Delumpa Photography | My last name | San Francisco Bay Area Photographer

My last name | San Francisco Bay Area Photographer

April 18, 2014

As a kid growing up, I had a hate relationship with my last name.   It was almost ALWAYS mispronounced by my teachers:


"Dee (pause) loompa"




Oh, and the dreaded:



Last time I checked, there wasn't an "i" before the "a,".....a-hole.


I'm not bitter.


I often thought about why I was born with my last name, wishing that I didn't have to deal with everyone's mispronunciation and misspelling.  I recalled one time that my younger brother asked, "why can't we have a cool last name? Like (insert any last name but Delumpa)?"


For the record, it's pronounced "Duh-loomp-uh."  No freakin' "i" before the "a."  Just say it phonetically and you'll get it right, trust me.


And the misspelling, oh the misspelling.  Like "De Lumpa," or "DeLumpa," and yes, oh yes, "De Lumpia."


Eff you, "i."  Oh, and you too, capital "L."


I'm not bitter.


I often thought that since I'm Filipino, people would read my last name, and think of "lumpia," a delicious, fried, egg-roll type Filipino food but sooooo much better than an egg roll (in my opinion).   Anyways,  I would think people would scan my last name, see it, and just place an imaginary "i" before the "a" and mispronounce it.  Word of advice - don't be lazy, read it, and say it phonetically and we can be friends.


There were a few times when I was a kid that people would start singing that "oompa loompa" song from the movie "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" in front of me because of my last name.  I still get it from time to time.  But seriously, you orange-faced, green-haired sons of b's couldn't sing anything else in your underground, chocolate river-laced lair? 


I'm not bitter.


Somehow, as I got older, especially in high school, people would just call me by my last name and somehow "Jeff" would cease to exist.  It was "hey Delumpa!" or "What's up, Delumpa?!"  I never thought anything of it, and I actually thought it was cool.  I mean, how many people do you know that have my last name, right?  If you know any other Delumpas out there, I'm related to that person.  There's probably about 300 of us in the entire world, maybe a little more, maybe a little less.


Don't get me wrong, as I've gotten older, I've learned to forgive people for their stupidity and ignorance and just let it roll off my shoulders.  I think my last name is cool...unique.  Meeting other relatives that share the same last name has made me happy to be a Delumpa.


Fast-forward to a few years ago, and Marianne and I started "Delumpa Photography."  Before we started, I thought really hard about what name to give our business.   As you may imagine, a business name is one of the most important things in branding a business.  I thought that it was unique enough that people would remember it, so the name stuck and we set off to make our business and photography stand out and be as successful as possible.


Around a year after we started, I started questioning if I made the right decision to name our business "Delumpa Photography."  First impressions are everything, and I started doubting the kind of impression that our business name made when prospective clients would see it.  Was it too "ethnic" for people?  Would people have a hard time pronouncing the name and just say, "forget it" and continue their search for a photographer?  My main concern was whether our target market would be receptive to the name and if they had pre-judgments that would affect their decision to click on our name in a Google search for photography.  Okay, so maybe I should have thought about that before I made the decision, but still.  We asked a friend of her opinion and told her our reservations, and she agreed. 


I'm not bitter.


We toyed around with different ideas for business names, but reluctantly stuck with "Delumpa Photography."  One day, when reading Facebook comments on an engagement photo we posted, someone typed, "The Delumpas took your photos?  They're awesome! "  Great compliment, right?  But it wasn't a great compliment for obvious reasons you may be thinking of.  It was great (to me) because someone recognized our name and associated our work with it! Yes!


Nowadays, from time to time, we'll meet new people and they'd ask what we do and we tell them we're photographers.  When they ask about the name of our business or for a business card, sometimes we'd get, "oh, YOU'RE Delumpa Photography?"  It's such a humbling feeling being recognized by complete strangers by the work that we do.  Don't get me wrong - in no way are we famous or at a world-class level like some of our colleagues are.  We definitely have A LOT of work to do.  But you know what?


I'm not bitter.




There's a quote out there about being the best version of yourself.  Take it from me.  Love yourself.  Love your last name.  And be you. 

- Jeff



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