The right name can make or break a photography business. It can help you stand out in a crowded market, create a memorable brand, and attract the right clients. But choosing the wrong name can be a costly mistake. Just ask the owners of “Shoot the Bride,” a photography business that became infamous for all the wrong reasons.
Shoot the Bride was a UK-based wedding photography company that came under fire for its insensitive name. The company faced backlash from brides-to-be and industry professionals alike, who saw the name as offensive and tasteless. The owners eventually changed the name, but the damage had been done.
This story serves as a cautionary tale for anyone starting a photography business. Here are the top 10 pitfalls to steer clear of when naming your photography business:
Avoid Offensive or Insensitive Names
As demonstrated by the Shoot the Bride debacle, avoiding offensive or insensitive names is crucial. This includes names that are discriminatory, derogatory, or culturally insensitive. When choosing a name, consider how different groups of people might perceive it. For example, “Exotic Eyes Photography” might seem edgy and unique, but it could be seen as fetishizing and objectifying people of color.
Don’t Use Generic or Overused Names
Generic or overused names won’t help you stand out in a crowded market. Names like “Capture Photography” or “Snapshots” are uninspired and forgettable. Instead, try to come up with a unique and memorable name. Consider what makes your photography style or approach different from others and try incorporating that into your name. For example, “Reflective Moments Photography” suggests a more contemplative and emotional approach to photography.
Avoid Confusing Spellings
Using confusing spellings can make it difficult for people to find your business online or recommend it to others. Avoid using non-standard spellings of words, as well as names with multiple spellings. For example, “Foto” instead of “Photo” might seem trendy, but it could cause confusion and make it harder for potential clients to find you.
Don’t Limit Yourself Geographically
If you plan to expand your business beyond your local area, avoid location-specific names. For example, if you name your company “San Francisco Photography,” it might be difficult to rebrand if you decide to move to another city. Instead, consider using a more flexible name, like “Bay Area Memories” or “Golden State Portraits.”
Be Careful with Acronyms
Acronyms can be catchy and memorable, but they can also be confusing and hard to remember. So make sure your acronym is easy to pronounce and remember and doesn’t spell something inappropriate or offensive. For example, “ASS Photography” might seem like a clever play on words, but it’s not likely to attract the right clientele.
Avoid Names That Are Too Long or Complicated
Long or complicated names can be hard to remember and fit on marketing materials. Explore photography business names that are simple. For example, “Enlightened Eye Photography” is easy to remember and has a nice ring, while “Michaela’s Magnificent Moments Photography” is a mouthful.
Don’t Copy Other Businesses
Copying the name of another business can lead to legal trouble and damage your reputation. Ensure your name is original and not too similar to other companies in your area or industry. For example, “The Picture People” is already a well-established photography chain, so naming your business “The Picture Pro” might lead to confusion and legal issues.
Consider Your Target Demographics
When choosing a name for your photography business, it’s essential to consider your target market. Who are the clients you want to attract? What kind of photography do you specialize in? A name that appeals to a corporate audience might not be the same name that appeals to a family portrait market. For example, “Corporate Snapshots” might work well for a business-focused photography company, while “Family Focused Photography” would be more appropriate for a family portrait photographer.
Don’t Box Yourself In
When choosing a name, ensure it’s broad enough to accommodate potential changes or shifts in your business. For example, if you start as a wedding photographer but later decide to offer portrait sessions, make sure your name doesn’t limit you to just weddings. A name like “Celebration Photography” might be more versatile than “Wedding Wonders.”
Trendy names might seem like a good idea at the time, but they can quickly become dated and irrelevant. Instead, choose a name that is timeless and classic. This will help your business maintain relevance and credibility over time. For example, “Vintage Visions Photography” might be trendy now, but in a few years, it might seem outdated.
Common Naming Pitfalls:
In addition to the pitfalls listed above, people need to correct a few common mistakes when naming their photography business. One mistake is using personal names as part of the business name. While this might seem like a good idea, it can limit the potential for growth and expansion. Another mistake is using words that are too generic or vague, like “Image Creations” or “Picture Perfect Photography.” These names must give potential clients a clear idea of what you offer.
So, how do you create a powerful name for your photography business? Start by brainstorming words and phrases that describe your photography style and approach. Then, consider using alliteration, assonance, or rhyme to create a memorable and catchy name. Once you have a list of potential names, test them out with friends and family to see which ones resonate the most. Here are some name ideas to get the creativity flowing:
- Lens Flair Photography – This name incorporates a photography term (lens flair) and adds a play on words (flair).
- Shutter & Smile Photography – This name is catchy and emphasizes photography’s fun and joyful nature.
- Wanderlust Memories – This name suggests a sense of adventure and exploration in photography.
- Noir Nostalgia Photography – This name incorporates a photography style (noir) and adds a touch of nostalgia.
- Light & Shadow Photography – This name emphasizes the artistry and technique involved in photography.
Choosing the right name for your photography business can be challenging, but it’s integral to establishing your brand and attracting the right clients. So avoid the pitfalls listed above and consider your target market and photography style when creating a name. And remember, a powerful and memorable name can help your business stand out and succeed in a crowded market.