Noel Herbal Skincare | Somerville Small Business | Creative Entrepreneur Lifestyle Portrait & Product Photography

Noel Herbal Skincare | Somerville Small Business | Creative Entrepreneur Lifestyle Portrait & Product Photography

Noel Herbal Skincare, based in Somerville, MA, was founded by Shannon Curtis who has been an esthetician for over 15 years! Shannon and I first connected through a Facebook group where she shared that she had some big dreams for her business, and she was working on learning how to brand and promote her work. I have always been fascinated by branding, and Shannon and I connected over the value of visual imagery when it comes to upleveling the overall perception of small businesses

This environmental portrait session we did together created the perfect imagery for Shannon’s website, Instagram, online shop, emails, and more. Anywhere you market yourself, you can use your custom photography!

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3 Steps To Vetting Your Brand + Web Designer, and Why You Need To Do It

3 Steps To Vetting Your Brand + Web Designer, and Why You Need To Do It

Look for a quality portfolio with (at least) several examples of the kind of work you want done. I think I was a little too trusting and dove in with this designer because she was nice, understanding, and I liked her own website. Her blog was helpful and from her posts she seemed knowledgeable, but she didn’t have a ton of work to show. It seemed like a win-win situation at the time, because I would be helping to bulid her portfolio, and she would help my business get back on track with its branding. I’ve been in the same place as her before, hoping clients would hire me even though I had less experience, and I’m forever grateful to the people who took a chance on me. So, I thought, why not? In my case, I think this designer didn’t have a lot of work to show because she hadn’t been doing it for very long. That means less experience (even experience doing personal projects still counts for something!) and less evidence of commitment to the work.

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Somerville Small Business Product and Lifestyle Handmade Jewelry Photography | Linkouture

Somerville Small Business Product and Lifestyle Handmade Jewelry Photography | Linkouture

Whenever I get to work with fellow entrepreneurs and creatives and see their success, I feel like such a proud mama! When you own your own business AND you’re a solopreneur, sometimes it feels like it takes forever for all the pieces to fall into place and for everything to work together seamlessly for you to achieve your goals. As a photographer and someone who does their fair share of shopping online, I can say that cohesive visual elements and imagery make a huuuge difference in the perception of a product! Having seen the “before and after” of Linkouture’s imagery, I can say that Bev's new photography for her business works wonders for showing off the quality she’s capable of creating!

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Rebranding: That "Me Too" Moment

Rebranding: That "Me Too" Moment

I recently decided to create a survey and call up some of my portrait clients from 2015. I didn’t get to chat with every one of you sadly, but those of you I did get to talk with taught me SO much. I am so grateful for the time you spent sharing your thoughts with me and showing me what’s most important to you in life. I ended up asking you about everything from what your dream house would be like, to what you're most often frustrated by, to how you want to be seen by others (Seriously. We got DEEP and I cannot thank you all enough for sharing these things with me)! I discovered some amazing things, which my Dream Clients all have in common, that made me feel so elated and encouraged! Read on to learn what I discovered!

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Rebranding: It's Happening!

Rebranding: It's Happening!

Here’s my deep, dark secret: I designed my current logo myself, somewhere around 2011, when I was a senior in college studying studio art with a concentration in graphic design. Seriously. If you know me personally, you might be totally surprised if you haven’t heard that before because I would NEVER touch a design project today.

I share all that to say, I have learned SO much lately about the true worth of hiring a creative expert. Not cutting corners when you have the choice to invest in something great, that will elevate your experiences in life and business. Choosing to trust a creative business owner to do what they do best. Choosing to focus your energy on the things you do best, rather than trying to wear ALL the hats, and fumbling around with the ones that don’t fit quite right.

I am done trying to “make it work” myself when it comes to my branding, because while I have learned so much through this process, I am totally not a branding expert! The awesome part is, I got connected with someone who is!

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Arlington Autumn Small Business Portrait Photography | Musician and Composer Ruth Shyu

Arlington Autumn Small Business Portrait Photography | Musician and Composer Ruth Shyu

I've created portraits for several entrepreneurs, professionals and musicians lately, and usually they're about my age in their 20s or 30s. Often, their careers or new businesses are still fairly young and they're trying lots of new things and dreaming big. Everything is new and exciting (and often scary)! Working with Ruth was different in a very cool way because she's so full of experiences, having moved across the country and put in years of hard work honing her craft, building her skills, and being her own boss. She's faced and overcome some significant obstacles over the years, so I really cherished my time with her and the opportunity to hear her stories, while talking about what it means to be creative for a living.

This was just another example for me of why it's SO important as a creative person and/or entrepreneur to be in community with other creatives and entrepreneurs! The support we can offer each other and the special ways we can lift each other up are priceless. 

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Somerville Small Business | Inkwell

Somerville Small Business | Inkwell

This is Becka Schuelke, the craftslady behind the loveliness that is Inkwell's hand painted wooden signs. She scours the earth for wood planks and gives them new life in the form of adorable home goods, and is darn good at it. Becka is also a brilliant graphic designer (who made my wedding invitations and programs)!

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