On August 2, 2012, I attended the first ever BLOGRAPHER hosted by Adorama, an event focusing on photography education, creative tips & techniques and strategies for a successful partnership between photography and blogging. From checking in on foursquare, to posting instagram photos of the event to tweeting my notes with the #blographer hastag, I must say, I had such a great time learning about blogging, photography, business, and branding while infusing social media into the mix.
The program was broken up into three session with some of the top photo bloggers in the industry and between each session there were numerous giveaways that included prizes such as ONA and Kelly Moore bags, cameras, lens, and more. In addition to the wonderful giveaways, there were also goodie bags and a pleasant surprise from Adorama…anyone who paid to attend was given a gift card to Adorama for the price of the ticket. Let me share with you my notes and what I learned. (All my notes were done via twitter with the hastag #blographer.) Blographer Part One can be found here and Blographer Part Two can be found here.
SESSION THREE: DEVELOPING YOUR UNIQUE VISION
A lot of the three-panel, shared discussion between Lotus, Vivienne and Lisa involved themes of vision, purpose, business and branding. Their quotes are below.
On Your Vision.
“Developing your vision is a journey. Your voice and vision may change & its ok. My purpose changed,” Lotus. ( The words Purpose, Voice & Story kept coming up throughout this workshop.)
When realizing that everything that you do, publish and create is an extension of your voice and brand, Vivenne stated that, “”My instagram voice is different now.”
“Defining your voice is a never ending journey,” Lotus.
“There’s something about FINDING opportunities. Not everything will come to you,” Lotus.
On Community and Networking.
“It’s really important for people like us to interact with people like us. Interacting with others will help your creativity & inspire you,” Lotus.
“I get more likes when I like others more,” Lotus regarding commenting on other blogs and sharing other people’s photos. Remember to interact.
“Even if you don’t have a lot of followers, if you’re intentional about your tags, people will find you,” Lisa. She later went on to say, “Hit everything in a non spammy way.” THIS IS KEY. So many artist spam as a form of marketing
“If you’re on google plus, you get pushed up higher in google rankings,” Lisa.
“Don’t discount certain social media networks, even if ppl say its dead. I still get jobs through flickr,” Vivienne
“Think about what people google.” Lisa on generating content that will generate traffic.
On Business and Branding
“You gotta balance your art with paying the bills. Blogs can be used to develop the concept of your brand,” Lisa.
“I didn’t go to photography school or coding school. I learned all these skills from whats online,” Lisa.
“I’m less of an artist now and more of a business person,” Lisa. I haven’t determined how I feel about that quote. I think its best to have a balance of both. She later spoke on how her facebook page isn’t her personal page anymore, how she seldom emails or messages anyone…anything especially as it relates to art and business. She leaves that to in person meetings. Her explanation was, “You don’t want something taken out of context & then put into the New York Times.”
One lady asked a question about maintaining separate social media profiles for your business & your personal life. Lotus explained that her brand is her personality so she doesn’t separate her social media profile for work and personal. Lisa stated, “I don’t share anything personal. It’s something I’ve sacrificed.”
All the ladies went on to agree that your voice does change once you’re a business, brand, have ads and etc. Upon acknowledging that growth and change leads to an evolution of the voice of your brand, Lotus stated, “I felt oppressed by my ads. I felt oppressed by what was my voice becoming because of the ads, so I took them down.”
“Your content will change based on business decisions that you make. The purpose may change,” Lotus.
“Anytime money enters into a creative process, it is going to change you,” Lisa stated regarding ads, businesses & blogging.
“People want to be engaged with you as a person. Not just with your blog. And if they are engaged with your brand, they’ll show up no matter where you go,” Lisa on using different platforms as it relates to your brand.
“If I want to be successful, I have to play this game. I can still be genuine but I still have to play,” Lisa regarding businss.
On Blogging & Photography
“If you don’t have the energy for a blog post, you can put out a photo that says just as much,” Lisa. I personally need to remember this more!
Lisa went on to say, “You can replace blogging consistency, with being on other social media accounts.” This is what I usually tell my subscribers when they ask why I haven’t posted a new video. If there isn’t a new video, there’s a tweet, a pin, an instagram image….there’s something.
“Knowing the rules is really good but be willing to break them & do your own thing,” Lotus.
Lisa’s perspective on blogging and money is….”its either through ads or sponsored posts. Otherwise you turn it into something else.” Her something else was the uber successful app Camera+ which I use more than the actual camera app that came with my iPhone.
“I was really hungry to improve my blog. So I googled the hell out of how to make my blog better,” Lotus.
“Its not rocket science. It’s about typing ‘TOP TIPS ON SEO’ & there will be a billion posts to help you,” Lisa.
What I found very interesting about all of the presenters was how they all got into blogging and photography. It was very varied and fascinating. What I keep hearing from them all is that you should do what works for you, your brand and what makes you happy.