“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” – Ansel Adams
For my last course blog post, I thought it would be a good opportunity to focus on a passion of mine that I will (hopefully) develop into a side business venture one day down the road, and one that I will definitely continue to blog about. In reading the quote above (or the title of this blog post, for that matter) I’m sure you can decipher which passion I am alluding to. Indeed, photography is a hobby of mine. There’s nothing quite like being in the right place at the right time and capturing a moment that would otherwise evaporate to the past, if not represented through a proper medium.
When starting a photo blog, there’s one subject all aspiring photo bloggers must consider: would my blog be best served through WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Flickr, or another service? And while this question is a necessary one, it is commonly addressed and debated. Instead of focusing on this issue, I am going to offer some basic photo blogging tips, regardless of service used.
Here are 3 tips for photo blogging that will help your blog stand out:
1. Not all best practices for text blogs apply to photo blogs, but some certainly do. Blogs that predominately display text posts are generally benefited by sidebars and other widgets. Consider if these features would help or hinder your photo blog (read: in most cases they will probably be a distraction). RSS feeds, captions, and fast loading of content, on the other hand, are three examples of features that will greatly improve your photo blog. Similarly, analytics tools can help you profile your audience, which may impact your photo blogging strategy and approach.
2. Determine your style as a photographer and let your blog represent it. Similar to your photography itself, let your blog showcase your own unique style and interests. A photographer who likes to capture images strictly in black and white, for instance, is not going to portray their work the same way a travel blogger or a sports photographer will. Refine your style as photographer, create content that showcases that style, and create your blog around it. Check out some of these photo blogs that do a great job of this.
3. Do not be afraid to use words.
In his quote at the top of this post, Ansel Adams may have said it best in describing the usefulness (and inherent limitations) of words compared to photographs. Words, like images, are simply tools to portray meaning. It is certainly appropriate to supplement images with words, and words with images. Too many photo blogs only show pictures, which can be difficult for first-time (and perhaps only-time) viewers in establishing context.
What do you think? What other strategies are useful for photo blogs?