The KJ Rebrand Recap

  • Behind the Scenes

As some of you may have read, I have never been officially branded by anyone… ever. I started getting into this field through graphic design and so I assumed that I knew enough to do it on my own. It was fine for a while! But eventually I became increasingly more and more annoyed at my inability to design for myself. I wanted it all. I didn’t have the “bigger picture” mentality to see beyond all of my little ideas.

My brand was cohesive but it wasn’t well thought out. Over the years, a lot has changed and the “look” of my business has been altered quite a bit! I’m excited to share some of the  behind the scenes of my FIRST real rebrand and hopefully this will help others who are going through this process as well!  When I first started thinking of rebranding, I knew I only wanted to work with Jen Olmstead! She’s amazing and her talent never ceases to amaze me! (Ps. Check back Friday for her point of view!!) After emailing her in the summer and then deciding to begin our process in October, she sent me several in depth worksheets to do. These exercises helped me really determine what I REALLY wanted in my new look. I came up with the following thought:

I wanted my new look to be timeless, welcoming, approachable, and have a hint of southern charm! The more we talked about this, the more we realized that we needed to use our house as inspiration!!! It’s the part of my life that encompasses my style the most! As soon as Jen said “So I really feel like we could get some great ideas from your foyer” I was hooked!! Anyone see the resemblance?! :)

 So that was a great starting place! We knew the basics of what we were going for and I had mentioned to Jen that I loved and disliked a few design elements:

  • I wanted some type of “swoopy” font, but not hand calligraphy
  • I LOVED text overlays but it wasn’t a MUST HAVE
  • I wanted a blog design that was unique because my blog has ALWAYS been very different from other photography blogs
  • I wanted my “wedding posts” on the blog to be extra fancy somehow!
  • I wanted a clean logo and “mark” that still looked very “Katelyn James”
  • And last but not least, I wanted an online presence that was equally professional and welcoming.

joyful   .   genuine  .   timeless

Lets talk about our keywords for a minute! These are not words that I just randomly drew out of a hat, they have been accumulating over the years. I knew that I enjoyed photographing JOY more than anything. I think it’s one of the best qualities of my style! It’s also something that Michael and I try to exude throughout our client’s experience. The word genuine is another personal characteristic that we try to bring into our client’s experience as well. Basically, we want to practice what we preach and we want our clients  to feel genuinely loved and cared for. When they feel loved and well taken care of, trust is formed. When trust is formed, genuine portraits can be taken! Last but not least, “Timeless”. This final word stems from my style. I really don’t have an intense editing style. It’s very simple and I actually use the SAME pattern over and over again on my tonal curve (would anyone be interested in a editing educational video in the shop?! Let me know in the comments!:) I want my work to be timeless. I actually have some images in my “featured wedding gallery” on the new website that are from 2010! What?! I’m actually very proud of that! That means my work is timeless. It’s still just as relevant today as it was 5 years ago!

So, now that we’ve talked a little about some of the behind the scenes, let me share some of my FAVORITE parts of my new brand!!!! :

  • I love that I don’t have “photography” in my logo anymore! It’s a nice change and it almost makes my brand feel even more focused on my name and not my title as a “wedding photographer” and I like that!
  • I’m OBSESSED with the MEET KATELYN section! You get to hear from Michael throughout the “OUR STORY” section, see our mini-promo clip together, and also get to know “The Men in my Life”!  I love all of these little sections, but I also LOVE the KJ FAVS and TRAVELS page! They are gorgeous!!
  • I have a MOBILE SITE! You can view both the blog and the website on your phones!
  • I love my galleries on my website! They are image focused and make my work look better than it really is!! :)
  • I love the faint taupe stripes on our home pages. That was an afterthought! Jen added those later and it totally MADE it!
  • I love that you could spend a good half hour in my new website as still have more to see!
  • The featured galleries and “love notes” are beautiful!! (If I do say so myself!)
  • I love that when your mouse hovers over top of the “K” on the blog, it FLIPS! It’s the little things right??! Thanks to Flosites for that one!
  • Last but not least, I LOVE feeling like my online presence is updated and COMPLETE!

Haven’t seen all of the new design?! Take a look around! We’re still working on a few special blog features and I can’t wait to share those soon!!!! Before you go, here are a few pieces of advice for anyone going through a rebrand in the near future:

  1. Take time to really hash out what the important aspects of your style are. This means narrowing down your Pinterest board! :)
  2. Set a launch date! Be strategic with this. Give yourself enough time to lead up to the launch and market it well!
  3. TRUST your designer and work with someone who “gets” you and your style!
  4. Dream big. It never hurts to ask! If you have an idea, share it with your designer. It could be one of your best design features once everything is said and done!
  5. Be willing to say if you’re not feeling something. A good designer hears feedback and isn’t offended. Jen is amazing at this! She was so easy to work with and never made me feel bad for tweaking and changing things!
  6. If at ALL POSSIBLE, meet with your designer in person. Aaron and Jen were so sweet to host us in their home and it’s a miracle our schedules aligned! That planning session kick started our process!

