Maison & Caleb Engle – We are Maison + Caleb Engel, a husband + wife wedding photography team who LOVE marriage, each other, + investing in the marriages of others through ongoing encouragement + timeless photography.
It was a couple of weeks ago. I was chatting with my friend Miki about our business, then weddings, then her wedding someday down the road. And then she said it. Something that, at first, almost knocked the wind out of me.
I love your work SO much, but I wouldn’t hire you for my own wedding. You don’t shoot the type of wedding I want to have.
That’s what she said.
And you know what happened? I immediately got all-kinds of flustered + started thinking to myself:
What do you mean we don’t shoot the kind of wedding you want to have?
We would totally shoot your wedding!
We can shoot ANY type of wedding … right?!?
BUT THEN IT HIT ME. Our website, Instagram, Facebook. All the work we have been putting in over the past several months to really refine + curate our brand. We have actually been doing something right in showcasing the types of weddings we WANT to shoot on these various outlets, + her dream elopement wedding of hiking in the middle of the woods — that just isn’t what we show on our website, social media accounts, etc.
So to Miki, who’ been following our journey for about a year now, it was plain + simple. She wasn’t mad … at ALL, that we most likely wouldn’t be the ones to shoot her wedding. Rather, she KNEW the types of weddings we like to shoot + we feel like we are good at shooting! And she knew that someone else (someone who specializes in mountain weddings, for example) could probably do a WAY better job than us at shooting her wedding! We can’t all be GREAT at EVERYTHING. It just doesn’t work that way!
So a conversation that initially punched me in the gut actually turned out to be a really GOOD thing! And I wanted to share the experience today in hopes of encouraging others to continue refining + curating your brand — because people are, + will, notice! It just takes some time : )
Lastly, I wanted to leave you with a couple of tips on how to curate your brand on your social media outlets. These aren’t new ideas, but they work! So I’m re-sharing + encouraging you to try them!
1.Show what you want to shoot.
What gets you the MOST creatively stimulated? When do you feel like you come ALIVE while shooting? Show these things on your site + on your Instagram.
2. If you don’t feel like you have enough content for what you want to shoot, create it!
Bring together some vendors for a styled session — this doesn’t have to be big … just focus on one aspect of the wedding day, for example, + shoot that! OR help diversify your client’s portfolio (+ your own) by shooting creatively! For example, when shooting the stationery on the wedding day, you could take some shots on the barn wood floor + then bring in a piece of white tagboard for additional shots with a brighter background. You get two different looks for the shot (you choose which is better for your brand) + your client gets two options as well — win, win!
3. “Over market” images of what you want to shoot.
Do you have images from a couple of favorite weddings or shoots? Use these for marketing materials, generic posts, etc.! The more people see certain styles coming from your brand, the quicker they will begin to associate them with your brand!