Here at ShootDotEdit, we provide wedding photography post production services, and we also enjoy sharing relevant tips and tricks that can help you grow your business. Today, we are focusing on the images you take during your shoots and how you can use them to create blog posts that attract ideal clients. Just like you should shoot for the album during the wedding day, you should also look for images for your blog. To provide you with helpful tips, we reached out to wedding photographer Melissa Jill to gain her insights into how to shoot strategically for your blog posts.
How many of you LOVE the work of shooting, but tend to avoid the work of blogging like it’s the plague? Truth be told, shooting and blogging are two entirely different things; yet both are essential for successful photography careers in this age of online marketing. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years and can safely say I’ve learned a thing …or five in the process!
Consistent blogging can have a huge impact on your photography business, but it can be difficult to know how to use it to its full potential. One piece of the blogging puzzle is learning how to showcase your work in a visually stunning way in to entice readers to return again and again. Featuring your work intentionally and artistically can help you earn the respect and confidence of potential clients! So, how is this best accomplished? A great post originates at the very beginning. It starts at your shoot! Here are 5 tips for shooting with your blog in mind to best capture and convey the story.
1. Incorporate the Scene
Just like in a movie, setting the scene for a shoot is an essential step on par with introducing the main characters. Your blog post is no different. To best tell the whole story, it is important to capture some images of the surrounding environment. Think of the setting as another character in the story and take stand-alone photos of it to show off throughout the post. This helps with the big picture and allows readers to imagine themselves placed within the story. I find it also helps to visually break up the repetitive nature of portrait after portrait and give the eye a place of rest within the story.
2. Mix Up the Images
Make sure to take vertical images alongside horizontals. This may seem obvious, but for some reason, it’s difficult for me! Most photographers tend to shoot primarily one or the other. I’m primarily a vertical shooter. For blogging purposes, you will want to have BOTH to help it flow and be visually appealing.
When you have a variety of both, the images act as magical puzzle pieces that fit together with ease, allowing the post to be visually fluid and appealing. But nothing is more boring than one horizontal image after the next. A post like that feels monotonous and stale. One thing I love to do is to take a lot of vertical detail shots. Vertical photos are ideal for pairing side by side and including detail images in these pairings can really inform the story and bring it to life.
3. Shoot Close-Up
While it is important to pull back to portray the overall setting of the event, the setting is not what adds dimension to the storytelling of a blog post. Taking some super-tight detail shots of your subjects creates a sense of intimacy for readers. A combination of full-length portraits paired with those more intimate moments helps create variety to your storytelling experience and gives the reader a closer perspective of the event and the people within it.
Whenever I am photographing a couple in a specific pose, I like to take the typical full length and upper-body compositions and then try to come in even tighter to show off a detail of how they are holding hands, or to highlight a piece of clothing or accessory. Anything that is unique or will add flavor to the other images is worth highlighting up close.
4. Highlight the Location
Whenever possible, take super-wide portraits with the couple that will show off the venue or landscape. You can use these for adding to the storytelling component of your blog post as well as sharing these images with the venue for them to promote their space (and simultaneously — you!). Every venue is different so showing up early to scout and find the best spot to really show it off is super helpful!
5. Use New Poses
For each shoot, plan ahead and make a goal to try 1-2 new poses you aren’t accustomed to using. Have these poses in mind before you head out to shoot so you can be sure to add them into the mix! In this way, you can add variety to your portfolio over time. Well-rounded visual photo stories tend to be light on repetition and monotony, so shake things up a bit and step outside your comfort zone when shooting!
When you approach your sessions with your blog in mind, it can inspire you to be even more diligent in paying close attention to detail. It helps encourage a high level of awareness to the story unfolding at each unique session/event and it offers you the opportunity to be a fantastic storyteller on your blog. You might be amazed at how shooting with your blog in mind may help to grow both your portfolio and your business!
As Melissa stated above, blogging for your business is vital to your success. We believe in the power of blogging to grow your business, so much so that we acquired Fotoskribe, the leading expert in blogging as-a-service for the Pro Wedding and Portrait Photographer. Learn more here.