What is a Brand Story and Why Does My Business Need one?

A small business owner asked me the other day, “What do you mean by brand story? Is that website copy?” 

I said yes, sort of. But it’s bigger than that – it is not just one sentence, but it’s also the vibe and value promise of your business. Your brand story is not simply what you sell. It’s your purpose and what you believe. How you’re different. What value your offerings ultimately give to a buyer.

Porsche and Honda both make cars. They do NOT have the same brand story. They are not selling to the same people. Customers buy from them for very different reasons – not simply “because I need a car.””

Your business, no matter what industry you are in, needs to understand this.

How did this brand strategist get into the empathy advocacy game? Simple. Empathy is the key to marketing and sales success.

Marketers get this. You can’t influence or persuade someone – or build right-fit offerings for them – if you don’t understand them.(TWEET THIS!)

You must peek into their lives, see things how they see them, and ensure your solutions meet those needs, address those goals, and fulfill those aspirations. Or quite frankly, they should not be doing business with you.

Sometimes empathy gets a bad rap when used by marketers – or sociopaths – to manipulate. If it is used in that way, that’s just lazy marketing in my book. Marketing should be about elevating the truth of your story so the right people can find you and achieve their goals or solve their problems.

Empathy has always been the key to successful advertising. It’s never about the product, is it? 

A 1995 Nike campaign that always stuck with me, which I mentioned in my first book Branding Basics for Small Business, was called “If you Let Me Play”. The ads showed bright-eyed young girls playing sports and each would in turn say,

“If you let me play sports

I will like myself more;

I will have more self-confidence,

I will be 60 percent less likely to get breast cancer;

I will suffer less depression.

I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me.

I will be less likely to get pregnant

I will learn what it means to be strong.

…If you let me play sports.”

This was not just about the features of their shoes or athletic clothing. It was about empowerment. About safety. About strong mental health for girls. 

They got me, as a just out of college woman back then. They knew exactly what engaged and connected with me. They knew who I wanted to be and what I wanted to stand for. And they likely grabbed loads of parents who felt exactly the same way.

That’s empathy in marketing. Understanding the goals, desires, fears, values, and needs of your ideal audience and creating products and services that speak to them. But one step further, a good marketer has to be able to communicate that they understand.

That’s where brand story comes in.

Many business owners and even marketers can speak eloquently about the features of their products. But they might not be as connected to the story they can share that will inspire, engage, and influence their ideal customers to join their community and stay loyal to the brand.

Sometimes this is because we get so caught up in jargon, we don’t speak in the way our customers actually talk. Which is the cornerstone of empathetic marketing! Sometimes, they think customers want to hear önly the facts”- when research proves that we often make purchase decisions because of emotion but justify that decision with logic. Yes, even our most skeptical, data-driven buyers do this because….WE’RE ALL HUMAN! Don’t believe me? Check out my podcast episode with behavioral economist Melina Palmer on all the research proving we don’t buy for the reasons our conscious brains tell us we do. We respond to other cues we are not even aware of! 

But what to say? How to say it? How do we even know what our ideal customers really want and need?

New Course to Help You Craft Your Brand Story! Brand Story Breakthrough

As some of you know, I have shifted from pure brand consulting to focusing on empathy speaking and training.  So  I’m unveiling what I hope will be a signature course to help marketers, business owners – and even agency professionals such as PR and design experts who need to help their clients nail their brand story and may not have a good process.

Check out  Brand Story Breakthrough, a 5 week digital course, along with weekly live coaching with me for feedback and guidance. This is my way to help people at scale uncover the magic of their brand story and build all the tools for their messaging toolkit so they can attract their perfect customers, stand out, and grow their revenue and impact.

And the root of the entire course and process? You guessed it. Empathy.

Empathy is too often what is missing from messaging. I once had a corporate VP client who disrespected their target client base, calling them arrogant, entitled, and not interested in the data. You cannot successfully market your offerings to those who need it if you despise or disrespect them! Sorry, not sorry.

If you’re struggling to get attention from right-fit customers you know you can impact, I would love, love, love to help.

