Why I Changed My Business Name

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“So Jasmine… who the heck is Javon Renee?”

This was the question my assistant, Kelly asked me right before Christmas. The look on his face was filled with so much confusion that I couldn’t help but to double over in laughter. He isn’t the only one who has been asking though. Some of my clients, business friends and even a couple of my best friends have been curious. Javon Renee Portraits just came out of nowhere for them and since everyone knows me as Jasmine or “J”, the question I got the most this past December was, “Who is Javon Renee?”

The answer is really simple. Javon Renee is me. On June 17, 1985 in Chicago, Illinois I was born Jasmine Javon Renee Morris. I was given two middle names. From what I have been told… there was a little bit of a tug of war over which middle name I would get. My grandmother Betty, may she rest in peace, wanted to give me the name Javon. My aunt Renee, wanted me to be named after her. I think my mother just wasn’t in the mood to tick anybody off and decided to give me both. Throughout my life, having two middle names was always kinda cool and yet it was sometimes made into an annoying joke. For example, most forms ask for your middle initial and only have space for one letter. I would always of course put both and people would often mistake that and call me Jasmine Morris Jr. Can you imagine the look on my face when that would happen? I hated it. I also hated my first middle name, Javon, during my childhood because everyone would laugh and say it sounded like a boy’s name. Well… they were right… it kinda did. I even knew a boy named Javon in first grade. So let’s just say having two middle names came with it’s pros and cons.

Now, I don’t expect anybody to start calling me Javon Renee instead of Jasmine. I still go by my first name and always will. Yes... this has happened. Recently a friend of mine was trying to introduce me to multiple people and kept calling me Javon of Javon Renee Portraits. Trust me… I’m still Jasmine. Jasmine from Javon Renee Portraits to be exact. So why the change? When I started out over 3 years ago as J Way Photography, I was in a bit of a rush to get things up and rolling. I really didn’t spend too much time thinking about the name of my new business. I was busy trying to figure out how to price myself and how to get licensed. I pretty much came up with the name on fly. The idea was basically: J = Jasmine and I like things my way. J Way Photography. Yep… that was it. It served me well my first three years in business but I felt myself outgrowing it as I learned more and more about how I really wanted to brand my business moving forward and what my niche was. It started to feel like it no longer fit. So a change was needed.

I thought long and hard on the name this time around. This time I wanted it to be permanent and I wanted it to sound, feel and look like the brand I was working so hard to build. I have worked to be known as a full service photographer. One who helps you every step of the way throughout the portrait process and does extra little things to make you feel special as a client. I wanted my brand to feel luxurious and beautiful, without feeling too over the top girly. I also wanted to personalize it and make it my own since I have pretty much decided that I want to be a photographer until I’m gone from this earth. Jasmine Newton Photography just sounded plain and so did Newton Portraits. (Sorry to my hubby, but his last name is pretty common.) Then it popped in my head… Javon Renee Portraits. I said it to myself over and over again. It sounded beautiful, different and luxurious. It felt like the brand I was building and when I had the logo made… it looked gorgeous. Which is exactly how I want my clients to feel. So thank you to my grandmother, aunt and my mother for giving me something I would need in my professional life. Thank you for knowing the middle names would grow on me beautifully. Thank you for giving me a sense of uniqueness that I never knew I would need until now. These names you gave me will hopefully become a huge part of my legacy and more. I hope you all like the new name and I hope you are ready for the new changes that are coming with it. More to come.