Whether you are an owner of another company or someone with a nine-to-five job, you may want to start your own business offering photography or video services. This article will give you advice about how you should and should not name it.
Although the tips below are written in relation to photography and filmmaking, they are also universally applicable to any other industry you are entering into.
"John Doe Photography," of course, is the first thing that comes into one's mind. Now that photographers are trying to offer a fusion of services, including video, probably "John Doe Photo and Video" is a good choice as well. The nice thing about that approach is that it speaks to the customer right away. For example, if you haven't heard of Apple before, you might think they are a grocery store or a farmers' market. And yes, in my opinion, naming your company "Apple" is a weird choice, or there's something behind it that I am not aware of.
Lately, the John Doe approach has become an object of ridicule because many camera owners decided to become businesses. There's nothing wrong using that kind of business name, but it's the bad photographers who made it look laughable.
This inevitably will make you ask yourself if you want to provide extra services, hire more people, or move to a different and better location. Will "John Doe Photography Studio" look good on 5th Avenue? Probably. Maybe "John Doe Studio" will sound better. What if you open several studios? Will "studio" in your business name require a plural form?
The Grandiose Start
Another option is to sound big right from the very origins of your business. If you think you'll become the next Canon (don't blame me, that's the first thing I saw when I turned my eyes to my camera bag), you can go with "Doe Camera Corporation," despite the fact you just got an entry-level camera and a portable flash as a present from your parents. In the first 10 years, it may sound out of context, especially when you invoice parents for photographing their children, but on the bright side, you can stay positive and hope that one day your company will get to the top.
The Mixed Approach
As you saw, starting small or starting big has its pros and cons. This is why I'd advise separating your services or products from your company name. Thinking of a company name that doesn't have a direct relation to what you do will give you the freedom to start different services and products under its name that has a very concrete meaning to the users. How many of you know that the company that manufactures Lumix cameras makes vacuum cleaners as well?
After all, said, it is probably not a terrible idea to name your company after a fruit.