Monday, February 25, 2013

The Way to Succeed {Shelley Dee Photography} Lifestyle & Wedding Photography | Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved photography and photos.  I remember sitting on my grandmothers lap as she would share her life's stories with me while flipping through all of her photo albums.  I even remember receiving my first Kodak film camera...I have loved taking pictures for as long as I could remember.  Did this guarantee that I was supposed to be a photographer???  I personally feel that just because I love photography, it doesn't mean I am going to be good at it.  As a matter of fact when I decided to launch my business almost five years ago, I look at those old pictures and think "wow that photo looks bad!"  I had to practice, learn, fail and try one more time...over and over again!  I have taken so many workshops, watched so many videos and have read so many books.  They all have  helped me so much! There have also been times where I felt like giving up, but then I remember this quote from Thomas A. Edison.... 
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” 

I am glad I did not give up!  I will keep on practicing, learning, failing and trying over again.  This is the way to not only succeed in our businesses but in life itself!

Here are photos of our kids when I first started out almost 5 years ago...

Here are recent photos of our kids shot with the same exact camera and lens...

Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Guess Who's House {Shelley Dee Photography} Lifestyle & Wedding Photography | Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

Almost 2 years ago our family went on vacation (I can't tell you where or it would give this question away) I told my husband I always have wanted to drive by these homes.  If you were as big of a fan as I will know right way!  Yes I admit it I was a huge fan and when we drove by these homes I was so excited to be able to quickly snap away.   You should have seen's like I was involved in a drive by shooting...with my camera that is ;) I had to be quick before some neighbors called the cops reporting that some crazy lady is taking pictures of homes in the neighborhood.

So here they are....

Have you guessed it yet???  Well if you guessed the homes of Brandon & Brenda Walsh and Dylan McKay from  the original Beverly Hills 90210 you are right! Yes back in my last year of high school and in my 20's, I was a fan of the show.  I watched every episode and when it came on people knew not to call me or ask if I wanted to go out for the evening.  I can't believe the first episode of this show aired over 20 years ago!  Where have the years gone???

  I hope you enjoyed this little pop quiz!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homeschooling {Personal} Lifestyle & Wedding Photography | Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

Besides photography, I love homeschooling our children! Our Thomas and Katelyn are 12 year old twins who we have been homeschooling since kindergarten.  It has been such a blessing for our family.  From the moment we wake up there is peace in our house. I love the fact that we don't have to rush to get out of the house to get the kids to school at 8am every morning.  I love having a house free of chaos.  Even though we don't leave our house every morning we do teach our kids the importance of organizing and prioritizing their time so on the days we do have to go somewhere early in the morning it is stress free.  Another reason I love homeschooling is for the fact I get to watch our children grow.  When we moved back to California we did have to put them in public school for 1 year.  I must say the school district  and teachers where our kids did go to school were amazing, I couldn't have asked for better teachers for Thomas and Katelyn.  Our main complaint was that we never saw our own children anymore.  They went to school from 8-2:30, had homework from 2:30-5:30, ate dinner, took showers, set out clothes for the next day and went to bed.  After homeschooling as long as we have this was a huge adjustment we were having a hard time getting used to.  Now that we are settled in our new home we are now in our 2nd year of homeschooling and in a routine we love.  I know homeschooling isn't for everyone but I do know it is exactly what God put on our hearts for our family over 6 years ago.   I am so thankful I get to homeschool our children and it is something I don't ever want to take for granted.

Here is a brief look into our daily routine...

7:30 am Bible Study
8:00 am  Breakfast as a family
8:15 am Monday/Cursive and History, Tuesday/Writing and Science, Wednesday/Cursive and Language Arts, Thursday/Writing and History, Friday/Tests and Educational Boardgames
10:15 am Break/Snack
10:30 am Monday/Reading and Spelling, Tuesday/Math and Geography, Wednesday/Word Study and Vocabulary, Thursday/Math and Language Arts, Friday/Art, Music and/or Field Trips
12:30 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Free Reading
1:30 P.E.

