Photography business names: business name ideas and how to pick one
There are infinite possibilities to choose from when it comes to photography business names. Taking that first step and defining the name of your business is daunting because if your business has a name, it feels so much more real. As you start your photography business, there are a million decisions to make, but choosing your photography business name can be among the biggest. Whether you’re embarking on a side hustle or a full-time gig as a photographer, deciding how you’ll present yourself to the clients can define how others perceive you and your work. Choosing from the endless possibilities of photography business names isn’t easy, but creating one that fits your style and personal brand and can grow with you is crucial.
Photography business names: Why choosing a good photography business name is important
Often, the first thing your potential clients will see is your photography business name. Whether they stumble upon your website, your Instagram profile, or a friend’s wedding images — your business name is one of the first touchpoints. So it’s essential it has the impact you want it to have.
“What’s in a name?” While Shakespeare may think little of names, your clients will place a lot of meaning in your photography business name. It is often the first decision point for many customers, especially when searching for a photography business online. A name that’s confusing, silly, or hard to pronounce might cause a potential client to keep scrolling down the search results, while the right name can become a real asset.
Good photography business names can set the tone for your business presence and marketing. A personal brand name (using your actual name) can present a more formal appearance. If you wish to serve luxury photography clients, a personal brand name is an excellent way to indicate that you serve a luxury market. On the other hand, a descriptive name, such as A Memorable Affair Photography, can have a broader appeal to a different market. Your business name should reflect the aesthetics of the clients you want to serve — so it’s essential to remember your ideal clients as you choose a photography business name.
Photography business names: What defines a successful name?
A good photography business name keeps the future in mind.
Before you pick your photography business name, try to project what your business will look like 5 -10 years down the road. It may be tempting to select a photography business name idea that suits your current clientele. But if those are not quite aligned with the clients you’d ideally like to serve in the long run, you risk outgrowing your own photography business name. Although you can always rebrand later, this costs time and money and is likely an inconvenience that’s better avoided. Choosing a good photography business name now means that it will still reflect your vision and goals as your photography business grows.
A good photography business name helps people find you.
A good name is easy to remember and makes sense for your niche. Long or overly complicated photography business names can be easily forgotten or even mistaken for another business name. A great name will help other people find you, remember you easily, and can help refer clients to you.
It’s aligned with your unique artistic style.
Each photographer, regardless of their niche, has a unique artistic style. Perhaps you are still developing yours, but it’s there. Your particular taste and aesthetic will become your signature style. So it’s essential that your photography business name and branding also reflect that.
Is your work vivid and dramatic? Is it soft and ethereal? Perhaps it’s rooted in a classic, timeless look. No matter your style, your photography business name will pack the biggest punch if aligned with your work. A good name helps potential clients quickly understand who you are and what you do best. And when you translate that name into an impressive logo, you’ll see how all the pieces of your branding begin to work together to build your business identity.
How do I develop and choose business name ideas for photography?
Wondering how to name your photography business? Picking a business name involves a bit of creativity and time. Business name ideas can come from many sources:
Step one: Generate photography business name ideas
- Brainstorm (by yourself or with a friend).
Set a five-minute timer and record all the photography business name ideas that first come to mind. Write them down on paper or record them electronically — and don’t be afraid to list the terrible-sounding ones too. No idea is bad, as you’ll never know which thought will send you in the right direction. The goal is to braindump as many as you can think of. Take a break and walk away for at least two minutes. Repeat as many times as you need until you have a long list.
- Use visual triggers
As a visually creative person, starting with a vision board may be an effective way to uncover the best photography business name idea. Look through magazines, Pinterest, or online media to identify images that align with the mood or style you want your business and work to convey. Collect images that resonate with your aesthetic, and then list all the words connected to what you see. What do they make you feel? What do they make you think of? Write every idea and thought down.
- Think outside the box
Sometimes, inspiration comes from the most unexpected places. Brands and businesses outside the photography industry can be a great source of inspiration for your own. Look at your favorite fashion, home goods, or stationary brands. Do you like the minimal approach of Apple products? Or the rich, luxurious feel of Ralph Lauren? There are many places to find inspiration, and you may find a brand name that sparks something for your own. Whether it’s the phrasing, perspective, or type of words (adjectives, verbs, etc.) used, looking at the brands you love may help you decide which direction you’d like your photography business name to go.
- Ask for feedback
If you’ve created a portfolio of your work, have a trusted friend or colleague look through the photos and see if a common theme or connection could be turned into a photography business name. Often, others may see things in your work that you don’t — a feeling, a mood, or an aesthetic. Ask them to come up with at least five words or phrases that describe what they see or feel when they look at your work. You might be surprised by their take on your work.
Step two: Reduce the list of potential photography business names
At this point, you will hopefully have a long list of many photography business name ideas. Go through the entire list and cross out all the words that don’t seem right. You’ll find you can easily remove the ones that don’t resonate with you and pair down your list. Sort the remaining ideas into two categories: “maybe” and “definitely.” Focus on the “definitely” list and narrow it down to five names. Once you have a list of five or so names, you’ll want to take some time away from thinking about it too hard. Let your subconscious mind go to work. After a few days or weeks, you may have a gut instinct about which photography business name best suits you. Remember, you want your photography business name to last — so don’t be afraid to sleep on it until it feels right.
Step three: Test your photography business names
Ensuring your chosen photography business name is available is your first step to finalizing the name. Use your shortlist of "definitely" photography names and do a general online search first, and then continue with your state and county business names databases. Finally, if you're in the U.S. you can check with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's database. If you clear all those hurdles, you've found your name.
Should you include your own name in your photography business name?
As with many business decisions, including your own name in your photography business name has both pros and cons:
- It’s easier for your friends, families, and current clients to remember and refer you.
- If you’ve already been using your name, you don’t have to pick a new one.
- A personal business name can elevate your brand aesthetic and communicate to potential clients that you serve the luxury market.
- In today’s social-media-driven culture, many customers want to know the person behind the brand. Using your name in your photography business name can help you to create a seamless online presence where you can effortlessly invite your followers and clients in ‘your world’ to get to know you.
- If you decide to change your name later on, this could create a branding challenge.
- If you're concerned about online privacy, using your name may impact your ability to maintain privacy, as your personal life will be easier to find online.
- If you work with a business partner or have several associate photographers on your team, you may find it easier to avoid using your name to brand your business. Alternatively, you may combine a few of your names to create a hybrid personal brand.
Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh all these factors and let your answers guide you.
Photography business names: the last word on creating yours
Now that you know more about photography business names and how to create yours, you can take your time and enjoy the process. It's an exciting step that helps to establish your photography as a legitimate business — it's also an exciting personal step where you feel like you're turning your dream into reality. Picking a photography business name that you love is a massive mental hurdle to overcome when starting your business, and it's thrilling to be able to put a name to your work.