Please check out details right here and see if it’s right for you (There’s even a free masterclass video on that page that will be super valuable for you) 

PS, this process works whether you sell products or services, B2B or B2C, non-profit or for-profit. Because it’s about flexing your empathy muscle and communicating in a way that resonates with the right people and ignites them into action. Not to lie to them. Not to deceive.  But to connect with them in a genuine and value-driven way.

Bottom line: We are all human. And if your mission is to have an impact and offer genuine value to customers or clients, you deserve to reach them and they deserve to know you exist for them. Marketing done right  is not sleazy. It’s a way for you to let the people who need you the most find you. Get excited to share your story. If not you, then who?! ChatGPT can only get you so far. First, you have to emotionally connect with the people you serve.

Photo Credit: Social Cut on Unsplash

What Do You Do? How to Nail Your Elevator Pitch

What does your organization do?

Why does this question strike fear into the hearts of new entrepreneurs? And let’s be honest, many professionals and even markteres who can’t quite capture what they do in a clear and compelling way.

My friends, we call the proper response to this question  the Elevator Pitch. 

What is an Elevator Pitch?

You may have heard this term before but might not know where it comes from. It comes from finding yourself trapped on an elevator ride with an investor or C-suite executive and you have about 30 seconds (an elevator ride) to explain what you do, why it matters, and what is your ask. You are pitching them to capture interest so they want to learn even more.

We use this term Elevator Pitch now as the response to questions like, “What do you do?” Or, “What does your company do?”

There’s a lot that goes into your Elevator Pitch though:

  • What do you do? How are you positioned? Is it a product or a service? Are you defining a new category?
  • Who do you do it for? Your ideal customers. What niche do you serve?
  • Why does it matter? Your core benefits or the results that your organization helps your ideal customers achieve.
  • What is the tone? What’s your brand vibe – what are the right words for this response?

And as I always like to say, perhaps even add on a piece of flair at the end, like a tagline or provocative statement. After all, your should easily be able to say your Elevator Pitch out loud – even though many of us use it on our website.

Call it an Elevator Pitch. Call it a Core Value Proposition. Call it a Brand Positioning Statement. Call it what you like. But if you can’t clearly and compellingly articulate it to people who ask – you, who should understand the value better than anyone else – you won’t be able to attract the right clients and customers.

And that’s tragedy because you may very well be the solution someone is seeking.

See? Communication does matter more than you think! Being able to communicate your story clearly and compellingly can make or break your organization’s success. (TWEET THIS!)

How to Craft an Empathetic Elevator Pitch That Gets Attention

If you’re struggling with crafting your Elevator Pitch, please download my free guide The Empathy Edge Brand Positioning Template to leverage the power of empathy to craft the right brand statement that attracts your dream clients. You’ll get:

  • 6 strategies for crafting your empathetic brand statement
  • 18 examples to spark your creativity
  • 3 fill-in-the-blank templates you can customize and make your own.

Through my books, workshops, and client engagements, these tools have helped thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses stand out and attract their dream clients and customers.

Download your free guide now right here and make sure you hit all your 2023 goals – and attract and impact all  the right people!!

Photo Credit: Sung Jin Cho, Unsplash

What is a Brand Positioning Statement?

What is a Brand Positioning Statement? Why do you even need one?

Your business or organization can only grow and attract attention if people understand what you’re all about. While there are no official figures, according to one source, in 2021, the average person was estimated to encounter between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day.

There’s a lot of noise out there, ya’ll!

To get attention, cut through the noise, and ignite action, we must be able to quickly and clearly explain what we do, who we do it for, and what benefit they get from us.

This is where a Brand Positioning Statement comes in!.

A Brand Positioning Statement is a super useful brand tool that speaks directly to your dream clients or customers in the language and words they understand. A Brand Positioning Statement quickly, clearly, and succinctly describes your business to someone so they can understand if you are right for them or someone they know, and compels them to learn more. The brand positioning statement is also something called your Core Value Proposition and can form the basis of a memorable elevator pitch, too. So you can see why this is a fundamental tool in your brand and marketing toolkit. 

A brand positioning statement encapsulates your Brand Strategy into a clear, compelling statement that can inform many other marketing tactics, such as a tagline, press release boilerplate, or advertising copy. 

This statement tells me the essentials about your company: what it is, how it is positioned, the target audience, the three core benefits it provides to me as a customer, and even clues me into the voice of the company.

But how do you create a good brand positioning statement?

