Our Brand: Faith, Coffee, Travel, and Marriage

Life with Joel & Amber

Apr 30, 2020

Behind the Scenes with Joel and Amber Photography // Wedding Photographers in Huntsville, Alabama

When we first started our wedding photography business, we thought our brand was all about colors and a logo. Things like which ribbon we used on our client welcome gifts (who here remembers those hand-wrapped baskets of mini lotions, tiny candles, and candy bars of long ago?!) and how professional our website looked.

As we’ve gained experience and learned even more about what it means to run a business that serves our couples through every step of the journey, we’ve also been able to identify the things that mean the most to us. The things that make us wake up every morning and spend another day pouring our hearts (and at least one latte) into the experience we create for our J&A Couples.

We quickly learned that our business isn’t just about delivering a gallery of wedding images. Not even close! Our business isn’t even about the gifts we send along the way. Nor the J&A Coffee Days and our annual picnic. It’s about the ways we work to bless other wedding vendors or the hugs I sneak from your grandma during family formal time.

It’s not even about sampling a leftover piece wedding cake at the end of the night (I’m looking at you, you fabulous cake baking artists that make our job so sweet!).

What Is It, Then?

For us, it’s about making an impact. Shining our lights for the Lord. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives. We want to serve others with every ounce of our hearts because we know that by doing so, we’ll be impacting lives far beyond just the wedding day.

When they think back on their wedding day, we want our couples to feel all over again how powerful it is to love and be loved. We want to be a living example of how important the little things are in relationships.

So back to our branding.

Once we realized it was more than just colored ribbon, we dove into discovering what made us truly us. What do we want our brand to stand for? What things will we shine into the world through the platforms we use? What is our voice going to be whispering to the world?

Today we’re going to tell you about 4 things you’ve seen popping up all over our social media and website. These are the things that stand for something more than just themselves.

And by doing so, you’ll get a glimpse into what makes us Joel & Amber.

1. Faith in God – First, First, and Always First

We couldn’t start with anything else. Our faith is the heartbeat of every single thing we do, from taking pictures to making sure our toddler eats more than just yogurt morning, noon, and night.

We made this verse part of our business groundwork:

Whether we’re interacting with our couples, their families, guests, other wedding vendors, or someone in between, our prayer is that we love well. God has given us so much with the gift of His Son for our eternal life. There are so many opportunities to encourage, to uplift, or to be a witness. We want our lights to reflect our Savior!

That’s why we pour so much into serving brides with frequent wedding day tips (check out these Tidbits!), resources galore (we have an entire Resource Library), and simply being there every step of the way. It’s one small way we can serve and bless brides as they navigate the sometimes complicated process of planning a wedding.

It’s also why we’ve chosen to keep Sundays as a day of rest from our work. We made a commitment at the very beginning of our business to honor God by putting aside our work and focusing on Him. We’re deeply blessed by our faithful, Bible-teaching church {Providence Presbyterian Church in Madison if you want to join us!} and the opportunity to leave our laptops in the office for the day.

2. Coffee – It’s About The Experience

You knew this one was coming, although our coffee adventures have slowed down a little since Josiah joined our family. What’s up with all that coffee? Unlike 90% of the coffee-loving world, we actually don’t care anything about the caffeine. We’re not ashamed to admit that if we forget to use the decaf beans after 3pm, we’re probably going to be up for a looooong time that night. Wimps? Yep. But sleep is sure nice!

To us, coffee (and our obsession with scouting out the best local coffee shops in town and while we’re traveling) is all about the experience. It’s about walking into a shop with just enough hipster vibe to feel like the creative entrepreneurs we are and letting the smell of coffee wash over our latte-loving souls.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve been wandering toward just simple lattes, no vanilla required. We’re starting to get pretty good at scouting out coffee shops that don’t need the vanilla to balance any bitterness. But since our brand was started on vanilla lattes, we still feel a little loyalty toward vanilla-bean goodness. (Big bonus if it’s housemade syrup!)

Finding the perfect corner seat in a just-enough-hipster coffee shop to sip our latte and analyze whether or not it deserves to make our #jacoffeefavorites list on Instagram is one of our favorite things to do together. We crave it for the experience we’ve come to love.

How does that fit into our brand? It’s all about the experience. To have a perfectly crafted latte in an atmosphere that just fits, it takes a lot of thought and precision. It takes attention to detail and the determination to perfect a craft. Coffee is art + science, just like photography. No detail is too small. From the beans and roasting to the grind and milk steaming technique, careful attention is needed every step of the way.

That’s the way we want to run our business. We want the experience our couples have to reflect attention to every little detail. Thoughtful through and through.

Plus we just love to geek out about perfect lattes.

3. Travel – Opening Our Horizons

We have a huge bucket list of places we’d like to explore, and we’ve been slowly but surely chipping away at it! We love to travel because of the incredible and new experiences it brings.

Most of our exploring involves lots of quick detours to check out something that looks interesting. We usually do a lot of research beforehand to get an idea of what the local culture is like, where the best locally-owned cafes are, and (of course!) which coffee shops have the most potential to be a #jacoffeefavorites. Between stopping by the must-see places and doing some wandering everywhere else, we love to soak in what life is like beyond our city limits.

Traveling shows us that our “normal” is different than somebody else’s “normal”. It deepens our love for people. It lets us soak in the vast beauty of God’s creation. It opens our minds to think bigger, dream bigger, and see our world with more understanding and discernment.

It’s an experience that changes us, helps us grow. We become better versions of ourselves.

So as we wander on the harbor of Nyhavn, journey through Banff National Park, swoon over the Swiss Alps, or bike through the dunes of Prince Edward Island, we soak in the experience of a bigger world.

4. Marriage – It’s Worth Fighting For

We have a book that we send all our J&A Couples a few weeks before the wedding. Out of all the fun things we send our couples, it’s the gift we’re the most passionate about.

Right when all the wedding details are starting to get crazy and a little overwhelming, we want to remind our couples what it’s all about in the first place. It’s not about the guest list or the menu or the weather. It’s not even about the pictures, as much as we believe in making sure those moments live on forever.

It’s about them. Their love, their commitment, their relationship.

It’s about two people who are living a legacy of love passed down to them by their parents – and a legacy of love that they in turn will pass down to the generations after them.

It’s about building a strong marriage from the very beginning – one that can withstand the bumps that will inevitably come. We want them to grasp firmly onto the commitment that will see them through the days where they start to question it all. Celebrate love and the gift it is!

A Small Commercial Break For Our Marriage Mochas

Our love for a godly marriage inspired our Mocha For Your Tuesday blog post series (Tuesday Mocha for short). It’s quickly become our most popular blog post series, and we’re thankful for the way our words have been able to impact lives far beyond what we had ever dreamed!

Bringing It All Together

As you scroll through our social media, explore our website, and browse through pretty much everything we’ve said or done, you’ll see elements of these peeking through.

Our faith, the importance of family and legacy. Serving and blessing others. The experience of coffee and perfecting the craft. Explore God’s world and becoming a better version of ourselves. Encouraging others to build a stronger marriage that lasts. It’s all as much a part of who we are as the pictures we take.

After all, every moment captured in a picture is really as deep and intricate as the story behind it.

Tell us what lights your hearts on fire! We want to hear about it, so hit up the comments below!


  1. Patti Palmer says:

    Superb! It’s so fun to read about your incredible journeys. We thank God for you.

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