branding + commercial

How Lifestyle Branding Photography Can Change Your Business

How Lifestyle Branding Photography Can Change Your Business

SamErica Studios - Destination Commercial Branding Lifestyle Photography -Waffles and Honey jewelry

It's not known to everyone how we got started in photography but it's amazing how our backstory has fueled so much of the work we love. 


Sam and I both have degrees in Marketing. After college, I took this marketing gig in LA as a Marketing Coordinator (basically a do everything that involves everything job lol). But in that job, one of my main functions was to create social media ads for Facebook. I hate to make the content, and choose images that would be captivating to the audience. One of my main clients was a grocery store. There is really nothing exciting about a grocery store - or so I thought. So when the company asked for me to get creative on how to boost engagement, I had a few ideas but told them it would require new pictures. So, part of my catch all marketing coordinator job now required me to take product and advertising photos. I freaking loved it. Being able to take a product / concept / or idea and make a creative shoot out of it to boost engagement was my favorite part of the job. Fast forward a few years when we started taking pictures for ourselves, that creative drive for brands still stands strong and is the forefront of our business. 


We get this question a lot, and you'll fine a few different answers for it. But for us, lifestyle branding photography is just relatable stock photography for your brand. Basic, all white stock photos are needed for seller websites, we get it. But stock photos aren't very engaging. So we've been working with a series of small businesses and brands to create custom lifestyle shoots to cater to their market and the products / services they want to be known for. One of our current clients - Waffles and Honey is a boho styled jeweler based in San Francisco who decided she wanted to launch a new aspect of her business. She just created a series of pieces dedicated to the wedding industry. Her goal was to create pieces that could be worn by both brides and bridesmaids for the wedding day. (but honestly, these pieces are so pretty, they could be worn every day) So in addition to the general stock photography for her website, we created a bridal styled shoot to showcase her latest inventory and how they could be worn and paired on any wedding day. 


This shoot was amazing. It was just a fun way to sell a product without selling a product. You know what I'm talking about, it's not that stuffy, sales-y product and commercial photography, it's lifestyle photography for the modern brand. And, major bonus, it boost sales. When I started this lifestyle version of marketing after college, it was so cool to see the numbers skyrocket. Knowing that this simple change in visuals boosted that grocery store's revenue 22% in a quarter was mind-blowing. (also, looking back, I definitely should have gotten a raise for that lol) whatever. But this is our obsession - taking a simple goal for companies and translating it in a visual masterpiece that can be used to boost both social media engagement and marketing content. 

the team

jeweler | Waffles and Honey

Hair + makeup | Beauty by Melina

Bridesmaid Dresses | Lulus

Sparkly Wedding Dress | Anthropologie 

Minimalist Wedding Dress | Lulus

Photography + Art Direction + Styling | SamErica Studios (duh)


Are you a small business ready for a visual upgrade? Check out our branding shoot options in our shop!

Branding with Native Poppy

Hands down the coolest part of our job is the versatility is brings. Whether we are shooting couples, portraits, corporate or brands, it's never a dull moment. It's even cooler when we get to shoot content for other creative brands such as Native Poppy, an amazing floral shop located inside of Communal Coffee (aka, our other house lol). 

We did this shoot for them to launch their new subscription of monthly florals (umm, yes please) and we couldn't be more obsessed or more excited to have fresh flowers at our table every week!!! Oh, and this shoot was amazing too (obviously). Don't believe us? Stalk the goodness below! We love working with them. 


brides! looking for a florist? Native Poppy is one of our preferred vendors! Book us both and receive a collab discount! 

Gather and Graze Dinners - San Diego Date Night Ideas

So, let's talk about how legit our friends are. Deanna and her husband Mars own Smoke & Brine Co. and they host these amazing dinners every so often called Gather & Graze. These dinners are a series of communal pop-up dining experiences in San Diego. They link up with a team of local vendors and creatives to make sure each dinner is a uniquely styled experience (and we get the pleasure of shooting them). If you ever needed a reason to have a date night, this is it. Great food, amazing atmosphere and the coolest people you'll ever meet. 

Here are the list of bad ass babes that made Gather & Graze .02 happen!

Event | Gather & Graze

Catering | Smoke & Brine Co. 

Planning & Design | Revel Events

Florist | Rooted Florals

Rentals | Folklore Rentals

Signage | Four Things Paper

Acrylic Signs | Jenn & Jules Designs

Macrame Pieces | Jessica Foltz

Desserts | Wednesday Cake

Photography | us, duh.

Obsessed? Need a date night? Gather & Graze .03 is February 18th! and it's ramen themed! Come partake in this epic deliciousness! You can get your tickets here!

Content Creation with Hatched Collective at Sunset Cliffs

Something that we don't usually blog (but definitely need to blog more of) is our branding clients. We do a LOT of branding (like 80% of our business is actually shooting for brands). One brand I absolute adore working with is with my friend Katie of Hatched Collective. You may have seen her venue like... everywhere lol. It's perfect. We shoot a lot of events and workshops at her spot. But lately, Katie and I have been diving into more personable / content curation shoots (as opposed to styled shoots). Shoots that do not necessarily take place at her venue, but still represent her brand and what she's all about.

Our latest focus - creative community and rolling with the punches. The irony of this shoot, we wanted to have a calm warm session at the cliffs, but of course, this day was the ONE DAY in San Diego it decided to rain. "Rolling with the punches" at it's finest. 

We did it anyway. We went out there, we played in the rain, we set our goals, we shared in our wins, our failures, our hopes, our dreams, and our sniffles lol. It was the best day. Not at all as we had planned, but everything we wanted to capture - creative community and taking things as they come.