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A guest blog from our designer OR a preview of our new logo

This post was written by our dear friend and fabulous photographer, Jessica Flynn (check out her work HERE). She is the mastermind behind our new branding. Her heart for artists is such a beautiful thing, and has been a gift to us in the past few months. Her dedication to making absolutely sure that our new branding reflects exactly who we are has caused her tears, frustration, time, and tweaks and redos upon tweaks and redos. But as she has said to me many times, “It’s okay to be picky. This is something worth being picky about. We NEED to be picky.” So we have picked and picked and picked and missed deadlines and cried together and figured out what is important.
And that’s what she has given us. A way to remember what’s important. More than that, a way to move forward into what’s important.
So please enjoy her perspective of figuring us out…what an incredibly fun journey it’s been!
Love you Jess.
-jade
*SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 …. when we all needed a little something extra in the realm of encouragement and belief in everything that was at that moment*

“y’all.

i feel like you may need this this morning. i truly believe that deeply lasting and good things are on the horizon. i really do. i HAVE TO otherwise this weird season that we’re all {and we’re all in it which is WEIRD … and also kinda awesome} in is just going to be for naught. and i refuse to believe that is the case. also, because jesus says it isn’t.
so. as you’re walking through the crazy sludge that is right now …. remember this:
*****
s l  o   w     d      o        w          n.
see.
be.
embrace {the thrill of discovery}.
dream and remember … how it looked, but forever how it feels.
DARE to wrap yourself in what is real
and lose yourself
….in a glance.
…a moment of color.
…the intrigue and TRUE value of a hidden treasure.
DO
NOT
FEAR
THE
DARK.
for without it, you cannot know the brilliance of the light. let both soak in deep & steady. as they dance and exist together, they entiwne to shape the defining curves by which you are known.
REVEL
in the glory of our existence  … and marvel that our humanity is, at its core, to know and be known
….by our maker
….by another
….by community
….and always, by love
what a wonder that always, ALWAYS, it is about love.
by love.
for love.
from love.
*****
remember that THAT ^ is what y’all communicate. remember that we live in a world that desperately needs to hear exactly that. remember that you have an enemy that wants to steal away anything having to do with that being communicated. don’t throw away your confidence, friends. even when it turns hard and looks hopeless, DON’T.
i love y’all so much!”
*****
hey everyone …. i’m so pleased to be in JPP world today. seriously … i’m happy dancing  with my fingers as i type. and, so you know, rule #1 when i blog with words instead of images …. i can be way wordy. so stick with me, because every word is worth saying and this story is worth hearing. this process has been deep for them, as jade’s been speaking so beautifully about all week. their branding and vibe is simple – yet so very layered and meaningful. they are story tellers … and consequently, every tiny detail in their brand has a story to share as well as you saw in their last post. and i get the honor of sharing a few more of those details with you today.
as i was prepping for our meeting, or first big meeting, to view their inspiriation boards, and reflect back to them the trends i was seeing that would point to how we needed to structure their branding, i was flipping through the pages of questions one last time. then i decided to do something strange for me. i decided just to pick my pen up and write what i felt in response to what they had shared, and what i knew of their work. what came out was what you just read above.
i thought i would just keep that for me as inspiration as i was designing but something …. someone …. kept tugging at me to share it with them. so at the very end of our meeting i said “guys, can i just share something that i wrote in response to seeing you and listening to you over the past little while?” i avoided eye contact at ALL COSTS, ducked my head and began to read. {because y’all, i am not a WRITER. i pick up a camera, not a pen, and i tell a story. but for some reason … i had a little moment of potential brilliance and i was smart enough to jot it down}. when i looked up i will never forget the looks on their faces. maybe one of them was ugly crying a bit … never mind who he … er, uh … THEY are. just … one of them …..:)in that moment i think that we all knew that we understood. and if we all believed in each other before …. we did even more so now.
and i was eternally grateful for that moment, because in the weeks that followed i honestly almost threw in the towel. i needed to remember “no, you truly understand THEM. and the first rule when branding a creative {or possibly anything} is to brand THEM. not what they do, not some signature shot or style, but THEM. because that is the only thing that cannot be replicated. you understand and have heard THEM. that means you can do this, you can design well for them”.
and don’t we all need little moments like that? moments to go back to when the going gets plain old annoying or hard to say “nope … you know the truth. keep going.”
