How can a photo do so much?
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Fact: blush is a salon, and our "job" is to service hair needs (as well as skin and other beauty elements). So, why do we bother to stop life as scheduled to do a photoshoot? Well...the easy answer from my free-spirit perspective is “for the art of it all!” and I know my creative friends agree that this is reason enough to simply create. But the side of me that wants to move a business forward AND build community isn’t satisfied with stock photos and hair-only content. My friends and I long to collaborate in ways that build up other artists through photography, friendship and a creative culture where individuals coming together with many ideas can transform the ordinary into a captivating sight, full of emotion and movement.
We are in an age where images are everything. As editorial and commercial photography has moved from print, movies and tv to the little supercomputer you carry in your pocket or purse, everyone has more access than ever to view what they want, select how they are marketed to and “like” it or leave it with a click or scroll. We can get really hung up on a particular image and we might not know why…
But I learned something a few years ago so valuable about how we relate to visual images and why some have an impact that can lead us to a decision. This truth I learned has changed my perspective but has taken time for me to learn how to implement in the most powerful ways. In fact, I’m still discovering more layers of this fact. What makes us linger over a certain image where we quickly move past another probably isn’t the cute boots the model is wearing, or her stylish waves, the cute coffee shop she’s in or her jewelry. It’s something less material than that...it’s the feeling the image gives you.
A vapid model shot highlighting a new handbag might give the consumer a little shot of dopamine or just plain envy, but it probably won’t make you want to click “add to cart”. But when there is actual feeling in that photo, regardless of what may be the object of persuasion the marketer is trying to bring about, there is a desire for action. Even one as vague as “this makes me want to love my own life more” and that thought can lead to the very next necessary step into the better life you crave. The desire was there, of course, but an image that reminds us of that truth, and then lingers in the mind, poking up through the fog every so often to call us into more action...that is powerful.
Now, I know without any doubt our photos simply will not speak to everyone that way.
In fact, we love that! We are counting on the likelihood that you are here, in part, because one of our images (on social or our website, printed material, etc.) has stirred a creative spark in you or caused you to feel something that led you to this blog, even if you’re still deciding whether this is your place to hang or not.
The truth is, virtually every piece of marketing piece should be focused on attracting one dream customer. When you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one. As we have worked hard over the last year plus to brand blush Co. in a way that draws in the artists and guests we want to work with most, we’ve gained clearer direction on just who we are speaking to and how. While we definitely don't seek to exclude anyone, our culture isn’t supposed to look like someone else’s and it isn’t supposed to appeal to the masses.If a photo is really worth a thousand words, we want the unspoken message to hit the right "ears'.
So much of the blush brand has been shaped from my target market as a foundation. But in seasons to come, you’ll find we open the scope to include more male clients as we have artists who love serving the men’s grooming space.
On the talent side of things, I have been insanely blessed to cross paths with some talented photographers who bring special vision and skills to these projects we’ve pulled off. We have models who are friends or family who we think embody our brand potential, and most of them have never done anything like this before! As a team of artists we are always wanting to level up, and photo shoots are one thing that propel us into new spaces and shake us out of the routine of doing what’s expected. We laugh like crazy and freeze when the sun goes down on the mountain field where we’re all standing around in “high fashion”. We’re exhausted and kind of goofy when it’s all done, but there’s nothing like the bonding and memories we walk away with once we’ve wrapped.
Then the edits begin rolling in and they are icing. A beautiful reward for hard work, visual content for months (even years), and a joyful encapsulation of memories with friends, mothers & daughters, sisterhood that just isn’t easily come by. We are crazy grateful for each other and work with a new understanding for every woman’s walk. These projects are hard. But they also change how we relate to one another and grow our business in ways that others might not dare to.
I’d love to know what you think of this little manifesto (does all this brand work line up with who you know us to be?), and how you can relate in your own field of work, a hobby or passion that causes you to go out of the normal routine to create something exceptional, no matter who appreciates it, or doesn’t.
Thanks for reading,
Our beauty artists: Sarah Harcrow, Janette Nowell, Grace Gutierrez, Maggie Nowell
Our models: Whittney Fernandez, Keisha Wood, Hali Martin, Sara Harcrow, Madison Allison, Breanna Jennings, Maggie Nowell