One of the very first things a potential client notices about your business is your business name. A great business name will draw clients in and represent your brand in an effective and professional way. Whether it appears on your business card or at the top of your online portfolio, your business name should have an impact and leave a lasting impression.
As a photographer, you may be more comfortable representing your work through images, rather than words. You might also be overwhelmed by all the business names already in use, or stumped as to where to even begin. To help you find the best name for your photography business, we've created a comprehensive guide to answer all your questions about business names, as well as provide different ways for you to come up with the perfect one for you.
What Makes a Great Photography Business Name?
Though a name for a business can come from anywhere, and be anything, choosing a random word may not be the most effective option. Instead, consider a few best practices when it comes to creating a photography business name, including:
Keep the Name Short and Memorable
A long, winding name might seem like a creative option, but it can often confuse people or be easily forgotten. Instead, go for one that is short, around 1-3 words maximum, so it's memorable and doesn't overwhelm your clients.
Go for Timeless Over Trendy
Though it may be tempting to choose a name that reflects current trends in photography or social media, this can date it real fast. With trends coming and going, you don't want to be stuck with a name that made sense when a particular meme or word was popular for a few weeks online. Instead, focus on creating one that will stand the test of time, and be relevant regardless of the decade or hottest trend. In fact, this is important if you're a product photographer and looking to explore portrait photography. You want to ensure that your business name doesn't restrain the types of photography you can add to your profile.
Make the Name Versatile and Distinct
Your photography business name should be able to evolve with your business and feel applicable to future endeavors you may take on. You want a name that is versatile and distinct, rather than limited and generic, so you don't feel stunted by your business name down the line.
If you're a food photographer, for example, who is also interested in pursuing product photography, you don't want to be stuck with a business name that is too particular to just food images and limits the scope of your interests or the growth of your career. Instead, think of a name that can be versatile and adapt to whatever your photography niche may be.
Consider How the Name Looks and Sounds
Your business name should have visual appeal and be easy to read printed on an invoice or a business card. It should also be easy to pronounce, and not have a strange or off-putting sound. Remember that your name will be part of your overall brand and will appear on everything from your contracts to your marketing materials, so you will want it to look and sound great.
Try writing out possible business names to see how they appear visually, as well as say them aloud to ensure they sound as great as they look.
Appeal to Your Target Audience or Market
Strong photography business names speak to a specific audience or target markets, such as an ideal client or a particular industry. Your business name should feel thoughtful and specific, rather than random and too general.
If you are a makeup photographer, for example, you may be trying to appeal to beauty clients and brands. You may then choose a name that feels suited to that particular audience of your target market. Or if you are a real estate photographer, you may go for a name that appeals to realtors and real estate agents, as they are your primary clientele.
How Do I Come up With a Name for My Business?
Coming up with business name ideas can be a tricky task. Follow these guidelines to help you get started:
Make a List of Photography-Related Words
Get your creative juices flowing by writing down as many photography-related words you can think of. Try to list more generic or familiar words first and then work your way towards more specific terms. Focus on positive-sounding terms that might sound appealing to a client.
For example, you may come up with a list of words like, "image," "light," "flash," "frame," "angle," "shutter," and "focus." You could then create a list of more specific terms, based on your photography type. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you may think of words like, "flowers," "lace," "party," and "pearls." If you are a makeup photographer, you may create a list of words like, "blush," "shadow," "sparkle," and "glitter."
Play around with your list of words and put different words together to see if they might make a great business name. You might come across a word you love and feel it would be a good fit to use as a business name.
Create a List of Descriptive Words
Another great way to brainstorm photography names is to make a list of words that describe a feeling or experience. Consider how you want your target audience or clientele to feel when they see your name and choose words that describe that feeling. You may want to evoke a fun, high-energy feeling in your clientele or a more serious, thoughtful feeling.
For example, if you are a landscape photographer, you may come up with a list of words like "wide," "bold," "bright," or "vivid" to reference the feeling of an open landscape. If you are a food photographer, you may create a list of words like, "flavor," "texture," "color," "taste," and "bite" to describe the experience of enjoying a really good meal.
