Rebranding Wedding Photography Business + Changing Name
Soul. Passion. Emotion.
All the things a wedding photographer claims to capture.
I photograph stories for a living. I celebrate with couples the one thing I believe in more than anything - love. I am an advocate for authenticity encouraging others to share their passion and desire, but sometimes I forget to share my own. This was especially true in my business name. I merely labeled my photography with my childhood nickname, but words have power. The little things matter. Make everything you do reflect yourself. Find what brings you deep joy and ignites your soul, and do those things.
I involve myself greatly in a world of emotions and revel in every second connecting with couples who embrace from the soul. Magnolia + Ember as a whole represents fierce love within myself, and in part, with my very own soulmates; those that have forever changed my life by leading me to find self-love through seeing how they were impacted by all I am. They were mirrors to what I was anxious to see, and challenged how I visualized specific pieces of my path's puzzle.
The name change is something I have thought about before, but I more or less just left it hanging with the thought I should not have named it what I did years ago but came too far to turnaround. In one of my deep thinking days reminiscing about some unforgettable experiences over the past few years, the word magnolia came to mind as it always does. Then it hit, I am renaming my wedding photographing to something with this beautiful, meaning-filled word. Without a second thought, I obsessively set out to make all this happen.
MAGNOLIA. At first, I did not think I would ever share what this word means to me, and I still will not go all the way seeing that some things are just better kept for yourself because they do mean so much. Truthfully even if I wanted to, I do not think it is possible to find words to fully express its value.
The word came to me in the summer of 2014 through a song that was accidentally discovered - Magnolia Tree by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. I purchased what was suppose to be The Fire by Ben Howard through iTunes, but it turned out they had mistakenly put that song in place of the download. I am not one to believe in mere coincidences, so I had to think this song was found because I needed to hear it at that very moment in time. Although the tune has some bittersweet lyrical phrases that would later reference a beautiful romantic relationship that passed, the idea of being my genuine self and someone loving me for my truth was awe-inspiring: Won't you sing and smile, make me laugh, oh anything just be yourself, talk all day, and tell me all your stories. While you sit with me in the top of a magnolia tree, tell me all your secrets darling tell me that you'll stay. I have held this song very dear for three years now; a time wrapped up in allusions to this song.
The said relationship and the only one that has followed since were both alluring renditions of this deep, authentic affection that I desired. For the first time in life, I willingly and lovingly showed my true self. I shared all of me: secrets, flaws, darkness, dreams, light, memories, and more. My soul was shaken to its core through the established comfort. I had never felt this depth of happiness before. The more inner self I revealed, the more they were inspired by me. Although life would take these relationships in different directions than expected, the experiences allowed me to realize that the joy felt was not because of these relationships but rather channeled by being my honest self and loving all aspects of this beautiful being I am. The deeper I love myself, the deeper my love for them remains.
This was a place that I had missed, a time I needed to get back to. This word constantly repeats itself to me throughout various mediums always reminding me of the bliss in being true to myself. No better-suited word to indulge my passion for photographing love stories. I am Magnolia.
EMBER. A fitting compliment to the word that describes a fiery love inside. A burning passion for life and living it fully until there is nothing left. A glowing fragment shining all light until death. And maybe a bit characteristic of fireside memories that will never grow faint and live forever in me.
Both are fascinating derivatives and also in themselves related to nature showing recognition to our incredible Earth. After all, I do specialize in adventure weddings and elopements. Here is to branding. Here is to making this ME (woo hoo for geeky play on initials). I want a name that embodies the depths of my soul, experiences, and discoveries through this very element I am capturing - love - and I found it.
For no better reason than I simply want to share and show my appreciation for the little things, here is a photo captured on the first roll of film I ever shot on the road to New York. Three pieces dangle from my rearview mirror and shine delightfully as I travel the road on any given day.
rainbow beaded bracelet my son made me years ago in kindergarten
jeweled peace sign
wire wrapped sea glass found by a special someone as we walked the beach of Port Jefferson, NY. He named it "shark tooth"
Give value to the memories that rock your essence. Do things from the heart. Be honest, be real. It feels good.