Vitaliy and I have been tirelessly working through branding homework with the lovely Kathryn Duckett of Creme Brands.
When we started the process, I told her I wanted it to hurt. And like any good workout that burns in all the right places, you can rest assured that the work you put in is paying off. I am so happy we decided to make this investment, both personally and professionally. It has continued to help us refine why, what and how we do what we do. And I am excited to see where it takes us. But it has not been an easy process. Digging as deep as she has encouraged us to dig has been mentally and emotionally exhausting.
One of the things we’ve been going over recently is brand messaging. To brainstorm, we thought through other brands and the messages we receive from them. Then we tried to pinpoint our own messaging. We definitely seek to get across that we care, value and believe in marriage. But then we asked the question, based on our comparison of other brands, are we seriously saying that if we’re your wedding photographer you are going to have a successful marriage? Absolutely not. But it did get me thinking.
While we cannot guarantee a successful or committed marriage for any of our couples, we do hope that we influence their marriages in a positive way. We believe that good marriages can help produce strong families, that can positively impact our communities, and ultimately change our world. We believe in wedding day vows, in never giving up, in choosing love even when you can’t feel it. And we hope to be a voice, even a faint whisper in all the noise, that encourages our couples to continue investing in their relationship long past the wedding day.
One of the most exciting things in the past year is finding other brands, specifically wedding industry brands, with the same or similar goal. Real people, working on real weddings, hoping to encourage real couples to not only think about their wedding as one day, but all the days that follow as well. I was delighted when Cottage Hill magazine reached out for a collaboration. Cottage Hill is a magazine that seeks to inspire couples to “live a life worthy of an elegant and meaningful legacy.” Legacy. A word not often used in our vocabulary these days. Legacy causes us to think far beyond just one day. And it forces us to consider the end, not just how we may be feeling in the moment. Something monumentally needed for lasting and committed marriages.
I am honored to have my words (and our photos!) make up a small portion of this magazine. It’s the first time to see something I wrote in print. While there is definitely a sense of accomplishment there, as I pushed past my own personal fears, my hope in doing so was that someone reading them might find hope in their own circumstances. You can purchase the magazine and also enjoy Cottage Hill’s online journal. And I cannot end without a huge congratulations to Katie O. Selvidge, Cottage Hill’s editor, for pushing far beyond her own fears to making this magazine and her dream a reality.