Wisconsin Photographer Logo Branding James Stokes Central Wisconsin

Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Branding

Wisconsin Photographer Logo Branding James Stokes Central Wisconsin

October Ink

Our rebrand has been a long time coming and so has this post. It is hard to put into words the process by which a company becomes a brand. The brand is a story. But it’s a story about you, not about the brand. Seth Godin said this and other insightful things as to what a brand is and how it affects what we buy and how we shop. What we buy and who we hire are all extensions of ourselves. The goal for us is to create meaning and to have that meaning convey a story that attracts the people we want to work with.

For us, our business has never been anything but us. From our approach to our style and website, we did it all. It was difficult to realize that sometimes you’re too close to situation to be able to critically analyze what you’re trying to convey. Often it is our inability to make decisions that keep us from our reaching goals. Knowing this made it easier to hire a professional designer to take on the daunting task of telling our story and pleasing Katie and myself, which is not an easy challenge to say the least.

October Ink, a Salt Lake City, Utah design studio, was the perfect fit for us and Jayne did such an incredible job taking our jumbled thoughts and putting them into something tangible and beautiful. For us, it was hard to completely say goodbye to the design we had created four years ago, but we also know it didn’t quite fit who we are and where we wanted to be.

A Pinterest board served as the starting point in creating what would become the inspiration for the logo, pattern, & fonts. I had been working on this for over 6 months and it had become a collection of images that truly spoke to my overall aesthetic and my personality. It is hard to put your personality into words without feeling cliché and it is even harder in this industry to doing something that feels original. The same goes for creating a logo. Our goal has always been to stay true to ourselves and to create a business that not only served our hopes and dreams but served our clients well and conveyed a message of trust and integrity.  The challenge is not so much that our business has changed, but that we have changed. Over the last 7 years we have evolved and our business along with us. Out styles and preferences have evolved and we have grown as people and photographers. We have a clearer picture of where we want to be and the types of images we want to create. When people say they put their heart, sweat, and tears into something – it is true! Owning a small business is a labor of love and it truly isn’t what people often think it is. It is the challenges and the uncertainty that makes me feel alive and it is the emotional and mental struggles that push us forward each day as a husband, father, and small business owner. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in Katie – she is the backbone of everything we do and without her none of this would be a reality and our children would starve, truly.

We have learned that you cannot measure success with a bank balance and how we feel about something doesn’t necessarily make it true. It is very easy to become overwhelmed by all the things you could be doing or the ways in which you could be improving both personally and professionally, but unless you allow yourself the room for grace and failure, life will pass you by and success will remain just a word.

Moving forward with our vision, we wanted to refresh the way we looked and yet maintain the feeling of familiarity and nostalgia. Our goal was to create a sense of newness and allow us to engage our new and future clients in a fresh and authentic way. We are still James & Katie and we do things the same way, but we are always striving for ways to improve and grow and we felt this was the perfect start!

Just for fun here are a few images SOOC (Straight out of camera) and then the edits. Images are an extension of a brand and cohesion is so important when it comes to delivering a quality product every single time.

Katie and I would love to hear what you think and we thank you all for supporting us on our journey!

Special thanks to October Ink for doing such an incredible job and for making our vision come to life.


Totally Rad  replichrome Fuji400h noritsu scan SOOC Before and After Images VSCO vs  replichrome Wisconsin Photographer Branding Images VSCO Black and White Image Presets Wisconsin Photographer



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