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How to Name Your Photography Business

If you’re a new photographer, this free tutorial will help you name your photography business. 

One of the most common questions we get from newer photographers is “How should I name my photography business?” and that’s the topic we’re going to tackle today! So whether you’re creating your first website, social media account, buying business cards for the first time or re-branding and looking for a fresh new start, you’re in the right place!

Let’s get right down to it:

We believe the best strategy for naming your photography business is to name your business after yourself.  

Here are four reasons why we think it’s the best idea to use your own name:

1. It Establishes Where The Value Is

Think how many high-end brands in creative industries much larger and more powerful than ours use their name for their business. We figure if it’s good enough for million dollar brands, it should be good enough for us!

In fashion, it’s Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabanna, etc. In cosmetics, it’s Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown. The list could go on and on. But what do all of these brands have in common? Their value is in their name. You’re going to invest more in a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or a Loius Vuitton handbag than a generic version of either.

Can you find big brands and companies who don’t use their founders’ names? Sure. But you’ll never see a woman hug a generic brand purse from Wal-Mart, sigh, shrug and fondly exclaim, It’s a Faded Glory Double Pocket Zip Purse! 

But is there a good chance she’ll feel like hugging her brand new blush and gold Kate Spade clutch? You can count on it. The Kate Spade name demonstrates where the VALUE is. The value is in the brand. And what the brand is known for. Can we find a blush bag with similar size and function from Walmart? Probably. Are we going to invest the same amount of dollars and enthusiasm? No way.

Imagine you just won a raffle for a brand new blush and gold Kate Spade clutch. How do you feel?

Now imagine you won a Faded Glory Double Pocket Zip Purse instead. Do you feel the same way? Probably not!

Why? Because high end brands know that their value is in their name.

We believe it’s the same way in photography. In a saturated market, where many photographers are all using the same cameras with the same lenses, the only thing that differentiates you from the photographer down the street is YOU. The value is in YOU.

2. It Makes It Easy for Family and Friends to Remember and Refer You

When you’re first starting out, your personal network is your most powerful network. That’s where the overwhelming majority of your early business will come from. The people you already know. People you work with. Your friends from church. Your family members. Your high school and college friends. Friends of friends. You want to make it as easy as possible for family and friends to refer you to their family and friends.

When you name your photography business after yourself, it’s one less thing they have to try to remember. If you want to grow your business beyond your personal network, it matters what those people tell other people about you. And it needs to be simple. And easy to remember. Here’s why: If it’s too complicated, they won’t know what to say, so they’ll either say the wrong thing, or they just won’t say anything at all.

Here’s what we mean: When we were making the transition from elementary school teachers to professional photographers, it was probably confusing for our personal network, right? They knew us as “Amy and Jordan, the elementary school teachers” not “Amy and Jordan, the photographers.” So, when they saw a brand new Facebook page pop up and behind-the-scenes photos of us in their News Feeds, they PROBABLY thought, Huh? Wait. Whaaat? I thought Amy and Jordan were elementary school teachers… 

Again, the narrative shift from “elementary school teachers” to “photographers” is a heavy lift on its own. Think about it. If it takes someone seven times to remember your name, how long would it take for them to remember that you CHANGED CAREERS ENTIRELY. Much less that you’re good enough or trustworthy enough or professional enough for them to refer you to other people — and that’s just going from A to B, from “my friends, Amy and Jordan, the elementary school teachers” to “my friends, Amy and Jordan, at Amy and Jordan Photography.” Remember, getting your personal network to remember THAT is enough on it own.

If we decided to give our business a clever, cheeky name — like Seeing You Through Our Lens Photography — because we wanted to be original and not “like everyone else,” it would’ve been infinitely MORE confusing for our personal network to do three things:

1. Recognize that we’d made (or were making) a career shift.

2. Remember our business name.

3. And refer us to other people.

Our bet is you are in the same boat. Maybe your friends and family are used to thinking of you as an accountant or a college student or an architect or a stay-at-home-mom. Getting them to think of you as a photographer is one important step, and getting them to know where to send people is a second important step. We believe naming your business after yourself helps simplify that for the people who are most likely to refer you.

They’d have to say something like, “My friends Amy and Jordan are photographers. Their business is shoot. Lemme look it up. Umm… one sec… It’s something about a… What’s that part of camera again that you put on the front? A lens. Yeah, that’s it! It’s something about a lens. They’re new. That’s why I’m having trouble remembering their name. I think they just started a few weeks ago. BUT THEY’RE REALLY GOOD! TRUST ME! I mean, I haven’t been to their Facebook page yet. Again, I think it’s brand new. Ya know what? I’ll just text you their info.”

That scenario doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in you. And they’ll probably forget to send the text. And that friend will definitely forget what words they should punch into a Google or Facebook search.

3. Your Clients Will Help Spread the Word

One of the best things that could happen to photographers is for their clients to have such an amazing experience with them that their clients can’t wait to tell their friends and family about them.

Something like “You’re engaged?! You HAVE to call Amy and Jordan right away! They were the best decision I made for my own wedding day. Seriously, you HAVE to have Amy and Jordan at your wedding! They’re worth every penny and more! Amy and Jordan made us feel so comfortable (and we normally feel so awkward in front of a camera!) but they made the whole thing feel so fun! I’m in LOVE with my photos! You need to book them NOW!”

Because photography is so personal, clients are naturally going to use our names when they talk about us. It complicates the referral if they keep saying “Amy and Jordan” while describing their own experience, but then finish things off by saying “So you have to call Seeing You Through My Lens Photography.”

4. It Makes You Easier To Trust and Invest In

Let’s play a quick game! Get a sheet of blank paper and divide it into two columns. On the right side, write the names of all the photographers you admire. If their business isn’t named after them, move them to the left column. (Our bet is you can use a pen for this, because you probably won’t be moving almost anyone!)

If most of the photographers across the country you admire are going by their names, there’s probably something to that, right?

Here’s the problem: As a new photographer, you might not want to name your photography business after yourself — even if it connotes MORE value than a whimsical name — because you don’t FEEL valuable as a photographer yet. Stop that. We give you permission. No more I’m a ph-ph-otographer. Because by letting your insecurities have top priority, you’re undervaluing yourself.

One of our past workshop attendees — who’s KILLING it now and we’re SO proud of her by the way — is named K.C. England. Which is one of the coolest names ever, right? So you can imagine our surprise when we found out that her business name was Leaving a Mark PhotographyWHEN HER REAL NAME WAS K.C. ENGLAND. 

That’s like Kate Spade deciding to call her business Carrying It Around Hand Bags. But K.C. really struggled and wrestled and debated with the name change, because her business name meant something to her. It was sentimental. She really did want to leave a mark on people’s lives. That’s a true reflection of her sweet heart. Just like Seeing You Through Our Lens Photography could have a heartfelt meaning behind it. Maybe we wanted to communicate with out business name that even if no one else sees you, we do, and we want to show you have special you are by how we see you, even if you don’t see yourself that way.

