All posts by Tanya Smith

Rainmaker Creative — The Team Behind the Magic

You know the story. The mechanic never has a working car. The shoemaker’s kid has holes in his shoes. The graphic designer can’t come up with her own logo. Such was the case for me when I decided to launch a new photography brand. Sometimes when you’re so close to something it’s hard to be objective. It’s hard to follow through.

As a seasoned designer who has worked on developing large international brand identities, hiring someone else to create my brand identity was a difficult thing to do. I knew I would have to find someone I could trust to do an amazing job. I knew I would have to find a company with a culture of fun and easygoingness (because that’s how I roll) and I knew it would be expensive. Because excellence comes at a price. And as an artist committed to excellence I’m ok with that. I know the value of a good creative team and the investment is worth it. Doing it right the first time is always the better way to go.

The Rainmaker Headquarters



Walking into the Rainmaker headquarters in Spokane, Washington is like meeting old friends for lunch. You’ll be offered a drink, maybe even a cookie if it’s a rainy day. You’ll chat on a comfy couch or meet in the casual conference room. You might even get to take a spin around the room on the giant bike scooter or play a round of shuffleboard. Don’t you just want to pop on over there right now????? I do!

On the flip side of fun, helping a deadline driven person, like myself, stay on track and get the necessary work done was a strength I appreciated in the Rainmaker team. They have a very systematic approach to their workflow, using modern technology to keep track of everything and keep everyone in communication. Everything went so smoothly. I was very impressed. Having worked at several design/marketing agencies and as a freelancer, I’m aware of all the things that could potentially go wrong with a project of this scope and I just didn’t see any of it.

The Team of Experts



The fact that each aspect of a project is handled by a different expert was also something I appreciated. In most smaller agencies designers will also be required to program websites and apps. Writers will also have to answer phones, take care of shipping, production management and printing. At Rainmaker, everyone has one job and they do it well. Writer, designer, programmer, print production manager, administrator, bookkeeper, etc. I worked in some capacity with each one and they all contributed to the success of our projects.

My assistant and I also had the privilege of photographing Rainmaker and it was a blast! So fun and easy. They were naturals in front of the camera and I truly enjoyed being able to give back to them after they had given so much to me and my business.


Working with Sophie, the Rainmaker Art Director/Designer was a breeze. We brainstormed some ideas using a Pinterest board and then she gave me a list of specific shots they needed. Candace, the master of scheduling, created a detailed schedule for our shoot, specifying when each person needed to be ready for their individual shots and when we would be meeting for group photos. I loved seeing their strengths adding to the success of our photo shoot. Capturing the essence of their brand on camera was easy because they simply live it and everything about their space and communications manifest it.

If you’re in need of creative services in the Spokane area (and beyond) and you’re looking for a fun team who is dedicated to helping you develop your vision into an excellent entity that will likely cause a massive amount of success to rain down on you, call Rainmaker. They’ll take good care of you (and give you a bunch of cool swag).

See more photos from their WorkStory session in the portfolio section of our website.


WorkStory – Our Founder’s History & Vision

Ding! Stepping off the elevator at The Cimarron Group in West Hollywood for my first official work day as a graphic designer was exhilarating. Creative energy filled the space and I was ready to start making amazing imagery for Universal Studios, Disney and Steven Spielberg. As a peon intern, my time ended up being spent shredding documents, scanning medium format negatives, pasting up presentation boards and endlessly searching for the “right” stock photo.

I recall one incident where I was tasked with finding a photograph of a jolly fat Santa for a holiday composite image featuring Universal characters like Spiderman, Dora the Explorer and The Mummy. Oh, boy. Eight hours later, some haggling over the licensing price with Getty Images and my deadline pressed, stressed to the max account executive and I had a Santa that kind of worked for under $1000. Later that day I marveled at the fact that I just spent eight hours of .



Original Commercial Photography

Little did I know, I’d spend a large percentage of my time over the next 10 years searching for stock photos and once I found one that kind of worked for my client, I’d start seeing it on packaging, billboards, ads, websites and promotional products all over the place, even in Spokane. Frustration, disillusionment, and exasperation ensued regarding this recycling of the same 100 images all over the world and I started asking myself, “Why aren’t we creating original commercial photography for our clients?”


Birth of the Stock Photo Rebellion

If I’m spending an entire day searching for appropriate images that are totally unoriginal and overused to death, couldn’t we spend that day creating photography that is unique to our clients and their product or service? The idea of a stock photo rebellion was born shortly before I gave birth to my third child and took an indefinite break from graphic design.

Photography had been a pursuit of mine since high school but I never saw it as a legitimate career option. Until then. For the last three years, I’ve been learning all I can about the technical, artistic and business aspects of commercial photography, both locally in Spokane and around the country at various workshops. While I didn’t particularly miss being a freelance graphic designer these three years, I craved connection with other businesses.

I love the challenge of taking a creative vision and making it a reality. I love telling stories about what makes people and businesses special. And so, WorkStory came to be.


The WorkStory team spends time with you in your Spokane area workplace, with minimal interruption to your workday, capturing the personality, process and product or service you offer. Photos we create can be used for any purpose relating to your business. A brand is all about standing out from the generic. When custom photography is an intentionally created part of your overall brand image, all of your marketing efforts are more cohesive and unique to you so you can stand out from the crowd.


For now, I’m keeping WorkStory Corporate Photography focused within the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas so I can be present for my family as much as possible. We’ll venture to Seattle, Portland or L.A. for special projects. In the long-term, I envision a nationwide franchise of incredible photographers creating custom non-stock photo libraries for unique businesses large and small. Will you join me on this journey? Contact me for a free consultation. We can’t wait to tell your WorkStory!