but back to the fact that i almost picked up the phone on 14 different occasions and refunded their money and apologized profusely for wasting their time …. the only requirements JKP had asked is that jade had to have a mountain, kyle had to have a wave, and there had to be a tree because that is their common ground.  oh, and probably a circle because circles are, well, of course, symbolic. i mean COME. ON. y’all! these two crazies gave me that and then expected for it to not like a camping or some outdoor recreation adventure logo. thanks dudes … really.;)i sketched and sketched and envisioned and sketched some more …. and still , nothing was right. and it had to be right. because i believe in these two. they believe in me. i know that what they have to offer the world has power and meaning behind it. and if all of that wasn’t represented with the full impact it could have, i would be letting them down.
i realize i’m sounding all dramatic there. but really, it was important. because it was about their lives, who they were and will be. who they’re gifted as. everything that is the depths of jade and kyle wrapped up and presented simply and meaningfully. i knew what they were trying to say to the world by their images they make. AND i knew how it FELT. the tension between vision and feeling is the place where i believe art is born. after literally wrestling with it for a good long while,  when my heart settled down and i found the balance of those opposing forces …. there it was. plain as day as if it were just waiting for me to pull back the right curtain and discover it. y’all want to see???
FINAL-LOGO
that is JKP’s new symbol … it’s missing a few details that we’ll save for when we release their site … but there it is.
in one of my furious sketching moments while we were traveling {because for some reason, my mind clears when i’m in a plane}, my adventurer looked over at me and said
“what if you use the letters in their names?”
i had already thought of that and was sort of playing with the idea of, without it looking like “JK”. i had flipped the letters over, around and everywhere and grant said “you have a wave and a mountain ther e… you can see it right?”
“yep. i totally can. but it won’t work … the k’s forming a mountain and that’s not kyle, that’s jade. and vice versa”.
“well isn’t that pretty perfect?? i mean he’s her mountain … she’s his wave. the thing they both connect to at their deepest point, personally, the other’s name represents in their lives”
y’all, i pretty much could have made out with him right there in the airplane seat. he was so right. and the concept developed from there … i drew 50 million different combos of the j/k mountain/wave deal with a “k” shaping my mountain and a “j” guiding my wave. it STILL wasn’t right. it was too obvious, and that’s straight up annoying when things are obvious. and then i thought about the thing that jade & kyle are the best at … which is connection. that is their niche friends. celebrating, showcasing, seeing, and making CONNECTIONS. and so i tweaked one of my sketches into an ampersand.
and there it was. her mountain. his wave. not as obviously the letters in their name, but that is where it started and that’s what mattered. in the end they flawlessly worked together to form one symbol which is used as the universal symbol of bringing 2 things together. WITH THE CROSS SECTION OF A TREE. because for the love of all that is good, you couldn’t forget that tree. when you look at a cross section of a tree, the center is the heartwood. as the years pass with their triumphs and tragedies, magic and messes, all form together around that heart to produce growth, strength, shelter and beauty. you can tell in the rings of a tree, the story of its life. the years where it was flourishing. the years where it was dry. their story.
THEIR STORY. all of this to say …. while this branding effort is obviously to market their photography, it is so much more. it is their story that they have decided to transparently share with you and invite you in to. so when you see all these beautifully displayed images and new platform next week, remember these things. this is the deep heart that is fueling every image they make. this is not just their photography, friends. this is THEM. jade & kyle.
stay excited. the best part comes next week! all of this heart and soul and depth in one beautiful place. we can’t wait to show you.
goodness, grace, peace & joy,
~j

jade & kyle OR ….jade & kyle

(again, all photography credit in this post goes to Jess Flynn at Capture Photography)

JKP12

 

That’s it guys.

It’s quite possible you already guessed what our new business name might be. And if you know us, you know that there was never really a question of what we would call a business based on our connection with one another. Since I was 16 and Kyle was 17, we have been: jade & kyle.

In the last months of our lives…The months of deciding we wanted to be a ‘we’. We slowly and very painfully realized that maybe, in that funny way that God always does, He was trying to teach us a little more than what was on the surface. He was using this passion of mine  of ours, to shape us. To teach us in a way that meant we were going to have to fight for one another.

And so soon after we decided to be a ‘we’…the darkness came. And for the first time in 12 years, I wondered what it might be like to be a ‘me’ again.

