Moving On …

Hi friends! I am so excited to announce that we’ve launched the new Three Fifteen Design blog. I’ll no longer be updating this particular feed. Be sure to head to the new blog to re-subscribe or grab that RSS.



A Tiny Break … For A Big Change!

Hi friends! I hope you had an AMAZING holiday weekend. We spent our long weekend at the coast with our dear friends … waking up next to the ocean is definitely at the top of my ‘things I love’ list!

I wanted to pop in to give an update about the lack of blogging that’s happening! Right now, there are some big changes happening on the blog! In just a few days, the brand new blog will be live, and we’ll be back to our regular blogging schedule. I have so much to show you & can’t wait to get back over here!!

The Independent Creative : Facebook

I am so excited for this post in my series, The Independent Creative. It’s the very first guest post on the Three Fifteen Design blog, and I couldn’t be more excited that Alison Murray is the guest. Alison (or Ali as she’s known around these parts) is an amazing photographer based in Oregon. She & her husband Matt run Murray Photography together, and she’s just launched her new brand, Portraits By Ali, for her beauty portraits and senior portrait work.

(photo by Jim & Ravyn Photographers)

When I first met Ali, we talked a lot about Facebook. I was blown away that she & Matt didn’t use a blog to share their work, but instead, used Facebook as their main way to communicate with clients and potential clients. In the same conversation, I think Ali was a bit baffled that I only had 31 likes on my Facebook business page. Since then, she has given me so much perspective on using Facebook to build brand power, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I now see Facebook as an essential part of my brand experience. The knowledge she’s shared has been invaluable, and I’ve asked her to share a bit with the readers here!

315: When did you start using Facebook as a main source of online communication with your clients & fans?

AM: We started the Murray Photography business page in early 2009, and quit blogging in 2010. Our decision to quit blogging was easy once we saw the power of Facebook. Around that time, I realized we had the visual content to share, but I was taking so much time to write the posts. Once we started using Facebook, we noticed immediately that our clients responded more to the micro-blogging format. Instead of linking to an outside source, they could see the info & photos right away.

I love interacting with people more than telling a story with words. Facebook allowed us to keep a professional presence all while allowing it to be more personal. I could use a friendlier voice that was more in line with our brand.

315: Why do you love it so much?

AM: Facebook is so quick. It’s a good source of social information. As much as we love sharing, we also love learning about other people in our network. The tagging capability on all sides is really beneficial. Unlike a blog comment, which can be replied to via email, Facebook lets you respond right there, and it send a notification to the commenter. It’s convenient. I’ve been on Facebook since 2003, so I’ve had ten years to become familiar with the system. If there’s a better program, show me. But for us, it’s the best way to reach our ideal clients.

315: How does FB allow you to be deliberate with the message your sending to others? 

AM: There are so many ways we’re ensuring we’re being deliberate, and infusing the page with our brand. Facebook gives you many tools to make your page unique. We always fill the header with an image. It’s a relevant image that we really love at the time. We never leave an image up for more than a month or two, and the image itself is a way to show potential clients our style. We use our logo (or a logo element) as the actual profile photo. This means when we’re using Facebook as Murray Photography or Portraits by Ali, our icon is showing next to our comment. We’re creating brand recognition within our network. Another way we are using Facebook to grow our brand is by keeping conversations going. If someone comments on our wall or on a photo, we’re sure to follow-up with them to say thank you. We also love the tagging capabilities, and the option to promote certain posts.

315: Let’s talk about using Facebook to advertise. You mention loving the option to promote certain posts … I’d love to hear a bit more. 

AM: Because our business is 95% referral based, we don’t feel a strong pull towards paying for traditional advertising. However, we are big fans of the Facebook Promote posts. If there’s a post or session I’m really proud of, I’ll promote it. Generally it’s a $5.00 investment, and we can control who sees the post. It can be shared just our fans, or friends of our fans to reach a wider audience. Big announcements are a great time to use the promotion tools. The small investment means hundreds or even thousands of people will see that post. With all of that said, we use it sparingly. By using Facebook normally for most information, and using the promotion tools for big announcements, we aren’t overwhelming or annoying our audience. At the most, we’ve spent $20 in one month for promoted posts, and since it’s free to use Facebook, we find it an investment worth making.

315: How did you grow your fan base on FB?

