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What is the purpose of a wedding photographer including a blog on their site?

Vail Fucci , May 03, 2010; 03:55 p.m.

Maybe I'm officially getting old (I doubt it though, I'm only turning 29 next week! and I love technology, but I don't like twitter so maybe I am getting old), but I just don't see the point of having a blog on your website. Please those that have them, illuminate me.

The only purpose I can see is having a quicker means to upload recent photos. But I tend to just do that through my Zenfolio site to the embedded flash slideshow I have running on my HTML site. I do need to update my HTML version more often, but still.

I feel like posting the couples' stories, etc, and how the shoot went, is an invasion of the couples' privacy. As a newlywed, I can't imagine when I was searching for photographers that I would have gone with a studio where I knew the results of my wedding could become part of a running public commentary that I would have little to no control over what was said.

I see my site as the place for people to view samples of my work, get an idea of what I'm all about, the services we provide, links to reviews from those we've served, and the prices at which those services are available, in addition to a gateway to my proofing site. What is the blog providing that my site doesn't already cover?

Responses


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Matt Laur , May 03, 2010; 04:12 p.m.

I would imagine that some customers feel flattered to be featured. It's like a little reality TV microcosm. Some people want to be in that light, and some (most?) people sure don't. I agree with you that such features seem far too chatty and invasive most of the time, but I've seen some that were handled with an eye towards providing that "sign of life" on the web site without seeming to be opening up the subjects' private lives. It's a fine line to walk.

And yes, you're ancient. I hear they won't even be allowing people 30 and older to have that new surgically implanted TwitterChip installed in their cerebral cortex. Better get in line now!

Juanita Ramirez , May 03, 2010; 04:19 p.m.

In a world where there are a zillion incompetent photographers, a blog tells your clients that you're actually doing work on a regular basis. It tells your clients that you have good shots from every shoot. My blog is pretty sparse on details and heavy on photos, and I always get permission from my clients before I post anything. If your zenfolio or smugmug or whatever (I don't use those kinds of services) serves the purpose of telling potential clients that you have more than a handful of weddings in your portfolio, then maybe you don't need a blog.

My blog helps to show my clients that I get lots of great memorable photos on every-single-shoot. Blogs also help my search engine optimization. Because I use a Flash site, my blog comes up before my website in Google search results. My blog also lets me develop a following of clients, other photographers, and other wedding vendors who can keep up on my work and see what the latest thing I've done is. These may or may not be reasons for you to blog, but I'm confident that my blog alone brings in about 1/3 of my work. YMMV.

Theresa Skutt , May 03, 2010; 04:27 p.m.

I can't answer the question, because I agree with you...trying to figure out why and how they find the time!

Mark T , May 03, 2010; 04:41 p.m.

this may not apply to your target audience, but not maintaining a blog may costs you business..

most of my clients talk about how they like the images from my blog.... not my website..my blog... go figure..

Juanita Ramirez , May 03, 2010; 04:48 p.m.

One more small note. If you have a flash website, it's not going to be accessible to people with iPhones, iPads, or other non-flash devices. As such, I think my blog serves as a main website for people who want to learn about me while they're on the bus or whatever. I know that sounds stupid, but if some bride can look at my photos on her iPad while she rides the train home from work, that's one more potential client.

I think a lot of people don't even bother to look through all the images on your website. If you have a blog and a website, they'll just look at the photos on there for about 30 seconds, and then go to your blog where they'll sometimes spend several minutes. Looking at my traffic patterns this seems to be the case. They don't want to know "what have you done," they want to know "what have you done lately?"

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , May 03, 2010; 07:08 p.m.

You may be interested in this previous thread.

http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/00VxHT

Kate Callahan , May 03, 2010; 07:47 p.m.

Blogs and Facebook CAN be incredibly powerful marketing tools. Of course, the only pictures that should be posted are of couples that want to have their images included on the blog. I always ask first, and find that most of my clients do want me to share them on the blog because then they can then easily share the images with their friends. I want them to share them with their friends, too!!! So, let's just say that a bride reads the blog post on my site about her wedding, and then clicks on the "share on facebook" button so that she can share it with her 300 Facebook friends ... I've just exposed my business to 300 people. Which means, of course, my blog needs to be a good representation of who I am as a person and photographer. Otherwise it could be doing more harm than good. In my opinion, it's just one way to go about marketing. It's free ... although to do it right takes up time.

Jeff Spirer , May 03, 2010; 09:19 p.m.

trying to figure out why and how they find the time!

I fail to understand this comment. Blogging is one the easiest and quickest things one can do. Set-up with a standard blog product like Wordpress takes anywhere from fifteen minutes to several hours, but it's a one-time thing. It can take a little longer if you want to match an existing web theme, but it's still a one-time thing. Creating and pushing out a blog posts takes under two minutes per post plus the time to write. If you write slowly and don't have the time, then you push it out with fewer words. It's really simple.

Also, software like Wordpress has plugins for SEO. Wordpress does a good job making sure tags on Wordpress blogs hit google. I'm sure other blog companies are similar. It's the easiest way of marketing anything with photos.

Daniel McGarrity , May 03, 2010; 10:26 p.m.

The comment is based a great deal on the region the OP posts from, I'm in the same region. It's a demographic thing in my thinking and very much a personal preference. I think that Juanita hit the nail on the head, and like Matt, it points out that it shows a very consistent amount of work.
How often are you asked about how many weddings you do a year? How do you answer? With the blog it helps you prequalify your clients as well. I know from reading the OP's website and some postings that their demographic is on the lower economic side then mine, but Vail still wants to provide top notch photography. A blog, by nature is an easier way to post than updating HTML through dreamweaver or squaresoft, or whatever wysiwyg software. It doesn't, and shouldn't be a posting about your lunch, it should be business related.

I suppose the only real argument for a blog, if you are opposed to one, is it can not hurt to show your work, and your personality. As for privacy, any bride who walks down the middle of the National Mall on a saturday being photographed by absolutely every tourist in DC has long since given up on the concept of privacy. Your blog pictures should be the very best, and very few pictures that show your client looking the way you like as an artist. As for the comments outside of your control... I'll finish with a few words from my late father.

When you're young you care about what people think.
When you're older you stop caring what people say.
When you're old enough you realize they never though or said anything in the first place.
Good luck


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