If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve made a switch to photographing my jewelry on myself. (This is partly because I’m the most convenient model I have and partly because my IG followers respond better to pictures of me than pictures of other people.)
Recently, I spent some time photographing one of my one of a kind necklaces with a few different outfits. And that photo shoot (which lasted less than an hour) yielded an embarrassment of riches.
In fact, I was able to create five different blog posts out of that one shoot.
And because I know many people struggle to come up with any blog post ideas, I thought I’d share a little about how I developed five ideas from a single photo shoot.
But first, I want to talk about why I even bothered turning these images into blog posts in the first place.
Admittedly, I did shoot these images first and foremost with Instagram in mind. But as I mentioned in a previous post, since fewer and fewer followers tend to see posts on Instagram (thanks, algorithm), I prefer to find ways to get even more mileage out of the content I create for Instagram.
And one of the best ways to do that is to post images to my blog. From there, I can pin those images to Pinterest (my preferred strategy for sharing my blog content, and my number one traffic source), share the blog posts on FB, and even email the blog post to my list. (If it makes sense. When I’m posting to my blog every day, I don’t send all of them to my list, because it would be overwhelming.)
Plus, unlike every other social platform, my blog is a space on the web that I own, which makes each post all the more valuable.
There’s one other thing I want to make clear here before I give you a few ideas on how to think this out for your own blog. When I talk about turning images into blog posts, I’m not talking about writing a novel. I’m talking about image heavy blog posts with a sprinkling of text. This was one of the biggest revelations of my Creative Live class on blogging – as artists and makers, we’re visual brands that can let our photography do most of the work when it comes to our blogs.
And this idea of turning one photo shoot into many blog posts doesn’t just apply to images on a model (like my example). And it certainly doesn’t apply just to jewelry. For example, if you make jewelry but can’t or don’t want to photograph on a model, you could plan a flat lay photo shoot and work through a few different styled settings. Or if you make a kids product, you could use this process to get the maximum amount of content out of a short session with your toddler models.
The most important thing is that you’re making the most out of your limited time by stretching a photo shoot as far as it can go. This is especially true if you don’t have a designated photo set-up (and have to go through a lot of trouble to set up for a shoot) or if you’re hiring a professional model or photographer (or both). Your goal should be to get the most out of every photo session so that you aren’t having to reshoot as often.
So with that in mind, here are five strategies to help you create the maximum amount of content (and turn those into blog posts) from any photo shoot:
1. Think about the content you want to create before the photo shoot.
Having some ideas about the type of blog posts you want to create will help give your photo shoot direction before you start. Maybe you want to create a post that gives some information (like this post I did on three ways to wear a necklace with a scarf) that requires you to get specific images out of the shoot. Or it might be as simple as knowing that you want to get five blog posts, so you think through five different outfits you could style with one necklace. (And each becomes a blog post.)
Thinking through your posts in advance ensures you have enough props (or wardrobe) to create a lot of content in your shoot. (Another example of this could be if you make ceramics, and you’re doing some shoots about styling a holiday table, you would want to make sure you have a variety of table cloths, flatware, and centerpieces to create a few different looks.) The more options you have during a photo shoot, the easier it will be to turn those into different, interesting content.
2. But leave room for experimentation.
That said, I don’t recommend going into a photo shoot feeling so rigid that you can play around and experiment. Sure, you want to have a plan. (Especially if you’re paying for help during the shoot.) But you also want to keep an eye out for unexpected combinations or compositions. If you have a different idea, give yourself a few minutes to experiment.
This is actually whey I like to bring a list (from my planning above) to a shoot. That way, if I get distracted by another idea, I can indulge it, but then come back to my list to make sure I’m not missing anything I really wanted to get.
3. Decide if your images should live on the product page in your online store or in a blog post.
When you’re a maker, often times your photo shoots will have to do double duty, because not only are you trying to shoot images for your blog, but you’ve also got to shoot images of your product for your online store. Once again, this means thinking through the types of images you need to get out of a photo shoot.
My general rule of thumb is that I stick to closer cropped images of my jewelry being worn (usually no face) on my product pages, and wider images (styled shots with more of my face and outfit) become blog posts. (And those blog posts then direct readers to my online store, where they can purchase.)
There’s no rule that says you can’t post the same image on a blog and product page, but when you’re producing lots of images, it’s important to have an idea of what you want to use where.
4. Limit your blog posts to 4 or 5 images.
Just because you shot it all at one time doesn’t mean you need to dump a million images into a single blog post. Most people online have short attention spans, so even with little text, they’re unlikely to scroll through a ton of images in a single blog posts. Instead, try to limit posts to four or five images. This is enough to show some variation within a theme, but keeps the reader from getting too bored.
And if you don’t have four or five images of a single idea, there’s nothing wrong with posting less. A single great image and short caption can be just as strong of a blog post. (After all, Instagram was built around that very idea.)
Limiting the number of images you use in a single blog post is the easiest way to force yourself to think creatively and get multiple blog posts out of each photo shoot. (And multiple blog posts mean multiple pages, which mean different keywords and more content for Google and Pinterest to crawl, which means more chances for you to be found in search.)
5. Look for ways to group your images thematically.
Once you’ve wrapped your photo shoot, then it’s time to go through all your images to develop blog post ideas. If you’re just creating blog post based on images (rather than blog posts that are intended to teach/show the reader something), you’ll want to think about themes you can use to group the images together.
You might choose to do a different blog post for each outfit you’ve styled. Or maybe you want to do a post showing all the different cups in your new ceramics line. Or maybe it’s all your different products that are available in the color red. Themes can be based on almost anything, and the more creative you are with different ways of grouping, the more blog post ideas you’ll be able to generate.
If you’re stuck for ideas on how to generate themes, spend some time browsing blogs in your industry (like home decor or fashion blogs) or even just looking at various blog posts you find on Pinterest.
I also recommend keeping a list of themes and blog post ideas that come up as you’re looking at your images. Once you get started thinking about your images as potential blog content, you’ll be surprised at how many new ideas you start to generate!
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If you need some help on the photography side of content creation (particularly if you make a wearable product like jewelry, scarves, bags, hats, or clothes), be sure to check out my new class, Market Your Selfie. In it, I’ll show you how to create massive amounts of content (that you can use on your blog, social media, product pages, and email marketing) using yourself as your model. (Even if you currently hate pictures of yourself!) Early bird registration is now open, click here for all the details!