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How I named my business (and why my hairdresser loves me)

I have a confession to make: the name of my business is a bit of a pain in the ass. Don't get me wrong - I've no one to blame but myself, and I have no intention of changing it, but seriously: if I banked a dollar every time someone mistakenly referred to "Megapixel Photography," I could very nearly stop charging for portraits. And if I ever decided to stop cutting my hair every six weeks, I wonder how I'd explain the name at all... maybe with a reference to fairies?


Coming up with a name for your business is hard. In one or two or three words you have to sum up who you are personally & professionally, ideally in a catchy, memorable way that looks equally good printed on a business card and a billboard. Oh, and it has to be unique. Expecting people to remember that you're a .net - much less a .biz - is the online equivalent of expecting people to assume your business is in Arkansas when you tell them you're located in Paris.

Obviously, the easy solution for this one-woman operation would be to use my name (which is nothing if not unique), but the number of people who can remember/pronounce/spell Annemie Tonken is pretty limited... I think my mom gets it right most of the time. I hemmed and hawed about what to do for months, and when Megapixie popped into my head (after seeing an ad for a camera boasting its then-impressive megapixel count), it just worked. I'm a photographer! I work digitally! I have short hair! Also: no one else has claimed this URL! Even then, though, I knew it wasn't perfect...

Fortunately, with the help of my rockstar graphic designer, I've been able to take that name and create a brand that I really love, and despite the occasional inward shudder when someone calls for "Anna-May at Megapixel Photography," I feel like it was the right decision. It's quirky and goofy and apparently a little tricky to pronounce. Kind of fits, don't you think?





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