This website has been pretty quiet over the last few months, for a very happy reason that I’m sure you’ve already noticed: it’s been getting a head-to-toe makeover!
A few months back I decided that if I wanted to get really serious about my photography, I needed to invest in professional branding. I created my first logo several years ago, when I was first taking photos casually, because I decided it was time to move past the belly-up MySpace and get myself a real blog. But at the time, it was intended as just that: a place to write and post the occasional photo. I had no inkling that I would ever have a real photography business, so I chose a font for my logo just because it was named “Jane Austen” and that sounded literary. (I’m not even a big Jane Austen fan, even!)
I called my blog “Here’s To It,” because my grandma and I used to spend many a lazy afternoon listening to Frank Sinatra CDs and drinking sparkling grape juice, which she would toast with a “Here’s to it, and here’s for it, and here’s to it again–if you don’t do it while you’re up to it, you may never do it again!” (Going on ten years into her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I am so, so glad that we did our afternoons with Frank while we were up to it.) “Here’s to it” always sounded right in my head, and was probably fine for a blog, but it’s kind of a clunky business name. And the truth is, I just kept it as the name of my business because it was convenient. I never put too much thought into it beyond that.
Things obviously picked WAY up with my photography, and at some point last year, I just knew it was TIME. I wanted something that was much more “me,” and I knew after five years of slapping designs together on the fly that, ironically, the best way to find “me” was to bring in someone else.
Enter the fabulous Renee of Ribbons of Red.
When I was looking for someone to overhaul my business brand, I gravitated immediately toward Renee because of both her incredible work and the fact that her own business was named after her beloved grandma. After working with her for a while, it was so obvious that she was the perfect choice. She had me start with an inspiration board on Pinterest of things I love–colors, shoots I especially enjoyed, other logos I liked, and just general pretty things. Along the way I became seduced by the idea of somehow using windows in my branding, which in retrospect may have been me subliminally dissing Apple. (#nodisrespecttostevejobs) I had originally wanted to incorporate my obsession with nature (okay, bugs) into my logo in some way, but I started to resist the concept because I wasn’t sure it was “different” enough.
This is why it was good to have Renee, instead of playing the eternal second-guessing game with myself.
She looked at my photos, browsed through ::crickets::, chatted with me over Skype, and concluded that there was nothing more “me” than my twin loves of nature and photography. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to incorporate the color yellow, so she created an adorable little honeybee for my logo (which is, of course, totally appropriate since “Melissa” means “honeybee”). She added a similarly illustrated butterfly and dragonfly, and chose a soothing color scheme that calls to mind the nurseries where I spend a lot of time photographing newborns and their families. To tie it all together, she designed this beautiful website for me with such lovely little touches (check out the way the gallery works–genius!).
It finally feels like my photos have a proper home. I am so grateful to Renee for all her incredible work, and for being such a delightful person to go through this process is. It can be hard to get to the core of someone you’ve never met and somehow make a visual representation of that, but I think she gets an A+. I hope you all like it as much as I do!