My wedding photography rebranding journey, by Sarah Hoyle
I have been a wedding photographer for 8 years now. I have learned so much along the way and evolved as a photographer and a human being! I have had quite a few evolutions of my logo and the colours I use to represent my brand but have never really thought about who I was as a photographer or who I wanted to put out there to my clients and audience.
That was until…lockdown! Lockdown stopped all weddings and businesses with the industry. I had to step away and look after my family, as everyone did. Home schooling, support my teacher husband, just get through it.
Towards the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 I had fallen out of love with my work and my purpose. I felt lost and so unsure of myself.
The Covid pandemic brought about a lot of change for everyone and I think many were able to reflect on how they were living their lives and feel as though they wanted to make changes in their lifestyle.
I certainly gravitated towards meditation, alone time and mindfulness for a sense of calm, control and serenity in the uncertain and sometimes scary world we were all now living in.
So I knew something had to change in my business too.
I didn’t want to give up but I wanted a radical change. I felt stuck in a rut and totally uninspired. That’s when I saw an online course run by my now wonderful friend Amy Louise Hatch of the Timeless Stylist fame. She was running an online course for wedding suppliers to learn the Art of Branding. I signed up immediately. And well, she opened the floodgates of what was inside me!
I quickly realised that I had been hiding behind a brand that was built on what I thought I should be putting out there, what I thought people wanted to buy.
I was really trying to be someone I wasn’t. And this resulted in a lot of imposter syndrome, I wasn’t confident in the work I was producing and ‘ideal client’ was a new phrase to me. I was just glad to be getting ANY bookings!
Amy told me to dig deep. Find out who I was, what were my passions? What did I truly love?
It soon became very apparent that I was not a Fine Art photographer….I never have been. I just liked the idea of being one. I thought I should be producing that style of work because it was popular. I realised that actually I’m a down to earth, authentic, a bit rough around the edges, honest, nature loving girl! I Love the outdoors, I love nature, I love caring for living things, I am generous and nurturing. I love the Earth and want to look after it. I really am an introverted eco-warrior.
So why was none of this being shown in my work? On my website and on my social media? Why was I shying away from being me?
Maybe it felt safe. But really it wasn’t serving me, it was destroying me. I suffered from huge comparisonitis and felt worthless.
After doing the course I took everything up a notch, I was excited and felt free for the first time. I couldn’t wait to just shout all about me and all my passions. Especially my love of all things eco-friendly.
I wanted everything I put out there to do with Sarah Hoyle Photography to be from my heart, to be real and honest. No ego, no BS, just pure natural fun and joyous photography.
So that was the start of my rebranding journey!
I then went into Graphic Design mode like a crazy woman! My degree was in Graphic Design so I loved designing my brand…you’d think with this background I’d have figured all this stuff out already myself. But sometimes the obvious is so close to you, you are blind to it. It takes some else looking in to highlight this to you.
Anyway I designed my new logo and branding guidelines…what next? New website!!! Eeek I set about designing the whole thing myself and then employed a coder to translate my designs into an actual website.
I am really proud that what you see was all my design work. I could’ve hired someone to do it but I felt it had to come from me, it had to be part of me so I did it all myself.
Seeing as I now had worked through all the imposter syndrome stuff too I now felt totally at ease putting my face up on Instagram, I started chatting away to camera and realised it’s not so hard after all.
When you are coming from a place of love and authenticity, it just feels like you are chatting to your best friend!
I have had wonderfully positive feedback from my openness on my Instagram stories and my posts.
Long gone are the descriptive captions… now I speak truth and tell heartfelt stories from my past or what I plan for the future. Being transparent is just so easy now!
Along the rebrand journey I have met some amazing like minded people in the wedding industry too.
As I am putting myself out there now as a eco-friendly photographer I have had so many people come and chat to me and join me as they too are trying to make positive steps to help the wedding industry be less wasteful and more sustainable.
I’ve looked closely at the things I do not only in my personal life but what I can do in my business too to help the environment.
Michelle from the Sustainable Wedding Alliance has helped me a lot in implementing changes within my business, I also hope to become an accredited member soon. I am also trying to help other suppliers and clients become more aware of the small things they can do within weddings to help be more sustainable and lower their carbon footprint.
It’s been an amazing journey so far and I am so happy that I launched my new branding in October and now it’s out there for all to see! So if you are planning a sustainable wedding and want all your suppliers to have the same values and ethics then do come and chat to me.