BLOG + VLOG of AUTUMN THEODORE PHOTOGRAPHY
Problem 1: your business Instagram doesn't have a business account
What?! Why? This unlocks your ability to display more info about your business as well as view analytics.
Problem 2: you aren't giving users easy ways to contact you
Like I said, switch to a business account so that you can create quick links for user to call, email, or get directions to your business. (How to switch? Google it. Details are everywhere.)
Problem 3: (this one drives me crazy) your brick and mortar's address isn't listed
I came to your Instagram, loved your brand, saw the great photos, and want to visit your physical location to eat/buy/do/see all the things...why isn't your address listed? I don't want to have to now go to another webpage or app to Google your business name and try to find your address. MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR WANNABE CLIENTS. You do want their money, right?
Problem 4: your bio doesn't talk about what you do or who you are
One time I went to a really cool instagram with gorgeous images of people inside homes - I couldn't tell if it was a travel magazine, a clothing retailer, or a lifestyle blogger. Since I didn't want to spend the time doing my research, I kept scrolling. If you want people to connect and engage with you on social media, be clear about who you are and what you do.
Problem 5: you want to link to your website but also share another link (for an ad, a special product, an event ticket link, etc.) but don't want to replace your website link
Try something like linktr.ee to post several links from your profile page.
As always, I hope this is helpful!
Events are sometimes hard to shoot. This event was the perfect example of how a client's needs and my needs don't always overlap. (And who is right? The client, of course. I just have to educate them about what will happen if we go with their choice.)
I've written about the exposure triangle before. There are lots of things I can do to take a photo in a dark situation. However, the more I use those techniques (without flash), the grainier the photo will be come. (Because my camera is basically trying to suck the light into the photo, but can only do so much if the room is dark.)
So why wouldn't I use flash? Well here's the difficult part about some events I shoot: the client wants a dark room because, hello, ambiance! I don't disagree. However, I need light, and there are only two ways I can get it: turn up the lights (clearly can't happen based on the preferred ambiance), or use flash - which is sometimes even MORE obtrusive than having lights turned up higher. So what does a photographer do? We do the best we can - but sometimes that means pretty grainy photos.
Ever wonder what the difference is between a speedlight and a strobe? Each is a type of flash that could be used for various purposes. A tiny intro is featured on today's PhotoVlog!
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email!
Here are the two reasons why it's so hard to see our images edited:
My dream is to give clients exactly what they want. Lots of communication ahead of time helps me do that. ALWAYS feel free to share your style, thoughts, preferences, and usage goals. I'm more than happy to work efficiently and effectively to get photos that you need!
As always, I never want to speak for ALL photographers. I just like to share some common industry thoughts. :)
CROPPING + ALIGNING
I crop images for a number of reasons. Sometimes I want the subject to be more of the focus, other times I want to crop out part of the image that I don't like (maybe someone began to walk in front of me, or there's a power line I can see crossing the sky at the top of the image). There's a long list of why I might crop a photo. I also align images while I crop them. If I wasn't holding the camera perfectly even to the ground, I use cropping like a level to be sure the photo is straightened.
ADJUSTING COLOR BALANCE
Due to various lighting situations (and how frequently they can change dramatically), I edit the color balance to be sure the image looks just like my eye saw it in real life (that's my "style" of photography). Sometimes the color is too cool or too warm. (See examples below.) Like Goldilocks, I like it just right.
High quality DSLR cameras do a great job creating sharpened images, especially when using auto focus. However, I use Lightroom to sharpen it even more!
When parts of images have shadows that I want to have more light, I brighten them when I edit.
REMOVING UNWANTED FEATURES
People often think of this as blemishes or flyaways only. Nope! I often want to remove dirt on the ground, a car from the background, someone's name tag, or a fire alarm on the wall (more common than you'd think!).
I hope that helped explain what I do after the shoot! :)
Portraits by Megan Leigh Barnard
Gels are used with flash to add color to photos - think of it like a filter. Today, I'll explain how simple it is to start getting creative with color!
Links, as promised!
(If you're just getting started with flash, check out this video first.)
Other than consultation meetings and calls, I don't have a TON of prep work before the corporate events I shoot. I need to be sure I have a shot list, that all of my batteries are charged, and that I'm taking the lenses I need. However, the editing afterwards takes just about as much time as it took me to shoot. So for a 2 hour event, I'm likely spending nearly two hours at home editing. Which is why shooting is only half the work.