That kind of heart for others is awesome.

But we think it was costing her valuable business, and actually KEEPING her from leaving a mark on more people’s lives, because a business name is more than a business name.

It’s a mindset.

And for K.C. that shift was everything.

Because after our workshop, she went from being cute and whimsical and kind of like everyone else, to unique and exclusive and special… like she is.

Here are screen shots of her first and second business name and brand:


Question: 

Which one do you trust more?

Which one will you spend more money with?

Which one will you remember?

Which one reminds you of a big box store and which reminds you of your dream handbag?

When K.C. England changed her business name, she established that the value in hiring her was HER. She was the thing worth investing in. She was the part of the business you could trust. She stood behind her work. And that not only made her business sound more high-end, valuable and trustworthy, it also made it easier to remember and refer.

Second Question: 

If you’ve been thinking about changing your business name for a while now, what are you still waiting for?

Exceptions to the Rule

Note: There are a few circumstances under which changing your business name to your personal name might not make sense.

1. If you have an established business with plenty of name ID and you’re crushing it. Those people DO exist. However, they’re typically the exception. Not the rule.

2. If you’re a TEAM of photographers in an associate program or larger media company, like Revel Media Group, for example. Outside of that, take your first and last name (or first name and a middle name) and make it happen!

5 Most Common Questions & Concerns

After we hit “publish” on this post about how to name your photography business, we received tons of really thoughtful follow-up questions from photographers (via email, social media and blog comments) about specific situations where they need additional clarification — and we’re happy to help!

Keep in mind that with any advice we or someone else gives you, it probably applies solidly to 80% of readers and could apply to the other 20%. But maybe not. You’re the only one who can decide that for yourself.

Here are the five most common follow-up questions/concerns we’ve gotten about how to name your photography business:

1. My Name is Hard to Spell or Pronounce

That didn’t stop Daniel Swarovski from naming his company Swarovski Crystal. Or Christian Louboutin from putting his name on the bottom of the shoes. Or M. Night SHYAMALAN from making movies. Or Idina Menzel from being, Idina Menzel. In her case, it actually made her MORE famous that John Travolta messed it up! In our opinion, it’s easier to remember a hard-to-spell or pronounce last name that it is to remember the parent company of someone with a hard-to-spell last name. A movie by M. Night Shyamalan is easier to remember than A movie by Seeing You Through My Lens Films.

2. There’s Already Someone in My Town with My EXACT Name

Legally, you’d probably have to ask an attorney to investigate whether or not that business name is already taken. In that case, you might not have a choice but to pivot to something else, like your first name with your maiden name, or your first name with a middle name (or fake middle name if necessary!) Remember that people are discerning enough to see quality through a name. And there are already great examples of two successful people who have the same name.

If you watched the 2017 Academy Awards, La La Land was on Hollywood’s biggest winners. Every time Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling got up to accept and award, you’d hear them thanking their choreographer, Mandy Moore. Not THE Mandy Moore, the actress from one of our favorite shows, This is Us. Mandy Moore, the choreographer. The one on So You Think You Can Dance. No relation to Mandy Moore, the actress. One Mandy Moore hasn’t prevented the other from being successful. They’re both killing it in Hollywood. And they each have work so solid that they haven’t let going by the same name prevent them from building names for themselves. If you name is John Doe and the guy down the street is John Doe, your name can’t be the differentiating factor. So let you work be. Then, you’ll be the John Doe who shows up on time and gets the grass cut well. Not… The other John Doe, don’t hire him! He’s the one who didn’t come for two weeks and let my grass die! If you’re the awesome John Doe, people will go out of their way to make sure other people know it. So just be that John Doe. Or like the Mandy Moores, you can both stand out, make a name for yourself and become respected for your work (even if you both live in Tinsel Town.) So if you want to name your photography business after you, go for it! And work your tail off to be the best Mandy Moore in town.

3. My Middle Name Isn’t Cute

Speaking of middle names, our dear friend, Melissa Jill, is a REALLY successful wedding photographer. Jill is her middle name. If you have a really complicated last name and you just don’t feel comfortable using it no matter how many famous complicated name examples we throw at you, then maybe consider using your middle name or (gasp!) a fake middle name. Amy’s maiden name is Finocchiaro. FINOCCHIARO. Like Pinocchio with an “F”. That’s tough to spell and pronounce. Her middle name is Katherine. If she didn’t like the way Amy Finocchiaro Photography sounded, and rejected everything we said in #1, she could always go with Amy Katherine Photography. Or if she thought that was just AWFUL, she could pivot to Amy Lynn Photography and that would work just fine. Mostly because none of your friends know your real middle name anyways, and “Lynn” is much easier to remember and connect than something longer. Our main point here is using a name makes you easier to remember, cuts confusion and establishes more value in your brand.

4. My Business is Successful and I Don’t Want to Mess with That

This is a fair point, but it’s also a REALLY narrow, specific one, too. Because since most small businesses fail within the first few years, statistically, there are only a few “established” businesses in every industry who’ve been around long enough where this will matter. In this case, you might have to weigh the potential loss against the potential gain — and that’s something only you can decide. Also, CONGRATS! If this is you, you’re killing it! Keep it up! Don’t fix what ain’t broke!

5. I Want to Change My Name but it Seems Hard to Do

When we changed our LLC from Amy Demos Photography, LLC to Amy and Jordan Photography, LLC it was as simple as this: Our lawyer drafted a quick amendment to our LLC articles and then we submitted it to the State of Arizona. When we got confirmation of the change, we swapped it on every platform we could, showing the organizations (like Facebook) evidence that our LLC was the same, we were the same exact business, but we’d just changed the name we were doing business under. It wasn’t a problem. We bought new domain names, and had the old ones re-direct. For a while, maybe the first year, you could even put on your website and social media outlets “Formerly known as _____________ Photography.” Pretty soon, people will start to forget your old name business ever existed in the first place.

At the end of the day, since we don’t know all the specifics, you’ll have to take all this information, digest it and then do what’s best for you and your business. We hope this gives you some helpful guidance when you name your photography business, and know our heart for everything we share comes from a place of wanting the best for you! Go get ’em!

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  1. David Medina

    March 9th, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Hi Amy & Jordan,
    I have considered changing our studio name from Hidden Kiss Studio back to my name, David Medina (we re-branded to HKS in 2013 because my wife began to shoot with me and I wanted to reflect that). My concerned is that I have published work on blogs and magazine under Hidden Kiss Studio and I am afraid that I won’t be able to say that I am a published photographer if I switch back to my name. Any thoughts?

  2. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Hi David! Tons of companies re-brand and it doesn’t take away from their credibility! We would suggest switching back to David Medina!

  3. Dana

    March 9th, 2017 at 7:33 am

    What if you don’t have a middle name and a hard last name to pronounce AND spell? How do you create a brand that still incorporates your name?

