Hi! I'm Whit!
It’s been a bit since I’ve had the chance to write an entire blog post, but I thought I’d better use the Labor Day weekend as an opportunity! To catch everyone up, life has been very exciting the last few months and my business has really started to thrive! I need to thank every one of my clients for allowing me to be a part in so many fun weddings and other events! Running a photography business has been a dream of mine for so long and I’m SO EXCITED to finally be doing it!
In this post I’m going to let you in on some of my design techniques and also give you a bit of background on who I am and how I got to where I’m at today!
Photography and Design
Many of you know (and many don’t) that I’ve been doing photography since Jr. High. I took photography classes in high school and began taking pictures of my friends, neighbors, and family. I even took part in some small competitions! After my mission I began to start thinking of my photography obsession as a potential business.
In addition to my love for photography, I have always had a sweet spot for graphic design. I’ve always LOVED practicing in Photoshop. When I was in elementary school my mom downloaded a cheap version of the Adobe Photoshop Elements and while other kids my age were playing in Microsoft Paint I was trying to become the world's youngest graphic designer... ok, not really, but I did start messing around in Photoshop really young. I had so much fun and I still do!
In Junior High I did almost all of my school projects on Photoshop and like to think I really wowed my teachers when I turned in what I thought were professional looking projects. I just laugh when I think of them today!
I recently just bought the new 2020 iPad Pro! I’ve loved seeing so many other creators using it to make beautiful designs and I couldn’t resist! I’ve come a long way since Jr. High (I don’t use "Photoshop Elements" any more! I don't even know if that still exists. And honestly, I am more of an Adobe Illustrator girl these days.) and I feel way more prepared to take on client work at the professional level.
Naming the Business
I believe photography and design were meant to go hand in hand. A great photographer should know how to use design products and a great designer should have an eye for photography! That’s why when I went to register my business here in Utah I couldn’t decide between the two! Both have been such a part of my life and I believe I’m good at both! I settled on the name Whitney Sue Photography & Design.
Meanwhile in School
At the same time I was trying to get everything organized for my photography and design business I was going to school (I’m actually still in school, but SO close to being done!). I originally was going to school purely for graphic design, but once I started getting more photography work I realized I should split my studies. I wanted to be as prepared as possible to take care of my clients… and SO MANY WERE GETTING MARRIED! I finally decided on working towards an Art and Design degree from Utah Valley University. My degree allows me to split time between photography and design with a few little extras like watercolor art.
Finally, this brings me to the point of this post! I design wedding invitations! While I enjoy lots of aspects of design and I’ve got to work on quite a few projects lately (logo work, branding, painting, and more!) I LOVE working in the Utah wedding invitation market! Helping brides (and grooms too) get the look they’ve dreamt of for years brings so much happiness to me.
Without further ado, here’s my process!
Discovering Client Needs/Wants
The first step in my process of creating custom invites is finding out what my clients are looking for. This can actually be quite the challenge at times! Some clients have an exact idea of what they want their invitations to look like, but others either don’t have an idea or don’t know how to describe what they are looking for.
Normally I’ll have them send me some ideas in writing and review my website’s wedding invitation portfolio page. Reviewing the page helps get the ideas coming and usually a client will respond with one of my previous examples saying, “let’s start with something like so and so’s design”.
Other times the client gives me creative liberty on the design. This is my absolute favorite! In this case I will usually try something out that’s completely new! Lately I’ve been doing watercolor designs and cute characters!
The bottom line is that the client’s wants come first. I do everything my talents allow me to do to create whatever my clients are looking for!
Before I get too far into the design process I calculate what the cost of the invitations will be. I charge half of that price up front to cover the work I’ll do in the design process. The rest is paid once the invitations are designed and they are ready to order!
Clients are pleased to find out that even though they’re getting top quality custom design work done, they don’t have to pay outrageous prices! My design fees are worked into the total price and my prices are quite affordable because I also have a great deal with a print shop that allows my clients to get great rates for quality printing - especially for higher quantity orders. Check out my pricing page to see what affordable Utah wedding invitations really means!
The Utah Wedding Invitation
I grew up in Layton Utah and I’m now based out of Provo, Utah. It wasn’t until I started my business that I realized that everyone from out of Utah has a different idea of what wedding announcements look like. What’s the difference? Pictures on the wedding invitation. Outside of Utah you may only send invitations to your reception dinner to close friends and family members. You’ll have a small dinner after your ceremony and then you’ll all go home.
In Utah, most people do things a little differently. The idea of a reception in Utah is big. Normally couples invite their close friends, family members, and everybody those people know! Receiving lines are common to make sure the bride and groom are able to greet everybody. Due to the culture of community here in Utah wedding invitations have photos on them! There’s no guarantee the person who receives the invite will be able to put a face to the name of their coworker’s sister’s kid or their ministering companion’s niece.
Whether you like the idea of having your photo on your wedding invitation or not I’m able to work with you! I’ve made dozens of invitations! Some with photos and others without! Let me know what you’d prefer and we’ll create something perfect for your unique Utah or non Utah styled wedding!
Once I’ve played around within the client’s desired aesthetic and color story and created something I’m happy with I send back my designs to the client for initial approval. I ALWAYS have them double check spelling, addresses, dates and times.
Once the client gets back with any adjustments that need to be made (approval is asked after each adjustment), it becomes time to print.
A great design just isn’t great on cheap paper. Having access to a quality print shop was a must for me! Thankfully I was able to find the perfect print shop early on in my business that can get the job done quickly and with precision. My printer prints the designs I send on a quality cardstock with a matte finish (imagine photo paper, but heavier and without the gloss).
Each custom invitation is then packaged up in a box and shipped off directly to my clients! By having them shipped to my clients I ensure that they will get into the hands of my couples as fast as possible so they can quickly get them sent out to their guests.
Whatever you have in mind, or even if you don’t have anything in mind quite yet, I am confident I can design something you’ll love! Wedding planning can be stressful enough as it is so don’t let poorly designed wedding invitations bring you down! Reach out today and I’ll get started making you the perfect wedding invitations to announce your perfect day!