How did you go about settling on your business name?

ZenBrianZenBrian Administrator Posts: 1,689
In this Photographers Corner post on branding your photo business, we talk about logos and design, color palette, consistency across specific media, and inspiration. All of these things are very important in making yourself stand out from the crowd. But on a more basic, first step level, one thing that wasn’t mentioned is your name. You know… your domain name, your studio name, how you refer to your business when pitching your work. Many people opt for something simple and descriptive, like or Others, through single moments of clarity, come up with clever studio names or catchy titles to try and make it more memorable. Both options are popular, and both options are quite valid. Please take a moment to vote and share your story!

How did you go about settling on your business name? 71 votes

I kept it simple… I like my name!
60% 43 votes
In a fog of brilliance I came up with my awesomely clever business name!
26% 19 votes
Someone else did it for me, I drew a blank whenever thinking about it…
2% 2 votes
I came up with a few ideas, and then had some help narrowing it down
9% 7 votes

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  • EdZenEdZen Member, Administrator Posts: 76
    I tried and tried and tried to come up with something clever for my domain name. But I ran into the issue that anything that sounded cool to me was already taken, or was up for auction at ridiculous prices. So in the end, I opted for simply Sure, my last name is not easy to spell, but it is my real name, and that counts for a lot.

    Notice that I opted for "photo" rather than "photography" since my last name is long enough already. No need to make my domain any longer than it needs to be!

    During this whole process, I did end up registering "" which was surprisingly available. But ultimately it didn't sound right for my site... a bit too cold and clinical. I may redirect it to my site at some point, or just let it expire.

    I'm happy with my choice to use my last name.
    Ed Caggiani
    Check out my photos at
  • sarahashleyphotossarahashleyphotos Member Posts: 208
    I use my first & middle name in case i ever get married so I dont have to change it. I decided this in college. I also use photos in my domain name. Short & simple.
  • Ours was personal experience. My spouse spent her High School years in Italy, and of course many Italians as well as some Italian friends of ours in the US love to greet each other with our name Ciao Bella
  • Carole MayCarole May Member Posts: 82
    Mine is my name. I chose images over photo or photography as I sometimes like to create images out of two or more photographs. I also have which is redirected to and I own as well.
  • RedlockRedlock Member Posts: 6
    My interest in photography was encouraged by my grandad from an early age, after he passed away his inheritance basically gave me the money to invest in the pro equipment that you need to do this job on a day to day basis. As a "thank-you" to my grandad I decided that my business needed to reflect and remind me that the reason I'm doing my dream job is down to him, not just on the monetary side but the endless encouragement even when he was in hospital at the very end. This is where the name Redlock Photography came from. Redlock was the name of the road that he and my nan had always lived on and I thought It had sentimental value as well as a break from the normal "enter surname -" (no offence to anyone who use's their surname!!!). This story is on our "about" page on the website and we always get a good reaction from people who read it, it also helps them to remember us as lots of people ask "why Redlock" .
  • MotusMotus Member Posts: 2
    I have two web sites with Zenfolio. My personal site consists of my initials ( and my other site which to be honest is my main site now hosts my motorsports images. I did originally have it as mwa-motorsports but as I now shoot anything with motion I searched for a relevant name, looked up some Latin (yeah I know but a lot of the languages are derived from Latin in one form or another) and settled on Motus which basically means motion! So now I trade under the name of Motus Photography, nice and simple, easy to remember and most people don't have a clue what the name Motus means which I find amusing in a sad way lol..

    I don't have a logo yet but intend to design one soon.
  • ChessZenChessZen Administrator Posts: 514
    Everything I came up with was taken. So I did an amalgamation of two words - motorcycle and Kinda like 'Zenfolio'.
  • kthompsonkthompson Member Posts: 2,473
    I went to register my business and forgot that I would need a name, so I had a few quick ideas and came up with Thompson Digital Image... don't remember why, and now I think I should have used Kevin Thompson Photography because that is what everyone expects... barely anyone can tell me what my business name is, they call it Thompson Photography, or Thompson Images, or other odd variants, but when they see the card and the Font used and put it together it's "OH! You're THAT guy! Yeah I know who you are!" so whatever... hahaha
  • alejandroceppiphotographyalejandroceppiphotography Buenos Aires, ArgentinaMember Posts: 38
    I want people to relate my photos and my web site with me and my name (for good or for bad). Therefore, I use my name.
  • I run my business with my husband and our business name is a combination of our last names! It came about pretty organically after we got married... people just started referring to us as The Oberports!

