My Soul Goes with Your Logos

I was recently contacted by the Cincinnati AMA to provide a photography sponsorship for ten speaking events they're going to be holding from now until May of next year at several locations in the Queen City.  After deliberating the merits of such a sponsorship and after speaking to several friends who encouraged me to do it (and after spending a good hour looking at pictures of dogs on Google images), I accepted the offer.  This is a pretty big deal to me because I rarely do this (the event photography, not the dog pictures. I do that all the time) and I think it'll be a nice little departure from what I currently do.  I'm a landscape and architecture photographer; my experience with event photography is minimal.  Yes, I've shot for LG at the Great American Ballpark and that was a great experience, but I think this is going to be more in-depth than that.  It's going to be a challenge for which I'm thankful.  Cincinnati AMA has gifted me a fantastic opportunity.

My AMA contact asked me to come up with a brand logo for use in their promotional materials.  Since I'm a sponsor, they'll be advertising my "brand" within their presentations and whatnot and they need something to show for it.  I never thought of myself as a brand until this moment and, to be honest, I never wanted a logo.  I'm just a guy who loves my city and tries to document it in a unique way and gets bent out of shape when his hashtags don't execute properly.  How do I choose a logo for this?  How do I commit to a single image that represents who I am and what I do?  How do I not have an immense amount of anxiety about this?  How did I let that gallon of milk in the fridge expire?  Unrelated, but still.  The cost of milk is dairy high these days.

Hello, this is my brand logo rife with hidden meaning no one will understand unless I explain it.

Hello, this is my brand logo rife with hidden meaning no one will understand unless I explain it.

So after a single night of furious internal debate and self doubt and more pictures of dogs, I finally developed a logo I think fits my style and represents who I am.  It features my initials (revolutionary, I know) within an outline of a stylized Times-Star building.  I chose this design for several reasons: firstly, I mainly do architecture photography and I love the Times-Star building; it's my favorite thing in the city for myriad reasons that I've explained 8,000 times in other posts and over social media already.  It makes sense that it would be in my logo.  Secondly, my initials are lowercase to both match the design of my website and also because I think the lowercase letters inherently imply room for growth.  I'm not the best, I don't think I've mastered anything, and I still have a lot to learn about photography and art and design.  By no means have I reached my full potential and maybe I never will.  I'll certainly try, though.  I want to subtly convey that because humility and integrity are essential to my vision.  It just makes sense to me.  Thirdly, I kept the design clean and minimalist because I like to live the same way with few things in an immaculate space.  My apartment is currently 500 square feet and I have just enough stuff to fill it.  Those are all the worldly possessions I truly need.  I wanted to pay homage to this lifestyle through the logo.  Those three things together coalesce to form an image that I think accurately portrays an idea of who I am and what I do.  Sure, I should have just taken a picture of myself Googling dog pictures and slapped a frame around it, but I think this probably works better for my "brand."

I didn't design this because I felt like I wanted a logo.  This was purely born out of necessity for this sponsorship.  It makes sense to me to have a logo now since I'm doing this for the Cincinnati AMA, so hopefully I'll get some decent exposure and people will visit my site and subsequently purchase prints of my architecture photography.  I could use the extra income.  I have to keep paying my internet bill so I can continue my work.