The Blog Process | Part 3: choosing images

Welcome back to #brandspankinawesome Friday! We've spent the past two weeks diving into the thought process behind a good blog. We hope by now you've created a sort of plan, an editorial calendar, and have started encouraging yourself to start working for your blog (and not letting it work you!) As you chat with potential clients, plan future shoots, participate in events, take a moment to see how they can be turned into a blog post, how they can be used to promote your business and personality.

 

Friday, 8/21 | Part 1 | Calendar Planning

Friday, 8/28 | Part 2 | Shooting on Purpose

Friday, 9/4 | Part 3 | Image Selection

Friday, 9/11 | Part 4| Content Creation

Friday, 9/18 | Part 5 | Marketing Your Brand

 

But now that the planning and forethought is established, it's time to execute! Let's talk about the images you share on the blog. 

Here's the truth... if you're a photographer, you shoot for three different people - your client, their parents (because the last thing you want is a call from Mom because there's not ONE photograph of them looking at the camera), and of course, yourself. Thanks to all the forethought we put into our blog, our goal is to a much better job of shooting for ourselves, and in turn shoot better for our clients, and then throw in a safe shot or two for Mom and Dad.

But there is no point in doing all this pre-thought, in gearing your clients to better, more unique sessions, or doing more inspired projects, if you're not following through. Remember, our ultimate goal with blogging is to put our personality out there and attract like-minded clients. Which means in turn we want to turn away those who, say, are NOT so like-minded. 

Hence the reason image selection is so important! So which images do you choose to share on the blog? That is where last week's homework comes in...

choose three to five words to describe your brand

What words did you choose? If they include "elegant" or "timeless", I encourage you to visit www.thesaurus.com and try AGAIN because 1995 called and wants their words back. These words should be far more unique and specific to your business. Look harder (yes I said that in my Rafiki voice...)

What are my three words?

Emotional, Spontaneous, Contemporary. 

 

Now how does this translate?

Well, every image I share on the blog must match one of these two words. I've gotten to the point that I do this pretty subconsciously now, but when I cull images to share from a wedding or session, I tend to weed out or limit anything overly traditional (traditional posing, family photos, ceremonies, bouquet and garters tosses, etc.) Personally, they're my least favorite photographs to take, so not sharing them means I'm not encouraging clients who want 50 kajillion family photos, or anything overtly traditional. I also turn away people who want OVERLY posed or overly-processed images. My blog has become a perfect example and summary of what they can expect to do and see at a session.

So we repeat: what are your three words? Let these be your guidelines. They will serve two purposes - create an emotional guide and a sort of style guide for your brand. Look up photographers you admire that have a strong blog presence and who you look up to (and have pinterest boards filled with their images for inspiration). What images are they sharing? What makes someone traditional? Modern? Fine Art? Artistic? Then let that be a deciding factor in every image you share.

To sum it all up, share what you want to shoot. 

How does this affect my social media?

I've always viewed my blog as a cloud, and other forms of social media as raindrops - all the moisture/photo goodness goes on the blog FIRST, then trickles down into social media. It builds a much stronger SEO presence if your blog gets regular updates first (plus extra blog posts!), THEN Facebook or Instagram. Plus you've narrowed down your images already. Choosing the best images to share on social media just got way easier.

Less is always more.

Never forget that one really really spectacular images that describes all three of your words perfectly and is thoroughly edited and perfect... is way stronger than three okay images. Not to say you should only post perfect images, but stop filling up your blog with fillers, and cull cull cull. I get the whole "tell a story" aspect we have, but then I encourage you to just keep it to one or two  basement "getting ready" shots instead of 10. And your blog is for YOU for the most part. Don't be afraid to blog those creative shots you worked so hard on, over the typical story-telling shot. 

Does this mean I should I should blog selectively?

Be wary of this. I blog every single one of my clients. If it's not as in line with my original vision, or my current branding presence, maybe I'll share a little less, but I'm always bound to get a handful that are great for my brand. Plus I never want to make my clients feel like they weren't special to me, since all of them absolutely are. This is a problem that can be quickly overcome by resorting to the first two steps of the blog process and preparing your clients for sessions you want to share.

Non-Photographers, What About You?

The concept still applies friends! Whatever kind of bride you're trying to appeal to, be sure to gear whatever you share on your blog on social pages to that bride. I know that you don't have the same access to images as photographers, but you can still make the same amount of effort and be just as selective with what you post. If you're still looking for ideas specific to your business, leave a comment below and let's see what we can come up with!


Thank you for stopping by today!! Tune in next week, where we're going to talk about content creation, i.e. how to write your blog posts so that they don't all say, "Bride and groom was a lovely couple. Their wedding made me swoon. I'm so happy for them. Here are my favorite pictures. Enjoy!"

Have a #brandspankinawesome Friday!

 

Friday, 8/21 | Part 1 | Calendar Planning

Friday, 8/28 | Part 2 | Shooting on Purpose

Friday, 9/4 | Part 3 | Image Selection

Friday, 9/11 | Part 4| Content Creation

Friday, 9/18 | Part 5 | Marketing Your Brand

 


Ariana Watts

Silver Feather Studios, Burlington, NC, 27217, United States