For Meredith, event work with clients has an insane amount of prep work - she needs to know what they like, what they don't like, work through several iterations of design, details, preferences, etc. TONS of prep work. She's also present at the event, then has work to complete after.
While our work is so different, we both have long lists of things we do that will be forever "behind the scenes." Creating quotes for our work is one of the first steps in a new client relationship. If you've ever gotten sticker shock looking at a service provider's price quote, just remember there's often a lot more work outside of when you're present, and you can ALWAYS ask questions, negotiate, and ask if variations are possible. We are so happy to share our work with you. :)
There is no doubt that captivating photography and product imagery can enhance your brand exposure and engagement with your customers, but there are a couple of things that you should consider once your have your final image files prior to adding those beautiful pics to your site to ensure you are maximizing their impact.
Compress Your Images
When your images are delivered to you they are likely going to be full-size. This is great because it allows you to use them how you see fit, however prior to using them on your website, you will want to compress them.
Compressing an image ensures that the file size is as small as possible without sacrificing the quality of the image. Depending on what kind of platform your site is on, there may be some built in tools or plugins that you can use to accomplish this. If not, here are some free online tools that can help you:
To the naked eye, you will not be able to tell that the image is different. To search engines and user-experience, it means that your site will not be bogged down by large files and it won’t sacrifice site load times.
Name Your Images
Once you have downloaded your new compressed image, you will want to give it a descriptive, yet short file name. File names and another feature called alt tags help search engines to understand what your image is. Search engines currently cannot see images as we do, so we need to provide them with the context necessary to index and rank them accordingly.
Take the picture above, a bad image file name would be IMG_367.jpg, instead National-Kitten-Day-Kitten.jpg would be more appropriate and useful.
Now, on to alt tags, like image file names, alt tags help search engines understand what the image is. Alt tags should be concise and use natural language.
A good example of an alt tag for the above photo would be “Kitten on floor for national kitten day”. Your website platform will determine where you need to add this alt tag, but in HTML, which is not visible to website viewers, it would look like this:
<img src=”https://yoursite.com/National-Kitten-Day-Kitten.jpg” alt=”Kitten on floor for national kitten day”/>
Support the Image
Now that your image is compressed and optimized, you need to support it. The content on the page that this picture is featured on should be relevant to what the picture is. Search engines use context clues to not only understand images, but to rank pages for relevant keywords.
So if you added the picture to a page about engineering, then it would not make sense for search engines to rank that page highly for National Kitten Day. If the content on the page was about the history of National Kitten Day and the celebrations through the years, it would be appropriate for that page to rank well when individuals are searching terms related to National Kitten Day.
Search engines use multiple site components to determine which pages are most relevant to respective keywords, this creates a better user-experience when it comes to finding exactly what you are looking for when you Google it.
By following the suggestions laid out, this will help your site rank better for relevant keywords in both traditional and image searches, and it will ensure your wonderful images are not slowing your site down. To learn more about SEO considerations for your website, reach out to us at https://www.holisticmarketingllc.com/
Let's consider the differences between RAW and JPEG.
I have always shot in JPEG. While I do love how much storage space I save by not shooting in RAW, I also feel comfortable shooting in JPEG since I do a lot of "editing in camera." What does that mean? When I take a photo, I look at it - if I don't like it (too light, too dark, etc.), I change my settings and keep shooting until it's right. When I edit on my computer later, it takes much less time than if I just shot a bunch of images without checking the quality in the moment. This gives me control over how much editing I have to do later. (Cons? I have less control over editing since less info is stored on a JPEG file - but like I said, I'm comfortable with this!)
If you're shooting for fun, your options are up to you. If you're shooting for a client, they might ask which format you're using. You may have to have a conversation with them about which format(s) you use and why.
Just remember - weigh the pros and cons since it is UP TO YOU.
If you're indoors and feel like you can't get great natural lighting, head to a window and use a reflector - no flash involved!
Reflectors make a HUGE difference - and are a cheap way to achieve lighting needs.
If you're looking for a reflector, you've got options!
A big thanks to Megan, owner of Studio 614 (where we shot the video!), for being a model and helping create the video. :)
If I can answer any questions, feel free to email me or comment below!
Writing and vlogging to entertain, educate, expose, and encourage.
A few of my favorite shots, available for purchase for both personal and commercial use. SEE GALLERY
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