What's in a Name

November 29, 2014  •  3 Comments

I'm slowly building up a base of followers and couldn't be more excited about that.  I'm actually at the point where I don't know some of the people that "liked" my Facebook page! *excited grin*  So I thought I would write a quick post about how I came to be Northern Clove Photography.

I had thought about setting up a website and Facebook page for the better part of a year, and the only thing that was holding me back was the name. At least, that's what I told myself.  It was probably more that I was scared sh*tless to admit I thought anyone outside of my own friends list might want to see my work.  I just kept thinking, if I come up with *exactly the right name,* everything else would fall into place perfectly.  And nothing seemed *just* right.

It seems that the trend now is to just use your own name.  "Sally Smith Photography," etc.  And that's all fine and good.  But I wanted something different.  Partly because my name is . . . a little difficult.  I always have to introduce myself, followed by "it rhymes with Pavillion."  That's just not a good business slogan (though, in a few desperate moments, I did consider "Rhymes With Pavillion" for a name). 

Another reason was my personality.  I'm introverted, and a bit shy.  I lack confidence.  I fully admit it - I've said it before and I'll say it again.  But once I get into my groove taking pictures, a different part of me takes over, and I can forget about being shy for a time.  I just tell myself, "Pretend that you're a real photographer."  If it's more like I'm playing a role, rather than being myself, it makes it easier.  Being Northern Clove Photography is like putting on a costume, a disguise.  Gives me something to hide behind.  Makes me feel more official.  Silly, maybe, but hey - it's what works.

I wanted a name that had meaning to me, also.  I wanted to use the word "clove."  The reason is a little twisty/turny but here goes:  As a kid, I always wanted to have a card-making business called For You By Me With Love.  In short, fybmwl.  As I grew older, I changed my card-making goals into maybe crafting/crocheting goals.  And then, I tried like crazy to think how I could use it for my photography name.  But fybmwl just reallllly doesn't come out as anything cute.  So, in nursing, the letter "c" with a line over it means "with."  So, to my eyes, clove is "with love" in shorthand.  It's subtle but I know it's there at least.  I don't want to be all hippy and cheesy and come out saying, My work is done with love *cute batting of eyelashes and big cheesy grin*  But - the truth is, that it is.  I love what I do, and I care about showing others the beauty I see in life.

So - I had the clove part down.  I needed the rest.  I had a list and kept running it through my head and bouncing ideas off my friends and family (only a few of them, because I still felt silly about the whole thing) and finally just couldn't think about it ANY MORE!!! and picked Northern, because I'm in the north . . . and it was the one my close friends liked the best.  I was at the point where I just had to pick or I was never going to.  I was driving myself (and everyone else) crazy, so I picked.  And, essentially, I'm in the north, taking your pictures with love.

When I finally told my husband, he laughed.  I still feel a little silly about it, and have thought about changing to the generic "your name here Photography."  But I had to finally just go for something, anything, to get me going, and I'm glad I did.

When I was researching online about this, I was surprised how uncommon my dilemma was.  How so many people thought that getting just the right name would make everything else work out perfectly.  And all of the advice out there said - it really doesn't matter.  Pick something.  Use your name.  Don't use your name.  Just pick a name and get out there and get shooting.  And they were right.  The name is the least of your worries - let your personality show through your work.  So, if you're out there, and are dreaming of starting something - whether it be photography or crafting or a Christmas tree farm or any other project - and you are letting the little details hold you back - stop.  Stop thinking and agonizing.  Starting acting.  You'll be glad you did.


end note - this post was not as quick as I planned.  Apologies.


Northern Clove Photography
That's awesome Sam, I'm glad you finally did! I love having someone with a common interest and it so much fun bouncing ideas off each other. What did you end up going with? I'll look you up :)
It is really silly because I just thought about writing a blog post exactly like this and you took the words out of my mouth. SO embarassed to say things to people about it, frantically worrying about it. But, I did it. I took the leap, picked a name and finally made a zenfolio. Can't wait for many more years of watching you progress and bouncing off our photo nerdiness together!
you have many talents and they shine through in whatever you choose to do. Your words and photos are beautiful., as are you!
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