I thought maybe the new bloggy banners would scratch my spring-ish itch for re-invention, but no such luck. Now I’m thinking of re-naming the photography business, and I need your help!
Back in 2009, I launched an Etsy site to sell some of my photographs as fine art prints. Due partly to inattention and neglect, and probably partly because the prints were never actually as good as I thought they were, nothing never really came of it. Well, except for one thing. When I was creating the Etsy account on a whim one night, I needed a name, and at the time, Mothership Photography seemed a perfect complement to my online empire (ha!) here on the blog.
The fine art business fell by the wayside, but I co-opted the name when I started taking portrait commissions. Since I was aiming at a family community that was largely blog based, and since it harmonized with the blog name, and since google confirmed that nobody else on the internet was using the name, it seemed a good fit.
Well, the little photography business grew and grew. I started selling my work commercially through Getty Images and taking commissions outside of the realm of bloggy friends, and last year the gross income crossed the five figure income mark. It’s a full fledged business now! And it looks like another agency will soon be representing some of my images. (Yay! More details on that soon.) And with all this growth in different directions, the name just doesn’t seem to fit anymore.
Another thing that I don’t like about the name is how harsh other photographers are on “moms with a camera”. I’m reasonably confident in my own skills, no thanks to other photographers intimating moms like me are an icon of the downfall of modern photography (ahem!) but I do wonder if I am not undermining my own credibility with the somewhat cutesy Mothership Photography label.
And so, for the last few months, I’ve been pondering it. Change the name? Embrace the name? I think I’m at a crossroads. If I am going to change it, I’d better do it sooner than later and if not, I have to own it for keeps.
On the other hand, I think a large part of my success with family portraits is the fact that I *am* a mom and I know how to deal with kids, to put them at ease and get them to show their sparkle to me. And I do have two years invested in the name, and a Facebook page. And a logo! (Oh how I love the little shooting star in my logo. I even considered the name “Shooting Star Photography” – it has a PUN! – for a while, but lots of other people had that idea first.)
The biggest hurdle of all, though, is not brand recognition or marketing but this: what the heck SHOULD I call the photography business? There’s already a DaniGirl Photography on Facebook in Amarillo Texas (4 likes) and one on MySpace with no entries, and a blogspot blog with one post, so that one is more or less available.
I could go with the more traditional “Danielle Donders Photography”. Angela cleverly suggested “Donderful Photography”, which makes me smile. And Beloved and I rolled around the floor laughing at the logos and marketing mischief we could develop if I called it “Double D Photography”.
The porch portraits are working for me. “Perfect Porch Photography”? Hmmm, maybe I’d only get calls for real estate shoots. Some of my favourite photography concepts are “whimsy” and “serendipity” but those are already pretty much taken. I want something that represents ME, my creativity and sense of fun and play, but is also professional and says more than just “I bought a DSLR and now I’m a photographer”, yanno?
What do you think, oh clever bloggy peeps? What IS in a name? Shall I commit to Mothership Photography once and for all, or do you like one of the other alternatives? Or maybe you’ve got a clever idea to share?
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