The KJ Rebrand Recap

  • Behind the Scenes

As some of you may have read, I have never been officially branded by anyone… ever. I started getting into this field through graphic design and so I assumed that I knew enough to do it on my own. It was fine for a while! But eventually I became increasingly more and more annoyed at my inability to design for myself. I wanted it all. I didn’t have the “bigger picture” mentality to see beyond all of my little ideas.

My brand was cohesive but it wasn’t well thought out. Over the years, a lot has changed and the “look” of my business has been altered quite a bit! I’m excited to share some of the  behind the scenes of my FIRST real rebrand and hopefully this will help others who are going through this process as well!  When I first started thinking of rebranding, I knew I only wanted to work with Jen Olmstead! She’s amazing and her talent never ceases to amaze me! (Ps. Check back Friday for her point of view!!) After emailing her in the summer and then deciding to begin our process in October, she sent me several in depth worksheets to do. These exercises helped me really determine what I REALLY wanted in my new look. I came up with the following thought:

I wanted my new look to be timeless, welcoming, approachable, and have a hint of southern charm! The more we talked about this, the more we realized that we needed to use our house as inspiration!!! It’s the part of my life that encompasses my style the most! As soon as Jen said “So I really feel like we could get some great ideas from your foyer” I was hooked!! Anyone see the resemblance?! :)

 So that was a great starting place! We knew the basics of what we were going for and I had mentioned to Jen that I loved and disliked a few design elements:

  • I wanted some type of “swoopy” font, but not hand calligraphy
  • I LOVED text overlays but it wasn’t a MUST HAVE
  • I wanted a blog design that was unique because my blog has ALWAYS been very different from other photography blogs
  • I wanted my “wedding posts” on the blog to be extra fancy somehow!
  • I wanted a clean logo and “mark” that still looked very “Katelyn James”
  • And last but not least, I wanted an online presence that was equally professional and welcoming.

joyful   .   genuine  .   timeless

Lets talk about our keywords for a minute! These are not words that I just randomly drew out of a hat, they have been accumulating over the years. I knew that I enjoyed photographing JOY more than anything. I think it’s one of the best qualities of my style! It’s also something that Michael and I try to exude throughout our client’s experience. The word genuine is another personal characteristic that we try to bring into our client’s experience as well. Basically, we want to practice what we preach and we want our clients  to feel genuinely loved and cared for. When they feel loved and well taken care of, trust is formed. When trust is formed, genuine portraits can be taken! Last but not least, “Timeless”. This final word stems from my style. I really don’t have an intense editing style. It’s very simple and I actually use the SAME pattern over and over again on my tonal curve (would anyone be interested in a editing educational video in the shop?! Let me know in the comments!:) I want my work to be timeless. I actually have some images in my “featured wedding gallery” on the new website that are from 2010! What?! I’m actually very proud of that! That means my work is timeless. It’s still just as relevant today as it was 5 years ago!

So, now that we’ve talked a little about some of the behind the scenes, let me share some of my FAVORITE parts of my new brand!!!! :

  • I love that I don’t have “photography” in my logo anymore! It’s a nice change and it almost makes my brand feel even more focused on my name and not my title as a “wedding photographer” and I like that!
  • I’m OBSESSED with the MEET KATELYN section! You get to hear from Michael throughout the “OUR STORY” section, see our mini-promo clip together, and also get to know “The Men in my Life”!  I love all of these little sections, but I also LOVE the KJ FAVS and TRAVELS page! They are gorgeous!!
  • I have a MOBILE SITE! You can view both the blog and the website on your phones!
  • I love my galleries on my website! They are image focused and make my work look better than it really is!! :)
  • I love the faint taupe stripes on our home pages. That was an afterthought! Jen added those later and it totally MADE it!
  • I love that you could spend a good half hour in my new website as still have more to see!
  • The featured galleries and “love notes” are beautiful!! (If I do say so myself!)
  • I love that when your mouse hovers over top of the “K” on the blog, it FLIPS! It’s the little things right??! Thanks to Flosites for that one!
  • Last but not least, I LOVE feeling like my online presence is updated and COMPLETE!

Haven’t seen all of the new design?! Take a look around! We’re still working on a few special blog features and I can’t wait to share those soon!!!! Before you go, here are a few pieces of advice for anyone going through a rebrand in the near future:

  1. Take time to really hash out what the important aspects of your style are. This means narrowing down your Pinterest board! :)
  2. Set a launch date! Be strategic with this. Give yourself enough time to lead up to the launch and market it well!
  3. TRUST your designer and work with someone who “gets” you and your style!
  4. Dream big. It never hurts to ask! If you have an idea, share it with your designer. It could be one of your best design features once everything is said and done!
  5. Be willing to say if you’re not feeling something. A good designer hears feedback and isn’t offended. Jen is amazing at this! She was so easy to work with and never made me feel bad for tweaking and changing things!
  6. If at ALL POSSIBLE, meet with your designer in person. Aaron and Jen were so sweet to host us in their home and it’s a miracle our schedules aligned! That planning session kick started our process!

Ok, Michael and I are headed out to run errands! Enjoy some of  my favorite pieces of our new sites and if you’re in the northeast, stay safe! SNOW IS COMING!!!! woohoo!!! Checkout the NEW WEBSITE HERE! Also, if you’re in the rebranding process or about to begin, make sure to check back Friday to hear from the designer herself!!


xoxo, Katelyn
0 Comments Photography
  1. No comments yet - you can be the first to comment!
Reply to: