When I first started photography back in 2008 – branding was never on my mind. I actually became interested in photography because I was the Yearbook Editor for my High School and I wanted our photography quality to improve. With shooting for the Yearbook, I mostly shot sport games, events, and portraits. Quickly after I began shooting, I became interested in becoming a Beauty & Fashion Photographer. I still shot events and multiple genres because photography was still a hobby for me. Over the years, I began to travel to Chicago and New York in order to work with Agency Models and found it difficult to book test shoots and I started to wonder WHY!
As such, I recently hired Brand Indie, a full service boutique branding agency and branding incubator program, to help with my branding. During the beginning stages of my rebranding, the first step was to separate the genres I shoot. Because I was ready to be taken seriously in the Beauty & Fashion Industry, the idea of Brittani Shantel vs. BSJ Photography began.
Again, because I want to be known as a Beauty & Fashion Photographer, Videographer, and Blogger, it was extremely important to separate my brands. While working with Brand Indie, I asked them why it was hard for me to book agency models and they informed me:
“When reaching out to modeling agencies, having too many genres on my original site confused them.“
We discussed how agencies have to trust my vision and by seeing so many different type of shoots, the trust level was not there. It made me reflect on my recent travel experience to New York. I reached out to multiple agencies to book with the new models and was not successful. I was frustrated and sad because I didn’t understand why I was being ignored. I had other agency models on my site and had experience with knowing how to shoot a clean test shoot but I still was not successful in branding myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I have not stop shooting events, portraits, weddings, etc. I just have split my brand into two divisions.
Brittani Shantel will focus only on Beauty & Fashion, while BSJ Photography will focus on everything else!
I have learned having a consistent story is highly important because you never want a potential client to question your brand. Because I want to tell a consistent story, I have two websites and different social media sites for both brands. By splitting my brands, my target market and message can be more direct and I have seen the benefits of the rebranding. If you are a person who is a jack of all trades, I encourage you to consider having multiple brands in order to tell the story you want your potential clients or followers to know. You never want someone to question what you are doing but you do want someone to recommend you whenever they ask for a service you provide.