Well, you know I’m going to say this: It requires empathy! Empathy for your ideal customers: their needs, wants, goals, aspirations, and values.

The tendency is to describe our businesses by talking about us. What we sell, provide, offer. I, I, I, I, I! It’s not about us. It’s about our customers. 

But to get a customer’s attention, we need a keen understanding of seeing the business from their point of view: What do they get from our products or services, from their point of view? Also, known as benefits

How to Craft an Empathetic Brand Positioning Statement

If you’re struggling with explaining the value you offer or if people are not quite sure if you’re the right fit for them, download my free guide The Empathy Edge Brand Positioning Template to leverage the power of empathy to craft the right brand statement that attracts your dream clients. You’ll get:

  • 6 strategies for crafting your empathetic brand statement
  • 18 examples to spark your creativity
  • 3 fill-in-the-blank templates you can customize and make your own.

Through my books, workshops, and client engagements, these tools have helped thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses stand out and attract their dream clients and customers.

Download your free guide now right here and make sure you hit all your 2023 goals – and attract and impact all  the right people!!

Photo Credit: Cristina Gottardii, Unsplash

Why Brands Need to Select the RIGHT influencers

Recently, my beloved Peloton announced a partnership with a very high-profile influencer. And it has me annoyed, disappointed, and a bit perplexed from a brand strategy perspective.

 And clearly, I was not the only one.

Peloton has been in the news lately for its financial woes. Its revenues have tumbled and experts are forecasting the end of the brand that surged during the pandemic. As gyms open again, cheaper competitors emerge, and folks find alternate ways of getting their fitness itch scratched, Peloton kind of had nowhere to go but down.

I, for one, adore the brand and everything it has to offer. So, yeah, I’m biased. Peloton not only got me through the pandemic lockdown, but I have come to view my favorite instructors (Cody, Christine, Jess King, and my newest love, Robin Arzón) as family. Oh, that crazy Cody! What will he be gossiping about today?!

Brands are powerful when they tell a compelling and genuine story. Peloton made its name by standing for inner strength and beauty. By showing us that no matter where we are on our fitness journey, we can achieve. We can find comfort in community. We can love ourselves, no matter our size. And fitness is available to all. Peloton focused on strength and loving yourself for who you are and where you are, no matter what. 

And then they partnered with Kim Kardashian.

Now, I know Kim is an acquired taste. And while I admire her business savvy, I loathe the reality show chaos that shows like hers and others have wrought on our society. The shallowness, The consumerism. The distraction from important issues that need serious attention. 

Don’t @me. I appreciate guilty pleasures as much as the next person. But Kim Kardashian represents the absolute antithesis to Peloton’s brand story. She is known for cosmetically altering herself in the name of some societal definition of beauty. Get butt implants! Change your face so you don’t even look like yourself! 

If you’re a Kardashian fan, this is not about hating on Kim. This is about a poor brand alignment decision on the part of Peloton. How can a brand that stands for accepting your inner beauty and strength partner with someone who is a brand synonym for surgical enhancement? It just doesn’t make any sense. And it tarnishes Peloton’s authentic message of loving yourself as you are.

Your brand needs to stick to its values and story when making every decision. That includes deciding on influencer partners. Beware of choosing the right ones! (TWEET THIS!)

Peloton usually hits the mark on its collaborations. And I still love them. I’m just slightly disappointed in them as I would be my 8-year-old when he lies about being on his iPad. Brand lovers of Peloton expect more.

Got thoughts? Please share them with me on Instagram or Twitter.

photocredit: extratv.com

Choose Your Words Carefully

Words matter.

Choose Your Words Carefully

How we name or articulate something defines how we see it. We often get lazy and use words in the wrong way (ever heard someone say “mute” instead of “moot” point?). But that can have a profound impact on how effectively we connect with each other.

If someone says they “love” you, it should mean something, Yet, I throw around the word “love” all the time whether I’m talking about my son, TV shows or tacos.

Studies show that language linked to gender bias differently impacts men versus women in performance reviews. Labeling men as “assertive” puts them in a  positive light, but women who are described as “assertive”are seen more negatively. Same word. Different meanings depending on gender.

Words have power. They can inspire, provoke, oppress, terrorize, mislead, persuade, or comfort. (TWEET THIS!)

