Been some time, ya?
It’s been quite awhile since my last post on here, and you’re probably a bit curious why.
Well, to be honest – there have been several reasons – and since I like to keep things personal between us, I won’t short you on the details. Here’s a quick list of things that have been going through my head on why I took such a long hiatus:
Reasons why I stopped blogging:
1. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue the avenue for offering workshops. My main intent with this blog was to generate a following (this has now changed), and eventually develop workshops which I could offer to my audience. I went through quite an extensive period of reflecting on how I wanted to project myself in the photography community, and I’m now confident to tell you how I feel about it.
There are a lot of industry leaders in the community – some I feel more genuine than others…and some that are invested for selfish reasons & cut corners. Hearing stories about these leaders and how they’ve behaved behind closed doors – I can’t express how passionate I now feel about representing my work honestly and maintaining a consistent personality on & off-stage. It’s disheartening to know that there are a lot of photogs that project an image for monetary gain, and I want to run in the exact opposite direction. As the adage goes, I’d rather be hated for who I am than praised for who I’m not. I was so turned off by some of these guys that I really didn’t want to be associated or even compared with them. There were a lot of elements pulling me away from the idea being a leader, and the thought of concentrating solely on my passion of photography was really appealing. But the thing is…I love writing, I love sharing, and I love helping others achieve their goals. Just had to figure out the right recipe to create that kind of atmosphere for this blog, and let people know that I’m not interested in creating workshops for the notoriety or recognition within the industry. What I’ll offer is what I truly feel will help others propel their advancement with their work, and if they feel it doesn’t – money back.
I’ll admit – there have been times in the past when I’ve felt I’ve been *too* giving and as a result witnessed a backlash in my local market. Some photographers had used some techniques I had talked about, offered lower rates, and I actually *did* notice it affecting my clients. Lesson learned. Can’t give away TOO MUCH. Also, when you put a lot of time, energy, effort and HEART into your posts – it really feels frustrating when you have trolls come through and say something negative. But hey, haters gonna hate.
2. Blogging wasn’t a big generator for new work. Most of my business comes of word of mouth – and to be frank, this year was incredibly successful even without the help of blogging. While there are a ton of benefits from blogging, there are a lot of benefits from getting extra time in my daily life. I can tell you that I sure didn’t miss the time spent writing, editing, and promoting my posts. In a “time-efficient” sort of way, it really didn’t make sense to spend as long on something that didn’t produce a return in comparison to doing other fun things I could be doing with my leisure time. If you’ve followed my facebook or instagram posts, you’ll see evidence of a lot of the fun I’ve been having this year. :)
3. I was undecided on whether I’d come back to the blog, and if I did – it would need to reflect a strong change in presence (such as you’ll be seeing in the time to come). I wanted to have a new blog design (shown now), new logo (shown now), and a new portfolio representing my recent work (I haven’t updated my wedding portfolio in over a year, and I’m STILL booking weddings solid. Although, it makes me wonder what bookings I’m MISSING OUT on). The new portfolios will be ready in the coming weeks, and you’ll be sure to hear about it. I’ve finally gotten some down time to invest in self-promotion (blog, portfolio, promo-videos, collateral) and I’m happy to get back on a regular schedule of blogging.
4. My style/personality isn’t like other wedding photographers, & submitting posts in hopes of getting attention in the wedding industry seemed ingenuine. It might surprise you, however the idea of being featured on something called “style me pretty” isn’t thrilling to me. You know what get’s me PUMPED? A bride or a client telling me how much they love my images. It’s not about the details on the table decor, or the font used on name cards, or even the design of the boutonniere (of course they still get photographed). What’s important are the emotions of the day, who was there, and the important moments like a heartfelt toast from the bride’s BFF from back in the day. I feel the story of a wedding I’ve shot is best told through my words, my style, and the photos I feel best portray the way everything happened. Not just how things looked.
Although this issue was something I initially thought of as a ‘disadvantage’, it’s now something I’m realizing is a HUGE advantage. I’m currently in the process of finding other blogs/sites I’ll guest post for and develop symbiotic relationships with. They may not be as plentiful, but that doesn’t matter. (PS – if you have some that come to mind that you’d think I’d love, I’d love it if you’d let me know!)
What to expect and what’s going to be different:
1. I’m still going to post highlights of my work, but save the strategy to achieve the photos for workshops & personal discussion. I’ve invested a lot of time, money, thought, and practice into creating the kind of work I currently produce – and that definitely has a MAJOR value to me. In the time to come, I’ll be creating tailored workshops to help others accelerate their skills, and that will be the time/place to discuss those topics. While others in the industry claim there are no such thing as trade secrets, you can bet your bottom dollar there are things they keep close to their chest that give them an advantage over the competition. And if I’m going to offer a workshop, I feel the content should include elements you can’t find for free or elsewhere on my blog. As of now, the areas which I’d like to focus on offering help in are as follows: composition & compression, practicality & the mentality approach towards getting the best variety & moments, and lighting. If you think you might be interested in doing a one-on-one or small group workshop in the future, please feel free to get in touch with me: email@example.com
2. 100% me. That’s right. Expect a stronger presence of my personality and what goes on in my mind while I shoot. I’ll admit there have been times when peers have affected the construction/content of my posts telling me an aspect of my personality comes off “way strong”. So be it. I know I’ll risk losing some readership due to strong/offensive content, but writing what I want to write and how I want to say it is unbelievably refreshing. And having an audience that’s finely in-tune with who I am and supports me makes it *that* much more enjoyable.
3. Less categories and a new feature. I removed “fashion” and “public relations” from my drop down menu as I don’t really need to focus on promoting that work on here. My PR clients don’t visit this blog much & I get a ton of work from them regardless. And I don’t really want to promote myself as a fashion photographer. Not saying I wont show or do that kind of work, but it’s just not going to be listed as a main category – I’m going to be incorporating tags to help make it easier for people to find the work they love to see, and I think they definitely still help if I want to send a prospective client a list of events/showcase a style easily with one page.
A new category I’ll be rolling out will be focused around guest interviews. I wont spill too many details about it just yet, but I can tell you that I’m pretty excited about these interviews and I think a lot of people will get great value from reading them. (Hint – it wont be interviews of other photographers!)
4. I’ve decided to start selling my travel photos. I always felt conflicted about putting value on my personal travel experiences & didn’t want to tarnish my attitude when it comes to deciding which pictures to take. After thinking about how a lot of people enjoy living vicariously through my travels & who don’t have the opportunity to do so – I’m more than happy to offer them the option to purchase photos of my vision & experience while traveling. After each blog post, I’ll have a link to a gallery featuring additional photos available for purchase from that specific trip.
I also figure that additional income will allow me the opportunity to travel more without compromising the true expression of my work & vision. I’ll still shoot for me & not for what I think will “sell” – and I think that’s pretty key.
5. Brief email responses. Yes, I will get back to your questions/comments. I know some other pros who create email templates and auto responses to respond to readers, but I myself prefer to deliver a personal response. I’m a fan of keeping things concise and to the point to maintain what time efficiency I have left – so be aware that I might be blunt. But I’ll get back to ya. Go ahead & try it out – firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to things to come.
(This shot above was taken during a recent trip to Patagonia, Chile at Torres del Paine)