A striking image from Jos and Tree’s wedding brand, shot during a major storm as the entire tent was close to blowing out into the bay. Photo © JOS Studios
As wedding photographers continue to expand their brands, focusing on key marketing elements—including names, logos and websites—are becoming more important than ever. JOS studios tells us how they do it.
When Portland-Oregon-based photographer Jos Smith started shooting weddings in 2004, he knew he wanted something simple, unique and memorable for his brand name.
“JOS studios’, was derived from my own name,” he says. “Capitalizing JOS also added another visual shout-out. I wanted the name to convey something more than just a one-man show. I wanted it to imply a team of photographers.”
As JOS studios grew, he and his wife, Tree WoodSmith (they combined their last names, Smith and Wood, when they married), started receiving many inquiries from businesses to have them shoot their creative brand imagery with an artistic and authentic feeling, similar to their wedding photojournalism. As their commercial portfolio grew, they knew they had to separate their brand names.
“Wedding clients don’t mind seeing business branding images, but businesses generally don’t like seeing wedding images,” Jos explains. Since Tree was an intricate part of the business, and also a photographer, they both wanted to name their commercial brand with something that was equally memorable and connected to their personal touch and authentic feeling. After much discussion, the help of some very savvy consultants in the industry, and the branding and marketing firm Watson Creative in Portland, Oregon, they decided on a fusion of their last names, Wood and Smith.
Photo © Wood & Smith
“It was the perfect fit because it already looked and sounded like a brand,” Jos says. “It also sounded both creative and professional.”
When it came to designing their websites, Jos says he and Tree knew they wanted JOS studios to remain bright, organic and emotionally inviting for their wedding clients. With the commercial WOOD & SMITH site, he wanted the brand to be more direct and savvy to convey professionalism for products and services. As we are on the cusp of lots of change, having two distinct brand names and websites tailored to specific markets will help us grow in the right direction.”
Photo © Wood & Smith
TIP 1: Team up with a branding firm that works with businesses to develop their branding message and websites. WOOD & SMITH has become the exclusive photography team for Watson Creative’s clients, resulting in shoots with the Oregon State University football team, as well as many high-end professional law firms, sports clubs, coffee growers, and spa and retreat centers in South America.
TIP 2: Reach out to your first brand’s clients (in this case, wedding couples) to help continue spreading the word of mouth for your second brand. JOS studios, for example, offers a discount to potential WOOD & SMITH clients who reach out to them through Instagram.
TIP 3: Hire a professional designer who is not as emotionally attached to the results and can brainstorm ideas from an objective point of view, especially when their are multiple designers working together as a team.
Photo © JOS Studios
Each of Jos and Tree’s websites has specific colors and graphics to communicate the different feel of their two brands. With JOS studios’ logo, the name JOS is large and bold so it is also easily seen when used as a small thumbnail or watermark on a photo. “We purposefully added round edges to our logo for a softer feel to help offset the bold feeling of the large letters, JOS. We also had a calligrapher draw custom lettering for the name ‘studios’ to help soften the name and give a more authentic feeling to the brand name,”Jos explains. Included is their silhouetted profiles as a sub-logo to JOS studios: JOS & TREE (they own the domain name, josandtree.com). “This has given us a unique personal touch that feels timeless, crafty, clean and fun.”
Photos © Wood & Smith
With WOOD & SMITH, they created more of a word mark with versions that suit different purposes. “The primary logo with the full name WOOD & SMITH is used in larger areas on the website and printed materials, while the abbreviated logo (or sub-logo) W|S is used as a thumbnail to help keep the name easily and quickly read,” Jos says. “Both logos use lettering that is easy to read with one slight custom twist to it. The W, for example, is an upside-down M.”
Jos and Tree WoodSmith are a husband and wife photography team out of Portland, Oregon, specializing in artistic wedding photography stories (JOS studios) and creative business branding (WOOD & SMITH).
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