    We added this image to our about page to explain it (since so many people actually thought our last name was Oberport)-


    But for years, the business was under my name. Then Bobby started shooting with me. Then he started helping with the inbox. Then he started doing album designs. Then suddenly he was a better photographer. So eventually it was time to make him a part of the brand :)
  • andreasweberandreasweber Stuttgart, GermanyMember Posts: 1,001
    edited August 2013
    Well, my name is pretty common, even combined with "Fotografie", "photography" or the like.
    So I went with a name that expresses something about the focus of my work instead (*). The specific words "Zauber allenthalben" were chosen (among other things) because the automatic translation through Google or Babelfish is correct ("charms everywhere"), the domain name was available and a search for the phrase didn't turn up any competition I wouldn't have liked.
    (*) From my "About" page: "With my photography I want to show others the beauty in - frequently small - things surrounding us which we so often pass without notice."
  • I thought about using my initials, but TB Photography sounded too much like a disease. I could use my on-air name (which is what I'm known by) but it's my maiden name, so that was out. Then I figured my first name is spelled weird (thank you Mom and Grandma for my "character building" name) so I went with Photography by Tresa. I once had a site called "Rag Rugs by Tresa" where I sold crocheted fabric rugs and even wrote a pattern for my fellow crochet geeks to use for free. It's still out there in cyber space.
  • HotFlash StudioHotFlash Studio OhioMember Posts: 4
    I literally had a hot flash while driving home one day, as I was thinking about a good name to use.
    It fits, its easy to remember. I designed my flame logo using the letters HFS (HotFlash Studio). Not many people notice it though, most just see a flame.
  • EGraceEGrace Member Posts: 1
    I went boring in my business name, last name and photo, Grace Photography and used my first initial to get the domain With limited success And not that deeply in yet I have considered the possibility of selling the business when I am ready to retire and realized my name might not be the best for the business. Also concurrent is a marriage break up and a chapter change in life. Now after dating an amazing photographer for two years we are deciding to merge our efforts into a singular entity and are in the early stage of getting the business off the ground. The rebranding process is underway to: Kismet (Destiny, Meant to be) and the domain of Kismet.Photography. We wanted something that had sentimental meaning to us and would be sellable to a new owner when the time comes.
  • For me it was an "in the fog..." moment. As I was trying to come up with a business name, I began jotting down a few words that I thought described what I liked to photograph. Just using my name didn't convey what type of photography I do so I was looking for something a little more unique.

    After I narrowed down the keywords to "scenery", "panoramic", and "photography" I wondered how I could blend them into a business name. Bingo! And that's how the Sceneramic Photography business name came into being.
  • For me it was lots of thought! Then some effort to ensure nobody else was using it so I would be able to register it as my domain name.

    One interesting piece of advice I was given long ago was - Never use your own name. Why? Because if you later sell the business, your own name becomes relatively meaningless and its of little value to the new owner. A creative 'invented' name becomes part of the business itself and if you put in the effort to get it right, you can even register it as a Trade Mark potentially adding long term value to the business.

  • barnesthomasbarnesthomas Member Posts: 1
    Hi Zen Brian,

    First of all I would like to introduce myself – I am a professional photographer who is running a studio. Few months back I worked as a freelancer, at that time I didn't realize the importance of business name.

    My girlfriend inspires me that I have a capability of running a studio; I know that I can manage everything. I have managed the property, equipment and other things required for my studio. The sole thing that was left is business name.

    That time I was so confused, my own name is a better choice or anything else should I go with. I have surfing the web all the time to find suitable ideas regarding my business name.

    I have come across a tool through which I can find business name by category or keyword. I was amazed to see that limitless business name ideas and that too really unique. I have chosen Pacflash and happy with my choice.

    Amazing experience and excellent support!!

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