Finding a good name for your photography business is hard, but also very important.
A good photography business name is unique, elegant, relevant to you and even helps you get more clients.
So if you are just starting your photography business and are looking to find the perfect name, look no further. In this guide, we’ll go over all the do’s and don’ts of naming a photography business.
I’ll also help you come up with some great ideas and show you a couple of the best photography names ever.
The Characteristics Of A Good Photography Business Name
When naming your photography business it’s important to ask yourself some questions:
- What message do you want to portray with your business name?
- What are your biggest priorities for your business name? Do you want it to be easy to pronounce, elegant, different and unique, directly related to your products and services, etc.?
- What do you want people to think and feel when they see your business name?
- What are the names of your competition? What do you like and dislike about those business names?
- Does the length of the name matter? If so, do you want a short name or a longer name?
We’ll go over a step-by-step process to find the perfect business name for photography below, but in general, these are the characteristics we’re looking for:
In the end, people like to hire other people that they like and whose values resonate with their own.
So it’s import that your personality is clear from the start.
Are you a playful photographer that shoots weddings as a best friend? Or are you more serious and professional, which might be ideal for certain companies.
Whatever it is, when your name is congruent with your branding (website, font, logo, tone of voice,…) it’ll make sure you attract the right clients for your business.
Positions Your Photography Business
A good name doesn’t need anything extra to position your business and separates yourself from the competition.
For example, business names like “The Portrait Photographer” or “Lauren Patrick, Portrait Photographer” immediately position yourself as a portrait photographer, thus giving you the upper hand compared to more general photographers.
If what the business is about is obvious from the name, then half or your marketing is already done.
To do this, take a look at your mission statement, your business plan, and your unique selling proposition (USP). And don’t forget to think about your target audience.
While this also might seem to limit yourself, likely your success in photography will come from being highly focused in one narrow area. A good photographer is often a specialist. It’s why your customer wants you.
If you later decide to expand your photography, you can always rebrand or start an entirely new business with a new name.
Lends Itself For Marketing
How will your photography business name look when it’s written out?
For example, how will it look on a business card or flyer?
Is there an option to create a nice looking logo with the name or within the letters, and is it short enough?
Does it work as a domain name with all letters being lowercase? For example, icgrand.com is a lot more confusing than ICgrand.com.
Maybe you can even turn in into your own hashtag.
Going with something trendy today might come back to haunt you later, so choose an elegant name for your photography business that will stand the test of time.
Avoids Confusion And Mistakes By Being Clear
Getting creative when naming your photography business is certainly possible, but don’t go overboard.
Taking the wordplay strategy will only make it more difficult for others to figure out what your name means, let alone remembering it.
For example, “ICGrand” could be a wordplay on “I See Grand”, but unless you get the chance to explain this most people will fail to get this, let alone figure out what your business is about.
Also, it’ll be hard for others to find you online, as it’s easy to misspell these kinds of names. Always put your business name to the test by asking others to spell it.
A name that sounds good when it’s said aloud is just easier to remember and tell others about.
And it also prevents struggling with saying your own business name to potential clients or when giving interviews.
Word of mouth is important as a photographer and if people have to repeat themselves all the time when sharing your not so elegant business name, they’ll stop doing so.
When possible, you could consider using an alliteration (using words that start with the same consonant) like Coca-Cola.
Passes The Grandparents Test
This is probably the most important of them all.
Ask your grandma (or any grandma or grandpa who doesn’t work for your organization) about your new business name. Or if a grandparent isn’t available, try this with a child.
Ask them to read your new photography business name to see if they:
- Can pronounce it?
- Figure out what you actually do?
- Can tell others about it?
You’d be shocked how many outsiders look at a business name and have no idea what that company or person does.
Of course, if you find a great name for your photography it would be great if you could use it.
So during our step-by-step guide below, we’ll go over how you can check if your business name is still available as a domain name and on social media.
You can also go a step further an register your business name as a trademark when possible. In any case, don’t use or modify an existing brand name, or you will run into legal problems.
You could use this free tool to see if the name is already trademarked. In general, if a name is trademarked in an area that has nothing to do with photography it should still be fine, but this might lead to confusion with potential clients.
Naming Your Photography Business After Yourself
While you can get very creative while naming your photography business (and we’ll see how below), sometimes keeping it simple is the best option.
In this case, it might make sense to just name your business after yourself.
You Are Your Business
The value of your business is you. There is no separation.
