This last weekend I had the pleasure of updating my brand photos. I took my first set several years ago, and got new ones when I went full-time with my business. It's been fun to watch my brand photos evolve as I've grown as a designer (and human being).
When I first started, I was really concerned with "looking the part." I wore my black rimmed glasses because "that's what designers wear." I wore more creative-looking outfits. I rocked my bright purple hair (which I did love at the time, but was also motivated to keep because my coworkers had told me that I looked "so creative.")
Kira ROCKED those photos, and I absolutely loved them. But there was a part of me that felt a little directionless at the time.
When I went full-time with my business, I had the exciting task of putting more thought into developing my brand. I got more intentional and started to incorporate my brand color (at the time, a very bright blue) into my photos. I was really concerned with looking "official" and ultra-professional (fake it 'til you make it, right?), and you can see that reflected in the outfits I chose. In retrospect, I was still trying to play a role. Even the color I chose was close to my favorite, but I selected it because it felt "creative."
Around six months ago (1.5 years into full-time business) I started to settle into my role as a business owner and design studio founder. I had found enough success to start fine-tuning how I worked and who I worked with. I gained more feedback on my client experience and got into the Enneagram.
My most favorite clients initially came to me for my skill, but have stayed for the relationship we've built. What a wonderful gift.
So, I started shifting my visual brand to follow suit. I toned down my primary color from a vibrant cyan to a soothing, muted turquoise. I replaced the stark blacks and grays with softer navy hues and mauve-y gray tones. I took some of the weight off of the fonts I used, and started speaking more about the deeper (more vulnerable) side of business.
This subtle shift has been so liberating that I've started carrying it into my whole business. My brand voice is still polished, but it's more approachable. I don't worry so much about impressing people anymore — I focus more on allowing who I am to shine through. Why? Well, in short, because it feels WAY BETTER.
When I got these photos back, I felt like I was in heaven. Not only do they blend in perfectly with the rest of my brand identity (hello, bright and airy photography and pops of turquoise/florals!) — they also feel like me. They feel good.
If you have the opportunity to work with Kira, take it! I cannot recommend her highly enough. You can check out my full photoshoot (and the rest of her beautiful work) on her blog.
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