Welcome to Surfin Birds!
Hello! Ryan here and on behalf of the rest of the team at Surfin Birds I would like to officially welcome you to our new brand, Surfin Birds Photography and Film, formally known as Betti Plach Wedding Photography and Betti Plach Fotografie. After months and months of hard work, stress, sleepless nights, arguments, pulling our hair out, pulling each others hair out, feeling lost, helpless and totally confused at times, we can finally say… IT’S FINALLY OVER AND WE CAN SHARE IT WITH YOU!!! (I am literally yelling this while writing, because it feels so good to finally say it).
Now you are probably wondering, why Surfin Birds? Sure it’s a fun, catchy name that sticks in your head, because can you imagine a bird on a surf board? Riding a wave? It’s a funny picture, right! What does that have to do with photography or film though? Before we just go ahead and tell you, we would like you to dive into the creative process with us of our new brand and why we decided to re-brand in the first place. So grab a seat, maybe a beer or a glass of wine and follow closely, by the end we promise you will be amazed.
We start by taking a quick look back to 2012 when the company was first started by Betti Plach and was called Betti Plach Wedding Photography and Betti Plach Fotografie. The company ran two websites and focused on wedding photography, business event photography and architecture photography. Now, we quickly fast forward to 2017 after Betti had five successful years of photographing weddings, architecture and business events and where we come to our companys´ first big milestone: The addition of a second photographer.
I, Ryan, joined Betti Plach Wedding Photography in 2017 also focusing on weddings and business event photography. Our first full year working together was a huge success. We were fully booked during the wedding season, offering two photographers instead of one. We gained several new business clients. Our social media platforms were growing. We added film to our wedding packages, we were networking hard and our hard work was paying off, business was good. BUT, we had a few problems.
PROBLEM #1: Our Growth Was Limited – Here’s why: As a singular photographer you can only do so much. Between actually doing photography jobs, editing photos, keeping up with social media, networking, marketing, etc…there is just too much for one person to do. Even if you do all of those things efficiently and effectively, you can only be available to photograph so much. Not to mention if you want to have vacations and some sort of a social life.
Problem #2: Availability – Even with two of us running the company we had problems with being available to all of our clients throughout Austria. During the wedding season we found ourselves turning down several weddings, because we were already booked for another wedding. As a photographer this hurts… A LOT. You spend so much time and money marketing and networking that when you have to turn down a client simply because you are not available…it hurts. It hurts, because that is potentially a life long business client or an amazing wedding couple who then refers you to all of their friends and family. It is a huge loss. Once again problem #1, limited growth.
Problem #3: Time – For most photographers time is not on our side. How many 40, 50 or 60 year olds do you see out there photographing weddings for 10 to 12 hours? How many older photographers do most of you see in general? For us, not too many. So let’s face it, photography is a younger persons´ game and that was a problem for us, since we wanted to do photography for the long-term.
Our ‘A-HA MOMENT’
Betti and I would sit around contemplating these problems and finally we had the vision of our new company.
The re-branding idea had already been in our minds, but it was the vision of the new brand that finally hit us and was the solution to our problems. Our vision was to build a brand where several creative teams of photographers, videographers and other creative minds alike would work together under one brand. Teamwork over individuality! This brand would grow into a brand that people and businesses could always trust and rely on for their photography or videography needs. Always available for a wedding. Always available for a business assignment. The work load spread out among teams of people and where older employees would still be valued and welcomed because of their knowledge, and who better to lead and train the company’s new young teams of photographers/videographers than the older and much more experienced photographers/videographers before them?
Would this work? One big reason people start their own photography business is because they want their name on the photos. Could you really get several people to work together under one brand name and expect them to give up their name? I was convinced that out of the thousands and thousands photographers out there, there had to be some that shared our vision, that understood the problems of a singular photographer like we did and who valued teamwork over individuality. There had to be some photographers out there that didn’t want to run their own business, they simply had to do it, because that was what they thought their only option as a photographer was. Would this vision work? We would soon find out…but first let’s get to the story behind our new brand Surfin Birds.
OUR RE-BRANDING EXPERT
Now Betti and I are no branding experts. We knew we needed professional help and guidance, because we had to get this right the first time, there was no messing around on this. We started with several meetings with branding agencies only to find disappointment and no one who could clearly provide us with what we were looking for. That was until we accidentally found LOVE MADE PAPER on Instagram (see, social media marketing does work) and the badass woman behind this company, Irene Aydemir. After one Skype meeting with Irene we knew this was the person who would help us in creating our new brand.
