Why I started my blog (And why maybe you should, too)
Long story short, I realized that I wasn't very good at writing about my work.
I could talk about my photography well enough over drinks with friends, where I could get in to how intimate photographs are powerful ways of re-shaping how people see themselves, why over-retouching in contemporary photography gives people unrealistic expectations for their own appearances, and my own thoughts about the male gaze and how it can be helpful sometimes… but when it came to clearly describing it in plain text for strangers I would not meet in person, I struggled.
I would try to be succinct in my descriptions, but would end up not saying enough. I’d fall back on describing my process as simply following my intuition, which is true to a degree, but misrepresents the amount of thought and time I have put into my practice over the years. Or sometimes I’d fall back on making a pithy statement, like “I make people look good”… which again is true, I try to make people look amazing in my work, but that’s only part of it, and not always the end-goal of my work or even what I am trying to accomplish.
For a long time I gave myself the excuse that if I was good at writing, I wouldn’t be a photographer. This was BS— I am good at writing, and it has nothing to do with why I got into photography.
Talking about one’s work is a skill, and like any other skill, you need constant practice to improve. I decided to start up a blog so that I could have a reason to force myself to sit down and put my thoughts to text somewhere outside of discussion groups on forums or Facebook. Writing in my blog about my thoughts about photography, how I work, what I think about when I work, and so on, has really helped me get better at discussing my process. My essays and articles such as How I Take Intimate Portraits have made me really think about what I am doing and how, which is important because I have been doing it so long that it feels like second nature at this point and I take it for granted now. This lets me explain my process so that fans, clients, other photographers, and you can better understand how I work, and is excellent practice for me to think about and talk about my work at this time.
The second benefit of a blog is it allows me to share my work that would be deemed completely unacceptable by the powers that manage social media networks. I can post artwork involving nudity or essays that are several pages long, without worrying about it being flagged as being “against community standards” or having it glossed over and forgotten within hours. I can share and write things that will be available for viewers for years to come, and serve as a reliable way to see my work and track the growth of my style and thought processes. In the future, I expect to look back on this as a time in the middle of my growth as a photographer, and maybe get a laugh or some other insight. For these reasons, I think that anyone, especially artists, should start a personal blog on their own website or at the very least a private journal.
On a side note, making a blog and updating it regularly also has the added benefit of being fantastic for my website itself. Google’s SEO is quite favorable to websites that add regular updates, and since I started updating my blog regularly, the website traffic I have gotten has grown at an incredible rate. Last month in 2019 my website got more unique viewers than in all of 2018, and each month has had a steady increase in viewership. Most of my views still come from social media, and I usually make a facebook post announcing a new blog update, and keep my blog’s link in my Instagram profile as well. I still need to work on getting my photos and writings out to the broader community, such as other blogs, websites, and magazines, but for now, that’s how it is. Again, I hope this helps readers, and this will be something for me to look back on.
Thanks for reading, I know its been a bit of a departure from my normal discussion of art, and if it has helped you, or if you have any further questions, feel free to shoot me a message. I always love hearing from people and making new friends on the internet.