real talk: branding.
if you're a creative, that word will simultaneously make you feel joy and complete anxiety. joy, because there's nothing sweeter than ideas coming together to meld perfectly into the awesome representation of who you are as an artist. anxiety, because there's absolutely no way to pin down your creative spirit - it's always changing, evolving, shifting. it's scary to put down roots, to put stock into something representing you wholly.
i've been struggling for a long, long time to figure out who i am as an artist.
i know who i am, in these sense of both a person and as a business-woman, with how i want to run my company, treat my couples, who i want to work with. who my "demographic" is. to put it simply, it's people who care about photography. and luckily for me, a majority of those people have been fellow creatives that just get it.
but as an artist & their brand? that's the tough one. i've inquired with so many designers, scoured instagram and blogs and never settled on someone that felt totally right. it wasn't to say that i didn't love (and i mean LOVE) other's work, or that they weren't phenomenal. they just weren't right for me. it wasn't until my sweet bff alicia (go check out her awesome work right HERE!) and i were sitting in my apartment that something we dug into really hit home.
what is a brand? a brand is defined as, "a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others." - so essentially, it's something that sets you apart from others. as much as i adore eucalyptus, nature, antlers, twigs, wheat, mountains, watercolor, simple script in other's branding - i knew it didn't fit me as who i wanted to be as a photographer. as a person, a decorator, absolutely! but i wanted my brand to personally represent me. and as alicia and i looked around my apartment at the many amazing posters lining my walls for inspiration, it clicked: joshua noom had to be my designer.
the entire process of working with josh was just a dream. he's quick, incredibly (to put it lightly) talented, and totally feeds off of your creative energy. i gave him my ideas and he ran with it. he's worked with amazing brands & groups like needtobreathe, johnnyswim, john mark mcmillan, ralph lauren, and of COURSE my sweet friend megan (click here, morningwild's site is amazing!)- but even for a small business like myself, devoted time and energy like i'm assuming he would anyone else. i will always be indebted to him for making my brand come alive.
so, meet the lion and the flowers.
two of my tattoos, perfectly blended together to create a logo.
a brand that wholly represents me, as the person, and as the photographer.
our entire process was simple. i gave him a general idea of how i wanted the designs to meld together, and he did just that! along with some other branding elements (how freaking adorable is the walking lion?) - over the course of a couple months, my whole idea just fell into place. he's since posted me in his portfolio on his site (next to needtobreathe, no big deal) - so check out his favorite pics/pieces there. // http://www.joshuanoom.com/#/emily-chidester/
SO! so many of you have asked "why the lion?" - and it's either because you a) didn't know i have a lion tattoo, or b) think it's aslan (which is what my mom jokingly calls my tattoo). well, as much as i love both CS Lewis and narnia, it's not aslan.
i've always been into the meanings behind symbols, characteristics of animals, weird little things like that. i tend to incorporate those into my tattoos, alongside images to portray chapters in my life to remember further down the road.
there are two sides to my little lion.
a little over two years ago when i had this tattoo done, i was in a place in my life where i was about to take a giant leap. i quit my retail job, dove into photography as a full time job, was lonely in a city where i felt like i had no friends, or sense of community. i was leaving for colorado to go to a workshop that i didn't know was going to change my life, and i needed to remember to be bold. to be fearless. to be all that we're called to be. i've always loved how lions are protectors. they're loyal. they're strong and courageous. all things i want to embody, not only in my business, but as a person. everyday. i want to be bold in who i am (i.e.: my philosophy), i want to be courageous in taking on jobs that may push me out of my comfort zone. i want to be loyal and gracious to my couples who invest so much in me.
the other side is the side i don't delve into as much, but is just as important. the biblical & spiritual sense of what the lion represents. the righteous are as bold as lions. the lion of Judah, a symbol of Jesus and of the amazing things to come to be upon his return. also, and i've had this conversation with so many friends - but i've always visualized Jesus is our fierce protector. He's there, snarling for us in the face of our enemies. and i just think that's pretty freaking awesome.
so, anyway. without further ado, my new packaging. there are a couple of tweaks to be done here and there, but this is what you can expect from here on out, as a wedding couple.
boxes & engraving by: photoflash drive, www.photoflashdrive.com
postcards & business cards by: moo, www.moo.com
logo & branding work by: joshua noom, www.joshuanoom.com, @joshuanoom on instagram!
prints by: richard photo lab, www.richardphotolab.com
photos by: ME! duh.
hope you guys love it! i would love to hear what you think.