Magic Monday: Balancing the blogs

So I’ve kind of illuded here and here that I think blog stalking photographers can be a little detrimental to the aspiring photographer.  Why?

1.  It oft times limits our creativity into thinking we should be doing things a certain way.

2.  We compare ourselves and feel like everyone is surely a better photographer than we are (forgetting that everyone only shows the very best work).

3.  It sort of eats your time up.  And I like to still live a real life.

Not that I’ve ever done any of those things.

Okay… Confession, I’ve done them too much to count, which is why I had to take massive action a little while back.

I love google reader for making it so simple to keep up on hundreds of blogs consistently.  Anytime I would see some impressive work of a photographer I’d copy their blog address into my reader and they’d be added to the bajillion photographers that were already there.

Pretty soon bad things started to happen.

I got a little addicted to google reader. I started to feel bad about myself when looking at some blogs.  I’d have moments of neglecting my family or other important responsibilities because I was reading blogs.  I would limit my creativity for photography to be along the same lines as everything else I was seeing posted regularly.  I even crafted blog posts of my own that followed a rather boring format of a fluffy intro and pasting pictures, because surely that was the acceptable method by real photographers.

Truth be told, I got so annoyed with it all, and got annoyed with myself that I actually quit blogging most of my sessions. Something needed to change.

Thus the massive spring cleaning of my google reader.

All blogs were deleted from my list if they met any of the following criteria:

-they were boring.

-they showed lifeless images

-the images were trendy copies of everyone else.

-I had negative feelings or thoughts about myself while viewing

-I had negative feelings or thoughts about the photographer while viewing

-I was only following because I felt like I was “supposed” to be following this person because they were in the “in-crowd”… who cares?!

-They were in my local market (ummm way to easy for me to compare myself.  I’d much rather be friends than competitors and for me I do that better without following blogs.)

-they were wedding oriented (only because I don’t shoot weddings)

-they didn’t create any value for me

So what stayed?
Blogs that I felt gave me value for my time through any of the following criteria

-Education, entertainment, inspiration, humor.

There’s no need to fill our time following blogs that do not create value for us, and worse yet, that feed negativity in our hearts or our minds about ourselves or others.

We have so much more room in our life to receive our own inspiration and be more effective humans going about doing good if we only feed ourselves the good stuff.

Its like nutrition for our minds.  When we eat junk, we feel like junk.  When we read and follow junk, we feel crummy and uninspired.

What we take in influences what we put out.

I got rid of the junk, and can’t even tell you how much better I feel and how its changed my output in more than just photography.

Blogs aren’t bad.  They can be incredible tools.  We just have to be careful when choosing our blog diet 🙂  And sometimes we need to do a little trimming of the fat.

Thoughts? How do you keep blogs in check?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She is a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables and has goals to someday bike the Confederation Trail on Prince Edward Island as a family… stopping by Green Gables of course for a little sip of Raspberry Cordial.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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11 Responses

  1. Good for you Brooke! Though I’m guessing my blog may have dropped off the list ;-). What I did was find someone who creates a great list of blog posts each Friday and read those instead of combing through 100’s of blog posts to find the best ones! (oh wait, that’s your Weeks Top Review)

  2. Great post! I only add photo blogs to my list that are really inspiring, and create photos that I would love to look at. I keep the blogs where I actively am curious to see what they’ve come up with now. I keep yours in my reader because I feel like I learn when I read your posts. Keep it up!

  3. Vince my friend, you actually are still in my google reader with 3 unread posts marked 🙂 I try not to read unless I can comment 🙂 coming soon!

  4. Brooke, I love reading your blogs… i learn so much, and tonight was not any different. I really needed it. I am someone who likes to go against the grain, but I catch myself wondering if I shouldn’t do some of these trends..are they better than me b/c they follow whats in, or do I have the confidence to stand apart and create my own trend that works for me and IS me. I am taking your advice and doing some blog cleaning..and look or keep the ones that encourage building up and growth instead of joining the band wagon. Thanks!

  5. Ah, yes. I limit the number of blogs I follow to the the number that fit on my iGoogle homepage- about 12. If a new one interests me then I delete one that has not made an impression on me in awhile.

  6. Brooke, I love this post. Blog stalking can definitely prove so dangerous to us un so many ways, most of which you listed. As a new photographer, I have found too much blog stalking is definitely something I try to stay away from. I don’t I will always find a reason I am not good enough. I say this to say, thanks for sharing your observations. Glad I am not alone.

  7. I. Love. You. Period. Thank you for your wisdom and all that you do. 🙂 It’s also helped me to recognize if i’ve been doing great, and suddenly sad/discouraged/overwhelmed/anxious whatever, to recognize what was the trigger and why. That helped me realized about changing the way i viewed our business and what i was trying to achieve for others. It’s a great freeing feeling. 🙂 Can’t wait to talk again soon.

  8. Well said. I actually deleted all of my blog roll and watch t.v…and find inspiration in other ways…like a 365 day project or a 52 week project. Love them. And its all my own. Its what I see.

  9. great thoughts everyone! I like your idea Samantha… I think for every blog I add, I need to take one away 🙂 We need balance in our life anyways, and we can usually immediately determine which blog isn’t useful to us.

    Here’s my final thought on on this… I’ve heard it said many times that we should choose our friends wisely. That our success in life and business is largely in part due to who we choose to surround ourselves with. We are encouraged to surround ourselves with positive people who encourage and support and inspire us. I think it goes the same for those we choose to hang out with online. If they inspire, support and encourage us, we’re going to use that opportunity to better ourselves. If they don’t… well, we need to ditch the bad friends 🙂

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