My photography company's name... need opinions

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by lamina, Aug 5, 2010.


Which name sounds best?

  1. Smiles and Shutters

    10 vote(s)
  2. Shutters and Smiles

    6 vote(s)
  3. Niagara Photography

    23 vote(s)
  1. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    I have been doing photography for different occasions and situations for years now. I am going to start a company with my friend. It's time to get my name out there.

    The problem is that I am generally really indecisive when it comes to stuff like this. What should I call it?

    I was thinking Smiles and Shutters sounds good, but I have a couple of other ideas as well. I live in the Niagara region in Ontario, so I thought Niagara Photography would be a pretty good choice. I've put up a poll to get your guys' opinion. I know you won't let me down. :)
  2. nobunaga209 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2009
    I like this one; Smiles and Shutters. Gives off a 'down to earth' vibe. :)
  3. lamina thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
  4. renewed macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2009
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    What type of photography are you doing? Depending on the type the name will differ.

    Smiles and Shutters is cute if you are doing family portraits and kid portraits etc..

    Niagara Photography sounds good if you are doing something more professional such as weddings and events.

    Lamina Photography, Inc. sounds pretty professional tbh. ;)
  5. lamina thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    We do weddings, family, and pretty much everything else. I even do landscape photography for a company whose website I design and maintain.

    I think Niagara Photography sounds pretty good too. I'm kinda stuck between Smiles and Shutters and Niagara Photography. Lamina is cool, but its meaning is kinda weird: noun ( pl. -nae |-ˌnē; -ˌnī|) technical
    a thin layer, plate, or scale of sedimentary rock, organic tissue, or other material.

  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Niagara Photography = Nigerian Royatography

  8. kuaiyouming, Aug 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  9. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    I am inspired by the OP to start my own elevation equipment photography firm called Shoots and Ladders.
  10. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    Definitely leaning towards the landscape based name would be prudent smiles and shutters assumes more family photography and landscape portraits would seem a little unusual for a company named smiles and shutters but then again Niagara makes one assume you are more or less strictly into doing landscapes either way you lose potential customers for one type of commission over the other.

    I suggest working on a name that encompasses both kinds of patrons or at the very least grabs more peoples attention while keeping it short sweet dynamic and attractive to as many clients as possible.

    Also research any names you come up with to be sure they have not already been taken or trademarked to avoid lawsuits.
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I don't know if you have every noticed.... but a lot of the big studios, and virtually all the "great" shooters just use their own names. They work really hard to make sure that potential clients associate them with great shots.

    However, if you still want a name - you might want to consider some attributes of Niagara. The Falls, the Peninsula, the bench, the canals, the river, the gorge, the rapids, the grapes, the wine, the fruit, etc etc

    Any way.... just my 2 cents from the West Coast....
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Before recommending and getting emotionally attached to a name one may want to be sure the name is available. Is there a Canadian site that we can search available business names?
  13. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I voted for Niagara Photography as it sounds more professional. The other two would make me think you do kids portraits.
  14. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    Just to be sure your not stepping on anyone's toes research globally rather than nationally sometimes foreign interests use names not related to their region research all kinds of things besides just whether name is in use.

    Also look for any reputation attached to a specific name you might decide to choose for example:Could there be a Niagra Photgraphy based in North Korea that is linked with a notorious spammer?

    Could there be a Smiles and Shutters based in Egypt linked to some sort of widely known criminal enterprise or shell company?

    Could there be a company with a similar name which has more exceptional service than yours that may potentially sue you under laws concerning international commerce depending on the name you choose?

    Could there be someone who has the perfect parked domain name waiting to sell it to you at a high price (I had this one happen with my business so I chose a similar alternative--win some lose some I'll make due and hope the popularity of the alternative domain suceeds)

    Always look into everything you possibly can to cover your own ass.
  15. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    "smiles and shutters" certainly sounds like kids portraits, middle school graduation, 40th wedding anniversary parties and other "happy family" if that's your intended market, go for it

    For other markets though, "Niagara Photography" seems better to me
  16. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Exactly, like the photo studio at your local Wal-Mart.
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Niagara Photography is better than the others, but it also sounds a bit boring, to be honest. Assuming your clients are going to be from Niagara, are they going to think that your company's name is boring? It may sound OK to people who don't come from the region, but how would it sound to your neighbours?
  18. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    Ask yourself how you want to sound when answer the phone.

