Seems like everything is branded now-a-days. You know, consistent logo and color schemes and type treatment so that people recognize you. Sure, there's the obvious stuff like Pepsi and Pillsbury, but the same goes for hospitals and schools and even most countries. And look, I've was an art director for almost 10 years before I started in photography, so I'm certainly not ignorant to this fact, but I wonder how far it extends? By the way, I love my friend Ze Frank's take on all this.
I'm gearing up for a big marketing push for myself. Breaking down doors and barriers and pushing up to the next level and other metaphors for taking the next step (damn, you really can't NOT use a metaphor), and one thing's been nagging me. Do I need a Bill Wadman brand? You know, a logo and a color scheme and a consistent type treatment? Since there are 8 million people in NYC, at least 3 million of them are photographers trying to make it big, would a really great logo make me stand out in the crowd?
My friend Meg Wachter has a logo and she's doing very well, but there's no way to tell if the logo is having an effect. Her work is really good, so that's what explains it. Unless Meg had an identical twin sister who took exactly similar photos and didn't use a logo. Then we could compare their careers and see, but alas, no twin sister, or at least none that I know of. <cue dramatic 'bum bum BUM'>
When I look at the big photographers online, they've all got their name in some type treatment, but who knows if that's consistent or if that's just what their designer used this time around. Plus they don't really need to brand, they've got people calling them because of their work. Which takes me to my next issue. I want to be respected based on my photography and not on my branding or how I look or how much hype surrounds me (not that much at the moment). I want to know that it's my work that garners the respect. I always loved that in Fountainhead, all it said outside his office, in only simple type, 'Howard Roark, Architect'. Did Picasso have a logo? Then again, did Picasso have a facebook page?
And don't forget, there are those 3 million other photographers who probably want the same thing and you need to stand out. So hey, maybe use the proverbial pink resume paper if you think it'll pull you out from the crowd. Get as much boat speed as you can, when you can, while you can.
I've been working on some ideas myself, and I've got a couple design ringers thinking about it as well. We'll see what we come up with. But in the mean time, I wouldn't mind hearing what other people think on the subject. Also, remember, I don't do personal portraiture or events, so I don't need the branding for a store front or magazine ads for myself, it's more about presentation of myself to art buyers and industry people. Also, no comments on the hot pictures of Mary on the stairs? Really people? ;-)