Use a Business Name Generator
Naming your photography business can be a challenge, even with some handy tips. If you are truly stumped, use an automated generator to get some business name ideas. Look for a business name generator online and see if you can enter in details like your photography type or focus to help whittle down your results. You may be pleasantly surprised by the name generator, and find a business name you would not have been able to come up with on your own. You can also use the business name generator to spark some inspiration on alternative options and make variations from their suggestions.
Add Depth with a Referential Name
One of the most famous business names out there is probably "Nike," which is a reference to the winged goddess of victory. In fact, the meaning behind the name may have influenced the swoosh logo the brand has become known for, symbolizing movement and victory. When you name your business, consider options that reference something or someone beyond photography, such as a goddess, a myth, or an idea. This can help to give depth to the name and make it more unique.
For example, if you are a food photographer, you may choose a name like "Ambrosia," to reference the Greek god of food and drink. Or you may find "Gaea" appealing, a reference to Mother Earth, and all the sustenance she provides.
Do a Social Media Poll
Does your photography business have an active social media presence, with a responsive following? Tap into this audience by putting up a social media poll where you ask followers to vote on several different business names. You could also ask them for suggestions or input on possible ways to come up with photography business names. This can be a fun way to engage with your followers and gather ideas you may not have thought of on your own.
Should You Name Your Photography Business After Yourself?
Many photographers will use their first name, last name, or both to create a business name, tacking "photography" onto the end. For example, "Buffy Summers Photography" or "Daria Jones Photography." Some photographers also include their particular photography type in the name, such as "Buffy Summers Food Photography."
This is a completely acceptable way to come up with a business name, as it is distinct and versatile, and lends itself to many different types of photography. You may also be drawn to this option if you're struggling to come up with a business name and you don't want to have to worry about changing it as your career grows.
Another spin on this option is to use a nickname that still sounds professional and polished. Maybe using a nickname will shorten up the photography business name, which could be a good approach to ensure it is memorable and easy to say.
Keep in mind that when you use your personal name for your business, you are positioning yourself as a boutique photography studio. This means your business is synonymous with your personal name and brand, so clients will be expecting to connect directly with you when they work with you.
This can be great if you plan to stay small and boutique. But if you'd like your business to be scalable, where you aren't the only face of the brand, you may want to consider a less personal name that allows for your business to grow beyond just you.
Start Naming Your Business
Once you've come up with a photography business name you like, finalize it with the following steps:
Ask for Feedback on the Name
Before you go live with the name, ask your friends, family, and peers for their feedback. Ask them questions like, "Do you find the name appealing and why or why not?" "What feeling does the name create for you?" "Would you hire a business with this name?" Crowd testing your name can help to ensure it is achieving your desired effect and is among the best business names in your industry.
Confirm the Name is Available
You want to be sure you have a name that will stand out and isn't already taken by another photographer in your industry. Do an online search to see if there are other photographers going by the same name, particularly if they are working in your field and have a trademark on the name. Make sure the name is available for use so you stay unique and memorable, not to be confused with anyone else.
Buy the Domain for the Name
To ensure you can use the name for your photography business, you will need to purchase the domain through a web provider so no one else can. Most web builders also offer domain purchases as part of their overall services.
Depending on the name, you may be able to get .com, .ca, or .net. You can also use .co, as this tells clients it is a company website. If you notice other photographers are using a similar name and domain, change yours up slightly to avoid confusion or misdirection for clients seeking you out. For example, you may add a creative twist with an additional verb or noun in the domain name, such as "thelemonsandlace.com" or "ambrosiaphotography.ca."
Create an Online Portfolio with Your Business Name
Naming your photography business is just one step in the right direction; what's a name after all without an online portfolio to showcase your incredible work? Put your new photography business name to good use by creating an online photography portfolio that will attract clients and help you land gigs.
Now that you have your business name, you can start putting together an online portfolio together. Get started by using a website builder to build one in 10 easy steps and highlight your photography business name with professionalism and creativity.
Pick one that has stunning website templates to choose from, and offers features like a built-in blog and online store, plus client proofing. This way, you can easily showcase your creative work and direct potential clients to your online portfolio. Get started with building your personalized website with Format.
Looking for other photography resources?