Sunday, February 26, 2012

Logo Design For 1313 Images Photography

Kara Ridgeway Janni is a local photographer in Dallas/Fort Worth area - and a long-time friend of mine. I was pleased to assist her with her new logo design - for 1313 Images Photography. Kara wanted something a bit different - a little less 'curly' and 'swirly' than you see with photographer branding these days. She has been working hard to use different color schemes, themes and styles - and brand her company a bit more modern and sleek to set herself apart.

She specializes in family, children and senior portraits. Kim loved spending some time with her - taking MacArthur High School Senior Gretchen Goldston’s senior pictures – and you can see Kara’s passion for beautiful photography and love of what she does. One of Kara’s goals for 1313 Images Photography is to help with spirited and personality exploding pictures and portraits.

1313 Images Photography has great photography sessions and photography products that can be seen on her website – You can also visit 1313 Images Photography’s Blog that has the latest and most recent photography sessions. Join 1313 Images Photography’s
Facebook or pin her on Pinterest! She is also offering Senior discounts –take advantage of it before it’s too late!

To book your photography session or ask any questions, please visit or call Kara Janni at 972.754.1519.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Social 121 In Frisco Delicious On All Fronts

I've been waiting for the opportunity to visit web design client Social 121 in Frisco, Texas. I got to go last night, for their special Valentine's Day four-course dining event - and was thrilled on all fronts. The food was fantastic, the service was awesome - and what's more - is that the whole place just oozed cool, hip modernity and style.

It's an upscale, and super-hip Frisco Texas restaurant and lounge/bar/club located very conveniently right off of the intersected Highway 121 and North Dallas Tollway in the Southeast quadrant. I might have missed it if I wasn't looking for it, as it's tucked back a bit off of the service roads (if you're on the Tollway's service road, it'll be on the right, but it's easier to see, in my opinion - from the access road from 121). But once you're there - you'll never forget where it is - because it's awesome.

We enjoyed the four-course Valentine's Day special menu. Social 121 does this on certain holidays, and you can learn more about these and other events (like sports-watching events, and special dinner seatings) on their website - or on their Facebook Fan page. The sleek atmosphere was warmed up with candles, and made even more relevant to the theme of the weekend by the Valentine's Red coloring behind the wall-length bottle storage area and on the screens all around the area.

We got there a few minutes early and checked out the bar area, had a drink and then were seated in a cozy table where we started our meal with a salad. I had a 'Classic Caesar" - that was fantastic. Every single leaf of lettuce had just the right amount of dressing, as though the whole thing had been done piece by piece.

We had a second course of appetizers. We all chose separate things, the mom's had Southwestern Crab Cakes, Grilled Lamb Lollipops for my husband, and I chose the Braised Short Rib Potstickers - we swapped tastes a bit, and ALL were just wonderful. I am partial to the potstickers of course, and I loved the Asian flair with the beefy twist.

Two of us enjoyed the steak as our main course, and both of us particularly loved the Mixed-Herb Potato Pave. The other two enjoyed the bone-in pork chop - which I did get to try a taste of, and they agreed - was the most tender we'd had as far as pork chops go.

Finally, we stuck with the program of sharability with our deserts - each ordering with intent to share a taste for experience's sake. We had bread pudding, 'love cake' and creme brulee, all of which were great. The bread pudding was moist, laced with cinnamon and the love cake had a scoop of mocha ice cream to give it an extra kick, along with a side of some awesome toffee-ish candy.

As I said - been waiting a long time to check out Social 121. I don't live very close, although I'm not too far either. It was worth the drive and wait, and I'll be going back very soon! Thanks to owner Scott Siers and staff, for making a fun Valentine's Day event for us to treat our mom's to!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pinterest Holding Interest

It's the newest hottest thing on the internet - it's Pinterest. An online 'pin board' or, as I like to call it - a 'vision board' - where you can identify pictures, and in some cases, 'do' - things, visually - as well as share and interact with others.

Who uses it? It appears that women, in their 30's-50's - in general, are highly addicted to Pinterest. And - with good reason. It's a gold mine for interior design ideas, recipes (here's where the DO comes into play), crafting, hobbies, hairstyles, beauty and fashion and more.

What's great about Pinterest, is that it's not so much 'personal' - i.e. - pictures of the family dog and family outings - but things you can share freely and comment on without worry that you've barged in on someone's privacy. If it's on Pinterest, it's free for the pinning.

Any business value? For most businesses - I think that trying to incorporate Pinterest into your social media strategy would depend 100% on what you do. Also - it MUST be kept friendly, light, family-friendly and social. Certain businesses just do not fall into this category, and are not a good fit for Pinterest. For example - here are some industries/businesses that would do well to consider utilizing Pinterest as a vehicle for viral exposure:

1/ Hair salons/independent stylists: Showcase your work! Get permission from your clients to present your newest creations on Pinterest. Much inspiration for that next great hair-do comes from here.

2/ Interior Designers/Artists/Designers: Here's where you show off your brands, design ideas, colors, palettes, layouts and also offer great ideas to those who are crafty like to do-it-yourself. Even though they do-it-themselves - they remember where they got help and support - and if/when the time comes, maybe your name will pop back into mind. "How-tos" for art/craft projects and interior decor are a hugely searched - so participate with helpful content and gain some (real) fans.

3/ Chefs, Restaurants, Cooks: Share recipes on Pinterest - it's a great source of people who cook EVERY SINGLE DAY - and like above, they'll remember where they got the recipe. What's great about Pinterest - is the viral shareability of this content. Your recipe has the potential to get shared to hundreds of people, within minutes. Talk about free exposure!

4/ Photographers/Scrapbookers: Pinterest is a place for the crafty!! You can not only showcase your work, but also provide those handy-well searched-how-to's to get even more exposure. Play up the holidays and special occasions - Valentine's Day, Birthdays, Weddings - as people are continually searching for ideas and maybe - vendors - for these special occasions.

5/ E-Commerce: If you're selling something in the world of beauty, fashion or style via an online store (of course you know we specialize in e-commerce website design - close shameless plug) - then Pinterest will allow you to 'pin' individual items. Do this when you get something particularly relevant to these industries, or new items - or even if you have something on sale.

6/ Food, Fashion Writers/Mom Bloggers - ladies, unite. 'Nuff said.

And that's not to say men aren't using Pinterest. They are. Just not like the ladies. Plus, for the most part, I know better how ladies think than I do men; and I know this is a smorgasboard of home, beauty and family inspiration. It is what it is, and right now, it's more about the women on Pinterest.

Tips for using Pinterest: Pin Often, pin relevant, take special care to categorize and beef up your specific boards - and add your own description to reach image. Then, share it on Facebook and Twitter, Linked In and anywhere else you can.

There's not a lot of SEO value for Pinterest pins, because each pic pinned has an id number, and nt a real 'title' per-se - which makes sense, because there's just so much content. It's the loyal followers, share-ability and genuine inspiration that exists on Pinterest that make it so valuable.

If you know your market, and pin for them, (and yourself) it'll be a fun and interesting way to increase exposure for your business or your name.