We have to get better at intentionally choosing our words and not taking for granted that we know what we’re both talking about .

Speaking of love, the feminist writer and cultiural icon bell hooks wrote in All About Love: New Visions (Love Song to the Nation Book 1):  “imagine how much easier it would be for us to learn how to love if we began with a shared definition. The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet all the most astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we use it as a verb.”

Words matter.

One person I follow on LinkedIn and who will shortly be on The Empathy Edge podcast is Suzanne Werhtheim, Ph.D. She talks about inclusive language and posts great content about different words and phrases related to inclusion and how you can say something better to be more inclusive of others.

When it comes to your message, don’t take words for granted. Have empathy for your audience so they can receive your message with open arms and take action.   Words are nuanced. Words evoke emotion, depending on the lived experience of your target audience. Choose wisely.

Stuck for words? This is my not-so-secret secret brand story weapon.

Some related posts for you:

Does Your Story Connect With Your Customers?

Go Beyond the Focus Group for Better Customer Insights

Say No…But Try it This Way

3 Tips to Differentiate Your Messaging

Gain an Empathy Advantage: Global Workshop

Furious customers and failed business launches. Dysfunctional work teams. Workplace inequity. Partnerships abandoned out of fear, projects destroyed by misunderstanding.

Almost every problem that exists in the business world can be traced back to a single, common origin: Lack of empathy. (TWEET THIS!)

When we are unwilling to place ourselves in someone else’s shoes—unwilling to talk, listen, or understand another point of view—we remain paralyzed. Instead of finding solutions, we repeat the same mistakes. This impacts our brand reputation, team productivity, customer experience and organizational performance.

Our digital world does not let us off the hook in showcasing this deeply human connection. In fact, savvy consumers today demand that brands do more than ever to connect, engage and earn their loyalty. Companies and leaders have to be more authentically empathetic in everything we do if we want to keep customers, gain market share and thrive.

Empathy is not just good for society. It’s great for business and a true competitive advantage. But what does that look like in practice?

So glad you asked! Please join me on February 17 for a unique 3 hour global workshop like no other

Branding expert, best-selling author (any my own brand mentor) Marty Neumeier and his business partner, Andy Starr created the Level C Masterclass, a certification program for the next generation of brand professionals and are now offering Artisan Workshops:

“The Artisan Series of workshops presents accomplished practitioners guiding you through focused deep-dives into the nuances of brand. They’re brilliant thinkers, bold makers, and demonstrated leaders in core disciplines, and we’re joining forces with them to bring the power of difference-making to you.”

And they invited me to facilitate Empathy Advantage on February 17, 2022!

Learn how you as leaders and marketers can amplify empathy through your work, create a more empathetic brand experience and bring your organizations along with you to create a better world.


  • How to make the business case for empathetic practices that proves bottom-line benefits and market advantages to skeptical CFOs.
  • How to gather useful customer insights and turn them into personas that better inform who they are, what they want, and what they aspire to be.
  • How to craft richer stories and experiences that speak to emotion and logic to ignite action and loyalty.
  • How to create mission, vision, and values statements that serve not just as internal motivators, but as external magnets that attract exactly the right people to your tribe.

This interactive workshop will be held online via Zoom. Network and learn from other brand leaders, marketing experts, business leaders, innovative designers and other renegades who are changing the rules and putting people and purpose first in order to lead to profit! from across the globe. Sign up right here, right now  and hope to see you on the other side!

How to Craft a Brand Story that Stands Out

How to Craft a Brand Story that Stands Out

Do you have a brand story that stands out and attracts the right clients? A brand story that just nails it for your business?

Here’s the test. When you talk about what you do, do people immediately go, “I need THAT!”?

If not, I’d love for you to enjoy this free masterclass video to discover the elements of a compelling brand story – and see what your own story might be missing.

I have met so many amazing entrepreneurs over the years with big dreams and great ideas. They have so much value to deliver with their coaching, consulting, services or products.

But they just can’t seem to attract more clients. It’s heartbreaking to me. Especially since it’s not a quality problem. It’s more often a storytelling problem.

Sometimes a story doesn’t nail it because

The message is too product focused and doesn’t connect emotionally. People can’t understand how what you do maps to their own goals and aspirations. They can’t “see themselves” in what you offer.