AM: It’s grown very organically. Instead of advertising our Facebook page at weddings, we use tagging once we’re back in the studio. If a guest at a wedding wants to connect with us and see more work, we’ll give them our card and let them know we’re active on Facebook. We tag our brides & grooms, and after a really personal experience their wedding party will either like our page, or add us as friends. By tagging our clients, their friends can see our work, and they know immediately how to find us. Like I mentioned before, we are devoted to using Facebook as a conversation, and we love the interaction it allows. We meet people at weddings, but Facebook is how we stay connected & grow our network.

Our ideal clients are on Facebook … they speak the language, and we can use Facebook to keep them excited about their experience. From Facebook, we’ve been able to keep up with all of the exciting pre-wedding news, and it really helps us feel more connected. We love that’s it’s a very mutual platform. It’s a relationship building tool.

315: Is FB your only form of online presence? 

AM: While we love the ease of use, and the ability to communicate with our clients on Facebook, our website is what really sets us apart. Anyone can create a business page for Facebook, and utilize the tools to book clients, but our website is the love letter we’ve written to our clients. By working with Three Fifteen Design, we were able to build the site our brand, and it represents us & our core values. We use Facebook as another tool to introduce people to our brand, and when they reach our site, it speaks volumes about who we are as people and photographers. We’re also active on Instagram & Pinterest. Lastly, we love submitting our work to wedding blogs like Le Magnifique and Borrowed & Bleu. Because Facebook doesn’t allow users to pin directly from the site, we still have a presence on Pinterest from the user’s ability to pin from the individual wedding blogs.

315: Overall, how has FB allowed you to share your brand & the values you believe in?

For me, photography should be a really personal experience. Instead of keeping up with the ‘how to be the world’s best photographer’ books, we let our moral compass direct the way we run our business. When we wrote out our business plan, the directives were centered on giving clients the same experience we would want for ourselves. We are tech savvy enough to order our own prints, or a canvas, and we know our clients are as well. Instead of watermarking our images (the same images we’ll be giving our clients), we load un-watermarked images to Facebook. By offering the high-resolution files in all of our packages, we’re giving our clients access to what they want: their photos. It should be a kind relationship. We prepare our clients for their full experience, and part of that is the interaction we’ll be sharing on Facebook. By the time we’ve worked together their excitement translates into honest feedback and referrals.

Thank you So much Ali! So, now I want to hear from you … How are you reaching your ideal clients … is your blog your main powerhouse? How have you tailored your blog to your brand? Are you more of a Facebook lover like Matt & Ali?

While we’re on the topic of Facebook, you can find Portraits by Ali right here, Murray Photography here, and the Three Fifteen Design page right here.

(photos copyright Murray Photography)

A Week In Review : 11.16.12

This week was a total doozy. I woke up on Monday with the worst feeling: I was totally getting sick. After becoming a vegetarian 5 years ago, I just don’t get sick. Call it luck … maybe I’m just healthier, but either way, I thought I had something pretty special going on. So, Monday morning, I was pretty much in a funk. After lots of warm drinks & rest, I am feeling much better. We’re excited for another relaxing weekend in Portland … here’s what my week looked like:


1/ Our little place is feeling so cozy these days. 2/ I had a girls night with my friends in Newberg. Driving on the interstate here is always so much fun. I know that might sound weird, but in Indiana, it was pretty boring. Here, I love the bridges/tunnels/views. 3/ Remember that sickness? My hubby made sure I was feeling soothed with warm honey & lemon juice. The homemade pumpkin donuts didn’t hurt either. 4/ I love our pets. They aren’t allowed on our bed anymore, but I couldn’t help but snap this photo of Ruca watching over the neighborhood. 5/ So many new stationery suites have been leaving the studio. Can’t wait to share. 6/ Breakfast with His & Hers is always a great time. We love Jam on Hawthorne. Thank you to Emilia for the very sweet gift. 7/ Is there anything better than new sheets? Me thinks not. 8/ Not only did I have a night with my girlfriends, I also got to cuddle with this sweet pup, Raleigh. He’s a 12 week old great dane puppy. So sweet! 9/ We may live in a tiny apartment in the city, but it can’t keep us from expressing our love for the holidays. 10/ This time of year, I’m really proud to be a vegetarian. This is especially true when my hubby makes an amazing vegan ‘beef’ stew. Follow me on Instagram.

In The Studio

I hope you have a lovely weekend! I’ll be back on Monday morning with a new post for the Independent Creative series … this time, we have a guest!! So excited to share. Happy Friday!

Stationery : Angelina Photo

Happy Friday! I have been so so so excited to share this stationery suite for Angelina Photography. When Steph confirmed she wanted to incorporate beautiful letterpress into her stationery suite, I was over the moon!

