November, 2013 Archive
a name change, the fox, and a warm welcome.
November 20th, 2013

arlington virginia photographer

And, here it is. My new identity. Welcome friends. I truly hope that this website gives you a better idea of who I am, as a person and as a photographer.

Tackling this was nothing short of a labor of love. I committed to this idea – rejuvenating my visual identity – last year. But, the process really began in earnest in the Spring with a blank questionnaire entitled, “Creative Brief”. I couldn’t even get past the “easy stuff” without a low-grade anxiety attack (which shouldn’t surprise those who know me). The first question that stumped me: “Business name?” The answer should have been simple. It wasn’t. It suddenly occurred to me that changing my business name was no longer just a casual idea. It was a necessity.

I started my business fairly soon after my first daughter was born. It seemed fitting to name it after her – my inspiration. In reality, it hid my lack of direction and my uncertainty at whether I could do this. What kind of business did I ultimately hope to have? Would I, could I, be “a professional photographer”? Was this business really me? Leaving behind the career that I thought I might have as an attorney and venturing into this unknown world unsettled me. I think I thought I would fail. But, I didn’t.

Here I am, years later, exactly where I hoped I’d be (without even really knowing what I’d hoped – lucky me). I am confident in myself and my abilities. I am living a life that I am – for the most part – proud of. And, I have a business that is supported by a rich and diverse community of people. It is time to take ownership of it all. With that idea, Crystal Hardin Photography was born.

After settling on a name, the real work began. With the help of Ryan and his team over at Second Street Creative, I allowed myself to truly feel my way into the business I desired. From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to incorporate a fox into my logo. You see, a fox plays a prominent role in one of my favorite books, “The Little Prince.” A passage from this book was read at my wedding. A well-loved copy of this book is one of my most prized possessions, a gift from one of my dearest friends. This book’s fox represents the beauty and power and responsibility found in the connection of one being to another.

“Who are you?” the little prince asked. “You are very pretty to look at.”

“I am a fox,” the fox said.

“Come and play with me,” proposed the little prince. “I am so unhappy.”

“I cannot play with you,” the fox said. “I’m not tamed.”

To which the little Prince replies, “What does that mean -‘tame’?”

“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”

“‘To establish ties’?”

“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .” 

“If you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . . “

. . . 

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near-

“Ah,” said the fox. “I shall cry.” 

“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm, but you wanted me to tame you . . . “

“Yes, that is so,” the fox said.

“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince. “Then it has done you no good at all!”

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”

So, that is the fox.

Beyond the fox, I had very few concrete ideas. I wanted my website to reflect my values and my style. I wanted it to feel emotional and authentic, while still remaining accessible and comfortable. It is so important to put myself and my work out there truthfully, in order to attract those who really feel a connection to both. Thank God I hired professionals. Ryan and his team took a random smattering of thoughts and words,”authenticity, responsibility to others, emotional, fresh, organic, approachable, reflective, classic” and breathed life into my identity as a brand.

And, here we are. This website is my safe space. It is reflective of me, my values, my passion, my business. I hope you feel comfortable here.

Again, a warm welcome to my new website and blog.

Explore. And, by all means, let me know what you think!