On rebranding and yet another birthday

“Come back believer in shade

believer in silence and elegance, believer in ferns

believer in patience, believer in the rain.”

W.S. Merwin


I found this words totally by chance on an antique print of a fern and I thought it was a total case of serendipity. I was just looking to do a small rebranding and was tempted again to go the classic route of asking help to a professional graphic designer which is what I did two years ago. At the time she incorporated the fern into my brand image which I loved because just after that I started to see I was surrounded by ferns (in HK countryside they grow wild) and they just happened to be one of my favorite plants. I liked very much the idea of my brand being connected to natural light and nature which both play a big role in my photography. Yet, I got tempted. The humble fern didn’t look bold enough to somebody who was searching for herself, her identity as a photographer but also who was longing to make a bold move by stepping fully into the professional world. So I envisioned this logo, the one I had up until yesterday which resembled a bit like the initials of my name, but also a sort of tribal sign.it was beautiful, I loved it but a couple of days ago I realized I wasn’t seeing myself in it and I probably never had.It was bold,graphic, polished, modern but it wasn’t me. So before putting myself into the process of yet another rebranding I decided to keep all the elements of my brand image that I still feel connected to (fern included) and change only what really was bothering me, the logo. What my photography is about? what is my purpose, who are the people I hope to reach and above all who am I? the first thing that I realized is that I don’t want or need a logo. I am a pretty reserved person, introverted even.I love simplicity and dislike anything too flashy and instead of thinking of these as negative traits like I have been often led to believe,  I decided to enhance them because I now believe these are my strong points . At the same time I didn’t want my website to look like the typical family photographers website full of cute photos of kids on pastel colours background. Again I went for simple, elegant, understated.I searched for two days for the perfect font and once I found it, I just designed the logo myself and put it up and just like magic I felt everything was in the right place. All this process comes at the end of a month’s worth of celebrations for my birthday. While I am not sharing here how old I am because I believe age as a number is totally irrelevant , I felt like it was a bit of a turning point. I reached a point in which I find myself completely comfortable in my skin and this is translating also into my work. I have been shooting a lot of film and I plan to continue to do so.I am finally able to ditch old habits and insecurities.I am wearing my life like that coat that fits me perfectly and was tailor made, just for me and I wanted my “brand” to reflect all this. So here is my advice to a young photographer in search of their brand identity. The soul searching process of finding your own identity on work or life is a never ending one but at the same time there are some core elements in ourself and our personality that don’t change after all and these are the ones we should base our truth on. Own them, celebrate them, communicate them in a way that feels true and unique to you. Don’t follow the trends but follow your inner voice and use it as a guidance , you won’t be wrong. So when I will feel lost and confused (which will happen as I know) I will try to remember who I am,  that I am a believer in silence and elegance, I am a believer in the rain, a believer in patience.

A believer in ferns.

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