We take our homeschool very seriously as a matter of fact when filling out our homeschool affidavit, the questionnaire asks the name of school.  We decided to name our school Grace Christian Homeschool Academy.  Here is our logo we made together...

Of course being a photographer, I just had to get creative by taking our kids class pictures....

I am so blessed to not only be their mom, but to be their teacher too!!!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day {LOVE} Lifestyle & Wedding Photography | Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

Today is Valentines Day, a day full of LOVE!  What a perfect day to spend with your spouse,  your kids, your mom or even better the One who LOVES us so much that He died for our sins.  His LOVE is perfect and pure!  One of my favorite scriptures describes His perfect Love....

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  LOVE never fails!

My prayer today is that everyone will experience this perfect LOVE.  Especially for those that don't have that someone special in their life or maybe their loved one is away in the military.  Today shouldn't just be all about flowers and should be about loving one another!

Happy Valentines Day!!

So thankful that God blessed us with these 2 loves...our kids!!

Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Bohemian Styled Bridal Shoot {Sneak Peak} Lifestyle & Wedding Photography | Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

This past weekend I was invited to take part in a beautiful bohemian styled bridal shoot by.  This shoot was such a wonderful experience for me.  It was located at Crane Creek Regional Park in Sonoma County.  Our model was simply gorgeous and the vendors who helped  put all this together were amazing.  Here is a sneak peak from the bridal shoot.  I will be posting more of my favorites soon.

A special thanks to our lovely model and vendors!

Here is a list of our vendors...

Desserts ~ Sift Cupcakes
Makeup Artist ~ Lovely to be Artistry

Thank you for stopping by my blog!!
Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties

415.827.9646 ~
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Mendocino Coast Anniversary {Personal} Lifestyle & Wedding Photography | Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

On January 10 my husband and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary.  We started planning 6 months ago not sure where we wanted to go.  We looked into going on a cruise to Alaska,  going to  Monterey and Carmel or going back to Tahoe where we spent our honeymoon.  Less than a month before our anniversary we decided to stay local and take a trip to the Mendocino Coast.  I am so glad we did because our time away was PERFECT.  It is so beautiful on the Mendocino Coast.  It is peaceful and romantic...just what we needed!  We also had a ton of fun, we laughed, held hands and sneaked in some kisses too.  We were like newlyweds all over again!  We went on some hikes, walked on the beach (we even wrote our initials  in a heart in the sand :) at night we took a stroll in the quaint downtown where we had the most delicious dinners made by award winning chefs followed by sitting in the Mendocino Hotel next to the fireplace sipping some hot cocoa.  This really was a perfect anniversary getaway and we fell in love with each other all over again!

Here are some photos from our trip...

xoxo Robert + Shelley xoxo

One of my favorite photos of my husband enjoying the beautiful view...

My husband taking photos...

I just love how blue the Ocean is here on the Mendocino Coast...stunning!!

My love!

Wouldn't you just love to have a picnic here??

There is something I love about hidden little pathways...reminds me of Narnia!

And the I need to say more?

I am not one who likes my picture taken, I feel more comfortable on the 
other side of the camera but my husband insisted on taking a picture of me...

A beautiful sketch of the B&B we stayed at...The MacCallum  House

Some Instagram photos...

My husband surprised me by having roses, champagne, 
cheese, crackers and chocolates waiting in our room for our arrival...

Then he surprised me with the perfume I have been wanting...

Robert & Shelley {15 years}

Thank you for stopping by my blog!!
Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties

415.827.9646 ~
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Personalizing Your Business {Lifestyle & Wedding Photography} Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

So here we are the 3rd and final part of our Branding Your Business series. In part 1 we shared about the Importance of Branding and Rebranding Your Business,  In Part 2 we shared How to Build Your Brand and Find Your Identity and today we are sharing about Personalizing Your Business.

Personalizing your business is probably even more important than just building a brand for your business.  I know especially for photography there are so many photographers and great photographers at that.  So how does one attract clientele with it being so saturated in this industry.  By personalizing  your business and creating an emotional connection with your target audience.

