When Should You Hire a Photographer for Your Blog?
When should you hire a photographer for your blog?
L I F E . S T Y L E D .
A little about my background: I taught myself photography by photographing content for my food blog in 2010. It was a simple time, when I'd conceptualize, shop for, cook, photograph, and post all in one day. Now, most bloggers shoot multiple looks at once for multiple blog posts, planning out their content weeks, or even months in advance. The ideal scenario would be to literally have an "Instagram husband," where your days are dedicated to being inspired, creating content, and capturing images as the inspiration strikes. Some bloggers do have an "Instagram husband" who is someone that's available to shoot them basically wherever, whenever. Other people buy a nice camera, like a Canon Rebel, and hand it off to their friends or other bloggers to get a shot they need. Shooting with a s/o or a friend or a fellow blogger are all scenarios I encourage, especially when you're just starting out as a blogger, but when should you make the jump to invest in a photographer for your blog?
1. If you run your blog as a business
Paying a professional photographer is an investment, but it should be an investment that will yield you a tidy return. Ways to run a blog as a business are by making commission off the clothes or items in the photos, or by partnering with brands to do sponsored posts. Depending on your aesthetic, or on the guidelines of the sponsored posts, more often than not you will need high-resolution photos that will go on your own blog and that can possibly be used by the brand paying you to post. Having consistent, clear, professional photos helps bloggers and influencers stand out as being able to produce professional content that make brands excited to work with you.
2. If you need images ideal for each social media site
There's nothing like shooting an outfit or a blog post and looking back at the photos and realizing there's no photos that fit just right on Instagram without cropping your feet off awkwardly; or that there aren't any photos you can use for the banner image of your blog post; or that you have a million full-body photos, but you forgot to get a detail shot of the purse. Photographers that work with bloggers for a living usually know where the images are going, that you need enough options for each place the photo could end up, and that they all need to be clear, in focus, and on-brand. This ranges from Instagram photos, to Pinterest crops, banner images, Instagram stories. Negative space, color palettes, detail shots, campaign references. It's our job to know what you need without you having to know how to articulate it.
3. If you prefer having plenty of options
And we do it in less time it will take you to get the same amount of photos. If you're paying good money for a photographer, you're basically outsourcing the photography and editing portion of your blog - this means you're making that part of blogging easier for yourself. When you hire a photographer, you should be getting plenty of options for photos, not just chancing into five good ones over the course of thirty minutes. We get the shots, we edit them for you, and send them off for you to choose your very favorites to post. (I can't speak for every photographer, but I will say you have great odds of end up with more clear, well-composed photos than with shooting with an amateur.)
we get the shot - and then some
4. If you are looking to save time
When well-planned, photographers can shoot anywhere from 3-6 looks in one hour, delivering plenty of edited photos for each outfit. There are a lot of amazing "Instagram husbands" that can get great photos, but if you're short an IH and need to create content for your week's worth of posts, it's wise to invest in hiring a photographer for an hour and getting it all done at once, than shooting sporadically.
5. If you're looking to curate your brand
Shooting with one or a few professional photographers, can help you hone in on your brand by guiding and being a part of your creative process to give you consistent photos. This can be achieved without a professional photographer (all of these points can, technically), but it's our job to confer with clients to make sure the photos we deliver represent not only our brand as photographers, but mostly the blogger's brand. Sometimes it's as simple as picking up on the blogger's vibe, but it can become a more intimate relationship where your photographer is invested in helping you stand out with your personal brand.
Whether you shoot with friends, or consistently hire a photographer, or even do a hybrid of both, the most important thing is that you enjoy it and are able to create something true to you. All forms of blogs, blog photography, etc. are great, but if you're wondering if you should make the jump and invest in a photographer for you blog, hopefully these five points will help you decided if it's the right choice for you.
To learn more about how we can help you build your brand as a blogger or small business, click here.