    "Shutters and smiles, can I help you?"

    "Thank you for calling Niagra Photography"

    "WHO IZ IT!"

    Pick one...
  19. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    I like the last one LOL
  20. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    I would agree with the previous advice to use your names. "Smiles and Shutters" sounds kinda chinsey to me. If you're stuck on those words, I'd just go with "Shutters." However, I always wanted to name my photography company, with "ography" after my name, if I were to have a licensing problem.

    For instance, my last name is Brown. I want "Brownography." My best friend who does the same quality of photography as I, is named George. I've always told him "Ge-ography" would take off. He won't listen to me though.

    If I were to choose, I'd make it simple, something like "Shutters," as per my previous advise, or "Exposures."

    I kinda like the sound of "Exposures."
  21. lamina thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    Thanks for the great feedback, guys.

    I agree, smiles and shutters sounds kinda... light in the loafers... not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Exposures does sound nice, but the name is already taken. Maybe Revelation Photography? I just used a thesaurus.

    I was thinking of just using my name, but since it's two of us, that's kinda not possible. My name is Mike and her name is Aileen.
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Photos Niagara
    Photographs Niagara

    First one I like better - it sounds modern. The 2nd one is "action" so what you do, vs what you provide.

    Read up on the rules around naming a small business. Assuming the rules are similar in Ontario as BC then "Exposures" would not have been accepted by the registrar as being too general. However, Niagara Exposures, Aileen and Mike's Exposures would be OK because it is specific.

    Due your due diligence and make sure that the name is not in use in Ontario, and do some simple internet searches to make sure that there aren't any unfortunate coincidences about the name. So, if there is an escort agency in NY called Niagara Exposures you might want to avoid the name. But if there is a paint company then I wouldn't worry, if they aren't in Ontario.

    Think about how people, who can't quite remember what the name of the company is, might search for you.

    There is an outfit called that will host your website for free. I am a very happy customer, and have been for years. I had a photo heavy site with them for years, for free, and finally upgraded to a paid subscription because I felt guilty. With their free hosting you get tech support, email, a good amount of storage and traffic - and there is nothing on your website that tells your customers you are a cheapskate.

    I also like that they are based in Canada.

    You and Aileen might want to consider a partnership agreement, either formally or informally. You can register as a Partnership (assuming BC is the same as Ontario) very simply. In BC your other options are sole proprietorship and incorporation. Neither of which may be the best fit. Visit your local small business centre and they can sort you out. I am currently both incorporated, and in a partnership.

    Get your agreement with Aileen in writing. It doesn't need to be legally drawn up and witnessed and all that, you can just sit down over a few glasses of Cave Springs and write down who does what, who owns what, how the revenues are divided, how the profits are divided, and more importantly how the losses are covered. It's not ideal that both people do everything equally. One person may be better at the paperwork and bookkeeping and their time spent there must be valued the same as the actual shooting time. etc etc

    I've watched a very promising business (owned by a friend) fall apart because he didn't write any agreeements down.... it was always a handshake. Deal after deal would fall apart. Not because anybody was taking advantage... it was just bad memories. After a year they could never remember the details, or they had never bothered to iron out the details.

    Get as much as you can in writing. Again, it may not have to be down "all legal like".... just get the details down in writing. People have terrible memories. Even for my good friends, if I am doing a job for them I will send them a letter or email summarizing what we agreed to. I don't need them to sign it or anything. But occasionally when they've thought I agreed to do more than I've actually provided I can point them at the email I sent prior to the job. The response has always been that they accept the email as being correct, and that they must have remembered wrong. And the friendship stays strong. Or, I see that I did indeed agree to something that I've forgotten to include in the package.

    Do the same thing with your arrangement with Aileen. Even if she is a "romantic" partner, or maybe especially if, it will make things easier as unanticipated events crop up. And don't be afraid to amend any written agreements as you go along.

    OK, too many words.... Good Luck.
  23. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    It's not on the polls, but how about...

    Gents Without Cents Photography.

    Those of use who grew up on the Larry, Moe and Curly would surely get the references.
  24. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I hope you're joking. That's bad on so many levels. :)

    Let's see- we don't have any money, nor do we have any brains. That does not inspire confidence.
  25. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009

    I would feel sorry for the one legitimate photographer whose last name is "Porn" LOL

Share This Page