Simon Charwey - Denelsons


How to Understand a Photographer and Revisit His Clients Fond Memories

It a different experience creating a logo for a professional photographer and another when you met one with a good graphic design background. Let’s welcome Nelson, my client in this case study, who happened to have an excellent design education before veering into photography. His college experiences as a student of design is guise of finding the right environment to exhibit his intense interest in taking conceptual photographs that show both micro and acute angles of objects and spaces, people and places. I know much about Nelson because I was his senior colleague in college.

When he first reconnect with me, through phone call, after many years, he tested my memories to see whether I can recall a moment in the past, while we were in college, that he had shown to me some of his exploration shots. “At the Republic Hall?” I asked. “Yes!” He screamed. Long story ends here. Nelson wants me to create a unique mark that evokes a feeling of nostalgia to represent the shared experiences he usually have with his clients; capturing fun moments and helping his clients to preserve memories through his thematic photographs.

Nelson also wants to reunite people and families through photography, by revisiting the unique stories that bind his clients to their families and love ones. Exploring the idea of “revisiting fond memories” (and/or creating fond memories) as central theme of his photographs, an idea struck my mind as I also seek inspiration from the prototypical elements of Adinkra symbols, as usual, and the tools used by photographers. I then found a resonating connection between the Sankofa Adinkra symbol and the reset lever on pre-digital cameras.

The Sankofa Adinkra symbol expresses the importance of revisiting the past and bringing back relevant experiences and knowledge gained in the past. As the aphorism goes, “It is not wrong to go back and get it.” So I went back to history of cameras. I found the reset lever on pre-digital cameras and the symbolic meaning it shares with the Sankofa Adinkra symbol fascinating and relevant to my client’s story. It is about relationship; and as Nelson said, “Every image is built on a relationship.”

I have tried many options but the circular shutter and viewfinder bracketed elements or trends were not in my visual search. I realised that, the reset lever of the predigital camera reference I have on my moodboard was looking like a low-case letter “d” and can be rotated to look like a low-case letter “p” too. So, I then arrived at the idea to “put together” (or unite) the low-case letters “d” (dënelsons) and “p” (photography) to form the cap-case letter “N” which represents the initial of the client’s name “Nelson”

When I share the final logo on LinkedIn, it did not take a minute for some dude at Chadical Graphics to recognize the metaphor I intend to communicate. That dude is Chad Carroll. See image below.

Comment from Chad Carroll on dënelsons phptography logo design post on LinkedIn

Wedding vendors and engaged couples (25+) specifically women since they are the once who mostly handle the photography stuff and families (any family).


The name De’nelsons is just “The Nelsons” written differently. The name was derived from how people communicate. This sentence will explain best.

E.g. I will be visiting “The Henrys” today. Or, I saw “The Gbeves” at the reception. The use of “The Gbeves” denotes a family and not just a single person which is exactly what we stand for. We work with families and we want to be different hence “De’nelsons” instead of the regular “The Nelsons.”

  • Aside telling photographic stories, we aspire to teach other photographers too which means at some point we will start doing workshops where we will share our years of experience of telling photographic stories and running a successful wedding and family portrait photography business with fellow photographers. We will be adding new services as we grow in our art and our business – videography, selling prints, fashion photography, commercial photography Public Library, Tue, Apr 28, 2020, 6:00pm–7:30pm PDT).
  • Since we aim at building lasting relations with our clients, we aspire to be the place for all their photography needs. Weddings we believe usher people into marriage and marriage naturally leads into the building of a family. There comes De’nelsons Photography again. We want to be there for our clients on their wedding day and be there for their newborn child, their family portraits, their family events etc. This we hope to do through writing engaging blog posts about marriage – the joys and the challenges, raising kids where couples can still engage with us. We are looking for a logo that can also easily be used as our blog identity without having to undergo any major transformation.
  • We are Ghanaians so the hope is to one day settle back in GH where we hope to run a photography studio and if we are still ambitious as we are at the moment, establish a mission based photography school where we can teach the youth how to use their God-given art of storytelling combined with a creative practical use of the camera and a worth of business sense to earn a living and also to share the Gospel of Christ with others. The logo we hope will be able to reflect our vision in Ghana as much as it will here Massachusetts, USA.