Here I hesitate. Because vulnerability is so hard. Being real is so difficult. Lifting the veil and showing all of you that our life is messy and sad sometimes, on top of all the beauty I normally share with you…this is not easy. But I believe these human ugly experiences are what makes us. This is what makes us beautiful. Our brokenness makes us deep and rich with life. Our struggles make us human. And God himself looked on to see the human struggle and wanted in. So I know it’s worth it. I know the hurt and the depth and the shared human experience is beautiful. Not in spite of but because of

We were in a fog. I couldn’t see my life without Kyle, but I also couldn’t see what was next for us. And as far as becoming a “we” in the business, we were at a standstill. We were constantly searching for direction.

And then I got this message on facebook from a dear friend:

“i’ve been talking with a gallery owner friend about doing an artist re-branding package. because some of these artists in her gallery have amazing art but HORRIBLE branding {#irony} and no way for people to find them. i would incorporate a big consult process, inspiration boards, photography and video, brand revamp {if needed}, plus texture and aesthetics {color palate, texture = feelings, etc}. the more i’m seeing things unfold here in the great centex, the more i see that i’m getting plopped right in the artist community. it just seems like i’m getting connected to artists left and right. MAYBE, if you weren’t finding anyone that you felt could combine design talent, with also understanding you both, MAYBE i could develop that package for you and kyle …. and see if it works the way i think it could…”

Oh I forgot to mention this dear friend happens to be an insanely talented artist who practices mainly photography (HERE, GO LOOK), but also dabbles in design. She has an incredible ability to have a conversation with someone and speak straight to their heart. And now she was asking me if she could take this incredible ability and use it to translate our hearts into our business. When someone who makes art you believe in offers something like this, you say yes. When you’re searching for a direction, and someone who cares for you deeply offers to take your hand and lead you, you say yes.

Step one of the incredible process was designed to help her understand who we are as artists and the way we wanted to present ourselves to the world. We answered questions about what our names mean, the top 3 words we wanted to be associated with our art, and if we could be a color, what color would we be? Plus about a zajillion more questions, including “What is at the core of who you are?”

Kyle’s answer:  at my core (hmmmm)… is a love for the broken hearted. because when you shake all of my brokenness off (which there is a lot) what is left is a broken heart to be repaired. I know that now. and I want other people to know it too…. that they can be repaired.

Jade’s answer:  I think it would have to be acceptance. To try to love no matter what.

The thing is, we filled these out separately.

This journey of finding who we are as a business…it was filled with opportunities for us to find who we are as us, again. And what we’ve found is something so beautiful that we could have never imagined it without the hurt and the depth. Now, we are more aware than ever of shared experience of fighting for a connection. Of searching for something deep and meaningful and finding it together.

The following photos are from our first meeting where we shared the results from our first branding assignment from Jess. She asked us to make an inspiration board. She said “if you’re on pinterest, we’ll start a secret board where you can pin to your hearts content with only our eyes watching what’s developing. or, if you’d like a more hands on approach, grab a posterboard, canvas, piece of scrap wood, ANYTHING big enough to hold what your eye is drawn to. then START PAYING ATTENTION. if something jumps out at you, pin it {or glue it ….}. everything is fair game here, color, design, textures, lines, light, images, moments, type, feelings, etc, etc. if you’re drawn to it, save it. include some of your favorite pieces from your portfolio.”

The first and most involved thing we did was make the board. We decided to take her “scrap wood” suggestion literally and found a few pallets on the side of the road, took them apart, and put them back together again. (Hello symbolism my old friend.) What resulted from just this first part of the process was so cool, it ended up being the texture and color palette we based all of our new branding on. It’s the image you’ve seen all week.

JKP10

The following images are from the front of the board. Everything we could find that inspired us. From the trailing vine outside our front door to twinkle lights from the attic to some of our favorite images, including one of my Mimi that has lasted 20+ years in my possession.

 

JKP11JKP07JKP01JKP08JKP13

So there you have it. jade & kyle.

Now to what this means for you…

First. It is abundantly clear to us who we are and why we are doing this, and that means it is going to become even more abundantly clear to you who we are and why we’re doing this through our images and the people and events we choose to make photographs of. We are so excited.

Next.

A NEW WEBSITE.

A NEW LOGO.