Her letterpress business cards are amazing! We decided to take the rope from the logo and do a blind print on the side. The element gives the business card a ton of visual interest, and allows the rest of the card reflect that really classic feel Stephanie wanted to share.

We created a little suite of stamps too. You know I love rubber stamps!!

I seriously love this suite so much. It’s amazing how cozy it feels.


Brand Identity : Angelina Photography

When Steph first told me the story behind her brand, I knew I wanted to work on this project together. On the surface, most people would assume the photographer behind Angelina Photography would be a woman named Angelina … well, in the most awesome way, the photographer is Stephanie, and her grandmother, Angelina, is the inspiration.

In Stephanie’s words Angelina was a tough, straight-off-the-boat Italian woman. She traveled by herself to America as a young girl, and started saving money for her family. She was always there to encourage Steph & her sister to work hard for everything worth working for, and to appreciate all of the amazing moments in life. With this inspiration at her feet, Steph has built her photography business.

Her logo needed to reflect her brand: comfortable, bright, and fun. Steph loves the sea, so we wanted the logo to feel really classic with an influence from nautical life. We wrapped the suite with a few fun logo elements that Steph could use as stickers & stamps:

Her new site is in the works … I’m so excited to share. Until then, be sure to stop by her current blog to send a little love.

Design Board : Lauren Fair Photography

I am climbing out from the pile of tissues & hot tea (hooray allergies) to share this design board for Lauren Fair Photography.  Oh, how I love Lauren & Tim! They are an AMAZING photography teamed based in the Northeast, and their work is so perfect. I love this design board for so many reasons, and it feels like their work: personal, fun, and classic. We brought in a bit of vintage charm, but made sure it felt bright with bold colors. I can’t wait to share the final logo.

A Week In Review :: 11.9.12

Happiest of Friday wishes to you!! As I write this, I am realizing that we’re almost half-way through November … how is this possible? We are excited about a no-plans weekend. I’m sure we’ll find ourselves on a hike or two, but for now, the only thing I know is that I will be sleeping in tomorrow morning! That makes me a happy camper. Here’s what happened this week:


1/ I am celebrating the blue skies we’ve seen this week. It’s almost unheard of to see blue skies in November (in Portland), so it’s worth a thousand cheers. 2/ Election day was a celebration in our house … and in our neighborhood. Our friends Dave & Whitney even had a sparkler part on our street. 3/ The cooler weather means we’re all getting a little cozier. Bill cuddles with me each morning. 4/ I love delivering albums to our clients in person. Jen & Casey were reminiscing about their wedding day with their custom, vegan album. 5/ You know that thing when people ask if you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life? This Huevos Rancheros from Stepping Stone Cafe in NW Portland would be my pick! I crave this dish every single day. 6/ We climbed up to Wauna Viewpoint last weekend, it was a beautiful hike with an even better view. 7/ The fall leaves are crunchy … that smell is in the air. I’ll be sad when they are all gone. Yesterday, I walked through these leaves on my way to lunch with the lovely Vanessa. 8/ My baby sister turned 14 this week. It’s unbelievable!! 9/ A junction on the old, 1856 wagon trail in the Columbia River Gorge. Hiking this trail was extremely humbling … to think that this beauty still exists, and all of the history that was here before we were. 10/ Wednesday was a time for breakfast with Ali of Portraits by Ali. This girl makes the most amazing eggs benny … she even makes special veggie benny for me. Love her! Follow me on Instagram.

In The Studio

Enjoy your weekend! I’ll be back on Monday morning with a new post. Happy Friday!

Brand Identity : Elle Rose Photo

Working with Laurie from Elle Rose Photo was such a dream. From the second we finalized her brand inspiration board, I just knew this would be one of my favorite projects from 2012. Plus, I had that proud designer moment when Laurie used the visual elements from her new suite to create her own website!!

I love the simplicity of the logo, but it’s still bold & fun. The alter logos are fun too! This next one is my favorite … I kind of want to marry it.

And for good measure, we created a super-simple version of her logo too! This one is so sweet and lovely.

Design Board : Joyelle West

Loving this new design board for Joyelle West Photography. First, Joyelle is super freaking talented!! Second, her love of color is something I am totally envious of! She is not afraid of bold & bright.

Her photography has such a sense of place … her work feels warm & comfortable.  Do you think I’m kidding? Check it out for yourself! We’ve just wrapped her new logo & I cannot wait to share it soon.

Sources left to right, top to bottom: