From early on in life I had a camera in hand. I loved photography, I loved landscapes, I loved capturing places I went. The problem was that every time I showed my photos to someone they asked me why I wasn’t in them or how they could get a sense of scale. I never had an answer other than that I only had a camera, I didn’t have a tripod or a remote timer.

I didn’t know why I would want to take photos of myself anyway. I had no clue why people wanted to look at me instead of all the cool places I had been or the experiences I had. Besides, if I handed the camera over to someone else it would be their vision and not mine. I guess you could say I wanted to control my art. I wanted to carry out my vision and not let someone else tell me what to do.

Placing myself in a photo

Now, many years later I still suffered the same problem but this problem was made even more public with social media. I took a lot of landscape photos. As much as I tried to make them different they were still similar to what someone else could take.

My brand has been Roux Roamer for some time. I came up with this name as a natural redhead and from people calling me “Red”. I wanted a little more international flare to my travel alias and I’m a huge fan of alliteration so I added the French “roux” for redhead to my roaming nature. Suddenly, Roux Roamer was born.

Why am I telling you about my brand and how does it fit into my photography? Well, until recently “Roux Roamer” was just my alias since my other name Melissa Jones was already taken several times over. I wanted a unique name but I still wanted something more unique in my photography. So after years of being asked what my alias name meant and the request for people in my photography I started to insert myself into my photos wearing a red jacket here and there and then a red hat. It wasn’t until I debuted the red dress that it really took off.

Placing myself in a photo

People really love what I’m doing with contrast. The contrast of red and green and the contrast of a really nice red dress in a nature setting. I guess you could say this is the culmination of everything I love. Contrasting colors, photographing landscapes, playing dress up and being an art director to my visions.

I started posting these shots of myself in red more frequently and now if I post just a landscape shot some of my followers are sad that I’m not in it. I’m still a fan of just landscapes but I can totally see how the human element, however fancy, helps people get into the image. It gives them the idea of how they would fit in the space. It really changes things when you can see a person in these amazing landscapes.

Placing myself in a photo

Putting a personal spin on my brand has been really fun and now I have so many ideas I want to do and try. I just have to find the time to do it all. It’s much harder to add me into the shots but I feel the reward is worth it. I’m really enjoying the reactions and letting people put themselves in the photo.

I have so many people asking me where I got my dress and telling me that they want to do the same thing. My advice to them is to find your own thing, be your unique self, find your brand and what works for you. I don’t want to be mean in any way but I think a brand or person can only be truly successful and grow if they do their own thing. Copying can be fun and educational, but it only gets you so far or, sometimes, in trouble with the law.

Placing myself in a photo

The famous saying “Be you because everyone else is already taken.” applies to your personality as well as your brand. Just do you and I’ll do me.

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