The past couple of weeks I have challenged myself to keep up with my own personal blog on my website. I felt like this would be a good way to document my life and stories about photography so I decided to give it a go. Last year I wasn’t to fond of this whole idea but looking back, I feel like I was just being a bit lazy and making an excuse not to have one or keep up with one. Now however, that has changed and I encourage people to go out there and start their own blogs, or pick up on one they have already started.
I’m not the type of person who is big on Facebook, Snapchat, or any form of social media really. So in a way, I don’t really have a place to share my thoughts with the public online. My favorite source of social media is Instagram; because it is photo and video based and I can share some of the “better” work I have. Now as a personal opinion of mine, I feel like my generation spends too much time with technology and social media which is something that gets the best of me. I realize how caught up some can get with it and see that this has actually become a part of their life. I know that I am one to get involved myself but I do my best to stray away from it when I can because how much can people really care about what one another do and why is it so important nowadays? After reading an article by Alex Cooke and watching the video he shared, I was amazed at how many people I know that are that way. We live in a world where almost everyone is addicted to technology. Instead of being honest with ourselves and other people online, we put up a bluff and make it look like life is great. I’ve realized it is so helpful to step away from the technology every once in a while and come back to it when you need to.
Doing something as simple as writing a blog can benefit you because it allows you to dig a little deeper into why you feel, act, or express yourself in a certain way. When people read this, they are able to connect with you or relate to you in a more personal way. Another great thing about it is that not too many people are jumping on my site to read these things, so they are still somewhat private for now. The important part is that we take the time to write about our experiences to create something for ourselves. Here, you don’t have to worry about how many “likes” you get or whether or not somebody likes what you wrote or not, it is something to improve you.
Explaining Your Style or Work:
People like to see the work you do, but where do you ever get to actually speak about it? I can throw a photo up on Instagram and go on about how and why I shot it but nobody is going to read the caption nor do I have enough characters to type that all out. In my blog, I can go on and on about where I went, why I went to this specific place, I can talk about what took me there, and why it was of interest. I can go into how I decided to shoot, what time I was there, problems I faced and so on. Not only is this good for my own personal knowledge, but other people can read and learn from my experience as well. I found that linking a few photos to the blog help relate back to that moment of time because I can always look at a photo I have taken and remember most details of the process involved.
For clients, maybe they are interested in seeing why the work you do actually has meaning to you. Sure your site is great and all, but what is it that drives you? You have a story to tell behind every shoot you do, so why not share some of those experiences so people can learn a little bit more about you? One way to separate yourself from all the other photographers out there is to throw these experiences into stories and share them in a place people can go to read about them if they would like to. Spending some time writing about something you love is a great thing to do and could end up being more beneficial to you.
Relating to a Personal Experience or Issue:
Of course this one is a little more challenging and something I still don’t even like to do, but I do it anyway. Being personal is never fun, especially when you’re all shy like me, but it is something that we can get over. Writing something related to a struggle you are going through may help you more than the reader, but talking about ways to overcome it may help them out and you may be surprised you can even inspire yourself!
Looking back on this writing and being able to reflect on that time of your life can be a powerful thing. Maybe you look at the way you dealt with the situation whether it was right or wrong, maybe you look back and laugh because you were upset at something that ended up working out later on in life. It could be something you just mention or something you go into detail about. Whatever you choose to write about will more than likely be something that you will remember and another thing for readers to relate to.
Promoting Yourself or Others:
A blog is a great place to promote your work and talk about how or why you did a specific project. You can speak about the thought process that went into it, all the planning that went into it, who you hired to help, what kind of gear you used, and so on. Since it is your own personal place to write, you can write about whatever you want. Maybe that buddy of yours that you hired killed it and you are so happy with him that you talk about what made you hire him for this specific shoot. Go into depth about how you guys worked with one another and why you had such a great time collaborating. You can share some of the work you did together, add links to their website and social media, and use it as a way to grow together. I share a lot of things that inspire me here on Fstoppers and it is great to see other people react so positively to what I share.
This I think is the most important part of all. Who are we as people? How can people get to know something about us? It is almost like a little ice breaker built into your site. People aren’t robots, nobody wants to talk to a robot. Each of us have a unique personality and I encourage everyone to show it in some way or another. We don’t have to explain absolutely everything we do, but sharing a few things that make’s us us, that is something we can all appreciate.
If you are comfortable sharing more personal experiences with people online, a blog is a great idea. At first it can be hard to get used to but once you get it going, you may end up liking it. If I had to recommend one thing about having a personal site, I would say fill it up with all the client work you do so people know what you are known for. Be sure to have a blog to talk about some of those work experiences and throw in some personal stuff that you do too! My main thing currently is real estate, but there are so many other things I like to shoot that I just have to go out and do that to give myself some piece of mind. Who knows if it will take me somewhere one day but it can’t hurt to do something I love. Sometimes it's best to take off the front and be you. Spend a little less time caring about what other people are doing (especially with the social media) and go out there and be yourself. If you are going to share an experience, try to make it worthwhile and have a story somewhere for people to see; be different than the rest and share it on your own personal blog.