One of the toughest things to choose for my business was my photography name. When I started photography, I did not expect to be a full time wedding and portrait photographer nor did I ever dream about teaching photography. I was just trying to start making some money so I could afford to buy all the lenses that I dreamed of!
My first photography name was T.Wu Photography. I thought it was perfect. It was my nickname in high school, it was short, and I thought it was easy to remember. Though, I am slightly embarrassed by the first logo I created, but hey, we all start somewhere right?
Cutting My Losses
I distinctly remember this day. I was at James' uncle's house, and he wanted to pull something up on my website to show to his wife. He Googled "Tiffany Wu Photography", and my website did not show up. He had a puzzled look on his face, and asked me, "What was your photography name again?".
I felt embarrassed, and realized that he wouldn't be the only case. I thought that having a shorter name with my initials would be easier, but it actually made it more difficult to find me.
On top of that, when you Googled "TWu Photography", the Texas Women's University photography program would be the first thing to appear in your search results! (Tip: Use an incognito tab in your browser to search for your name. In a normal browser, you might skew the results since you've visited your page before and will appear at the top)
I was page 2 of Google when searching for my own name! I knew it was time to cut my losses. I tossed out my business cards, let my twuphotography.com domain expire, and started over as Tiffany Wu Photography.
Why Use Your Name?
I used my name for a few reasons.
1. It's easy to remember
I didn't want anymore awkward moments of "What was your business name again?". My friends and family might not remember if my business name is "Sunshine Photography", but they most likely won't forget that my name is Tiffany Wu. (or at least I hope not...)
2. It's Google-able
T.Wu Photography wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the Texas Women's University being the top of the search result. However, I wanted it to be easy for friends and family to pull me up just by remembering my name and that I am a photographer.
3. Growing my individual brand
Naming my photography business after myself has allowed me to create a personal brand as well as for my business. It's let me expand as an educator as well as a photographer. If for some reason, I decide I want to do something else, I'm hoping that people will still remember my name at the very least.
What If Your Name Is Taken Or Confusing?
This happened to my friend that I met at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) convention. She wanted her name to be her business name, but there was another photographer who had the same exact name as her. It would be confusing if someone Googled her, and mistook her for the other photographer right? On top of that, her last name was not as common and I personally had difficulty remembering how to spell it.
I honestly was stumped. My best suggestion was to use the name, but make sure to mention to friends to also type in the state she lived in. However, I still felt like that wasn't good enough. As someone who wants to teach photography, I had to figure out the answer for her since I was sure others would have the same question.
After looking through a bunch of articles, I thought James Taylor's article on The Part Time Photographer gave the best solution options. In his article under the "Everything Else" section, he makes great suggestions of other things you can integrate with your name or as a stand alone while taking advantage of SEO.
Comment with the story behind your photography name!
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