One way is to personalize your brand by creating a custom website, marketing materials and logo that reflect who you are not just as a business but as a person.  Yesterday I talked about creating an inspiration board if you are having a hard time implementing your brand, identity, logo and now personalizing all 3.  Below is an inspiration board I made up to help me find the brand and identity I wanted my business to portray.

What does my inspiration board say about me and what I want my business to look like?

1. The colors aqua and green...I just love these colors together.  Although I may not decorate my house in these colors (just my office :) these colors represent me.
2. I love anything vintage...doors, books suitcases, clothes.  Pretty much anything from the 40's & 50's
3. I love my family...whether it's having our family bible studies,  going to Disneyland as a family or snuggling on the couch with my husband while watching The Notebook.
4. I love things elegant yet simple...delicate flowers, pearl earrings and my collection of tea cups with saucers.

You can also share your inspiration board with an about me page on your website, this will build an emotional connection with your audience. Another way to personalize your brand is to add photos of yourself and family on your website, blog and Facebook.  In my husbands business he goes to his clients homes for work.  If I had a stranger coming to my home I would want to know a little more about them as an individual not just a business. There have been so many times where my husbands clients will say that the #1 reason why they choose him to work on their cars is because of the family photo he has on his website. This just shows the importance of an emotional connection.

Photo Courtesy of Lissymack Photography

Just recently the owner of a consulting company contacted me, because he also knew the importance of having a personal photo of himself being the face of his business.  Here are some of the photos I captured of him...

This photo is more relaxed and shows more personality.

While this photo is more professional yet still showing a face to his business.

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to personalize your business.  Thank you so much for being apart of our 3 part series in Buiilding Your Brand.  

Thank you for stopping by my blog!!
Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties

415.827.9646 ~
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Building Your Brand & Finding Your Identity {Lifestyle & Wedding Photography} Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

Welcome to the 2nd part of my 3 part series on  "Branding & Rebranding".  Yesterday we (my husband & I) blogged about "The Importance of Branding & Rebranding"   I personally think one of the most important aspects of branding is identity.  How do you portray your identity?  By finding your style and creating your logo!  So today we will be looking at 3 important tools in building your brand.

1. Branding ~ The idea or image of a specific  product or service that consumers connect with. Branding is the the idea and/or concept that holds a company/business together.  Therefore it's important to understand that branding is not about getting your target audience to choose you over your competition,  but it's about getting your target audience to see you as the only one that provides a product and/or service that best fits their needs.

2. Identity ~ The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand that sets you apart from other businesses. Your business identity is made up of a multiple of visual aspects such as logo design,  a custom website,  business cards, marketing materials, advertising, stationary and packaging.  All of these should be consistent with one another  to form brand recognition.

3. Logo ~ The symbol or trademark that identifies your business in it's simplest form. Your logo is an emblem that creates business recognition and perhaps the most vital aspect of top of mind awareness.  Your logo  is used in all your marketing materials as listed above under identity to promote your business.

Now that we have gone over 3 important tools in building your brand, let's take a look at some business's and companies who have implemented these aspects...

Macy's brand is clear and consistent.  It grabs the consumers attention!  Their brand includes identification which is their color, their logo and slogan.  All of these together defines successful branding and creates the experience Macy's wants you to have while shopping in their store. Their color (RED) evokes passion and draws attention!  Their logo (The Star)  symbolizes success.  I must say Macy's is one of my favorite stores to shop at and I personally feel that the star symbolizes the way they want you to feel when their brand comes to mind.  The slogan "The Magic of Macy's" delivers a small yet significant message to the consumer.  The magic is the store, you get amazing products at amazing prices, their customer service is the best and for me the Macy's Thanksgiving Day's a tradition to watch in our family!

Now to give an example of a smaller business...