THE RE-BRANDING PROCESS
95% of photography businesses out there are called the first and last name of the photographer. For example, Betti Plach Wedding Photography. We knew this was not the direction we wanted to go with our new brand, because let’s face it, who wants to photograph under Betti Plach Wedding Photography, when Betti Plach is retired or has passed away? Sorry Betti. We also did not want to name the company Betti & Ryan Photography and Film just like the thousands of other couple photographers out there, because, well…it’s unoriginal and that is not like us at all. It needed to be a strong brand name like Nike, Coca Cola or Sony.
We wanted a brand that would last decades. A brand that was flexible through time and for whatever changes might come it’s way. A brand that was build for different and multiple revenue streams and had room for unlimited growth. We wanted our brand to have a story, to represent who we where and what we stood for. It was going to be a challenge, but LOVE MADE PAPER was up for it knowing exactly what we expected for our new brand.
Now I won’t put you to sleep in going over every single detail or draft of the re-branding process, but I can tell you that every thing you see in our new brand has a lot of psychology and reason behind it. To give you a little insight, fonts can say a lot about you and your business. They say if you are traditional, progressive, strong, stylish or creative. The psychology behind fonts and how they make you feel about a business is extremely important, so we quickly found out. The same goes for colour patterns. Colours speak to you differently. Some colours like blue’s or beige’s make you feel relaxed and calm. Other colours like red can evoke stronger emotions like anger or even the power of love. The point is that you spend months going through different arrangements of fonts, colours and designs until you finally have something that you are satisfied with and that makes you feel good when you look at it.
THE MEANING BEHIND THE SURFIN BIRD NAME
LOVE MADE PAPER had us sold on the name Surfin Birds. Reason being is that it very much represents who we are and who we choose to do business with. We like to see ourselves as positive, happy and fun people, who love to travel, learn about new cultures and traditions and who are all about positivity and new experiences. We believe that “surfin” expresses this free spirit thinking and eagerness for everything new and exciting very well. The “birds” part of the brand are our incredible team members at Surfin Birds. Birds who have the freedom to fly and work anywhere and spread their creativity.
The Surfin Birds colours will hopefully make you feel calm, happy and invited. They are very soothing colours and they are a perfect balance between serious and fun. We chose three colours, because our company was originally build on three areas of photography: Weddings, architecture and event photography. The three colours also remind us and maybe you of a beach. Similar colours to that of the ocean, sand and sun. Beaches are where Betti and I love to spend our vacations and it is also where Betti and I happened to meet, on a beach in Mexico.
Surfin Birds chose the tucan as our bird logo, because the tucan is a very social and colourful bird. It represents the colourfulness of our photos and the likability of our team members. It was also very important to Betti to have a bird that looked like it didn’t get picked on by other birds, but at the same time wasn’t mean to other birds 🙂
SO DID OUR VISION OF OUR NEW BRAND WORK?
Remember earlier when we left you wondering if we could really get photographers, videographers and other creatives to work collectively together under one brand? Well as it turns out, YES YOU CAN!!! Surfin Birds posted jobs looking for photographers and videographers and since then our emails have been flooded with applicants. We have met with several people who are eager to join our brand and who share the Surfin Bird vision. We have even added one bird to the Surfin Bird team already with more to follow soon.
A BIG THANK YOU
Surfin Birds would like to give a big thank you to Irene from LOVE MADE PAPER, who guided us through this re-branding process. You were the absolute best and were exactly what we were looking for in someone to help us re-brand.
We would like to thank our favorite web designers, Martin und Noel, of DIGITALES HANDWERK. You two always come through for us whenever we need something done and you always give us valuable input.
A big thank you to all of our friends and family who helped and supported us through this re-branding process. You all were a tremendous amount of help and we promise not to bother you with any more colour or font patterns and ask you how they make you feel…at least for a while.
Last, we would like to thank all of you, our readers, our social media followers, our wedding couples and our business clients. You are the ones that have continued to support us, trust us and come to us for your photography needs over the years and we are extremely grateful for each and every one of you. We wouldn’t be here without you and we thank you for your continued support going forward.
We hope you all have enjoyed reading about our new brand Surfin Birds and the story behind it. We have a lot of great projects going on and we can’t wait to share them with you. So please make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook (if you don’t already) for up-to-date news, releases and, of course, incredible photos!