An Interview with Designer Melinda Livsey

An Interview with Designer Melinda Livsey

We all know how important your brand is as a photographer, but it’s not always easy getting started (or re-starting by revamping an outdated logo/brand). So we recently got in touch with branding designer (and PhotoShelter Certified Consultant) Melinda Livsey to help start you off on the right foot. Read on as she sheds light on the importance of a good logo, some advice to keep in mind when making your own, and if and when it’s time to hire a designer.  

PS: Why is it important for photographers to have a good logo & branding for their business?

ML: Photographers need to show why they’re unique, and to be seen as the professional they have worked so hard to become. Many times, other than their work, there is little to differentiate one photographer from the next. A good logo and branding will separate from the herd, book the job, and be remembered over the competition.

PS: What makes a simple and effective logo?

ML: An effective logo is memorable, represents the business, and attracts the targeted clientele.

PS: Do you think it makes sense for a professional photographer to design their own logo?

ML: Although designing a logo is much more than knowing the design programs, in some cases it makes sense for a photographer to design their own logo. A possible scenario would be if budget doesn’t permit an emerging photographer to find a good designer, they know the design programs well, and/or they’re looking for something extremely minimal.

PS: At what point should they hire a designer?

ML: If the photographer is a professional who has really honed their craft, I would suggest they hire a professional designer who has the same level of expertise in design as they do in photography. A professional in any field knows when something is beyond their skill set, and when they need to rely on others to achieve quality.

PS: Any advice on what you should keep in mind when making your own logo? Tips for getting started?

ML: If you decide to make your own logo, the first thing you want to do is make sure you have a transparent background. This will ensure your logo displays well whether your site is light or dark. If you’re using a website template, it’s also really important to keep both sizing and the template’s design/format in mind. Some templates look best with a square or vertically stacked logo, where others look best with a long horizontal logo.

From there you can create your logo with graphics or text. You can find unique fonts online that can be imported. A good place to start would be or

 Of course, you’ll want to pick a typeface and color palette that fits your brand and personality, but keep in mind a logo should first be viewed and/or read in black only. This will ensure it’s memorable and easy for a viewer’s mind to take in. Color should be added last, once the final shape in black is decided on. Overly complicated and illustrative logos are generally not as memorable.

As far as design programs go, Illustrator would be my recommendation. However, if you only have access to Photoshop, just make sure to export as a 24bit PNG to preserve its transparency.

PS: Can you share a few examples of logos you’ve created for photographers + small businesses?

ML: Sure!  

marksmarker_jasonpaigesmith        marksmarker_karenblatchford



PS: Anything else you’d like to share?

ML: A good logo is the face of your business, representing you and your work. Branding is the overall personality of the business, which includes – but is not limited to – your logo. Just as we have faces and personalities, so do our businesses. A good logo will accurately reflect you, your work, and the type of clients you want to attract.

Get in touch with Melinda directly to inquire about her design services.




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