I am Blog
I just spoke at the 2010 Spring Creative Meeting for Blend Images (@blendimages on Twitter). The topic was Photographer Makeover: Creating on Online Thumbprint for the Social Web. You can find a copy of my slidedeck here. The presentation was well received.
What surprised me most from this audience of 75 people was the number of positive comments I got, before and after my presentation, to my ongoing 'I Am' series here on my blog. Not surprisingly, this content seems to be resonating with a lot of people. I am thrilled about this!
What was and continues to be admittedly awkward for me is that for the first time in my photographic career...people are appreciating my writing as much as my photos. But this shouldn't surprise me. After all, this is exactly what I've been preaching here for months. Namely that a photographer's blog is the ultimate destination for creating a context for your content.
People buy based on emotion. This has always been the case. Then they look for facts to substantiate that emotional decision. Blogging is the emotional hook, or context, for your body of work.
More than perhaps any other time in history, photo buyers want to know more about you before they hire you. They want to look under the hood and see who you really are before they give you that project, job, purchase order. They want to see what your tone is like. What sort of attitude you have. What words and phrases you use to describe your business and workflow. What your nature is like. How you relate to people. How people relate to you. In short, they want to know just as much about your personality as your portfolio.
The days of buyers strictly making purchasing decisions based solely on the strength of a portfolio are long gone. Today's buyers want to know just as much about who you are as what you do.
Think about the traditional portfolio. What does it really tell you? Frankly, not a whole lot. It hints at a photographer's competency, style, vision, aptitude. But it's only part of the story. What about timbre, tone, temperament? Does the traditional portfolio tell the prospective buyer whether the photos were actual paying gigs or shot on spec? And what about the photographer's ability to execute under pressure, deadlines, budget, constraints? Enter blogging.
Blogging is the ultimate context for your content. And, if done correctly, will do more for your photographic career than haphazardly investing thousands of dollars on a traditional portfolio with minimum reach and scope.
Don't misunderstand me. A strong body of work will always be the foundation to getting new work. Absolutely. But you need to blog to help complete the narrative. And you need to blog regularly. A good blog wonderfully mashes up portfolio and personality. Content and context. What you do with who you are. Aptitude and attitude. Message and media. Professional narrative with personal narrative.
Blog your heart out. Let people in. Show your true self. Treat the world not only to your photos...but your words, stories, experiences, emotions.