  4. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Dana! Check out the section we added at the bottom of the post! It should answer your question! 🙂

  5. Maggie

    March 9th, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I had a generic name; no one remembered it. I rebranded to Portraits by Maggie Ann (first and middle names); people left off the “Ann” (a lot)… and I started shooting events. Now I’m transitioning to Maggie Takes Pix; who I am and what I do.

  6. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Maggie! That’s great! What about Maggie Ann Photography?

  7. Maggie

    March 9th, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I had a generic name; no one remembered it. I rebranded to Portraits by Maggie Ann (first and middle names); people left off the “Ann” (a lot)… and I started shooting events. Now I’m transitioning to Maggie Takes Pix; who I am and what I do.

  8. Jen

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:02 am

    This is the exact thing I’ve been thinking about lately! You guys confirmed what I was suspecting (that it is better to use your name)… But what if no one can say/spell my last name? Still ok? I don’t want to spell out my middle and last name here, but maybe we could email about it? Thanks,Amy and Jordan!

  9. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Yes! Still okay! Check out the section we added about hard to pronounce names!

  10. Kirstie

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:05 am

    What if your name is difficult to pronounce and spell (and remember)? I mean, the usual response when I introduce myself in a social setting is: “Kristin? Kristy? Kirsten?” My last name is uncommon, too. Any suggestions?

  11. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Kirstie! Check out the section we added at the bottom of the post!

  12. David Lee Thomas

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:12 am

    With having such a common name, David Lee Thomas, I wonder about how to name my business. I am sure if I googled David Thomas photography, I would come up with hundreds of hits. I thought about going with, David Thomas Fotography, spoken as “David Thomas photography with an F”. But then I wonder if that will be detrimental to searches. Not sure what to do…..

  13. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Hi David! We would definitely suggest staying away from using “F” instead of ph. We added a section to the bottom of the post that should really help you!

  14. Mikah

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Hello A&J! I have been struggling for a while on my businesss name. I lack confidence with using my real name, but after reading this article I feel that I am soooo lucky to have this name. I already have a huge amount of people who know me, so why waste time waiting for people to reknow me. My photography name is currently Mikah Marie photography, but I’ve also liked the idea of doing milestones by mikah. Anyways thank you so much for posting this !
    With love, MM

  15. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Mikah!! We definitely like Mikah Marie Photography!! 🙂

  16. Mikah

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Hello A&J! I have been struggling for a while on my businesss name. I lack confidence with using my real name, but after reading this article I feel that I am soooo lucky to have this name. I already have a huge amount of people who know me, so why waste time waiting for people to reknow me. My photography name is currently Mikah Marie photography, but I’ve also liked the idea of doing milestones by mikah. Anyways thank you so much for posting this !
    With love, MM

  17. Lisa Villella

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Hi Amy and Jordan! You guys ALWAYS insprire me! Always! Anyway… I struggled with my business name because “Villella” is exactly easy to pronounce and remember how to spell. I finally decided to stick with it, but in these types of cases, what would you recommend? BTW, I think all the other variations of my name that don’t acutally spell out my last name are taken… 🙂

    Love You Two!
    Lisa

  18. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Lisa! Aw!! Thanks!! You’re so sweet!!

  19. Michelle

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:41 am

    What about other photographers with the same name? Michelle Smith is so common. What are the legalities involved?

  20. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Michelle!! Consider using your middle name! 🙂

  21. Tara Wilburn

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:54 am

    So, I am one of those photography businesses who has used a name that’s not my actual name. I started off with the name of “Breath Of Light Imagery” because
    1. When I started I dabbled in videography as well as photography and didn’t know if I wanted my business to offer both services in the future. I now know I don’t want to offer video services at all, but solely book photography services instead.
    2. When I started I liked the idea of being a team of photographers, rather than just me. That never happened. I’m not saying it won’t happen in the future, but for the past 7 years it’s just been me.
    3. My last name. I was only engaged at the time I started my business, not married like I am now. So I was hasty about using a last name that wasn’t quite mine yet. And I didn’t want to use my maiden last name because I felt it was ugly and I do not wish to have a relationship with the people of whom it originated from. Also I didn’t want said people to “look me up”.

    I’ve thought about changing my name at least to something more convenient. I feel my name now is too confusing and way too long. Any time I’m out talking with someone, if they ask me what my website/business name is I just pull out a business card instead of saying it.

    The only reason I’ve not rebranded myself is because I am intimidated by the thought of revising EVERYTHING that my business has done. So if I do decide to go with “Tara Wilburn Photography” how do I go about doing that? What does that process look like? It’s such a struggle! I’ve built up this brand for so long, how do I essentially start over?

  22. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Tara!! We think that is a great idea!! Start one piece at a time with your website and social media! It will be gradual! 🙂

  23. Tara Wilburn

    March 9th, 2017 at 9:06 am

    My business name, “Breath Of Light Imagery”, all came from the place of where I was when I started my business. The reason I didn’t go with my name is because of the following reasons:
    1. I was only engaged at the time I began my business, not married, so I was hesitant about going with a name that was not my own yet.
    2. I didn’t want to use my maiden name, because it was ugly and came from a family I do not wish to communicate/associate myself with. Also, I wanted to protect myself from said family searching me online.
    3. I wanted to be different. That’s just kind of my style. But it totally makes sense in your post about how important it is to go by what your peers identify you as.
    4. At the time I started this business, I was interested in offering both photography and videography services. Now, I know for sure I only want to offer photography services. Video is not for me.
    5. In the beginning, I was eager to try to make my business a team of more than just me, which never happened. So I guess I wanted to “make room” for another photographer to join in on my business that I started. At this time, that could still happen I guess but it hasn’t happened yet and I don’t know for sure that it ever will.

    The main reason I’ve not rebranded myself yet is because I am intimidated by the thought of revising EVERYTHING that my business has made itself into. So if I do decide to go with “Tara Wilburn Photography” how do I go about doing that? What does that process look like? It’s such a struggle! I’ve built up this brand for so long, how do I essentially start over without confusing my current clients/leads?

    Thanks for all you do!
    Tara

  24. Tara Wilburn

    March 9th, 2017 at 9:08 am

    My business name, “Breath Of Light Imagery”, all came from the place of uncertainty where I wanted to go when I started my business. The reason I didn’t go with my name is because of the following reasons:
    1. I was only engaged at the time I began my business, not married, so I was hesitant about going with a name that was not my own yet.
    2. I didn’t want to use my maiden name, because it was ugly and came from a family I do not wish to communicate/associate myself with. Also, I wanted to protect myself from said family searching me online.
    3. I wanted to be different. That’s just kind of my style. But it totally makes sense in your post about how important it is to go by what your peers identify you as.
    4. At the time I started this business, I was interested in offering both photography and videography services. Now, I know for sure I only want to offer photography services. Video is not for me.
    5. In the beginning, I was eager to try to make my business a team of more than just me, which never happened. So I guess I wanted to “make room” for another photographer to join in on my business that I started. At this time, that could still happen I guess but it hasn’t happened yet and I don’t know for sure that it ever will.