A brand new presence on the world wide web and in your lives in general. Get ready to welcome Kyle to the blog…FINALLY!

And guess what. All this stuff is already done. And we’re getting ready to roll it out. SOON!

And later this week, you’ll hear from our dear friend Jess at Capture Photography on the process of us becoming a “we”. I can’t wait for her to share her vision of our new brand. We couldn’t be happier with the results.

 

we & us OR my true north

(all photography in this post by my dear friend Jess at CAPTURE PHOTOGRAPHY, she’s the best!)

JKP06

On the way home from Austin that day, Kyle looked at me and said “So, do you want to be a ‘we’?”

My immediate answer was…hesitation. I would love to say that I was absolutely positive from that day forward that things were changing for us, and we were never looking back. But I hesitated. And more than anything, I think it had to do with the fact that I was afraid of what “we” might mean. If we’re a ‘we’, this is not just mine anymore. If JPP becomes you and me, then I’m sharing it with you. Not just the title of photographer, but my connection to the world. And that connection is something I’ve fought hard for. It’s mine.

I swear, those were my first thoughts. And man, they were lousy. Just terrible.

Because when I looked at Kyle… I remembered.

First, I remembered in the beginning when I cried and agonized and longed to make moving and beautiful images of people, and I was too afraid. I was afraid to even try. I was too afraid to even practice on friends, or him, or anything but flowers and our dog, Captain. When I finally told Kyle that my insides ached to photograph life, he listened. He made this blog for me. JPP version one, which I wish I still had a link to. Man it was wordpress glory. He bought me my first used DSLR. Then several months later, he bought me another. Because he believed in me. He believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. The week before my first wedding ever, I was out practicing shooting with my daughter, and something went wrong with my camera. We took it to get fixed and, surprise! It was for real broken. As if I wasn’t freaked out enough already. New camera number 3. The day before the wedding I looked at Kyle and said, “You have to come with me. You can take the broken camera and pretend you’re shooting on auto, just act like an assistant. I can’t do it babe, I can’t do it.”

He looked at me and said “You can do this. You are good at this. I’ll come with you.”

Then, I remembered that this was the person in my life who has taught me the most about how to connect with someone. Kyle is the first person I searched for depth in. He’s the one who I played first hand witness to becoming a husband and a father. He is the one who has taught me that just under the surface, there is such a large and beautiful story to be told, if only someone can be brave enough to help us tap into that story.

If I am a guide, assisting people in creating memories they and their families will cherish beyond their lifetime, Kyle is my compass.

And in those moments of clarity, I knew that was it. He’s been with me since the beginning. And while I’d love to take credit for his skills, he’s pretty much taught himself the ins and outs of photography, with a few helpful tips from me along the way.

Us. That’s who we are, that’s who we’ll always be. And if the past few months of fighting for our marriage and our connection have taught me anything, it’s that circumstances, motivations, and failures to communicate are not going to change the fact that I am, forever, a we. So why shouldn’t JPP reflect that? Why shouldn’t Jade Pierce Photography recognize that there is someone else on this team? And shouldn’t our name, our website, our t-shirts, reflect that?

Just kidding. We don’t have t-shirts.

But we do have a new name.

And on Wednesday, I’ll tell you what it is.

JKP09

we & us OR my true north

(all photography in this post by my dear friend Jess at CAPTURE PHOTOGRAPHY, she’s the best!)

JKP06

On the way home from Austin that day, Kyle looked at me and said “So, do you want to be a ‘we’?”

My immediate answer was…hesitation. I would love to say that I was absolutely positive from that day forward that things were changing for us, and we were never looking back. But I hesitated. And more than anything, I think it had to do with the fact that I was afraid of what “we” might mean. If we’re a ‘we’, this is not just mine anymore. If JPP becomes you and me, then I’m sharing it with you. Not just the title of photographer, but my connection to the world. And that connection is something I’ve fought hard for. It’s mine.

I swear, those were my first thoughts. And man, they were lousy. Just terrible.

Because when I looked at Kyle… I remembered.

