So, you’ve finally started your blog – yay you! If you haven’t and need that push, check out my post on how to start one. You’ve hit the publish button and are beginning to consistently create posts. You’ve gotten the basics down, so I wanted to share more tips on how to blog. These days, it’s really hard to find a blogger worth their salt whose photos and overall visual look isn’t of a certain quality. While including photos in content wasn’t a mandatory thing when I first started blogging (hello, I was the one with the funny bokeh background and text-only blog posts in the first year of my blog), it’s absolutely key now. Think about the three main blogs you follow, and how many of them first caught your eye because of the beautiful photos they displayed? Then think about Instagram. In the past two years, Instagram has overtaken social media heavyweights to become the top platform for sharing photos. If you’re thinking about blogging, or have been inspired to finally start yours already, then one of the next things to start getting into is your visuals. While mobile phones can take incredible shots, sometimes you want to have a certain look for your social media platforms or particular content and need that professional touch.
Finding a Photographer
I’ve been taking my own photos for my blog since the first time I finally decided to do away with the bokeh design background. I then had an affair with my Instagram husband (read: real husband), which was great because I didn’t have to pay him and I was happy with what he took. But time just didn’t allow for him to continue, so I had to figure something else out. I couldn’t find a photographer I could regularly collaborate with to help me with my content. I didn’t have the money to pay them, and unfortunately, all of my creative friends were copywriters, or designers – not aspiring photographers who could do me a favour. If you are like me and don’t know of anyone who’ll do a trade exchange with you, it can take a really long time, and a lot of money to find someone to take your photos the way you like it and can afford. And I know not everyone is creatively inclined and need a little help sometimes.
Let me tell you a story. Late last year, I decided I was finally ready to up my photography on all of my platforms, but particularly on my blog and Instagram. I went on a short photography course which helped me:
1. up my own photo taking skills (wonder if you’ve noticed)
2. be able to identify a good photo
3. select who I wanted to take my photos
Then early this year, I began a long and exhausting search for photographers to capture my content. I finally found someone whose fee was within my budget, I loved his style and he seemed cool chatting over the phone. We scheduled a test shoot, and only the day before, realised that he was based in Durban. Duh. Back to the drawing board. I kept wishing for an easier way to find someone capable – without having to troll through the internet and Instagram to find visual content that I liked, then figure out who took it, then contact them, then possibly not hear from them again or that they were too expensive for me. Let’s be real, simply googling ‘photographer’ can get you some dodgy results.
I stumbled on Tap Snapp the other day on Instagram. Basically, it’s a platform that answers all of the issues I had while searching for a photographer. Tap Snapp was created by a photographer to bring together photographers and clients in an easy way. It does all the work for you and has hundreds of photographers across the country already signed up with them.
How does it work?
Go to Tap Snapp. Search for a photographer based on what kind of photos you need. Each photographer is categorised by their skills and style. So for me, I’d choose the ‘Influencer Campaigns’ category which is very different from weddings. Put in the date, time and location you want the shoot to happen. A list of photographers who match your criteria will show up. What’s awesome is that their rates are displayed upfront so you don’t have to bother anyone whose fees are beyond your budget. Select the photographer, then confirm your shoot. The photographer will only be paid once you’ve seen your finished photos. Many photographers only release your photos once you pay in full – and you may not be happy with them.
Just announced you’re pregnant? Select the ‘newborn and maternity’ category. Going to Durban for the holidays and want to book a family shoot but aren’t familiar with the city? Select that from your menu and meet your Durban-based photographer there. Your photos are delivered quickly via digital sharing or on a disc if you prefer. They also send out reminders with details of your shoot and organise everything with the photographer on your behalf. So all you need to focus on is showing up and looking cute 😉
Are these blogging tips helping you? What would you like help with next?
All photography by Tap Snapp.