Ok, Michael and I are headed out to run errands! Enjoy some of  my favorite pieces of our new sites and if you’re in the northeast, stay safe! SNOW IS COMING!!!! woohoo!!! Checkout the NEW WEBSITE HERE! Also, if you’re in the rebranding process or about to begin, make sure to check back Friday to hear from the designer herself!!


xoxo, Katelyn
25 Comments Photography
  1. Retha reply

    YES PLEASE, to some editing educational videos!!

  2. Erica reply

    An editing video would be great! I love purchasing videos and see visions and thought process come to life when editing digital photos!

  3. Nicole Salter reply

    Mind blowingly beautiful. I still don’t have words for it.

  4. Megan Kelsey Marcus reply

    Looooove it all. It feels very fun but very professional at the same time! And very you!! The ONLY thing I am missing is how the blog would save my name + information so I didn’t have to type it every time I left a comment!! ;) I still haven’t taken the time to really explore both sites and that’s what I’m gonna go do now! Yay!!

  5. Susan Stewart reply

    Katelyn – This turned out amazing and 100% looks like you and your brand!! Jen absolutely NAILED IT!!
    Having someone professionally brand your company is one of the best investments you can make and can not be stressed enough!! We are currently in the middle of a rebranding ourselves and can not wait to show off the new us! Cheers to fresh looks and the new year!!

  6. Debi reply

    Your new site is lovely….so reflects your style!

    Are you kidding? Yes please…would love an editing video. Love your simple, clean, classic processing!

  7. Erin reply

    Yes please on the editing education!

  8. Christin reply

    It looks AMAZING!!!! Everything about the whole site is so thought out! I would be interested in an editing educational video in the shop!

  9. Brittney reply

    Loving the new look and sites! Would love some editing videos! That would be amazing! Thanks for being awesome!

  10. Alex reply

    YES YES YES! An editing video would be awesome!

  11. Hunter reply

    Your new website is amazing!!! I love it. I spent a good 45 minutes just browsing through the website/blog and it is stunning. And I didn’t even know that K flipped, but it’s super cool! :)
    Congrats, and great job!

    Yes, yes to an editing video!!

  12. Janelle reply

    Beautiful! And yes and editing video would be amazing!

  13. Whitney reply

    I would love to see an editing educational video in the store!! We are constantly working to keep our work timeless as well, and would love to see how you do it!!

  14. Kate Robinson reply

    It looks incredible Katelyn! Thanks for sharing a little of your process, I admire how fast you finished everything! You must be so happy :) xx

  15. Moriah Ortega reply

    I have to say one of the things I love most about the re-brand is that you kept the teal color!! To me teal is so Katelyn James and it wouldn’t have been the same if you’d changed that.:)

    And yes, please do an photo editing tutorial!!!

  16. Casey E reply

    Love the new brand & site….and YES to those editing education videos, please!!! :)

  17. Brooke reply

    This blog post is seriously the answer to my prayers! I’ve been struggling with the stress and fear of starting a business and for sure stuck on one of the first steps-branding! Thank you so much for sharing! I feel you are nudging me in the right direction! I love your new site, I just found you last week but with your site I feel like I know you! I am an instant fan! Also I would love an editing video! Something else that is a bit of a struggle is consistency. Thank you! Xoxo

  18. Annetta reply

    Yes Katelyn, would love an editing video!

  19. Marco Hüther reply

    Great post! I love the ideas behind the design..
    And please show us some of your editing skills, i want learning from the best :)
    Marco (germany)

  20. Hillary reply

    Well of course everything looks amazing…but I love that when you hover over your blog images the “pin it” button is the same shape of your “K” at the top. Too cute!

  21. Ashley reply

    Would LOVE a video on your editing techniques! Love the rebrand! We are in the middle of our own right now. New website launching this weekend!

  22. Heather reply

    I absolutely loved the rebrand! So fresh, so classic, so YOU!!! Jen did an amazing job capturing everything that “Katelyn James” entails! And of course we would love an editing video in the shop :)

  23. Sara reply

    I LOVE your website. I can see how it matches your style, and totally has southern charm. I have been wanting to update my own website, and I am super inspired by yours!

  24. openload movies reply

    nice kitty

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