A Funny Story About Personal Branding
This is a slightly funny story about how I got my personal branding in the photography industry. I highly suggest you pick your branding carefully before you get known for something, silly or worse.
A while back I joined an email list, actually quite a few years ago. It was the San Diego Goth List, for events and keeping up to date on the San Diego Gothic and Industrial Scene. I signed up because I love going dancing late at night in dark clubs such as goth and industrial dance clubs, and didn’t want to miss anything fun. Everyone on the list had a cool moniker/nickname: White Cat, Dragon, W!rehead, Vicious Sprite, Gcat and Mr. Creep. I had signed up using my real name, Larry Clark, dud, what kind of cool moniker is that? It’s not.
So there I sat, brainstorming a cool name for my online presence. I decided that I would call myself Darkman, after the movie starring Liam Neeson. Darkman was a mysterious character who hid behind a mask and no one really knew who he was, and so my online presence was born. Darkman. I also wore a mask in my avatar picture.
As time went on I started taking club pictures and posting them online at a site I built for the San Diego Club Scene, www.gothicsandiego.com, (galleries). I used the name Darkman on each picture to show who took the picture and to try to so ownership. Eventually I was known as Darkman the photographer, throughout the goth/industrial scene in San Diego and Los Angeles. People didn’t call me by my real name, only as Darkman.
As years went by I started photoing the shows that would come to town also, getting press passes to photo in the press area in front of the stages and even some of the bands started to recognize who I was, but again, as Darkman. I eventually started my photography website, www.darkmansdarkroom.com, and the name was cemented in time for the rest of eternity.
There’s also another famous photographer/director by the name of Larry Clark, that makes it hard for me to use my real name, Larry Clark. People would confuse me with him and vice versa when searching the net. So I stay with Darkman. It’s me, it’s my brand in the photo community. Recently though I have been making the shift to “Larry Darkman Clark”. Taking Darkman on as my middle name, and working my real name into the equation.
Trust me, it’s something I wish I would have thought about a while back but heck I didn’t know I was going to be a semi-famous photographer, known the world around. Fortunately for me, since I do some fetish and artistic nude stuff, the moniker works. At least for now.
Sometimes when I’m out and about, photoing an event, someone will walk up to me and ask me if I am Darkman the photographer. I always get a little giddy and embarrassed and tell them “Yes, but you can call me Larry”.
So just think carefully for a minute, what you want to be known as and for.
BEWARE: If you go to my photography sites, as well as there being some beautiful Old Hollywood Glamour Photography, there is nude photography, some extreme fetish photography and horror themes as well. You’ve been warned.
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