We are going to teach you how to choose a name for your photography business while taking into the account the things we’ve seen work and not work over the years.
Unlike most articles you will read on this topic, we are professional photographers that have been in our respective industries for over 20+ years combined, and bring expertise in choosing business names that translate into recognizable brands, sales, and full time careers.
Throughout this post, we are going to highlight different strategies for naming your photography business, discuss the most essential business and marketing elements your name will impact, and talk about how our business names resonate with our clients.
The Big Question Every Photographer Has – Should I Use My Name for My Photography Business?
Sometimes, the easiest name for photographers to go with is their personal name.
This is an incredibly common approach in the photography industry at large – whether you shoot weddings, portraits, landscapes, corporate, real estate, or some other niche.
Some examples of recognizable photographers that just go by their name:
- Jose Villa
- Christian Oth
- Aaron Delesie
- John Dolan
- Esteban Gil
- Sam Hurd
- Lin & Jirsa
The benefits of using your personal name for your photography business:
- It makes name selection easy
- No one can recreate you
- Your name is timeless
- It’s typically easy to remember people’s names
- It’s more personal
Many people (photographers and their clients alike) are drawn to the simplicity of just using your name. While it may not seem overly inspiring, it gets the job done. There are many photographers who do exceptionally well by just being themselves. Some of the recognizable photographers we mentioned above do international work, photograph celebrities, and make a great living – just with their name (and clearly great photos!).
The cons of using your personal name for your photography business:
- Branding can be more difficult
- Clients may not know what style of photography you do
- It can be difficult to expand your business to offering associate photographers
- Common names can get confused with other people and photographers
- Domain name availability may be limited (especially for more common names)
- Difficult to pronounce names can be confusing or forgotten
The biggest drawback to using your personal name comes from it being exceptionally, well, personal. It can be hard for photographers who just use their name for their business to really stand out, especially without a stellar portfolio and network connections to get jobs, because just reading someone’s name as an introduction to their business can be a little bland.
Most importantly, as photographers focused on business strategies and goals, the personal name can be tough when you look to expand your team. This is a hurdle that can absolutely be worked through (and many photographers do so successfully), but it can be tough to get clients to disconnect from the idea of wanting to book you, especially when you’re brand is so significantly (literally and figuratively) wrapped up around yourself.
Our Case Study – Using A Personal Name for the Photography Business
Study: Marshall Scott Photography
Marshall is one of the co-founders of Shoot & Thrive. For years, he’s operated his successful wedding and portrait photography studio, simply going by his name – Marshall Scott Photography.
In recent years, he’s grown his photography business to multiple six figures, regularly contracts out work to associate photographers and brings along 2nd shooters to most weddings, and is able to see continued growth year over year.
Is choosing a unique brand name for my photography business better?
If you are looking for a photography business name that has the ability to evoke emotion, tell your audience what style of photography you do, be more recognizable – then a unique, branded name might be right for you.
Some examples of recognizable photography studio brand names:
- Here Comes the Bride Wedding Photography
- With Love Photography
- With Love & Embers
- Adventure Instead
The benefits of using a unique brand name for your photography business:
- The name is more recognizable
- Can be easier to expand your team
- The name may inform your branding and website design better
- Your business can live on without you
- Less search competition online
For some photographers, operating under a unique, branded name can make it feel like your bringing a very specific vision to life. A reason for this is because a well thought out and chosen name has the power to attract your ideal clients better than just using your personal name – because you can grab their attention from the first time they even read your name (even before they see your pictures, social media, or website).
The cons of using a unique brand name for your photography business:
- It can be very challenging to come up with names
- Name availability may be limited in your photography niche
- Your brand may feel more impersonal
We’d argue that many photographers would choose to go with branded names if it wasn’t so difficult to come up with a good one. With hundreds of thousands of pro photographers (or aspiring pro photographers) in the world, it is admittedly challenging to come up with a name that resonates with you as an artist and with your ideal clients.
Worst of all – when you come up with that great name, then go to start a photography business legally and find out it’s already taken, it can leave you feeling lost and discouraged.
Our Case Study – Using A Unique Brand Name for the Photography Business
Study: Hand and Arrow Photography
Hand and Arrow Photography is a wedding & portrait company operated by Chris & Jes – both co-founders of Shoot & Thrive. They have been in business for many years, and have grown their business to multiple six figures, bringing on associate photographers, and expanding revenue through the use of photography affiliate programs and a luxury album design experience for their clients.
“We spent months searching for the right name for our business, after originally starting to work under our own names. Our decision to choose hand and arrow as our name came pretty randomly – Jes got a tattoo on her arm of, you guessed it, a hand and arrow…and the name just felt right for the vibe we were going for. In retrospect, we’ve always looked for more meaning behind the name (especially when clients would ask us about it), but in the end we’ve just accepted that it sounds nice, evokes some emotion, and has translated well into a brand bigger than just the two of us.”
Sometimes, it’s easy to get carried away with searching for the perfect photography business name – and you just happen on it by mistake or random chance.
Why is choosing a good business name important?
It’s how your clients will refer to you
While your clients may interact with you (or your employees if you have them), they will always see their working relationship as being with you, the owner or employee of The Photography Studio. Going beyond this, when they recommend their friends & family to you (and they will, because you do a great job) – they’ll also talk about their experience with your business.
Having a great business name for your photography studio will help those referrals come in.
It is a way to establish your brand position in your market
One of the mistakes photographers make when starting a business is to focus too much on their photos, and too little on creating a brand that appeals to specific people. Your photography business name can help elevate you in your market or make standing out a real struggle.
With the right business name, you can help draw people towards you.
What makes a good name for a photography business?
Whether you are choosing to use your personal name or a unique, branded name – there are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision.