Or, the message isn’t clear

When we’re too close to all the information, when we know all the ins and outs, we tend to throw too much at people – and we leave them overwhelmed and confused.  They’ll seek out a competitor they more clearly understand.

Or, “My business has evolved”

Things change. Did the last year not teach us anything? What was true about what you do may not be true today. You may have shifted offerings or products or markets. And your old story will of course not be attracting that new audience.

Nailing your breakthrough brand story is the cornerstone to more demand for your business. (Tweet This!)

Want to learn some A-ha’s about how to have a brand story breakthrough and engage the right people? 

I created a fun little 12 minute masterclass just for you. It’s free. Get ready to take some notes!.

Spoiler alert: The key to a great story that engages and inspires people to action is empathy. 

Empathy is the understanding of another’s experience or situation. So the key to attracting customers is empathy at the heart of your brand story 

  1. When you show empathy for a customer’s situation
    • They believe in you
    • They feel like you understand them
    • They subscribe to your list
    • They become a part of your community
    • They HIRE you! They BUY from you. YOU don’t chase them, they chase you

THAT is the magic of empathy. And that’s what makes a brand story a BRAND story.

Check out my free video Masterclass right now

After you view it, you can also learn about my newest course, Brand Story Breakthrough to see if it’s right for you. But no matter what, you’ll get a lot out of the free masterclass!

And did you know? Red Slice has been recognized as one of the best branding companies in California on DesignRush.

How to Write a Good Sales Page

How to Write a Good Sales Page

Writing sales copy is hard. If you’re trying to write sales copy.

I prefer to think of my sales page as a story. A story customers want to dig into, one that fulfills them. One they are moved by. (TWEET THIS!)

Thats means, you have to think of your sales page as more than just “the facts.” It’s best to think about what your sales page story needs to accomplish.

Here are 4 questions your sales page copy needs to answer to be successful and give your customers what they really want:

  1. What do they BELIEVE? What do they need to believe? Empathetic marketing requires you to understand your ideal customers. What do they currently believe about the situation which you product or service helps? Do they struggle with manual processes? Do they find instructions complicated? Do they lack confidence in themselves? What is their core belief? And then….what do you need them to believe? They should believe that there is a better way, a streamlined solution, a healthier option, a more reliable partner. 

Ensure your sales page evokes not just what they currently believe but gives them an A Ha! about how your work changed or shatters that belief.

  1. How do they want to FEEL? With that change in belief comes a change in emotion. Will they feel more confident, profitable, organized, capable, joyful, driven, accomplished by what you have to offer? 

Ensure your sales page copy reflects a future vision for how they will feel about choosing your offerings. Whether we admit it or not, as humans we often buy based on emotion and then use logic to justify our decisions.

  1. What do they need to KNOW? Now it’s time for “just the facts, ma’am!” What is the program? How much does it cost? What will I get? Who else has it helped? What benefits will I enjoy? How does this all work?

Ensure your sales page copy clearly lays out exactly what someone gets with your offering and what they can expect.

  1. What do they need to DO? They’re on board! You won them over. Now, what’s next? What’s the clear call to action? Enter their information? Swipe their credit card? Book a discovery call? Attend a webinar?

Ensure your sales page copy precisely informs then of what you need them to do next to engage or purchase. Try not to give them a million things: Limit it to one clear next step they can take. You’d be surprised how often this step is missed and then people can’t buy, donate, volunteer because they don’t know what they are supposed to do next!

By making your sales page more of a story or a conversation, and covering these four bases, you’ll be able to have the impact you want to have, make sales, and activate change! 

By making your sales page more of a story or a conversation, and covering these four bases, you’ll be able to have the impact you want to have, make sales, and activate change! 

HT to Alexandra Franzen who was the first to teach me about the Feel-Know-Do formula, that I’ve built upon!

Photo Credit: Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

How to (and How NOT to) Market to I.T. Professionals

Ah, the poor IT professional. Be it developer, database analyst, director of enterprise architecture, or heck, even the CIO, they are recipients of the driest, most boring marketing and messaging I’ve ever seen.

