Chapter 4: Naming Your Business
Now that you know yourself a little better, it might be time to have the business name discussion.
I often receive questions from new photographers wondering what they should call their business. Use their own name or come up with something clever?
I don’t have a final answer for this.
For the first two years of my business, I thought I was really clever calling it Enna Photography (My name is actually Anne Camilla, so Enna was Anne backwards) but all it did was create alot of confusion for everyone, who was this Enna? People couldn’t find my website when they were searching for my actual name and often wrote to me: ”dear Enna” etc.
So I changed it to Camilla Jørvad Photography.
A small guide with things to consider when naming your business:
Great reasons to name your business after you:
The most important! : All studies show that people are more likely to connect with a personal brand.
Past clients will most likely use your name and not your business' name when referring you to their friends.
You are working alone and plan to keep it that way.
There are certainly photography brands who experience huge success even though they have a non-personal name. A few examples include the super talented marketing guys at Nordica Photography or California based Noa Azoulay who’ve chosen to call her business Feather Love Photography.
Reasons not to name your business after you:
Both your first name and last name are very common, so 1. The obvious domain name is not available or 2. You could easily be mistaken for another photographer.
If you for whatever reason have a truly great and unique story behind the name which somehow connects the dots of who you are and you share that story as part of your brand.
If you are a duo
If you are just yourself but plan to expand into a team of photographers down the road
If you have plans for morphing your business into something else down the line which can be sold and run by someone else.
The key takeaway here should be: The simpler the better.
A mentor of mine once said: "a confused mind says no". So when a potential client says no to you (aka choose to book someone else), it should only ever be because they feel, and correctly so, that you are not a good match for them and vice versa.
If you already have an established brand with lots of past clients and lots of links pointing to your site and a ton of word of mouth referrals coming in, then only ever change your name if it feels critical to your sense of self and who you want to be as a photographer moving forward.
If you decide that a name change feels right...
google the name you wish to change into to see if the domain is already taken and what kind of other sites and contexts show up in the first few pages in the search results.
Remember to change your name in all the places you appear online or where your business is represented, including google maps, social media platforms, any data base listings etc.
Always keep the old domain and just set it up to point to your new domain/site once that is up and running for at least the next year, maybe two, so you don't lose referrals from old clients.
If this chapter has just confirmed that your business already has the perfect name, congrats! :-)