Jennie Crate, Photographer Branding Video
Over a year ago I started chatting with Christin from Oak + Feather Films about my vision for creating a brand video. It’s an idea that I had been playing around with for a couple of years, but as it was an expensive project, I knew I couldn’t do it until I had gotten my business branding to a place that felt authentic and real and ME.
Which, lets be honest: doesn’t happen overnight. If I think back to where I was when I took the leap and started calling myself a wedding photographer, I see a whole different landscape. Back then I was still honing my skills, still learning to work lighting, and jumping up and down anytime someone said they wanted me to take their photos (okay, some things don’t change; I still jump up and down when people decide to trust me with their wedding day photography).
Of course, the technical and artistic side of photography is always a progression and I don’t think you should ever stop learning. But somewhere along the way, you do start to hone in on your why behind being a photographer and you learn to build a business and a brand around that.
For me, it took about two years to fully flush out my why.
My wife, Heather, used to be my shooting partner and in the early days we built the business around being a couple. In our marketing and our client meetings we stressed how awesome it was to work as a couple. And yes, this strategy had its benefits for sure, but when we needed to adjust our model because our family structure started changing, I had no idea what to do.
It was damn scary to think about running a business without Heather as part of it. But when a business coach started to push me to think about why it was so scary, I realized that I had been hiding behind Heather’s ease with new situations and extroverted tendencies to cover up my quieter, more thoughtful nature. And in doing so, I was covering a piece of my soul that is core to the art that I wanted to produce.
So I thought about it; I dug around inside a bit and I talked out loud–A LOT–until I settled on three words that would begin to become the cornerstone of my brand. They are perfect because they are my brand and they are me.
I believe in intimate weddings because a marriage should be celebrated with the people who mean the most to you and not a
person more. Heather and I had 27 people at our wedding and the people who showed up meant the world to us. It was a mixture of family and friends, but honestly that mix can be anything. Family, Friends, Chosen Family, Furry Children, or no one. From an elopement, to a back yard bbq to a classy, elegant affair with 100 people, it doesn’t matter what your wedding day looks like, as long as the right people are there to help you celebrate.
Devoted & Courageous
Sometimes, it takes courage to follow your heart. Not all relationships are immediately accepted by those around you, but I believe that the strength it takes to nurture and build those relationships leads you to a quietly confident and deeply devoted place that is the perfect foundation for a marriage.
When Heather and I came out together in college we were hit with a ton of backlash from our families and some of our friends. It was kind of nuts and led to a tumultuous few years where we learned to navigate a new world that felt very different from our old one. We got through it because we knew how special our relationship was and we were willing to put in the work to make it last, no matter what other people had to say.
Even if you haven’t faced extensive adversity in your relationship, I love working with couple’s who put their relationship first–who devote themselves to each other and who build their dreams with consideration and love for each other. I believe the best partners celebrate your quirks and accomplishments equally, and stand beside you when you need it the most. I believe that being courageous in your relationship means walking hand in hand in a direction that embraces and celebrates YOU.
With the solid foundation of my brand now out in the world, I knew it was finally time to create a branding video. Christin and I compiled an amazing team to help us create the footage for this video, focusing on the kinds of people and experiences that really fuel my soul when I work.
I can’t thank the team enough for being so fabulous. Make sure to check out their links at the bottom of the page.
Without further ado, here it is. Watch it on full screen if you can. I’m holding my breath, but I hope you love it as much as I do.
Film: Oak + Feather Films
Hair: Hayley Styles
Make-up: Nicole Toeldo Make-up Artistry
Bridal Dress: Truvelle from a & be bridal shop
Elopement Dress: LuLu’s
Feminine Suit Jacket: Sumissura
Flowers for Wedding: The Olive & Poppy
Flowers for Elopement: Indigo Flower Girl
Venues: Strawberry Creek Ranch and Mt. Evans
Planning: Rami Carter, Pick Me Weddings
Furniture: Colorado Party Rentals
Ceremony Arch and Benches: Have a Seat Colorado
Paper: Lucky Onion
Desserts: Jennie Crate