It’s your vision, your skills, your creativity that sets you apart from others.
And people hire other people. By giving your business your own name, it’s easier for them to relate and it feels more personal.
Easy To Remember (And Refer You)
When you’re the name of your business, people don’t have to remember two different names.
And as word of mouth is one of the strongest marketing channels for photographers, this matters a lot. Your friends, family, and existing clients will be a big factor in the growth of your business
You want to make it as easy as possible for them to refer you. Because it matters what they tell those others about you. For this, it’s best if it’s simple and easy to remember.
Otherwise, they’ll either get it wrong or just won’t say anything at all.
Keeps Your Options Open
While specifying what you do as a photographer (For example “portraits” or “food”) can be a good thing, keeping your options open might also be an advantage.
By just using our name you can always expand into different types of photography later.
It’s Probably Available
As we saw above, it’s important that the business name you want to use for your photography is still available as a domain and on social media.
Since your name is pretty specific, chances are that those usernames are still yours to claim, which might not be true when using a more generic name.
The Big Names Are Doing It
Most well-known photographers use their own name for their photography business.
- Nadav Kander (https://www.nadavkander.com/)
- Ken Hermann (http://kenhermann.dk/)
- Mario Testino (https://www.mariotestino.com/)
- Steve McCurry (https://stevemccurry.com/)
Although there are some exceptions. For example, Platon only uses his last name and adds “photo” to his domain: http://www.platonphoto.com.
Photography Business Names Ideas
There are many ways to structure photography business name, so below we’ll go over some possibilities and ideas. Of course, these are not the only options but use them as inspiration for the exercise below on how to find the perfect name for your photography business.
As we saw above, naming your photography business after yourself is one of the best and most common ways to do it.
Variations On Your Name
Another option is to try some variations on your name.
For example, you could add “photographer” or “photography” to the end:
- Your Name Photographer
- Your Name Photography
This has the advantage that someone who doesn’t know you immediately knows what you do, even if they just see your name online somewhere. Especially handy when commenting or for social media profiles.
Another options is to be a bit more general, for example:
- Studio Your Name
This is an option when you do some other stuff (maybe you also do graphic design or video?) or just want to seem a bit bigger than you are.
You could expand on those name variations above by being very specific about what type of photography you are active in. For example, when you’re a wedding photographer you could add “wedding”, or a portrait photographer can add “portrait” to your business name:
- Your Name Wedding Photography
- Your Name Wedding Photographer
While this may seem to limit you, it doesn’t mean you can’t take on other assignments and establishes you more as an expert for that particular type of photography.
It’s also easier for people looking for a wedding or portrait photographer to find you online and is a big boost for your SEO.
People are mostly looking for a local photographer, with searches on Google like “chicago photographer”.
You can take advantage of this by adding it to your photography business name or at least your tagline.
Creating Something New
Nobody said your business name has to mention you or your photography of course. I’ve seen people using all kinds of names, like:
- Lonely Alien
- Photo Owl / Photo Seal
- Click It Photography
- Creative Fawn
How To Find The Perfect Name For Your Photography Business
Bonus: Download this worksheet and use it together with this guide to find the perfect name for your own photography business!
In this step, we’ll just gather as many names as possible and write them all down in a list or put them straight in the worksheet.
- Focus on quantity.
- Withhold criticism.
- Welcome unusual ideas.
- Combine and improve ideas.
(Further reading: 7 Techniques for More Effective Brainstorming)
In fact, the more ideas you will generate the more possibilities you will have to choose from.
Some things you could do to think of new names:
Invite Some Friends
Order some pizza and have a couple of friends over. In exchange for you providing the food, they shoot names at you that you note down on a whiteboard (or on your laptop, although seeing the names might inspire them to find others).
Try to select friends that know you and your photography, as this will lead to better names.
You can also do this by mail, of course, sending your friends a quick message to ask if they each can answer you by coming up with 5 suggestions for a name for your photography business.
Use An Online Generator
There are many online business names generators that you could use to come up with new ideas for your photography.
Just enter some words related to your type of photography, location or own name and it’ll generate hundreds of photography business name ideas.
Pro Tip: Use words that communicate value, feeling, emotion, strength or uniqueness of your business.
Write Down All Your Ideas
Use rapid ideation where you sit down with a piece of paper (or your laptop) and just write down everything you can come up with. This is called brain dumping, but you can also use mind mapping and word association.
