Behind the scenes of our brand

2.20.18 - Personal

Since our Studio Manager, Ana, wasn’t with us when we launched our new brand in 2015, and since she loves the intersection of art and business and has a unique gift of asking really great questions, I recently let her pick my brain to give her some insight into how KT&CO came to be… and here is a synopsis of that convo.

Q (from Ana): Did you hire someone to come up with your brand or did you do it yourself?

A (from Kristen Taylor): I was tempted to hire someone to do it because it takes me FOREVER to create a brand, but in the past when I’ve tried hiring someone to do it, it’s never exactly what I’m looking for and I always end up doing it myself anyway. For me, a brand isn’t just about looking appealing to others, it’s all about accurately representing my style and personality, so it makes sense that I would feel that nobody else could nail that like I could.

Q: Why does it take you forever to do your brand?

A: Even though I immediately know things like what colors best represent my style (because they’re my favorite color palette for everything), what tone to use (because it’s my voice), and the visual style (because that’s what I do for a living every single day), I agonize over things such as whether to use a serif or sans serif font, what’s the right website layout to best display our work, which logo is most impactful, etc. These things matter a lot, at least to me, because I’m obsessed with visual communication. One of the first things I did was to create a brand board, which is like a style guide. It’s super helpful to see style elements put onto one page, and it’s useful for referring back to as you move forward in the process to make sure that you’re staying true to your style. Here’s the one I did. (You’ll see that at this stage I still hadn’t decided on font types yet.)

Q: How did you decide what defines your brand?

A: Well, that was easy! Differentiation is the key to branding, and since our company is different than most in that we have a collection of photographers rather than just a single photographer, I chose to build our brand around that. But I also knew that some larger companies are really impersonal and actually assign photographers to their clients rather than allowing them choose, and I knew that our clientele would never be ok with that (and neither are we!). So I wanted to drive home the fact that we’re still a boutique-style company that provides very personalied service, we just happen to offer a few different photographers from which YOU get to choose who is right for YOU. To accomplish this, I gave each photographer their own section of our website so that you can feel like you're virtually meeting each photographer, delving into their own portfolio, and getting a really great sense of their personality and talent.

Q: How did you decide to have a company with multiple photographers?

A: It really wasn’t something I ever set out to do, it actually happened very organically. I started out (a million years ago) like most other photographers, with just myself as the only photographer. I hired a staff of Second Photographers and Assistants and, through working with me, over time they gained a ton of experience and it became clear that some of them were ready to shoot weddings on their own. However, they didn’t want to do the business or production stuff that goes into running a company – they just really loved to shoot weddings – and at the same time I began receiving more inquiries for weddings than I was able to shoot myself, and so it was a natural progression. And I could not love it more! I MUCH prefer to be a “we” than an “I”. And we’re all so loyal to one another, like fiercely loyal, and we bounce around ideas, help one another out, gain inspiration from one another, etc. It’s become a group of good friends who work together… does it get any better than that?

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Announcing our new Client Portal

2.20.18 - News

Yes, we know this sounds super nerdy (I mean, who uses the word “portal”?), but really it’s pretty cool. This gives each client password-protected online access to all of their important documents with us, such as the package they chose, their contract, past and upcoming invoices, receipts, and more fun things such as their Wedding Planning Questionnaire and Album Design Guide. Your wedding planning binder just got thinner.

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Meet our Studio Manager, Ana!

2.20.18 - Personal

Full name: Anastasia

Favorite (non-wedding) photographer: Sarah Moon

Favorite Podcast: Girl Boss

I taught myself photography when I was twelve years old. I always knew I was creative but I definitely couldn’t draw- so I reached for the camera and haven’t turned back since. I would hang out with my friends, dress them up (little did I realize I was styling them) and would photograph them in natural light. It’s funny because I still do that to this day.

These are few of my favorite things: Meditation, Yoga, cooking with fresh veggies from the market, Art Deco Architecture, and traveling. One of my favorite buildings in Detroit is the Guardian Building, I could go in there and stare at the ceiling for hours. This past summer I went to Italy to visit my boyfriend’s family in Calabria, and we worked our way up to the Amalfi Coast. It’s so fun learning how to navigate a foreign country and about new cultures. I mean who doesn’t like pasta, cheese, and wine?

I love fashion! As much as I have an obsession with buying new clothes, lately I have been going to estate sales and thrift stores to find amazing, one of a kind pieces of clothing. It’s the best feeling when you go to the thrift store and find a cashmere sweater for $3... score! Usually when I’m shopping I am moreso thinking of how I could use a garment in an editorial, rather than how it would look on me. My favorite clothing stores are Everlane, Zara, and Lost and Found vintage (which is right down the street from our studio!) ~Ana

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Just a little inspiration...

2.20.18 - Personal

I try to remind myself of this often when I'm tackling a new challenge, so I'm sharing it with you for whatever goal you might currently be working to achieve. xo, Kristen Taylor

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detroit engagement session: Beth & Eric

2.14.18 - engagements by Kristin G.

Trying to pick a perfect Winter day for an outdoor shoot certainly has its challenges! Beth and I stayed in close contact throughout the week prior to their engagement session, as the weather was above freezing, but supposed to be overcast and grey. We made a game-time decision to just go for it and I am SO GLAD we did! The skies opened up and we had a lovely January day. During our consult, I pretty much fell in love with Beth and Eric and everything they have planned for their wedding. Not only are they ridiculously gorgeous (is this real life?), but they are both so incredibly grounded and sweet. We began our session at the Aloft Hotel inside The David Whitney, where they will be transforming this open, industrial space into their fantastic wedding reception. I am so ready to see this transformation and to be blown away! After some indoor shots, we headed outdoors and strolled down Woodward to capture the cityscape and you know I love me some downtown Detroit. After a quick outfit change, we ended the evening inside the Detroit Foundation Hotel, where these two got cozy in the intimate atmosphere of the Apparatus Room. It was a perfect session and I cannot wait to see you two again later this year! Congratulations! xo

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