One of my favorite things to do is read other photographer’s blogs, watch webinars and learn about the business I’m trying to build from the wonderful people who have come before me and kicked major butt. I’ve learned some AWESOME information that’s translated into building a more sound financially built business and a better creative business. There are so many things that come up in these blogs, webinars, and discussion boards that I agree with but there’s one thing I can’t seem to get comfortable with time and time again: curating my Instagram feed.
Now, I’m sure you’re sitting there having one of three reactions: 1) “What is she talking about and why do I care?” 2) “Well, I hate her Instagram feed so it’s a shame she disagrees” or 3) “Why are we spending a whole blog post talking about Instagram?” I’m writing about this because Instagram is a growing market for photographers, calligraphers, planners and creatives alike. It’s a great way to grab someone’s attention because let’s be totally honest, who sits and reads lots of things these days? Instagram is AWESOME for being that thing you scroll through when you’re waiting, you’re tired or you’re bored. You see something you like, you read the quick caption (maybe) and hit the cute little heart button. Am I right? (I know I’m right because that’s how I used to use Instagram!). But, now- being a boss lady and working to get what I do out in the world, I can see how useful Instagram really is and I want to use it well! Many other professionals in the field talk about using Instagram and how their inquiries skyrocketed once they started curating their posts and feeds.
Curating means exactly what you think – they choose to only post pictures that fit a certain feel, style and even color. This means they only showcase parts of their work that match their absolute style. They only share personal pictures if they’ve found the right wall to hold their outstretched coffee mug in front of. They only wear certain colors or post a photo that’s not “in their feed” and then take it down an hour later. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to bash on anyone who chooses to do this. It may work for them, and that’s FANTASTIC – you go, other boss ladies!!!! But, for me? It just feels wrong.
It feels wrong because I want my clients to know who I am. And that means late night selfies with my fur babies in poor lighting because it makes me happy to see them smiling as only a fur baby can. It means travel photos that are blue because they’re the ocean and not white or coral like my logo and my brand. It means family shots at Christmas and more selfies with my husband just because we can. It means sharing my business photos amidst the chaos that is the life I lead. I know that when I post my professional photos on Instagram they look GREAT and consistent, but it doesn’t make my heart break that my feed isn’t perfectly colored or styled correctly. It makes my heart sing to know I am sharing WHO I really am with the people I’m trying to connect with, which includes my friends and family, former clients, current clients and hopefully future ones. If you know anything about me, you know I’m not perfect. I don’t wear the best outfits. I don’t have a perfectly styled home or studio. I’m messy. I’m shy. I have two cats and a dog – our house can’t possibly be styled every moment. I think I’m a great crafter but I’m usually a DIY disaster on legs (and that’s OKAY!). I’m a new homeowner and wife, and mom. I love Mickey Mouse, pizza and wine. I don’t want to spend 20 minutes finding the right light for a selfie to show you that I’m in my pretend office space because I work full time in a day job and don’t have room for a home office right now. I want to take a picture that means something to me and share it. I want to connect with you-whoever you are out there-on a personal, emotional and REAL level through the pictures and moments I share on Instagram – or on any platform for that matter.
This is why I wrote this post – to share with you a conscious decision I’ve made for my business. I hope you don’t hold it against me that I don’t filter my life for you. I hope you don’t shy away from me as a creative because I believe in the messiness of life and understand that life isn’t perfectly curated. I hope that you reach out to me because you love pizza and wine and real, true life – not because my Instagram feed was the perfect shade of white.
See some of my other posts for small business owners:
Featured image thanks to SC Stockshop