My husbands business Doctor Detail

My husband has been in the auto restoration business for over 20 years and it was a 15 years ago Doctor Detail came to life.  I remember many sleepless nights talking about branding Doctor Detail.   My husband didn't want his business to portray a place where your drive through a car wash.  He wanted his business to speak professionalism. This is something he went to college for, it's his expertise.  Why the name Doctor Detail? He wants his target audience to know and trust that when he works on their car it's no different than a patient going to the doctors.  He works on luxury cars,  classic cars and special interest forms of transportation such as Harley Davidson, RV's boats and private planes.  It was a crucial to create a brand that set him above similar businesses in this industry.

After all this if you are still having a hard time creating a brand for your business, look for things that inspire you.  Build an inspiration board of what you want your business to portray.  Maybe it's a certain style or colors you like,  favorite place, movie or book that has an emotional connection you are wanting your business to reflect.  There are so many different ideas, the most important is that it is your idea becoming your BRAND, your IDENTITY, your LOGO!

Tomorrow for our 3rd and final part of this 3 part series in Branding Your Business, I will be explaining the importance of personalizing your business.  I will share my inspiration board and other key tools to set your business apart.  

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties

415.827.9646 ~
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Importance of Branding & Rebranding {Lifestyle & Wedding Photography} Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Photographer...Shelley Hohe

A few months ago I won a year subscription to SHOWIT an amazing website creation/hosting for photographers to customize their own flash websites.  For this reason I thought it was perfect timing to give my brand a fresh new look without changing too much!  This process I am in inspired me to blog and share the importance of branding & rebranding your business.

Whether you are self employed running a small business or the CEO of a huge corporation, brand recognition is one of the most important aspects of developing top of mind awareness and setting your business apart from others.  Top of mind awareness simply means a brand or specific product coming first in customers minds when thinking of a particular industry.  Branding your business gives you identity and credibility in your industry.

Rebranding your business can be very important as well, not only to give your company a fresh new look but it also sends a message to your audience. It's never a bad idea to improve your brand over time to give it a modern's important to have your brand relatable with your target audience and industry trends.

Another reason why rebranding is important is to define what you want your business to portray.  For example let's say you are a portrait photographer and your target audience are families and would want your brand to reflect this.  As years go by you decide you want to photograph weddings it is then you would want to rebrand your business.  Maybe before your brand was fresh and fun with a pop of color, now you might want your brand to be elegant and sophisticated with softer colors.  There are so many different reasons why you would want to rebrand.  For me, I am that photographer who wants to start shooting weddings and after many years I feel I have finally found my style.  I LOVE shooting in natural light and because of these two reasons I wanted to not only change my brand to be more sophisticated, but I also wanted to lighten up my colors to go with the theme of shooting in natural light.  

Here are a few of my favorite brands that grab my attention...

Of course one of my favorites is my husbands...Doctor Detail
The business card we designed speaks for itself!

SusieCakes Bakery...I just LOVE their branding (anything VINTAGE :)!!
"SusieCakes is an ALL-AMERICAN bakery offering CLASSIC DESSERTS
made entirely from scratch using simple, natural ingredients"

My favorite Candy... Peanut M&M's....Mmmm!
"Melts in your Mouth, not in your hand"

A few businesses/corporations that come to mind when rebranding are...

Disneyland...Our favorite family fun place to go!! 

This is one great example of rebranding to send your target audience a clear message.
In the old branding Disneyland wanted to portray a HAPPY place and they did that  by adding color and the the waving flags.  In the new branding they wanted to let the public know that Disneyland is "Where Dreams Come True"  so they added a light blue color  which to me reflects Cinderella, the clouds which reflect dreams and the castle which is the centerpiece of Disneyland.

Chevron Gas

Here is an example of rebranding to keep up with modern trends.  This rebranding subtle yet effective!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope this blog post has been helpful for those of you that are in the midst of branding or rebranding your business.  I would like to thank my husband Robert who helped me with this post today, he has so much knowledge when it comes to branding.  To find out more about his business check out his website Doctor Detail or visit his business page on Facebook.  
Stay tuned  for tomorrows post,  where we will share how to build your brand from scratch.

Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties

415.827.9646 ~
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