you a fine art elegant photographer? Are you a quirky pet photographer? What can people expect from you? You’d be surprised how much of this information the name will disclose to your client!
Having a solid name builds trust and confidence- and most importantly, value- with your client as well. A solid name, which ties into your branding, can give a business more leverage in the industry and significantly improve client acquisition. The more clients you are able to acquire, the more valuable your photography becomes.
If customers see that you’ve invested the time, effort, and thought into naming your business well (and creating the beautiful brand around it)l, they’re more likely to be convinced by the confidence you have in your own work. This generates deeper trust.
People are more likely to do business with a company that is professional. This gives an immediate impression of professionalism versus a terrible name, which screams “amateur.”
A business name needs to be easy to spell and/or look up too- because clients should be able to find you when necessary with ease. If you make this difficult, you risk alienating many clients.
What Is Branding?
We mentioned the term branding above. This ties hand in hand with a good business name.
In business, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol and/or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. As such, branding is a practice in which a company creates these features that identify their brand. Branding is what sets you apart from the other photographers in your area, in the nation, maybe even the world.
The name is something that your brand becomes based upon! That is why it is so crucial to pick a great name and stick with it. Much like we select one variable in our exposure equation to be our baseline, the business name is your banding baseline.
Some Advice on Picking a Name
Here are some tips, tricks, and suggestions when deciding upon a name for your photography business.
1. It’s Okay To Use Your Legal Name
Unless you have a super common name combination, it is perfectly alright to use your name as your business name. First name + last name + Photography = Business Name!
2. It’s Okay To Use Your Stage Name
A stage name is a name you make up, like a pen name. Actors and musicians use it all the time. Photographers and other types of artists do too! If you don’t want to use your legal name or find your legal name is too common, come up with a stage name to use. Stage name + Photography = Business Name.
3. Use a Descriptive Word
Your business name speaks a lot about you, as we covered above. Why not use a descriptive term to help customers figure out exactly what kind of photography you do? Descriptive word + Photography = Business Name.
4. See If You Name Fits Into These Six Categories
There are six categories that define a great name. See if the name you are choosing fits into them in some way.
- Appearance – Your name needs to look good when spelled out. Photographers are visual people, make sure that aesthetically the name looks great spelled out.
- Distinction – The name needs to look distinct and separate itself from similar names in the industry.
- Depth – The more story and feeling you place behind the name, the more depth it has!
- Energy and Vibrancy – You want the name to excite, have energy, and encourage clients to be thrilled about the experience they are about to have.
- Humanity – Of course, the name also needs to have a human element to it. Is the name relatable? Understandable?
- Sound – Finally, how does the name sound? Does it sound good when someone says it outloud? This aids in having your clients refer you to their friends!
The Legal Side on Business Names
Now, if you’re starting a professional business- there are legalities surrounding the name of your company or service. You have to make sure that no one else holds a trademark to your name.
A trademark is a type of legally registered intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or name, which identifies products or services.
If someone holds a trademark to your name, you cannot legally use it. You can look this up in the business registry or trademark registry for your county, state, country, province, etc.
As well as this, you have to make sure that there is no other business with your name if you are required to hold a county or state business license in order to operate your photography service.
Finally, you want to ensure that the name you pick isn’t too similar to another person’s business name because that can be very confusing for a client. This leads directly to lost business.
Give your business name a good thought- because that will be what defines you! It’s a great idea to write down all potential names in a notebook and either get a vote on them, or sleep on it and think of the best name in the morning.