Coming from tech, I actually started my brand consultancy due to a frustration with tech companies not talking to their prospects like they were human beings. We throw jargon at them, robotic phrases that no one ever says in real life. We “stick to the facts” because everyone knows “Tech buyers are skeptics! They don’t want any BS, and will see right through it!”

True. But who the heck determined that writing like a human being, with conversational language and even the occasional sense of humor, made others skeptical?

I hear this time and again with many of my tech brand strategy clients. They are sometimes so scared to say anything human or unique, constantly shouting the rallying cry of “They are skeptical!”

Skeptics don’t hate a conversational human tone or a bit of light humor. They hate lies. So tell them the truth – claims you can back up. Marketing should never be about lies but should always elevate the truth of your story (that’s a different rant). But do it a human way.

Guess what? IT buyers are human beings. Yes, flesh and blood. They love their families. They enjoy a good Will Farrell movie, they may even in equal doses cry at a wedding (gasp!), or get out on the dance floor for the Chicken Dance. They binge on Netflix, bake sourdough bread, and play Legos with their kids on the floor.

We have to stop assuming that IT buyers leave their emotions and personalities behind when they get to the office.  (TWEET THIS!)

Humans buy for both logical and emotional reasons, and often use logic to justify the emotion.

So here’s what I do: I conduct qualitative customer interviews, MacGyver style, so that it’s not just me simply telling the client to be more human in their brand marketing. The customers actually tell us what they want to hear!

Some things I’ve heard from these skeptical, serious, no BS IT buyers:

“Everything marketed to us is so dry! I like the occasional funny memes. They stand out!”

“We want our tech partner to understand we have serious business problems to solve, but they could also lighten up and talk more conversationally on their website.”

“I would love for them to lighten up in their marketing – I would respond to that. Their people are so personable and fun  – why does their marketing sound like it was written by robots?!”

“The product is so innovative, I wish the marketing emails could be, too!”

Please, save these poor IT buyers from a life of jargon-filled websites, a litany of feature-function vomit, and such a serious, formal tone. They are humans. They want to be inspired, provoked, sparked, and moved like the rest of us.

  • Lead with empathy and get to know your customers as human beings
  • Inject some personality into your copy. Get creative and yes, perhaps whimsical, with your marketing campaigns (if that suits your brand)
  • Ditch the jargon when you can (of course speak the industry language, but be discerning)
  • Write like human beings talk – on your website, in your emails, in your white papers. Ask and echo back.
  • Stop writing customer-facing marketing like you are presenting to an analyst. Pleasing Gartner is fine – but they don’t buy your product. Remember who does.

Remember, B2B buyers are humans, too

Want some help revamping and refreshing your brand story to be more empathetic, connective and human? Let’s see how we can work together to make that happen.

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@usmanyousaf

Does Your Story Connect With Your Customers?

Does Your Story Connect With Your Customers

While we inherently know this, we need to better understand our customers if we want to inspire and persuade them.

This requires us to speak their language.

Too often, my clients come to me to revamp their brand story and messaging and my initial diagnosis is usually the same: They are talking in a way that doesn’t resonate or connect with their customers.

The messaging is full of jargon. They use terms only analysts like, but that a real customer never expresses. It’s complicated. It’s robotic. It’s not something anyone can emotionally connect to. Because of fear, they use the words everyone else in their industry is using and they wonder why no one stands out.

SEO is important – but it’s not everything.

To speak your customers’ language, you must take the time to LISTEN TO THEM with empathy.

Ask them about the challenges they face, how your solution solves their problems, what they love most about working with your company or product. Develop empathy for your customers, instead of viewing them like “they don’t know any better” (Yes, I have seen this disdain for customers from marketing leadership before!)

And then – this is the hard part: Don’t ignore it.

I conduct qualitative customer interviews for my corporate clients. And some clients love getting all this rich insight – only to ignore peppering their story with the very words their customers use. They say “The analysts don’t like that term” or “It sounds too folksy.” 

You will never connect with a customer, prospect, audience, or human if you don’t speak a language they can understand. If you don’t tell a story they can relate to./strong> (TWEET THIS!)

It’s time to set aside ego. It’s time to take a chance. It’s time to listen to your customers and tweak your story. 

Are you ready to revamp your story for more connection, engagement, and loyalty? Let’s talk about my brand strategy packages and how we can help your brand shine!

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@benwhitephotography