Too personal?

I read this post today on the The Ten Biggest Website Mistakes by Photographers (Tough Love for Some Photographers), and although I think it is fabulous and details some vital things for people to consider for their websites and blogs…

The final point made me uncomfortable.

The type of uncomfortable that is confused between arguing the point in both directions and leaves me wondering about who is really right.  Since I talked about following blogs for Magic Monday this week, I thought perhaps I’d throw out a question about blog content…

should blog content be strictly professional? Have a little personal mixed in?  Or balanced between the two?

This author seems to think there is a need for strict segregation and is bothered by posts that are not just strictly business.

What do you think?

The rebel in me is now going to post some personal pictures:)  And despite the authors assumption that personal postings infer that you don’t have a lot going on in your business life, I’m just going to politely smile, and be happily content that we still made the time to play outside, go on a walk, and build some memories.

In addition, a little side-note to my blog cleansing confession… the photographers work whom I absolutely LOVE the very most?  My favorite images usually happen to be images of their own children and their own life.  There is just something so absolutely refreshing to me about not having to see everything perfect styled and staged all the time.  Truth is powerful.

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She loves Nutella on pretzels, making her bed, and kissing boys–whom live in her home 🙂

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

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22 Responses

  1. Funny, I got to this post right after reading the post that you are referring too. I happen to agree with you. I want to know a little about my photographers personal life, see what they can do with their own kids, and feel more like a friend to them then a total stranger when I meet them for the first time! I think that your blog is a way for people to get to know you better. I believe Jasmine Star once said, your website is your handshake and your blog is how people get to know you. I am not sure exactly how it went, but something to that affect! I want people to know a little bit about me, not too much though, so I try and keep it very professional! By the way, he is so cute!!

  2. ummm yeah.. I just read that article too. I personally find myself bored stiff with the blogs that are always clients… it’s not personal at all, and I lose interest fast. I much prefer posts about their own children and how they make photography go to work for them in their personal life. I guess it just goes to show that you can’t please everyone… everyone likes different things- and no one is forcing anyone to read anyone’s blog.. so blog whatever you want, and you’ll attract the people who like that. That’s my opinion. (I did agree with her on lots of other things that I always see though.)

  3. Personally I think it all comes down to your brand. How do you want to be seen? Who are your clients?
    In my experience, with my clients, they love photos of my daughter. But I also tend to work with families, so it’s only natural for them to see photos of my own family. Personally I enjoy seeing photos of buzzy.
    I guess my biggest beef with so many of these types of lists is that they assume everyone wants to be the same type of photographer that they are…

  4. Brooke! Um, did he grow like 5 inches over night?! He looks like a little boy all the sudden!! SO cute! And he’s SO proud!! I love it.

    Now my 2 cents – well… I’m with you and I think Lynn hit the nail on the head. I think it’s important to find a balance, and I’ve found many photographers that have found that balance (in my opinion). And I’m with you – I like reading personal stuff and that happens to be a lot of my favorite content!

    I, too, read this article, and immediately had the same thoughts! haha

  5. Funny, I read that post today too, and thought exactly the same thing (although I disagreed with more than that point). I visited the author’s blog and found that it’s not one I’d frequent because of the lack of personality and the sterility of the site. I guess part of it is the differentiation between – do I want clients who hire me solely for my photographs? or do I want to connect with people on a deeper level? Honestly, I probably won’t win on technique… and since I’m trying to brand myself as someone who captures authentic emotion, I think the writing and personalization of the blog has to reflect authenticity too…Hence the incorporation of personal images as well.

  6. I personally love photography BLOGS that are personal! All the others, I don’t follow really. I think Lynn quoted Jasmine Star and I agree. I especially love personal photos on blogs. Websites-maybe not. But, that’s why they are two different “sites”. In fact, one of my favorite blog posts of yours was your 30th birthday-personal pictures, story, & it was fun!

  7. All business is too boring! I WANT a mix. I most certainly hope that the photographer that I hire isn’t SO busy that they don’t have time to capture the important things going on IN THEIR OWN FAMILY!! Major FAIL if that is true! Looks like you had a fun walk! Way to rebel!