Choose a name that will be evergreen
Another word for this is – timeless. You want to choose a name that will never go out of style, so even if you taking pictures for people 10, 20, or 30 years from now – you never have to worry about rebranding or renaming because some trend died out.
Keep your name short
The best photography business names are typically between 1 – 3 words. This actually applies to names of virtually any business or product.
Short names are…
- Easy to remember
- Easy to pronounce
- Easy to talk to others about
Use a name that is future proof
You want to choose a name that will work for you where you are now, as well as wherever you end up in the future. It’s one of the best ways to prepare your name for the future, by thinking about the many possibilities that could arise.
Having a name that is both evergreen and versatile will allow you to adapt your business as needed.
Some things photographers should think about…
- Will you ever expand your team?
- Will you ever offer other services (like wedding planning, videography, etc.)?
- What will you do if bookings dry up and you want to pivot to another style of photography?
Think about how the name looks and sounds
The presentation of your business name is also important. Having a name that is usable in a variety of different situations is very helpful.
Looking at the name Hand and Arrow Photography, just written out we could format it a few different ways:
- Hand and Arrow Photography
- Hand and Arrow
- Hand & Arrow Photography
- Hand + Arrow Photography
- HAND AND ARROW PHOTOGRAPHY
- hand and arrow photography
All of these variations look good and flow well.
Some names may look odd when formatted differently or spoken.
Create a name that resonates with your ideal client
Everything we do for our photography businesses should be intentionally designed to communicate with our ideal clients – the people we want to hire us and buy our work. Your business name can be a great way to start filtering to these people.
I’m Stuck – Should I use a photography business name generator?
As you look for advice on how to choose a name for your photography business, you’ll probably come across a few photography business name generators.
These are never good for coming up with names that will last the test of time or be worthwhile. At best, you’ll end up with an incredibly cheesy name or one to poke fun of.
For the sake of doing our due diligence, we ran some searches through an online business name generator and came up with these:
- Extend Wedding Photography
- Wedding Photography Squared
- Skyway Wedding Photography
- Wedding Photography Negotiators
- Accurate Wedding Photography
If you were a client, would you want to hire anyone with these business names?
Best Strategy for Creating a Memorable Photography Business Name – 7 Steps
So…how do you come up with a catchy photography name?
If you would like to create a photography business name that is not your personal name, this strategy can help you come up with some unique ideas and break through the mental block that many people face when it comes to naming their business.
Step 1). Create a list of descriptive words that resonate with you
Descriptive words are typically adjectives (though not always). Some examples of words that might apply include…
If you’re struggling to put together a list, we recommend browsing through a thesaurus. That may be the nerdiest thing we’ve written today – but trust us – it can help!
Step 2). Create a list of words that resonate with your ideal client/buyer personas
These might be descriptive words or nouns.
For example, let’s say that you a wedding photographer who wants to target couples that love wine. Some words that would resonate with your ideal clients might be…
Step 3). Eliminate word(s) that are in use by your competitors
As a part of your photography competitor analysis, we recommend removing words that are already in use. This is especially true for words that are unique.
For example, if there is another photography studio that goes by “Pine & Oak”, you may want to skip out on the word “oak” from the previous list we put together. Having similarities like this runs the risk of you being confused for another photographer.
Step 4). Write out names using all the words in different pairings
As you do this, consider different variations of words, synonyms of words, and unique spellings.
Using the lists above, here are some photography business name ideas:
- Romantic Noir
- Beautiful Reesling
- Honest Vine
- Oak & Barrel
Not every name is going to be a winner, but as you do this, you will end up finding a name that just speaks to you.
Step 5). Add “photography” to the business names you have created
You can also consider adding niche specific modifiers to your name such as “wedding photography”, “portrait photography”, or similar.
Examples using the above list of names we put together:
- Romantic Noir Photography
- Beautiful Reesling Photography
- Honest Vine Photography
- Oak & Barrel Photography
While you do not have to use “photography” in your name, it can help to visualize how this word looks when added to the other words you have curated lists for.
Step 6). Write out variations of the name(s) you like the most
Let’s say we like the following names the most from our list…
- Romantic Noir Photography
- Oak & Barrel Photography
Now, we should write them out in different formats. This will help us determine if these names would work in different contexts and designs – such as a domain name url, logo, or photography business card.
Romantic Noir Photography
- Romantic Noir
- ROMANTIC NOIR
- romantic noir
- Romantic Noir Photography
- ROMANTIC NOIR PHOTOGRAPHY
- romantic noir photography
Oak & Barrel Photography
- Oak & Barrel
- Oak and Barrel
- OAK & BARREL
- OAK AND BARREL
- Oak & Barrel Photography
- OAK & BARREL PHOTOGRAPHY
- Oak + Barrel
- Oak + Barrel Photography
Step 7). Choose Your Name
Once you’ve done this exercise and found your perfect photography business name, it’s time to set it stone and make it official.
Register Your Photography Business and Domain Name
Once you’ve decided on your business name, the next step is to get it registered so no one else can take it.
We have put together an in-depth walkthrough of registering your photography business legally. We provide step by step instruction for getting your name legally registered with your state.
In addition to your legal registration, you will also want to purchase a website domain name for your name. A good way to check if your domain name is available is to go to a site like Name.com and run a search.
Your domain name should be easy to spell and short. Examples of good domain name ideas for the above photography business name ideas we came up with would be…
In this article, we’ve taught you how to choose a name for your photography business. How are you feeling now?
If you have any questions since reviewing this, feel free to leave a comment below. Even better – join our Facebook Group and share your thoughts.
Chris is a SEO professional with a passion for helping photography businesses succeed online. With years of experience in the industry, he has a proven track record of increasing website traffic, improving search rankings, and driving revenue growth for his clients.