So if you've been following me on Instagram/Stories or Facebook, then I'm sure you're well aware that I recently did a giant branding shoot with Kathy Beaver Photography at Engaged Asheville! For someone with a relatively new business, it was definitely a big BIG first for me, but I'm sure way overdue also. Luckily for me, Kathy was wanting a guinea pig of sorts as she worked through how to prepare for and help first-timers like me have what we need... which for me was perfect as it took a little pressure off, because let's be honest, I can totally be awkward! Special bonus: Kathy has recently paired up with Jen Allen of Green Mountain Photo & Films to provide branding shoot clients with a beautiful promotional video, captured during the session. That's right, Kathy & Jen are now offering these branding sessions regularly! Their next dedicated shoot day is August 11th, so get in touch with them soon to lock in a special rate!
In this blog post I'm going to introduce you to Kathy and Jen, walk you through my experience with the branding shoot, and even offer you a special discount opportunity!
"I was first introduced Kathy when she ordered some lettering on special packages she was sending her wedding photography clients, and we saw each other again at the Engaged Launch Party but were mainly just social media friends! However, pretty soon we began to work the same events and I got to know her a little better. When she offered to come photograph one of my workshops I was overly thrilled! Y'all. Her work is absolutely stunning and I am truly amazed at all of the talented people I have been blessed to meet since moving to Asheville!"
Kathy photographs weddings, engagements and families in Asheville and the surrounding areas. She truly enjoys getting to know her clients (I can personally vouch for this) and would love to meet and chat over a cup of coffee or tea about your photography session! She does a wonderful job making you feel comfortable, even in terribly awkward situations [--> read: like figuring out how to use a confetti-shooting stick while the whole process is being filmed], and I love this about her. I had so much fun just being goofy and laughing with her. I'm sure she could tell you how disorganized I was (unlike me, I know, I blame it on being nervous), or how I somehow managed to relate everything to donuts, but the day was absolutely amazing and I'm so happy to have met this lady! Part of the reason I love her work so much, is because of it's bright almost airy feel. Kathy adores lighting, and has even been known to get up crazy early just to see a sunrise! This is so evident in her photography as the first comment I receive when showing people her work is something about how the lighting perfectly captures the subject, and I totally agree.
"My first interaction with Jen (besides the shared Pinterest/Google Docs) was actually on-site the day of the shoot. But considering she was the poor soul who got to video my awkward talking and made up words, she was extremely sweet and helpful and I loved working with her!! Yes, I say I'm awkward, which I am, but that's just natural. Nothing about the way she filmed or the questions she asked, or her interactions made me feel camera shy at all! It was more lack of prepping anything to say on my part that led to my craziness. I would absolutely recommend Jen to anyone needing videography services. She put me at ease and I was able to laugh throughout the entire experience, and gooooooooodness y'all! Did you see what she created??"
With 12 years of experience behind her, Jen currently works in Western North Carolina doing business, real estate and wedding photography, and specializes in business and wedding videography. Although she loves photography something fierce, videography is her true passion! She loves meeting new people and getting to work with them on different projects, making clients laugh to capture those oh-so-perfect giant smiles that people close to them will instantly recognize. Jen, just like Kathy, works hard to get to know the client’s needs and vision ahead of time so they are on the same page for that certain look that they might be going for. Even with my somewhat limited direct interaction with Jen prior to the shoot, I could tell that she was fully vested in what we were planning and trying to help prepare me! She loves working on out-of-the-box ideas and being creative with her clients, and my day with her is a great example of that! I'm sure there is one heck of a blooper reel out there somewhere (bless you Jen for not publicly sharing that first), but Jen magically pulled everything together in this seamless video. I'm still in awe of what she created!
Joy Unscripted Branding
So after the initial excitement about scheduling the branding shoot, I got the, "oh geez, what now" feelings. I didn't even know where to start! Yes, of course I knew I needed to bring stuff for Kathy to photograph, but also stuff to work on while I was there, and just materials in general. Thankfully, Kathy and I created a Pinterest board (duh) of headshots and flat lays that we both liked and thought would be good for my marketing needs. She also provided an initial questionnaire to help her know my business better and my goals for marketing in general. The questionnaire was helpful, and I am working with her to improve the questions, and add some other informational sections to provide with potential branding shoot clients!
Candace and I got our makeup done by the lovely Melissa of Pop of Color Makeup before the photography started, and I absolutely LOVED what she did! I've maybe gotten my makeup professionally done about.... two or three times total now. But I HIGHLY recommend it for any type of photo shoot you're doing. Melissa was great about understanding what would photograph well, as well as listening to my hesitations and wishes! I felt much better about all of the silly poses knowing at least my eyelashes looked freakin' awesome :)
One of my main goals working with a professional photographer that day was to get some shots of the supplies I use on a day to day basis! Sooooo I brought a lot of stuff. I mean a lot, haha. Maybe you saw some of the madness during my Instagram stories, but I should have gotten her to take a picture of the chaos that was the behind-the-scenes-floor-space during the day. But out of the mess came some great photos that I can't wait to use throughout my website, in social media posts, workshops and even client documents!
What professional hasn't taken headshots in some capacity (or wish they had)? They're great for communications, client documents and these days, social media profile photos. Although perfect in their own way, I wanted to go past the standard headshot. Kathy brought some spunk to our session with breaks to throw confetti and even pens in the air, plus spun me chairs to be playful and fun.
Okay so I admit. I was least of all prepared to love my video. Not because I didn't adore Jen's work, but because (like everyone seems to) I hate the sound of myself in messages. And this was going to be one big message. MY message in fact. But when Kathy and Jen said the branding shoot included a promo video I was all in without hesitation. And I am so glad, I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Joy Unscripted in Action!
Okay, if I'm being honest, these were the ones I was most looking forward to. Yeah, I have a little baby tripod that I use for the simple lettering videos I post on Instagram, but without some serious camera skills (and patience that I don't have) it's hard for me to get photos of me actually doing the work! As in, more than just a hand in the frame. And some of my favorite shots of the day are these, where you get to see me actually doing these things I say I can do.
Unless you have worked with someone directly or know someone who has, there is always an element of uncertainty when hiring a professional to do something for you. I understand that fully, and with all of the stock photos circulating the internet these days (nothing against stock photos, I've certainly used them and still will I'm sure) I thought that it was super important to show, well, me. My face. The one I've introduced several times on social media and is on my About website page. The same face you'd see (albeit with much less perfect makeup and probably much messier hair) if we meet in person for design talks or just for coffee around Asheville. I'm the face behind this small business and I love the way my work becomes synonymous with me as a human being.
I think that is the magic behind what Kathy and Jen have managed to capture in this Branding Shoot they now offer. Sure, I can talk all day about what I can and can't do. But we live on social media and the internet now, and sometimes clients are too far away for normal coffee date style meetings. So working with them to have my style and my personality gorgeously captured in a format that I can share with all of you?? Y'all, so absolutely, totally, without a doubt, worth it.
You better believe you'll be seeing these photos and many more in use soon! I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work with such talented and kind ladies and for the ways I can now beautifully share my work!
Want to book your branding session with Kathy & Jen but know you'll need a total website makeover or maybe even a new design once you have your new professional images?? As a special bonus, I'm offering a 10% discount on my web design services following a completed session with them!