  8. As someone who is not a photographer, I have to say I agree with almost every point in that post. Even the last one. I don’t think she was saying “never share anything about your life”–but rather, don’t make your business blog and your family blog one and the same. I agree with that completely. For example, I know someone with a scrapbook business blog, but she posts stuff about her family all over in it. I love to scrapbook and love her stuff, but I don’t go because I have to sort through too much to get to the business side.

    As a photographer, I think it is great to post photos you take of your own family; that is relevant to your business. But a blog aimed at a wide audience is typically most successful when focused on a niche. When you start dancing around every niche, you lose readers. If your blog is a business blog, you also lose clients.

    That is my opinion. But I also have seven different blogs I rather regularly post to so that I keep things niche-specific. One is big, one is respectable, and the rest are just for fun (including family blog).

  9. i have to admit… if photograhers blogs are all buisness… I don’t follow them. what is the point of the blog if we, the readers, can’t get to know you, the photographer and blogger?

  10. What is so funny to me about this is that I often hear the opposite thing. I often hear that on my own blog I don’t post enough personal information – that people don’t know much about me. I do post personal photos but mostly of my dogs. In fact, I have a personal post saved on my blog right now waiting to be posted. I do agree that there is a balance. I don’t think that I want to read SUPER personal information – but agreed that my favorite blogs have personal posts in them. In fact…maybe I should go update my blog now 🙂

  11. Personally, if the blog is suppose to be professional and all they post is persona, then that’s not right (unless then are taking a break from the professional side for some reason and have stated that on the blog). I like we people include some personal post. It makes them seem more human. What better way to find out what the person is like then to read about them through their own words.

  12. I have to go read that list (i was kind of putting it off since I am probably making some of them – ha!) and I love when photogs share about their real life. It makes them more REAL. So I totally disagree on that last point and haven’t even read it! HA! Did you ever hear what Jasmine Star says about all that? (she said it way before this article came out) but she said she shares personal stuff about herself with a purpose – she is looking to attract clients who would be friends with her, who’s life would be similar or tastes because those are the clients she wants to shoot for. If they don’t like her personality and tastes she doesn’t WANT them as clients. Which when I read that was totally like AHA! You would want to shoot weddings of people who’s tastes are like yours so they like the pictures you take. She said with every post she is looking to either attract or repel. Totally makes sense to me!

  13. If there is one thing I’ve learned from all the pro-blogging conferences I’ve been to it’s that people want to know who you are! They admire your work and want to know what your life is like that would inspire that work. People think that the internet is impersonal, but it’s not! Great relationships (both personal & professional) are formed through interactions online, and you can’t get that if you’re never showing any of yourself. And no one want to feel like they’re being spammed by you. All work and no fun can drive people away, no matter how great your products or images.

  14. My oh my! What amazing comments and insight! I’m learning a ton! Thank you all for your discussion! I may just have to make another blog post out of all that I’m discovering! Thanks for the conversation!

  15. I think it’s important to have personal posts. I think it lets your clients, or past clients, learn more about you as a person so they can connect with you on a level that isn’t strictly professional. When I read others’ personal posts, after a while it makes me feel like we’re friends.

  16. Thanks Kelly! I just saw that post, and it looks like other people felt the same! I’m glad. Though I really love all the commentary. It provides some good perspective and intent for which to approach blogging.

  17. I think personal blogging would only be a bad thing if that’s pretty much all you did. If every blog post was a photoshoot with your kids it wouldn’t seem professional at all and I get that. But she’s definitely missing the boat if she thinks ANY personal sharing is a bad thing! I no longer follow photographers without a strong voice to their writing or photogs unwilling to get personal. I follow photogs who I feel like I could be friends with … who I laugh with and learn from … because they are willing to get personal. The photog who shares nothing more than “Isn’t this a cute family! I had such a fun time taking their pictures” in every single blog post before sharing a photoshoot is just downright boring.
    Maybe she should read Fast Track Photographer and get on board with the new way of marketing your You-Niqueness 🙂

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