Photography Business Names | How to Choose
When deciding on a name, it’s important to consider the psychology of a business name. Among creative professionals, the vast majority use their own names within their business names in some way or another. The general formula is to either use your first and last name (or a pen-name) + the service that you perform. Here are some examples: Jennifer Reynolds Photography, David Sizemore Events, and so forth. But is that the best option for you? In this article, we’ll discuss the process of choosing your photography business names and share with you all of the factors you should take into consideration.
Boutique vs. Scalable (The Most Important Factor)
In general, small businesses that run off of the name of their owners run more as a boutique business. This implies that if the quality of the product and service is consistent; and they can generally demand higher prices for their services, as they are selling a specific person, the owner.
However, boutique studios based on a single person often have a tough time growing since clients came to the studio expecting the services of that one person. So, if they have an “associate” offering similar services, they might be deemed “not as good” as the owner. This issue of perceived quality is difficult to overcome if you expand.
Some photographers, on the other hand, end up going with a fictitious business name for their business. Some examples might be: Timeless Wedding Photography or 4OneOne Studios. These studio names do not imply any perceived value differences within the studio in regards to one person offering a better service over another. Therefore, they are easier to grow with associate services. However, they may have a harder time distinguishing themselves as a boutique service demanding higher prices.
Of course, these are overall generalizations and many exceptions apply, but we wanted to mention this for you to consider as you select your business name. In our case, as Lin and Jirsa Photography continues to expand and take on additional photographers, we are continually faced with the challenge of convincing our clients that the associates are equally capable of delivering a comparable style and quality as the founders. If we could rewind and reset, we would likely have chosen a name unrelated to the names of the founders.
How to Choose a Photography Business Name
Follow these steps to determine the best photography business name for you:
- The first step is to understand your target audience and create a client persona. What are his or her interests and world views? What other brands does he or she identify with?
- With your target audience in mind, make a list of possible business names.
- Check the availability of the domains and social media handles. If your names are taken, that is not necessarily a deal breaker, but an obstacle that you’ll have to overcome. This process should eliminate many options on your list.
- With the remaining names, send out an informal poll to those you respect and trust to get their opinions.
For more information on establishing your client persona and identifying your brand, see our Photography Business Training System.
Other Business Name Considerations
Here are other characteristics of a good photography business names.
Short & Memorable – Whatever route you go, make sure your business name is short and memorable. If your name is too long, it can simply get too confusing and be difficult to remember. Users are also more likely to get spell your url incorrectly when trying to reach your website. Basically, if your name is long, you might want to lean towards a brand name or find a way to shorten it up.
Timeless – If your name is “cool” or “hip” make sure that it will stand the test of time. For example, “YOLO Design Studio” might not apply in 20 years, nor will other names based on phrases or fads. Along these same lines, if you’re currently servicing a budget crowd but see your clientele changing as your prices increase, be sure your name appeals to both current and future clientele.
Versatile – Also, make sure your business name can evolve as your business evolves. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer with an interest in fashion photography, you may want to make sure your name can apply to all potential future endeavors so you don’t have to “start over.”
Not too “Technical” – Avoid using names that only photographers will understand. These are names that include photography terminology (white balance, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc).
More Ideas and Resources for Photography Business Names
While there isn’t a template for naming your photography studio, consider the following ways of generating ideas for your photography name and domain:
- Using a Business Name Generator – My favorite are namemesh.com and businessnamegenerator.com because they also tell you which domains are available.
- Using this Photography Business Name Generator by Expert Photography
- Conduct a Survey – Use Social Media to conduct a poll to gauge public opinion.
Once you’ve chosen your photography business name, you’ll want to choose your domain name, which we’ll cover in the next article. Click here to explore Photography Domain Names, How to Choose.