BTS Blogging + Photography Tips
I feel like there is this misconception about bloggers and how all they do is look pretty and run around taking photos all the time. This is the complete opposite for me and Hunter. I have been taking her photographs since day one and we have made this feel less like a job and more like an adventure that both of us get to share together. Our goal is to always document the things we do in our lives in an authentic way that makes the reader feel engaged in what we are doing.
Being my wife's photographer has its bonuses. We can shoot pretty much whenever we like, she is not restricted by someone else's schedule, she can be brutally honest with me about how images are looking and vice versa. We also get to spend more time creating content and doing what we both love...win win situation if you ask me. We are still working on it but we have figured out a good balance of work and fun. We feel so lucky to be able to share our creativity together.
Hunter started her blog in the summer of 2016 after we got engaged in Italy. The reason she decided to start hers was to have a way to document our trip to Florence and share my proposal with our friends and family. Things kind of took off from there and we have been riding this rollercoaster ever since. Since day one we've been completely winging this thing and learning along the way. I don't think people understand all of the hard work that goes into each post. From choosing a brand to work with that aligns with the bloggers own brand, payment and contract negotiation, deciding how best to promote a product in a way that feels organic, scheduling photo shoots and the editing process, writing out the actual blog post and social captions, researching appropriate hashtags to maximize reach and bringing this all together to deliver an honest opinion. I have experienced all of this first hand with Hunter and since there is no set handbook, we have come up with our own method of doing this that fits our lifestyle.
I love being able to take all of her photographs because it allows me to hone my skills while growing her business at the same time. Most of the time we just add some extra time to what we have planned for the day and work in a shoot. Sometimes when we head to dinner we just leave 45 minutes early and go find a place to shoot. This has become pretty routine for us and it adds a little more fun to date night. What girl doesn't like playing dress up? It's actually pretty comical how good I've gotten at recognizing what goes well with an outfit or if something like her earring is flipped around. I never thought I would be good at any of that but here we are. Sometimes I have to go home and hop on Fortnite with my friends to bring myself out of this world of hair extensions, handbags and high heels.
When I am driving around town I'm constantly on the lookout for new locations. Finding cool places to take photographs is a major part of what we do. Sometimes location isn't that necessary if we are are just trying to shoot something with a soft background but when we want the whole scene to be featured we need to find unique places. Textured walls, new murals and dark or light settings are all things I am constantly on the lookout for. I typically make a mental note of the cool places I see and then rack my brain when we decide that we are going to shoot.
When we are doing a quick session on the way to dinner we only photograph one outfit but when we schedule to shoot multiple outfits we typically give ourselves 30 minutes plus another 5 for her to change into the next outfit. It isn't all as glamorous as it seems since my truck has become her mobile closet but it seems to get the job done. We always joke about how the back of my truck is the perfect mix of girly and manly and especially in the fall/winter months. Next to her new gingham pants and platform wedges is typically a box full of Realtree camouflage, a Catchin' Deers hat and my compound bow for when I am going hunting.
Hunter and I have made it a point to always be as real and transparent as we can be. We don't like the misconceptions that people get about bloggers and we are always willing to talk openly about our process and what we have found works for us. If you ever have a question about what we do, why we do it or how we manage everything, don't hesitate to ask. We are always open to any questions you may have. The Influencer Podcast is also a great source for information about the blogging world, check out Julie's amazing work and knowledge if you would like to dive deeper into the influencer space.
Tips For Bloggers & Photographers
- Be clear about the direction of the shoot (style/mood)
- Scout locations before hand to maximize time
- Knowing which images to take and products to feature (purse, earrings, shoes)
- Be clear about the style of images (soft background, fun and playful)
- Communicate and make sure both parties are open and honest (if the subject is making a funny face or posing awkwardly)
- Be aware of aesthetic- make sure images fit the photographers style and the blogger's feed