First, I remembered in the beginning when I cried and agonized and longed to make moving and beautiful images of people, and I was too afraid. I was afraid to even try. I was too afraid to even practice on friends, or him, or anything but flowers and our dog, Captain. When I finally told Kyle that my insides ached to photograph life, he listened. He made this blog for me. JPP version one, which I wish I still had a link to. Man it was wordpress glory. He bought me my first used DSLR. Then several months later, he bought me another. Because he believed in me. He believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. The week before my first wedding ever, I was out practicing shooting with my daughter, and something went wrong with my camera. We took it to get fixed and, surprise! It was for real broken. As if I wasn’t freaked out enough already. New camera number 3. The day before the wedding I looked at Kyle and said, “You have to come with me. You can take the broken camera and pretend you’re shooting on auto, just act like an assistant. I can’t do it babe, I can’t do it.”

He looked at me and said “You can do this. You are good at this. I’ll come with you.”

Then, I remembered that this was the person in my life who has taught me the most about how to connect with someone. Kyle is the first person I searched for depth in. He’s the one who I played first hand witness to becoming a husband and a father. He is the one who has taught me that just under the surface, there is such a large and beautiful story to be told, if only someone can be brave enough to help us tap into that story.

If I am a guide, assisting people in creating memories they and their families will cherish beyond their lifetime, Kyle is my compass.

And in those moments of clarity, I knew that was it. He’s been with me since the beginning. And while I’d love to take credit for his skills, he’s pretty much taught himself the ins and outs of photography, with a few helpful tips from me along the way.

Us. That’s who we are, that’s who we’ll always be. And if the past few months of fighting for our marriage and our connection have taught me anything, it’s that circumstances, motivations, and failures to communicate are not going to change the fact that I am, forever, a we. So why shouldn’t JPP reflect that? Why shouldn’t Jade Pierce Photography recognize that there is someone else on this team? And shouldn’t our name, our website, our t-shirts, reflect that?

Just kidding. We don’t have t-shirts.

But we do have a new name.

And on Wednesday, I’ll tell you what it is.

JKP09

 

the chips and salsa connection OR me v. us

(all photography in this post by my dear friend Jess at Capture Photography, she’s the best!)

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In July, Kyle and I were fortunate enough to meet with some photographers that we really admire. A husband and wife team that I had admired for some time, and that Kyle would grow to admire after that meeting.

We met them in Austin, over chips and salsa of course. Our day started with some chit chat about beer and kids and the beautiful rain, and by the time we ended we had talked of everything from our grandparents chickens, to our hopes that our photography was something we were leaving for the next generation (and the next and the next), and the sincerest wish that we were not just trying to break the internet with all the content we’re pouring onto it.

Because while we realize the world needs photographers that will photoshop (who turned that into a verb?) your bodies into unrecognizable tan blurs, we are just not some of them. We do not have the desire nor the skills (nor the desire for the skills) to join those photographers. The images we want to leave behind us are so much more important. At least, they are to me.

The truth is, dearest blog reader, photography is the connection I have always searched for. It is my deeper connection to my family, to those around me, to my sweet Jesus. And when I step into a situation with my camera, I bring all of those connections there with me, and start my search for your connection. I’m looking for the depth in you. The depth in the relationship you are promising forever into, or the newborn connection you are just getting to know, or the connection you have fought for many gut wrenching and impossible times. And I feel as though until July, it was too much for me to share that I’m fighting too. Fighting for connections. Searching for beauty and light. It’s possible I didn’t realize how difficult the fight is until then. Maybe I just hadn’t realized how much vulnerability and brokenness play a part in this. When I step into someone’s life, it’s not only the beautiful light and the love that I’m looking to grab in an image. It’s the darkness as well. Because as a good friend of mine told me, without the darkness, you cannot appreciate the light.

In the last 7 months, there has been a shift in our life. We have fought the darkness back with everything we have. At times we have been victorious, and at other times we have only just barely lived to fight another day. But through all of this, we have found what is true and important. We have discovered in ourselves a desire to fight for our own connection. And we have begun to see the connection in others in a different way. A way that is true. A way that is hard. A way that is real.

Over chips and salsa in Austin that day, we were asked a question that has shaped the last 7 months of our lives. This couple took a look at our website, at our images, at our words. This is what they asked: “Are you a you, or an us?”

Cue the minor fall, major lift crescendo in our life soundtrack.

If you know us, you know we’re an us and have been for almost 12 years. But when you look at Jade Pierce Photography…what do you see? An us? No.

In the next few months we would explore this question. And if you know us…I think you know where this is headed. And if you don’t, maybe you can guess.

The shift in our life has inspired a shift in our business. To be continued on Monday…

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