Business name


TPF Noob!
Aug 17, 2011
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Hi all! I wanted to get some insight on business names.*I'm not a professional at this point, however I'd like to start a blog and I wanted to watermark my images. Plus I do some casual portrait work for family & friends. Also if there is a point in time in the future I would like to venture into freelance photography.*Nonetheless I'd like to pick a business name now so I can stay consistent. I love my last name but I'm engaged to my boyfriend of 10 years so my last name will be changing rather soon. And I'm not crazy in love with my future last name and first name together. Although I could probably live with it, I just don't want to regret it or wish I would have done something differently down the road.*Another option I was thinking about was combining my first name and middle name, Sarah Kate. But some reason it sounds kind of childish to me and not very professional. What's your first impression of it? Has anyone kept their maiden name for business reasons, but legally changed their last name to your husbands?Thank you in advance!
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Use your name. Here's the deal: You will always be you. I tend to lean towards the maiden name for women or the first and middle. The rate of divorce these days is just plain scary. You will always be your maiden name even after you are married and change. KWIM? I have been married almost 20 years now and still use my maiden name. It also gives me a personal and professional name and they are separate now.
Something cute and catchy may be great now and may reflect your direction NOW, but down the line it definitely may not. Changing all of those watermarks are a pain in the butt. Plus you may have several different specialties. Many pro's do weddings and portraits and boudoir and... Me? I do portraits and sports. I do NOT mix those two. So... I can have Sports by MLee or I can have Fine Art Photography by MLee. If I want something cute and catchy I can have that too... My sport stuff is CLake Sports Photography. I am still in business registered as ME.
Plus you never know what direction you are going to go. If you think now you are going to do children's portraits you may really head that direction for a while. And then get derailed into something totally different. Pink Polka Dot isn't going to be so great as a sports photographer...
When you register your copyright-always register it in your name so that no matter what you decide down the road for your business those images are yours and aren't registered to "cute, catchy photography."
Use whatever you want or whatever feels more comfortable.

Also, I'd suggest that your web address is much more important that your actual business name. So if you want to have your web site address match your business name, then choose a name that is short, easy to spell and easy to remember.
And is available as a .com domain name.

Renting a domain name is as inexpensive as $10 a year, but it's a good idea to pay rent on it for multiple years.
I chose a different name than myself... a name that represented the area that I come from. And after the name its "Photography by... blah blah" {kind of weird about putting my whole name out}
Thank you all for your help, I think I'll go ahead and use my maiden name. Plus .com is available!

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