2. Score All The Names
Now that you have your list of photography business names we’ll have to narrow it down by evaluating them on the characteristics we discussed above.
Put all the possible names in the worksheet if you haven’t done so. Then, assign a score from 1 to 10 for each characteristic.
Of course, you can do this together with friends, or send them a copy of the worksheet. Make an average over all the scores in this case.
When done with this exercise, order all the names by total points from high to low.
This should leave you with a shortlist (top 5, top 10,…) of names to take through to the next step.
Pro Tip: Add some other photographers and their business names to another list and do the same exercise to see how their names compare to yours.
3. Check The Availability
Next, we’ll have to check if the names you came up with are still available.
Having a website for your photography is mandatory.
It’s an essential tool to show off your portfolio, reach new clients and book new assignments. As a professional, you’ll want your domain name to represent you and your photography.
So we’ll have to check the domain availability of each name on your shortlist.
To do so, go to iwantmyname.com and enter one of the photography business names on your shortlist into the search field (without spaces).
You’ll then get a list of all the possible domains:
If the domain of your chosen photography business name is still available, great! Go ahead and do this for all the potential names on your shortlist, and note the availability in your worksheet.
A Note About Domain Extensions
You don’t always need to get a .com domain, so don’t worry if it isn’t available anymore. In fact, it might be even better to get a country-specific domain like .co.uk or .it as Google often favors those domains in their local search results. So when you want clients to find you locally, go with a local domain.
As you’ll want to have consistent branding all over the internet, we’ll also check if your photography business name is still available on social media.
The two most important social media channels as a photographer are Instagram and Facebook so I’ve added those to the worksheet. If you want to create a profile on another platform (Snapchat, 500px,…) you can add columns for those as well.
To check if the names on your shortlist are still available on social media, you can use a tool like namecheckr.
Just put in the name you want to check in the top search bar and the tool will show you which usernames are still available for most popular social networks.
Again do this for all the potential names on your shortlist, and note the availability in your worksheet.
4. (Optional) Gather Feedback
The previous 3 steps should give you a pretty good idea of which names are still in the running to use and available as a website and on social media.
While it’s not necessary, you could go out and ask for feedback on a couple of these names.
The best feedback will come from (potential) customers or other people that are familiar with or working in the photography sector. Friends and family are great to help you come up with ideas but will be less good in judging what works and what doesn’t.
So ask some questions like:
- What does the name communicate?
- Do they think the name represents your photography business?
- Does the name garner trust?
- Is it relevant?
Add this feedback in a separate column in your worksheet.
5. Choose A Winner
So you’ve brainstormed a list of potential business names for your photography, gave them scores and looked up their availability. Maybe you even gathered feedback from some potential clients.
Now it’s time to choose a winner.
Bonus: Click here to download the worksheet if you haven’t already, and use it together with this guide to find the perfect name for your own photography business!
While you could just take the one with the highest score in your worksheet that is still available, it’s important you also use your feeling. Choosing a name for your photography business means that you’ll be using that name for the foreseeable future, so you’ll have to like and trust it as well.
If needed, take a night to sleep on it. Let the ideas rest for a day or two, then come back to it and review them again. In many cases, after a brief break, you will instantly know which of your options is the right one.
In any case, congratulations with finding your photography business name!
What To Do When You Found Your Name
Register Your Domain Name And Social Media Accounts
You’ll want to claim your domain name, set up your website and register your social media accounts as soon as possible. This way nobody else will be able to do so before you, and you’ll get an SEO boost with Google.
Design A Logo
Having a logo always looks more professional.
You can either add something extra like a camera above the name or just make a pretty design from your photography business name. Don’t go overboard, small touches and a good font can make a big difference.
If you’re a good designer yourself with some Photoshop or Illustrator skills you can do this yourself, otherwise, hire a designer on Fiverr or create one with a service like LogoJoy (for as little as $20).
Get Some Business Cards
They might be oldskool but business cards still work.
It’s a great way for people that you meet to remember you. I can’t even begin to count the number of assignments I got from handing out a business card during weddings and other events.
Make sure to create one with a great design. If you got the “enterprise” package from LogoJoy above they’ll include a business card design as well.
The best business cards in the world are made by MOO. With their printfinity technique, they can print a different image on each of your cards.
Create A Watermark
What’s Your Photography Business Name
I’m curious, what’s the name you use for your photography business?
Take this quick poll and then leave the name you use in the comments below.
Any words on why you choose that name and how you came up with it are greatly appreciated!