I used to live in a townhouse that had two small bedrooms. The first we obviously used as a bedroom... The other, we basically crammed everything that should only have fit into a much larger house. In a small corner of this “whatever” room, squeezed in next to a guest bed, Ian’s bass guitars, our painting supplies, photo equipment and various degrees of junk, was a small desk with my computer. I love everything there is about photography (even editing!), but that room gave me a terrible feeling. Something about working in clutter makes my brain want to power down.
Fast forward to about a year ago, when Ian and I had the opportunity to move into a new house. While the bedrooms are still small, there's MORE of them. There definitely isn't the space for any time of portrait studio, but just enough for having a workspace that's clutter-free and optimized for creative thinking. I'm talking about my office on a post about my "brand", because I really tried to make it all tie in together. I wanted to be in a space that reflected my brand, so that when I'm spending hours editing I'm drawing in constant inspiration.
So, first I'm going to show you my little office :)
My biggest issue in my old workspace was that it basically had room for a computer ONLY. If I wanted to write anything, I would have to awkwardly position myself in a back-breaking contortionist pose to write on my lap. This is why the desk was the most important part for me. I wanted a corner desk so that I have table space for painting, creating mailers, working on taxes, etc. I picked each desk element separately so that I could build it exactly how I wanted (and it honestly didn't break the bank one bit - ALL HAIL IKEA)! Above the desk are some Society6 prints, and a workflow chart so that I don't have to go digging through folders to know that all of my client processes are up-to-date!
Ian built this pegboard for me, mostly so that I can keep items for my packaging organized and constantly within reach. I also found a way to keep watercolors and acrylics in order for those rare moments where I actually find time to get some painting done. The pegboard has worked out great for me and is honestly my favorite part of this room (Thanks for the inspiration, various Pinterest boards!)
This little area is mostly for MAILING. A lot of my wedding clients are outside of Owensboro, so a majority of our correspondence is through email, Skype, and mail. That little laundry bag filled with nothing but shred? What I don't show are the two extra trash-bags filled with it that I stuffed into the closet. Honestly, order 10lbs of shred and be prepared for a human-sized box to be waiting for you on your front door.
The opposite side of my office is for shooting small products (like all of my packaging for this blog!). My high table lets me utilize the window and get dreamy light throughout the day. The cabinet is stuffed full of props for portraiture and culinary photography (which is my absolute FAVORITE hobby).
So, onto our brand. The story is simple: I fell in love with some succulent graphics (Creative Market is the BEST), and basically based entire brand around them. I have a degree in Graphic Design that I hardly utilize (after discovering my love for photography), so creating a brand is an aspect to owning a business that I find ridiculously exciting. I wanted our brand to have a clean, but earthy & rustic feel. I used the violet, mint, and green from the succulent graphics throughout ALL of our marketing materials. Once I had my consistent branding, my talented designer friend Andrea Roberson threw together some STUNNING business cards in just one evening. She is seriously amazing!
Warning: If you’re a bride-to-be that will be hiring JAA Studios and want our “congratulations package” to be a surprise, stop here. Our packaging contains a couple of little gifts that are fun to discover when they show up on your doorstep! For everybody else, I’d love to share our Final mailing package that we send along to our couples. I was so lucky to find things that represent our brand, but will also help show our clients how much we appreciate them (for example, a succulent wine-stopper proving that we know just how much they may need to unwind with a drink after their wedding). The informational packet that you see combined with a metal ring contains important information such as USB Care, a print release, and ordering information for prints and albums. When my season got too busy for me to handle designing these in between wedding-edits, I turned to one of my favorite designers: Amy Scherrer at AMS Design. She did a fantastic job designing this informational packet to be consistent with my brand (and is available for freelance hire)!
Everyone who knows me is aware that I’m a “crazy tea lady”. I thought it’d be a perfect treat for the post-wedding bride and groom. Packaging each type with patterned washi-tape was an idea I found on Pinterest and tied into the rest of our mailer nicely!
My absolute favorite part of our mailing package is our “message in a bottle” flash drives. It’s almost difficult to send them away when I deliver the photos! Once all of the elements come together, I end up with a mailing package that I can not WAIT for each bride and groom to hold in their hands.
I wasn’t planning on sharing our “Welcome” Packages that we give to each client on this post, but there’s one element of the package that was too important to pass up: our Bridal Guide. In this magazine, you’ll find all the information that we could think of to give you a beautiful, stress-free day. From planning out your timeline, to designing your reception, it’s packed with information that will give you the absolute best photos possible. It even helps with Engagement session wardrobe choices, and has a section that shows you all about our albums and prints available.
Okay I had to share one more part of our welcome package: These champagne-flavored lollipops… Because, look at them. They’re so adorable (and delicious)!
And with that, you have the JAA Studios brand. It makes me so happy to finally have a consistently cohesive style with each element of our business! Thanks for taking a look at it - I hope you enjoyed!