The Heart Behind the Refresh | Welcome to the New Look of CKP!

Well… it’s HERE! You officially get to scroll endlessly through all of the pretty that is the BRAND NEW HOME OF CKP! I popped confetti alone at my desk this morning and am saving a little bubbly for when I don’t have a day full of work ahead of me, so I hope you’re ready to celebrate virtually with me! To be honest, I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief along with the celebrations… I feel like I just reached a finish line that has been months in the making. Though there is still a decent bit of work to come (Looking at you, SEO!), I’m feeling so confident with where my site stands and am SO FREAKING PUMPED to have it here on your screen!

Launching a brand new site can feel pretty vulnerable… y’all… I’ve poured my heart and soul and late nights into this thing and watched it take shape from a template I was hopeful I could mold to feel like me, piece by piece. I truly feel like I’m inviting y’all into my brand new home today… it’s the strangest but absolute best feeling! Months ago, I had an overall vision for what I wanted my online presence to look like, but I wasn’t quite sure how it would come together. Little by little, it started to take shape, tweaking the overall frame here, adding my website copy throughout, and eventually filling in with my portfolio and brand images… there’s so much work and heart that goes into building a new site and to be completely honest, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to pull it all together in a way that I loved and that felt cohesive and unique to me. That said, with each step, I felt things becoming more me! As I put the finishing touches on the design, I soon realized that I was pretty dang proud of the product I created. This thing took a village though, and there are so many people to thank! (Which I’ll share at the end of this post!) Pressing publish this morning was equal parts exhilarating and nerve-racking while also giving me so much hope for the future.

Now… a little more about the heart behind what you’re seeing here today!

I’m not saying this is a rebrand because so much is actually staying the same when it comes to the core of my brand! I truly feel like this project put a huge !! on everything that I stand for and has really helped me hone in on what I’ve built over the last 5ish+ years of owning a photography business. So… today, I wanted to share a little more about the refresh and my heart behind the changes!

To be completely honest, I loved my old site and brand! I had so many doubts throughout the process of refreshing (Did I make the right call? Will people resonate with the new site? What if I miss a link?!), but something about the process felt so right at the same time. You see… over the last year and a half, a lot has changed for everyone, couples tying the knot and business owners, and a little bit of everyone in between. The pandemic was scary, and as a small business owner in the events space, for a while, it felt like I could lose everything I’ve worked so hard to build.

That said, I’m so grateful for the people and the couples that helped me push through, constantly showing me, time and time again, that I was on the right path. So many of you know who you are and might be reading this very post right now. Thank you so much for encouraging me to move forward, step by step. I soon learned that what could have ended up being a super scary and sad season ended up being one of immense personal and professional growth, of solidifying my foundation, and really honing in on what makes me and my business special. There were many hard days, but there were also so many encouraging ones too. Over time and with all the madness, I realized that my current site and brand messaging didn’t really match who I felt I had become within my business, and to be honest, I knew I was selling myself short in so many aspects. In addition to that, I also moved to a completely new city and felt my old site was so deeply reflective of my time in DC. I wanted something new, something fresh, something that reflected the hope of the season we have coming, just around the corner.

I started toying with the idea of refreshing just the written content, then maybe the portfolio images, and also the overall color palette and cohesiveness of each page… and one thing lead to another, and I found myself realizing that a full refresh of CKP’s online home was in order. I wanted my site to reflect my current business and brand as it paves the way for the future of CKP. I wanted it to be as pretty as it is user-friendly and as warm and inviting as the mug of tea I picture us sharing together over the internet. I wanted my message to be clear, for my photography experiences to be laid out in a cohesive and communicative way, and for my updated portfolio work to speak for itself alongside some super intentional text that fills in what the behind-the-scenes both looks and feels like. I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed I got close!

So with the refresh, I wanted to break down a few things… what’s changing? What’s staying the same?

What’s staying the same?

  • Logo elements! I honestly surprised myself that I wanted these elements to stay the same! I feel like they really have come to represent my brand and are clean and crisp and exactly what I want in this season! They were a seamless fit into my new site, and for that, I feel so grateful and reaffirmed that keeping them the same was the right move.
  • Package elements: You may see a little refresh to my back-end pricing pages to reflect the new brand look, but overall, packaging elements will be staying the same! You’ll see a pretty new look on my pricing pages, but the packages and pricing are staying the same for now. I’ll be slowly refreshing client guides and back-end experience over the next quarter+!
  • The heart behind the hustle: I love this business and what I get to do something fierce. I’m so, so grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love day in and day out, and am so very grateful for the people that support me. I feel like this refresh has renewed my sense of confidence in my business and has encouraged me to really show up as myself both online and in person.