    The main reason I’ve not rebranded myself yet is because I am intimidated by the thought of revising EVERYTHING that my business has made itself into. So if I do decide to go with “Tara Wilburn Photography” how do I go about doing that? What does that process look like? It’s such a struggle! I’ve built up this brand for so long, how do I essentially start over without confusing my current clients/leads?

    Thanks for all you do!
    Tara

  25. Anjeanette RidnerHoer

    March 9th, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I named my business after myself, and Iconpletely agree with all of your reasons! Heres my problem- my name is long and difficult to pronounce. First and really really especially the last. Basically, if mispronounced my last name sounds like a naughty word. My nickname is no help as there are several with the same nickname and even a few other photographers in my community with it. People struggle spelling my name correctly. And its long…pretty sure they lose intrest typing my website in about 5 letters in. What then? Intials?cureently I brand with a combo of my first name and aspect of profession. Sincerely confused!

  26. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Use your name even if it’s hard to spell! Check out the section we added on difficult names!

  27. DH

    March 9th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I love the idea of using your own name as a business name. However, I have an extremely difficult first name. I worked in customer service, so I know exactly how painfully difficult my name is for someone who has never heard it…. My current last name actually almost rhymes with photography, but I am getting married and will be taking my fiancees last name. Any suggestions? I would prefer to not use my fiancees name ahead of time, nor do I want to have to re-brand.

  28. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    We would suggest waiting until you’re married, then switching to your permanent name! 🙂

  29. Sarah

    March 9th, 2017 at 11:34 am

    You guys read my mail on this one. I am just about to launch my photography business and have wrestled with the name. I came up with several clever ones and a few not so clever. I struggled with the “not good enough” idea, too. I finally started looking up domain names for when I get a website going. That settled it. Naming it for myself is in the stars – or a least NOT on the internet anywhere yet. Thanks for all your advice.

  30. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Yes!! Good luck!

  31. Jenna

    March 9th, 2017 at 11:39 am

    You always give great encouragement and tips! However of the few well known photographers in my town, there is a Jenna… and Jennifer…. so i didn’t want to confuse the market here further. So i ended up going with Bows & Arrows Portrait Co. To hopefully reflect that i am a children and family photographer.

  32. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Jenna! Cute! At the end of the day, you have to do what you think is best for your business! 🙂

  33. Jenna

    March 9th, 2017 at 11:39 am

    You always give great encouragement and tips! However of the few well known photographers in my town, there is a Jenna… and Jennifer…. so i didn’t want to confuse the market here further. So i ended up going with Bows & Arrows Portrait Co. To hopefully reflect that i am a children and family photographer.

  34. Donna Yeldell

    March 9th, 2017 at 11:49 am

    <3 I love kc england photography's logo!!! I've been searching and searching for web fonts and I think I just found the perfect one for my ImagesbyDonna photography business. LOL

  35. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Isn’t it so perfect?! That’s awesome!

  36. Emily

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I agree with everything you say, but at the same time, I don’t! Agh!

    I had been in business for several years when I got married, changed my name, & moved cities. So I took the opportunity to rebrand. I originally had my name as my business name, & struggled long & hard changing it to something NOT my name. I made a pros & cons list & most of the things you say here were in the pros list. However, my new husband & I went through listings of photographers to see what stood out to us, & we agreed that the quirky ones stood out a bit more than just a list of name with “photography” after it. (I’m a wedding photographer myself so I approached this as a bride would when she starts researching vendors; therefore I went to WeddingWire & The Knot for lists.)

    Long story short, I ended up going with Dreamy Elk Photography & Design. My email throughout college had been dreamy elk, so most of my friends, family, & colleagues already associated that phrase with me.

    Another cool aspect to my business name & logo is the fact that I live in Texas where most of my grooms are hunters. When I was working on my logo, I imagined potential grooms being drug into the planning process with their beloved & asked their opinion. My logo/name catches THEIR eyes because they see antlers. I’ve had so many grooms tell me that that happened EXACTLY.

    There’s a cool & funny story involved with where Dreamy Elk came from, so if you really want to know, email me!

  37. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Emily! We totally get it! If that’s working for you then keep it up! 🙂

  38. Jordyn

    March 9th, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t have a photography business, but I post pictures on Instagram for fun (mostly landscape/wildlife). I had a really difficult time coming up with a name and ended up going with something “cutesy and whimsical” because I didn’t know what else to do. I’m glad I read this post today! It actually did give me the confident I needed to say “screw it” and use my name. Luckily I’m still at a point where all I needed to change was my Instagram handle. The spelling I had before was a little weird/different, and I already know that this will be way easier to share with people when I tell them to look me up. No more “well…it’s actually spelled differently…it’s because of this song…here I’ll just write it down…” I thought my name didn’t matter because I don’t have a business now, but now I’ll be on the right track if I do choose to start one later.

    Anyway, all that to say thank you for this post! I don’t usually comment on things, but I really appreciated this and felt it came to me at just the right time.

  39. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Jordyn!! That’s so awesome!! We’re cheering for you!! 🙂

  40. Lauren Hansen

    March 9th, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    But but but….

    Can I get an official A&J pardon for using something else? I hated my old last name. Streiff. Negative connotations. Blech. Then I was engaged. And now I am married so I have a new last name. One that doesn’t 100% feel like my name. Lunabear is mine. It’s weird and not real and I love it. Clients sometimes introduce me as Lunabear to people, because they remember it for being different. Am I fooling myself thinking I am an exception?

  41. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hey girl!! We would normally say Lauren Hansen Photography would be the way to go, but, if Lunabear is working for you and you feel like it’s sticking with clients and gaining traction, then keep it! Like we said, it’s the 80-20 rule 🙂

  42. Gena Buskirk-Ford

    March 9th, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve been considering changing my business name because Gateway PhotoArtistry is hard to remember, and a mouthful. Gena Buskirk-Ford is on my business cards as well but people have a hard time remembering Buskirk. My middle name is “Lee.” Suggestions? There is a Gena Ford Photography in another state also.

  43. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    We think Gena Lee Photography would be perfect!! 🙂

  44. Gena Buskirk Ford

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Though it’s meaningful to me, I’ve been considering re-naming my business because it’s hard to remember and a mouthful: Gateway PhotoArtistry. Surprisingly, I found another photographer with my same (married) name and spelling, Gena Ford Photography. “Gena Buskirk-Ford” is on my business cards, but people have a hard time remembering the “Buskirk-Ford” Again, a lot of syllables and hard to remember. Middle name is “Lee,” I considered, “Gena B. Ford Photography.” Suggestions?

  45. Cricket Morgan

    March 9th, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Cricket is my nickname that I have gone by my entire life, literally nobody has ever called me by my real name which is Christie. (With the exception of both Grandmothers, who eventually gave in.) I go by Cricket’s Photography. Should I go by Cricket Morgan Photography? Thanks in advance:)

  46. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Cricket!! We love Cricket Morgan Photography! Super memorable!

  47. Tim I.

    March 10th, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I have a small time photographer and have a place named T&C Impressions. I would like to ask you how does my name sound to a professions such as yourself. Timofei Indyushkin ?? Does that sound like someone you want to run and hide from for ?? Please help thank you very much

  48. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Tim! You could always do a shortened version, maybe Tim Indy Photography!

  49. Megan Brock

    March 10th, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been so self conscious about my business name because my middle name – Dileen – is off beat, and people never know how to prounounce it. Reading this was like letting out a breathe I didn’t know I was holding in!

  50. Amy & Jordan

    March 13th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Oh good!! We’re so glad!!

  51. Meg Brown

    March 13th, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Amy & Jordan,

    I must say- it drives me CRAZY when people name their businesses after themselves. Although you make excellent points and I agree with many of them, I don’t think a person’s name stands out as well as a clever business name. (Creativity counts for something, right?)

    I believe that what sets a business name apart is that it’s quirky, relates to the photographer, and is not cliche. “Leaving a mark” and “seeing you through our lens” don’t have powerful statement; they’re too long and drawn out.

    You make an excellent point with Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, and other designers- and I actually had a conversation with two local designers today about why they have to brand a business after themselves. I don’t believe photographers are limited to that.

    Designers are trying to make a big impact on a well established brand (Kate Spade) or a plethora of customers (international market) to sell their designs while we small business photographers are looking more locally for business. I believe that creativity sets us apart in local and fierce competition.

    My business is MegaBug Photography, which is my name (Meg) and my green VW Bug. I’m known for the bug and people call me personally MegaBug all the time, which makes my name memorable. I love that it’s fun, cute, and me!

    Conversely, Meg Brown Photography is sooo blaaaah. Meg Joy just doesn’t do it either.

    In your example of Leaving A Mark vs KC England, the latter had way better branding as well. It was more modern and better fit her style.

    To put my comment succinctly, I believe that memorable names are quirky and to the point. Whether the photographer has a unique name themselves or they come up with one, that and their branding is what stands out to potential customers.

    If a photographer is marketing themselves to big companies, then yeah, the design rule of Meg Brown Photography makes perfect sense. But for those of us trying to set ourselves apart from the many local photographers out there, Meg Brown Photography just doesn’t do it.

  52. Alyssa

    March 13th, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Hello A&J.. Thank you so much for this post!!! I have been DYING for the last year, really struggling with this.. I’ve had my own business for 6 years now and for 5 of those years I’ve been “Moments In Time Photogrpahy” Which has been fine, but from the very beginning I’ve wanted my name as my bisness name but just couldn’t figure out the right combination, therefore I just went with the moments in time photogrpahy. Well The last year I have wanted to change it to my name (even more due to the increase in wedding photography and wanting to pursue more “higher end” clients…) but struggle with 2 reasons. 1. I used to be married and when I divorced, I kept my married last name (We have a son and I didnt want a different last name than him and I don’t like my maiden name) and I do hope to re-marry again someday and dont want to have to change and re-brand again once I remarry (not that it’s happeneing anytime soon) But 2. If I go with my middle name I think it would be very confusing to many people I know because another phtogrpaher I work with ALL the time (we second shoot for each other a lot) our names are ALMOST the same.. Alyssa Maria and she’s Alicia Marie.. Therefore don’t want to offend her nor for clients, friends, and family to be confused also struggling with I don’t want to look like I’m “trying to be like her”. make sense? I HAVE thought about doing a “fake” middle name and changing it to Alyssa Grace Photography or Alyssa Joy Photography (<I really like joy but love both) but don't want to confuse people, like "hmm… where did that come from" … Ugh this has been such a struggle.. I would love to hear your opinion!!

  53. Gladyxa Divine

    March 15th, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Hello! I love this post! My name is Gladyxa..super hard to say, it’s Gla-Dee-Sa. It’s spanish and most of my friends call me G or Glad. My last name (thanks to my hubby) is now, Divine. I named my business Glad Mari Photography. Used my middle name and my first name’s nickname. Should I sick to that or use Gladyxa Divine Photograpjhy

  54. Gladyxa Divine

    March 15th, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Hello! I love this post! My name is Gladyxa..super hard to say, it’s Gla-Dee-Sa. It’s Spanish and most of my friends call me G or Glad. My last name (thanks to my hubby) is now, Divine. I named my business Glad Mari Photography. Used my middle name and my first name’s nickname. Should I sick to that or use Gladyxa Divine Photography? I always get questions about my name or people cannot pronounce it correctly. I wanted to to be easy and to reflect ME. What do you think?
    P.S. I have learned so much from ya’ll!! I hope to take your class very soon!!! xoxo

  55. Amy & Jordan

    March 16th, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    You have a beautiful name, Gladyxa! We love it, but we think Glad Mari Photography sounds amazing!! You are totally on the right track! We’re so excited for what’s to come for you in your photography!! Keep it up! We’re cheering for you!! 🙂

  56. Dama

    March 15th, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Hi A and J, thanks for the post. I’ve been debating weather to use my real last name Shih, or change it to Shee (as in Dana Shee). For one thing, I don’t even know how my last name should be pronounced lol. It’s a phonetic translation from Chinese, but when people try to pronounce it, it sounds nothing like my real last name, and also it kind of reads like sh*t. I have signed weddings under Shih (not yet shot), so if I change my name, will it make my existing client worry? Lastly, English is not my first language, so not too sure which last name looks/sounds better for my long term business name… hopefully I can have some input from you… Thank you 🙂

  57. Amy & Jordan

    March 16th, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Dama! We suggest keeping the original spelling of your last name! 🙂

  58. Kristal

    March 16th, 2017 at 5:49 am

    I have been following you guys for a couple of months now. I have no idea how you make time for wedding photography + educating other photographers, but I am so glad you do. I love reading your blog posts every Monday and even though I am not a wedding photographer, I’m inspired by your work 🙂 Thanks for awesome posts like this one 🙂

  59. Amy & Jordan

    March 16th, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Aw!! Thank you, Kristal! You have no idea how much that means to us! You just made our day! <3

  60. Rozilynn

    March 16th, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    My photography name is “Photography by Rozi” I feel like it is pretty simple to remember but wonder if “Rozilynn Witherell Photography” would be better? My friends and family love the name “Photography by Rozi” I just couldn’t decide which I felt would be more professional.

  61. Amy & Jordan

    March 17th, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Rozilynn! We think “Rozilynn Witherell Photography” sounds so great! You have an awesome name! 🙂

  62. Katelyn Caldwell

    March 19th, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Hello Amy & Jordan,
    I have recently started my photography business, KKC Photography ( my initials). Would you recommended that I change my name using something like Katelyn Caldwell or KK Caldwell Photography ( which I used at first before changing to KKC)

  63. Amy & Jordan

    March 21st, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Hi, Katelyn! We would suggest you use Katelyn Caldwell Photography! It sounds beautiful! 🙂

  64. Lauren

    March 19th, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I have been doing photography since high school. My side business has been on and off. Right now, I am a bank teller and hate it! I want to start up my photography again! My photography name is Lauren Ashley Photography and I want to start fresh with a different name! A fake middle name could work…does Lauren Janae Photography sound good?

  65. Amy & Jordan

    March 21st, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Awesome, Lauren!! Starting fresh is a great feeling! We love Lauren Janae Photography! 🙂 We’re cheering for you!

  66. Juventa Vezzani

    March 20th, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I’m taking your shooting and editing course right now (almost done) and LOVE it:) Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and talents with the world. I’m in the process of re-doing my website and figuring out where I want my business to go from here. In the mean time, I wanted to get your thoughts on my business name “Vezzani Photography.” It’s short, simple, and while it only uses my last name, is not a very common name so it works. I think Juventa Vezzani Photography sounds too complicated and long even though I read your thoughts on complicated names. People really struggle with my name. Thoughts?

  67. Amy & Jordan

    March 21st, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Aw!! You’re so sweet, Juventa!! Thank you! We think Vezzani Photography sounds great! Love it! 🙂

  68. Nelya

    March 23rd, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Well said guys! I think of Sue Bryce saying she wished she’d just gone with Bryce. Simple. Easy to remember. I like that. When I’m trying to remember a name to refer to someone the easier it is for me to remember it the more likely I am to actually make the referral.

  69. Amy & Jordan

    March 27th, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    You said it, Nelya! We’re so glad you found this post helpful! Thank you!! 🙂

  70. Lorie Clark

    March 25th, 2017 at 8:56 am

    If there is already a business name that is the same as yours, how would you go about branding your photography business?

  71. Amy & Jordan

    March 28th, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Hi, Lorie! You could do your first name and middle name, or use your first and last name and make your work stand out!! 🙂

  72. Darnelle Baker

    April 12th, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    This is something I struggle with, my name is difficult, I don’t feel like Darnelle Baker Photography flows, but not having my name seems cheesy…my middle name is Lee. Help!

  73. Amy & Jordan

    April 12th, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Hi, Darnelle! You have a beautiful name! We love Darnelle Lee Photography!! 🙂

  74. Amanda

    April 14th, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Hello! I am in love with your work, hearts, and love for your customers! I love that Jesus just shines through you guys and am super encouraged by you both! I am currently saving to be able to take your course and I am super excited about it!

    Until then, I did want to start taking photos, but after reading your post I am second guessing my business name. It is currently “Lavender Sprigs Photography”. My grandparents last name was Lavinder, so it’s special to me. Also, I have a tattoo on the outside of my left forearm with two lavender sprigs, so its kind of like a double-brand, and hopefully something that people will remember me by since the tattoo shows whenever I am holding my camera. That being said, in your professional opinion, would you still suggest changing it to my first and last name “Amanda Cushing Photography”?

    Thanks for your help! I am at the very very beginning of my journey, so I still have time to change my brand before getting started!

  75. Amy & Jordan

    April 17th, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Hi Amanda! Aw! You’re so sweet! We’ll look forward to the day that we get to have you in class 🙂 We think it’s so special that you wanted to pay homage to your grandparents by incorporating their last name into your business name, but if we were in your shoes, we’d definitely still use Amanda Cushing Photography — and then do some kind of client gift that involved lavender and explain the special meaning to your clients after you’ve booked them. We hope that helps! Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

  76. Karina Velez

    April 20th, 2017 at 9:10 am

    I chose not to use my name and I’m glad I didn’t. We have over 54k followers on our fb page and lifetime TV featured us and found us because they searched pin up photography in Chicago. Our photography is VERY niche and using my name wouldn’t have gone as well.

    I’m definitely the not i the norm but this is great advise for someone who isn’t established yet. Thanks guys!

  77. Amy & Jordan

    April 24th, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Hi, Karina! That’s so awesome!! We’re so happy to hear that your unique name not only works for you, but is what helps you stand out! We wish so much success for your photography business! We’re cheering for you! Hugs! <3

  78. Shannon

    May 11th, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Hi Amy and Jordan!
    I am struggling with picking a name for my business. What would you do if your name and all variations of it were already taken? I liked the idea of using my first and middle (Shannon Elizabeth) but an already established photographer is using it. I don’t really like the idea of making up a different/fake name because everyone that already knows me would be confused. I want to make my name easy to remember and classy. I would love any kind of input! Thanks!

  79. Amy & Jordan

    May 15th, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Shannon! Is that photographer in your same local market? Or somewhere else? We’d probable recommend using your last name in that case! 🙂

  80. TaylorAnne Baldwin

    May 25th, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Hi! My name is TaylorAnne. My husband (Wil) and I are starting a photography and having trouble coming up with a name, mainly because mine is so long and Baldwin is a more common last name. Wil and TaylorAnne Photography sounds long but Baldwin photography feels generic.

  81. Amy & Jordan

    May 25th, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Hi TaylorAnne! We’d recommend Will & TaylorAnne Photography. Most people will refer you as Will and TaylorAnne anyways. We agree that Baldwin Photography doesn’t have the same ring to it 🙂

  82. Melissa Gonzalez

    June 15th, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Hi Amy & Jordan!

    My husband and I are just starting our photography business and I thought of the name, Gardenia Marie Photography for the business. Marie is my middle name and gardenias are a flower that my husband loves growing so we thought it sounded good. Now after reading this wonderful article about how to name your business, we are wondering if we should change it to our first names. It would be Melissa & Arturo Photography. Does this sound too long? Or should we include our last name at all?

    Thanks in advanced for any feedback! You both are so great for all that you do!

    Thanks!
    Melissa

  83. Amy & Jordan

    June 30th, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Hi, Melissa! Great question! We’d recommend Melissa & Arturo Photography for sure since that’s how your personal network (which is your most powerful network) knows and refers you. I hope that helps!

  84. Cahlean

    July 8th, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    A lovely read. Been toying with a rebrand (currently Captured By Cahlean – doesn’t feel “boutique”).

    My biggest thing – my name is easy to pronounce but the spelling is unique. Verbally if I say my photography is Captured by Cahlean you hear/see “Captured by Colleen”. (There happens to be a photographer under that name.)When people tell their freinds & family Captured by Cahlean did their photography everyone hears “Colleen” and ends up in the wrong place.

    For my rebrand I’m leaning towards memorable but unique, easy to spell words. (Perhaps something like Almost Lena or something else, Apricot Peach, Butterscotch Moose….).

    Its not that my name is hard to spell but phonetically sounds like the “classic” way to spell it.

    Any thoughts on working that?

  85. Amy & Jordan

    July 11th, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Hi Cahlean! What a beautiful unique name 🙂 Jordan has a sister named “Caelen” but pronounced “Kalyn,” so we totally get where you’re coming from. What’s your last name? We almost always recommend using your first and last name (or first name and middle name), and that’s probably what we’d recommend in this case, too, even if it’s hard to pronounce. After all, Swarovski has been selling crystal since 1895. It’s a good thing Daniel didn’t get scared of his last name and use something else. Lol! Anyways, we hope that helps, think you have a beautiful name, and recommend owning it 100% for your business!

  86. Kate Heid

    July 13th, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Hey guys! I think I am about to purchase the big education pack, so excited!!! About the name, I have always gone by Kate and I am not crazy about my married name, Heid. Everyone always spells it wrong. My “real” full first name is Katherine, middle name is Renee’- I have considered Katherine Renee’ Photography, or do you think I should just stick with kate since that is what I am most known by?? Thanks again!!

  87. Amy & Jordan

    July 17th, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Hi, Kate! So exciting!! We would love to have you in class with us! Either Kate Renee or Katherine Renee are great options! Go with whatever is most comfortable for you! We’re cheering for you!

  88. Myla Capilitan

    July 30th, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Amy & Jordan,

    I’m about to start my photography business and thought I’d use my Instagram name as part of my company name. So, it’d be called Mycapix. My IG name is my.capi. Do you think that would still be hard to remember? I would also call my studio with the name. My personal network, mostly know that name. What do you think?

  89. Amy & Jordan

    August 1st, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Hi, Myla! Congrats on starting your photography business! How fun and exciting! We almost ALWAYS recommend that photographers use their first and last name (or first name and middle name, whether it’s real or made up) for their business name, because it’s so familiar to their personal network and is easier to remember when that network wants to refer you. Hope that helps!

  90. Myla Capilitan

    July 31st, 2017 at 3:01 am

    I’m about to start my photography business and thought I’d use my Instagram name as part of my company name. So, it’d be called Mycapix. My IG name is my.capi. Do you think that would still be hard to remember? I would also call my studio with the name. What do you think?

  91. Lydia Longoria

    August 2nd, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Years ago I bought the domain lydialongoria.com because my goal was to one day become a photographer .. I was wondering if maybe my name was too long or too difficult. Thank you for this blog post which convinced me to use my own name.

  92. Amy & Jordan

    August 7th, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Hi, Lydia! We don’t think it’s too long or too difficult at all! We’re so glad this was helpful!

  93. Carrie

    September 5th, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Hi guys! I’m just getting started and was originally going to call myself “Carrie Ann Photography” but now I’m partnering up with another person so I’m feeling stumped as to what we should call ourselves. Any advice? ????

  94. Amy & Jordan

    September 7th, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Hi, Carrie! We’d recommend using both of your names! Like “Carrie and __ Photography.” Hope that helps!

  95. Karie

    September 22nd, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Hi Amy, just stumbled upon your site somehow but have wondered about the buiness name dilemma for quite some time. Your article does make the subject a lot more clear for me but still want your opinion on using Karie Nolte Photography or using middle name: Karie Marie Photography. Nolte is a somewhat famous actors name but also somewhat infamous:)

  96. Amy & Jordan

    September 25th, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Hi Karie! We like the ring of Karie Marie Photography, but if Nolte is your real name and that’s what people know you by (and they don’t know you as “Marie”) then we’d go with Nolte 🙂 Hope that helps!

  97. Amber Abbott

    October 11th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Amy & Jordan! I have been considering going through a band change for about a year now. However, something that’s always prevented me is that my first and middle name is very common (Amber Nicole Photography). I recently thought of an idea of using the street name that I grew up on as my “middle name”, which would make it Amber Laurel Photography. It’s a lot less common and I still love the sound of it, (plus I like that it traces me back to my roots), but do you think it matters that it’s not my actual name? I still want to place the value in myself and be true to me. Thank you for your time!!

  98. Amy & Jordan

    October 13th, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Hi Amber! If everyone in your personal network knows you as “Amber” and doesn’t really know your real middle name anyways, then it’s probably okay to go with either one as long as your first name doesn’t change 🙂 Hope that helps!

  99. Christopher

    October 19th, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Amy & Jordan!

    I’m so glad to have come across this blog post because right now (2:23am ET) my wife and I are discussing a new name. I was thinking Christopher Michael Photgraphy, but not sure if it is too long. My last name is colòn, not sure how to incorporate that in there! Haha. Any suggestions?

    Thank you,
    Chris & Audrey

  100. Amy & Jordan

    October 27th, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Hi, Chris! Great question! Unless your friends and family know you by Christopher Michael, we’d recommend going by your true first and last name. Hope that helps!

  101. Christen Lamb

    October 25th, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Hi, I have a question about names….my last name will be changing next year when I get married so I’m confused as to if I should start with my maiden name or go ahead and use my future last name. Any ideas for me? Thank you so much

  102. Amy & Jordan

    October 27th, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Hi, Christen! Great question! That’ll depend a little bit on how long you’ve been in business, how established you are in your area, whether or not you and your husband will go into business together in the future, etc. In general, if you haven’t been shooting very long, we’d probably break the tie and have you change to your new name; but if you’ve built a local reputation on your maiden name, it could be beneficial to keep it, so that MIGHT sway us in that direction. But you’re the only one who can make that decision based on those factors above. Either way, you’ve got two great options. Hope that helps!

  103. Marc

    November 8th, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Hi there –

    Currently, I go by Marc DeCarli Photography. It’s the one I keep going back to and it always seems like a bit of a mouthful.

    What are your thoughts on:
    1) Marc DeCarli Photography,
    2) Marc DC Photography,
    3) DeCarli Photography?

    Keep on keeping on.

    Thank you!

  104. Amy & Jordan

    November 13th, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Hey, Marc! We’d recommend Marc DeCarli Photography! Hope that helps!

  105. Jessica

    November 20th, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Great article! But my name seriously is not cute. My maiden name is Shaffer, married name is Dunlap, first name is Jessica and middle is Frances. All IMO are not good. Lacking in the uniqueness department bad. Help! 🙂

  106. Amy & Jordan

    November 27th, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Hi, Jessica! Most people think about their names like the sound of their own voice: they don’t like it, but everyone else does. We think Jessica Dunlap is great! If we were you, that’s what we’d go with 🙂 Hope that helps!

  107. Cynthia Radke

    December 19th, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for this article, it’s an important distinction. I think creative people like the adventure in finding a new name for their business. In my case, I have never liked my name, first or last. And my ex with the same last name lives in the same town. So, I am reluctant to use it but get your point. If I don’t use my name, it will be difficult for my friends and client base to find me I own several domains I could use instead.

  108. Amy & Jordan

    December 20th, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    We totally understand that, Cynthia! That would be difficult. We’re cheering for you!

  109. Angelica Bancroft

    January 22nd, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I am trying to come up with a business name as well. My full name is Angelica Mary Bancroft, how do I come up with something that flows and doesn’t sound like a mouthful

  110. Amy & Jordan

    January 30th, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Hi Angelica! If people know you just as Angelica, then we’d recommend Angelica Bancroft Photography 🙂 Hope that helps!

  111. Kat

    January 31st, 2018 at 8:34 am

    HI! wanting to start my photography business..but my last name is Sidebottom. lol! I just don’t feel like it works well for a business name. My maiden name was Kathleen Virginia Beall (pronounced Bell) Should I use my maiden name? I kind of like the sound of Virginia Beall..but noone calls me virginia, I’m known as Kat. I may be thinking about this too hard. 🙂

  112. Amy & Jordan

    February 5th, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Hi, Kat! Great question! We agree with you and would probably recommend Kat Beall Photography 🙂

  113. Tonya

    February 11th, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Help! I just really, really do NOT like my name! I agree with everything you’re saying here and understand your point. But I feel so stuck and hung up on not liking any of my names:
    Tonya Lee Dean

  114. Amy & Jordan

    February 15th, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Hi Tonya! We think Tonya Dean is an awesome name! Tonya Dean Photography sounds cool and is easy to pronounce and remember. Our names are like the sound of our own voice: oftentimes, we don’t like our own when we hear it, but it’s natural to others and no one (but us) thinks about it. We think it’s the same thing here. If we were you, we’d go with Tonya Dean Photography 100%. No hesitation. Hope that helps!

  115. Maeta

    March 21st, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Hi! I’m in the research and self-questioning stage of starting a photography business. If I move forward, I’ve decided (in part because of this blog) I would like to use my first and middle names as my business name (Maeta Grace Photography). My question is, as a self proprietor, can you use your first and middle name rather than last name and not have to register it as a fictitious business name? When I look online I just see examples using full first and last names. It’s probably a silly question, but I just don’t see a clear answer anywhere! Just making a list of all the steps starting a business takes and would love your insight! Thank you!!

  116. Katie

    March 31st, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Hi Amy and Jordan! I haven’t yet started my photography business (although right after buying my expensive new camera, my husband handed it to me and said “here. You’re hired. You have a job. You’re a business owner.” Which was so encouraging and sweet!!!) Anyway, my full name is Katherine Esther Walsh. I am know by some people as Katie and some people as Kate. I also love my middle name. I don’t consider it cute, but it’s unique and charming. And Walsh is just a liiiiitle boring in my book. I’m between Katie Walsh Photography, Katie Esther Photography, K. Esther Photography, Kate Walsh Photography… I mean there’s a million options. If you see this comment, let me know your thoughts!

    Thanks,
    Katie

  117. Paige

    April 1st, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Hi there! I am just starting my transition to full-time photography and I am doing a bit rebranding before the switch. I currently have a name I like and people know me by, but it uses my last name. That is only a problem since I am engaged and will be switching my last name in a year or so. Any opinions on if I should stick with my original name or switch it once I get married? THANKS

  118. Pedro Bellido

    April 10th, 2018 at 2:01 am

    That is great help to new photographers. Loved reading it, it is just so useful. Thanks!

  119. Amy & Jordan

    May 9th, 2018 at 10:18 am

    So glad this was beneficial, Pedro!

  120. Russell

    April 21st, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I have been into photography for quite some time, but only sharing my event albums from flickr. I and considering starting into photography as a profession. I have been tossing around a few “cute” names and avoiding using my name. My full name is Russell Todd Marwitz. Obviously my last name is pretty unique, but not sure it would be easy to remember how to spell as I often get Morowitz, Martinez and a lot of other things. Thoughts on whether or not to drop the last name or stick with it and use Russell Marwitz Photography or use Russell Todd Photography?

  121. K. Lenox Photography

    May 17th, 2018 at 6:48 am

    I wish I saw this when I was just starting my business! LOL . You guys are awesome!

  122. Amy & Jordan

    May 21st, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    We’re so glad this post was helpful!

  123. Samuel Pettit

    May 25th, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Amy and Jordan,

    My wife started a photography business under the name “Jenna Louise Photography”. She quickly got me interested and we have BOTH been working on the business together. We have been thinking a lot about changing the business name to “Sam and Jenna Photography” or something to that extent.

    My question is about timing. The current name hasn’t been in use for long and we are planning on relocating to England in a few months. So should we wait until after we move? Is it too early for a name change? Any advice would be great!

    We absolutely LOVE you guys! Thanks!!

  124. Amy & Jordan

    June 4th, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Hey, Sam! Relocating to England?! That’s awesome! Congrats and have a blast abroad! We’d recommend keeping your current business name until you relocate to England, then changing it, just to prevent confusion among any current clients you still have at home who know you by your current business name. But definitely get a head start on the branding for your new business, so that when you get to England, you’re ready to hit the ground running. We hope that helps!

  125. Stephanie Bares-Dela Cruz

    July 2nd, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Amy and Jordan,

    Would using a hyphenated last name be too long? I wanted to use my first and middle name but someone in the area is already using that name. Any suggestions? Also.. it’s also you guy’s FB ad & free 1 hr webinar that got me into pursuing photography! I am now working into enrolling into your courses!

  126. Amy & Jordan

    July 11th, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Hi Stephanie! Aw! That’s awesome to hear! Thanks for joining us in class! We’d recommend Stephanie Cruz Photography or Stephanie Dela Cruz Photography, although we really like the ring of Stephanie Cruz (a lot). Hope that helps! Can’t wait to have you in our courses!

  127. Tara Kotthoff

    August 29th, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Amy & Jordan –

    Thank you so much for this article! I am just getting started and would love your input. My last name is confusing for many people and I am mildly concerned that it’s difficult to say in conjunction with “photography”. My middle name is Elizabeth, or my husband has encouraged me to use my maiden, which is Waters. The latter feels a little weird since I’ve been married for over a decade, and I’m a little concerned that the people I know will be more concerned about why I’m using my maiden (gasp! Are they getting divorced???!) than the fact that I’m now offering photography services. Am I overthinking it?

  128. Amy & Jordan

    October 8th, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Hey, Tara! Great question! Without knowing your married last name, it’s tough for us to say whether that would be better or worse than your middle name. That said, given the choice between Tara Elizabeth and Tara Waters, we’d probably go with Tara Elizabeth by a hair 🙁 We hope that helps!

  129. Emely Faggioli

    September 21st, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    This post helped so much, you guys seem to always cover the right topics and in such great detail. Thank you!

  130. Amy & Jordan

    October 5th, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Aww!! We’re so glad this post was helpful, Emely!!

  131. Hamilton Wood & Co

    November 19th, 2018 at 6:29 am

    |Apparently, even when your organization’s endeavor proceeded to go wrong, you might still recoup a large amount of your financial investment expenses back; ordinarily between 25-33 of all of the eligible costs back.

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