My Brand Story: Picture Your Brand
#1 in a series of brand story interviews with established businesses, to inspire you, and help you create and grow your own brand. Beginning with myself!
Please introduce yourself; what is your business, and is there a story behind its name?
Hello, I am Jane of Jane Mucklow Photography – and now also of Picture Your Brand, as I have recently separated my branding photography from the original business.
The main name is obvious, it’s what a lot of artists and photographers do, and I am keeping it for my landscape photography. My new business name is thanks to a friend, when I was trying to come up with something to call my new Facebook page and website, and I really loved this option! It encapsulates that I create branding photographs, and it covers me helping with creating and growing a brand, something I’d love to do more of. Plus it suits both me taking photographs, and me teaching photography for businesses. I picture the whole brand, in order to create the brand photography.
What’s your business story? Why did you start your business?
I started Jane Mucklow Photography in early 2014. At that point our children were 1, 3 and 6. I’d been made redundant three years before, and wanted to do something that allowed me to work around the children, being at home for them in between school and nursery, and for holidays etc. I had also just sorted out a health issue, recovered from a big operation, and was feeling much better for the first time in years! I gave myself until the youngest started school to see if I could turn my hobby into a workable business.
I started off selling my landscape photographs as prints, cards and calendars, and I still do all these. But as I started meeting other local ladies running their own businesses at networking meetings, I realised that they really needed headshots, photos for their websites, product images, and branding photos, and so I started doing all these for them too, and found that I loved helping them and taking these kinds of photos. It makes for a great variety of work, and keeps me busy!
What are your super-powers? How do you stand out?
I am amazing at taking photos, and passionate about helping other women in business to have beautiful photos of themselves and their business to grow their brand and business with. I am calm, kind and friendly, and I gently pose my sitter so they feel more confident in front of the camera and get photos they love.
I know my stuff, and can teach it to other businesses so they can take their own photos and build their brand. I really get to know each of my clients, and their brand, so that we can create photographs that truly reflect them and their business.
I’m the only photographer I know who teaches smartphone photography for business owners, with branding too.
I’m the only photographer I know who combines brand photography and headshots with colour analysis so that my clients look their very best in their photos.
What’s your big story? What’s your mission? Why are you an entrepreneur?
I have loved taking photos for as long as I remember – and at least since my best 7th birthday present was my first camera! I gave up working for the Queen so that I could take photographs for my career. Now I am thoroughly loving working for myself and building my own business. I wanted to create something that I am passionate about, that inspires me and others, has a positive impact, helps other female business owners, and gives me time and money for my family.
My mission is to help other women to be more confident in front of the camera, so that they can get some beautiful branding photos of themselves to grow their business with.
What’s your niche? What do you want to be known for?
I help female business owners to build and grow their visibility and their brand through beautiful story-telling brand photography. (Even if they are a little camera-shy).
I’m the branding photographer who knows about brand. And who’ll gently support you through the process if you don’t like having your photograph taken!
What are yours and your brand’s values?
Kindness, courage, support, inspire, delight, educate, and be positive.
What’s your customers’ story? Who are your ideal clients?
I work with other female business owners, usually in the early stages of their own business, or they’ve had it as a side hustle for a while, and want to make it more business-like. They don’t yet know much about creating a brand (I can help them with that). They need a set of cohesive branding photos of them and their business, but don’t like having photographs taken of themselves (I help them be more confident in front of the camera). They’re not very creative, or at least not great photographers (I teach them how to improve their own photography for their social media posts).
What’s the story behind your logo?
I love my logo! It is made up of a J, M and P for Jane Mucklow Photography. Plus the J makes a flower stalk and the M are mountains, to show the landscapes and flowers that I started off photographing for my business, and still love to do. And the P is made from the flower stalk and a circle – the circle represents the camera lens containing the landscape. So far I’ve been using this for my branding photos too.
What’s the story behind your brand colours and your visual style?
My brand colours are taken from my Winter season colours that suit me, because I like them, and because I wanted to position my brand in the Winter season personality and style. The purple means strong, luxurious and creative, and the pale pink is a contrast to that, adding a touch of feminine and elegance. I also use a darker winter raspberry pink for a more confident look, it adds a bit of warmth and brightness to the cool Winter colours. Pink also means kindness and reassurance. I also use a bit of silver / pale grey, and dark charcoal grey, for their calming, efficient, and glamorous meaning, and they go well with the pink and purple!
I use my brand colours, and plenty of white space, and overall my style is clean and modern, but distinctive and elegant. I use two contrasting fonts, one plain but interesting, and one more opulent and curly. And strong, plain geometric shapes for any graphics in my website and social media posts – see the Pinterest image below. All these suit my Winter style.
What’s your brand’s personality?
Winter again, aligning with my colours and style. Distinctive, elegant, expert, practical, caring, strong, helpful, kind, focused.
Is there a story behind your brand photography?
My first set of brand photos were all taken at Knole Park – it’s a big estate just outside Sevenoaks, with a National Trust house in the middle. I have walked in the park since I was small, and I used to work in the house for the National Trust. And being just up the road from where I am now, it was the perfect place to have some photos of me taken.
Finally, where can we find out more about you and your business?
I hope this blog post has inspired you to get to know your own brand a little more, and helps you to create your own brand stories. Knowing your own brand, and using it cohesively everywhere, will really help to build and grow your business. You’ll be more recognisable, more memorable, and you’ll attract more of your ideal clients/customers.
See the blog category ‘Brand Stories’ for more of these interviews as I add them. And let me know if you’d like to answer the same questions!
If you need some more help with this, then have a look at my new fifty page workbook Create Your Brand – it walks you through my twenty essential steps to creating a strong, stand out brand. Including looking at your niche, ideal client, values, brand personality, and visual style as mentioned above, plus a whole lot more! Then when you’re ready to book some branding photography, you’ll know exactly how to make sure that it aligns with the rest of your brand.
PS If you’re not in my free facebook group yet, do come and join us at Your Brand Story for more tips, chat, trainings and challenges to help you to create and grow your brand, visibility, and your business, along with getting better brand photos!
My Brand Story