[soul food] identity

Welcome back! As you can see, the website got a bit of a makeover yesterday. The business has a fabulous new brand, and I am so excited about it! It has been quite a journey to make it here, and I have learned so much more than I realized I would when I started... About ten or twelve months ago, I had an unsettling realization: I looked at my logo, my website, and the face of my business, and I couldn't see myself in it. I remember being super excited when I first got it set up, but suddenly it didn't fit anymore. Immediately, I set out to find a graphic designer who would design me a fabulous new logo, and I would be all set in a month or two.

Ummm.... wrong.

The ins and outs of finding and working with a designer were all new to me, but I had anticipated the need to make a connection with someone. What I wasn't ready for was having trouble explaining why I needed a new brand. All I could say was, "My logo doesn't fit anymore." What ensued was an incredibly difficult and beautiful struggle to figure out who I was, how that informed and inspired my photography, and how it might all come together visually. Not long ago, I wrote about why I do what I do, and that was a huge moment of self-discovery. I love photography that makes me feel something. I love seeing the souls of the artists and of the people in photographs. What I do is about seeing people as their most real and most honest selves. That's what creates beauty in a photo. What I needed was a brand that gave people permission to open up, to be themselves 100% and without hesitation or fear of judgment, so that their souls would shine through in my images.

What I really needed was a brand that gave me this same permission: to be myself 100% and without hesitation or fear of judgment... to bare my soul. It takes a long time to discover who you are, and showing it is another battle in itself--particularly in today's world. I imagine I'll be finding more of myself throughout my entire life. As for now, I am so excited to have a brand that speaks loudly about who I am and what I believe photography is about.

When my designer first showed me the logo, it didn't just speak to me, it reached out and grabbed me. The brand rose from it very organically after that. I gotta give the proper shout-out to Amanda at Mollie B. Creative for all of her incredible work on the new look. She invested a ton of time and energy in understanding me and the values I wanted to represent, not to mention she is an über talented designer and all-around fabulous person.

There is no picture in today's post, because I would love to encourage you to poke around the site, see what has changed, and get a feel for the new identity. And if you feel so inclined, leave me a note and let me know what you think! I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Stay awesome.

--Maria