What’s changing?

  • Well… obviously the entire site is brand new! There’s no denying that! Other than the new site with a pretty new design, updated text, MORE brand colors… and a darker text grey (much to my mom’s delight!), an updated links page, and a few system tweaks on my back-end, pretty much everything is staying the same! SURPRISE! That’s the biggest reason I’m calling this a refresh instead of a rebrand! My overall brand, experience, and dedication to my business are staying the same… my biggest goal was that the new refresh would emphasize everything my brand has come to be over the last couple of years!

Before we get to the thank you’s, I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be giving away a cute little care package filled with so many of my favorite goodies over on IG! (Be sure you’re following along!) The post with alllll the details will be going live at 2:30PM!

They say it takes a village, and that’s so true with this massive project! Sending a HUGE THANK YOU to a few amazing people who really poured so much into making this launch possible!

The Write Lens: I had been thinking about working with a copywriter for a while but wasn’t quite sure how to find what I was looking for. I knew I wanted my site to reflect who I am, to sound like me, to clarify my messaging and package details, and to be overall fun and inviting… telling a cohesive story overall. I knew I wanted to hire a copywriter to help get me there! That said, what I was looking for was not something you can really pop into Google. When an industry friend of mine launched her site, she shared about an amazing person who helped write her site in TWO DAYS. (Yes, y’all, two DAYS!) As I dove into reading her site, I could hear her voice reading me the copy, so I went and looked into a few of the other sites that Erica of The Write Lens had written, and though I didn’t know what each of the photographer’s unique voices sounds like in person, I could feel their unique personalities and strengths shining through. I realized that I found my freaking unicorn, y’all! Erica specializes in writing personalized web copy for photographers, and she is scary good at what she does. She helped me clarify my ideal audience and pushed me to have the confidence to really dig deep into what makes my brand unique. She also helped me write the entire site you’re seeing here today in TWO DAYS… yes, y’all, TWO. FREAKING. DAYS.

THANK YOU, ERICA! Not only did you save me from endless hours of staring at a blank page and blinking cursor, but you also pushed me to share the things I knew I needed to share but wasn’t sure how to do so in a way with grace and purpose.

I’m toying with doing a post on why I decided to invest in a site copywriter real soon, but know that the biggest reason I decided to have a copywriter write my new site was that… to be honest, writing about myself is NOT my strong suit. I wanted someone to see the value I provide from the outside in and clarify how I could share that in a way that would connect with my ideal client. I also knew that writing my own content tends to take a long time and I was never quite sold on what I had written in the end. With Erica, I’m fully confident in my site, the copy, and how it shares my overall client experience.

Meghan: AKA my sister! If you see a picture of me on my site at launch, you can probably assume it was taken by Meg! She was an incredible help in helping to make my brand photos go from vision to reality! She supports me in every aspect of this business (and in so much more in life!) and was also the one that pushed me to get on TikTok (Which is officially finding a home in the social links on my site with this launch!). A huge thank you to her for her endless support and for always pushing me to get out of my comfort zone.

Manali Sontakke: Manali has been a huge support throughout this entire year! We are in pretty much constant contact, chatting all things life and business over Voxer. She took time this week to comb through every corner of my site, offering so much valuable feedback that molded the final product you’re seeing here today!

Lightbox 209: Just in case you were curious, this was where my brand photos were taken! This gorgeous Annapolis studio space has the absolute best light and has me so inspired for future projects!

Monique Anne Photography: You’ll see a super fun model in front of my camera, quite literally, in the brand section of my site— that’s Mo! She dropped everything and came out to Annapolis to model as a brand client within my own brand session. It was so much fun to meet a new face here in Baltimore and to have someone so sweet in front of my camera!

Davey and Krista: They built the beautiful foundation my site was built on! I absolutely love their online templates and am so excited about how my site came together overall. Their support was so incredibly valuable during the early days of building my site. Bonus points if you can guess which template my site is based on!

Showit Support: I build my website on Showit and cannot explain how incredible their support staff is. They helped me out with so many aspects of this site, making sure links were working properly, that the technical stuff was flowing right, and overall, are just good people! Y’all… if you are looking for an awesome web platform that makes building the pretty website of our dreams easy, Showit is your answer!

YOU! If you’ve made it this far, I know you’re a real one! (But seriously… this blog post is about 2.2K words) Thank you so much for being here and for your support. It’s because of amazing people like you that I’m able to live my dream each day. Know not a day goes by where I don’t think about how lucky I am to have your support 💕

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