Good grief, where did October go!? The past several weeks have been a blur, and while plenty has happened that I could have blogged about, I just haven't been able to find the time. My calendar isn't looking any less intimidating in the coming weeks however, so today I'm MAKING the time to write. In fact I hope to crank this out before the fam and I head down to La Salle to visit the Fritzler corn maze this afternoon!
A topic heavy on my mind lately is that of how to share client work (i.e. recent sessions). It's really important for photographers to do this - not only to keep their site fresh, but to differentiate client work from "regular" posts (where they might pull images from personal projects instead). I haven't posted commissioned work here yet, partially because I'm not steadily photographing clients, but mostly because I find the typical format for this type of sharing to be really unappealing. What format is that? Well, the title usually looks something like this...
Baby Smith Photo Session | City, State | Newborn Photographer
-- or --
Smith Family Portraits | City, State | Family Photographer
What follows is nearly always a wall of images, with no further (or very little) commentary from the photographer about the session. Often it's just a quick blurb such as...
"I feel so honored to have photographed so-and-so recently..."
-- or --
"I had a ton of fun at my session with the Smith family last week!"
I may end up ruffling some feathers here, but posts like this are not engaging or memorable. In fact they come off as robotic. It's pretty clear they are intended for search engines, not humans. This feels insincere and it's definitely NOT how I want to be perceived. So I've been trying to come up with my own twist on how I can feature commissioned work, while still retaining some personality (and authenticity).
This is such a clever concept, both interesting and personable. But since it's centered on only one image per post, I don't know that it would work for an entire session.
Another idea I've been toying with is not publishing recent sessions as stand-alone posts at all, but instead adding images from recent sessions into posts which are topical. Does that sound confusing? What I mean is, recent sessions in and of themselves are kind of pointless. On the other hand, an article offering tips or considerations for clients and peppered with images from a recent shoot (to illustrate the content) might be really helpful!
I also love the concept of using photo essays to feature work. Sue Bryce does this very well. In addition to the final images she shows, there's a little story, video or behind the scenes look in almost every post. Sometimes all three. My favorite is called I gave her a napkin. Posts like this appeal very much to the storyteller in me. It's a big part of who I am. My mom has teased that I never learned how to tell a short story, but if a picture is truly worth 1000 words, then a dozen shots might be just enough! ;)
Maybe a melding of all these ideas would be cool. Then again I could just be overthinking this whole thing. I've lost count of the number of photographer's I've seen using the format above. Maybe that's for good reason, but "tried and true" doesn't always jive with me. In this case it feels like fluff, and that should be reserved for blankets, sofas and stuffed animals.