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LOVE YOUR BLOG | LAURA WINSLOW | CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAHPER

Guest Contributor | Laura Winslow

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Tips_to_Love_Your_Blog_Laura_Winslow

TAKE A STEP BACK

As a creative person, you likely get tired of things fairly easily. Many people begin to hate blogging (or never learn to love it in the first place), or quit blogging all together simply because they become bored with their own blog. It looks the same, you are doing the same thing for every blog post, which in turn leads you to blogging less and less, which then causes the snowball effect of losing any kind of momentum or following that you had. When this happens, it is all too easy to begin to feel like you are blogging for little ol’ you…oh, and maybe your loyal mother.

So, then what happens?

The excuses.

I don’t have time. No one comments anyway. Who reads blogs anymore? I’m frustrated. I’m bored. I am sooo sick of the way my blog looks, I need a change. I don’t really know what to blog about. The list goes on and on, am I right?

The bottom line is that yes, people still do read blogs, and not just any people. People that want to book sessions and spend money with you. When I blog consistently, my session inquiries are significantly higher than when I take a break from blogging. I mean, it’s like the magic blogging fairy visits me, people. Blog a session–>Google’s eyes open and take note—>My website + blog are listed higher on the Google Search Engine rankings—>my inbox is flooded with session inquires from potential clients.

So, don’t you want to love blogging?

Tip #1 : take a step back and evaluate your bloggity blog. Some questions to ask yourself:

–Do I love the design?

–Is my blog easy to navigate?

–Does it look clean and neat?

–Does my blog accurately represent my brand?

–Am I making the most out of my blog and the resources available to me?

–Am I realistic about my blog and the time I have to spend on it?

–Do I know what I want out of my blog (more clients, act as a portfolio, to share with family, to journal, to make money as a blogger, to inspire…)?

These are just some of the things you should ask yourself as you take a step back and really give a good, hard look at your blog. Don’t be too hard on yourself, just be honest and real. It will help, promise.

CREATE A SPACE YOU LOVE THAT REFLECTS YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

Blog design is important. Think of your blog like your online home–you want it to appear inviting, fun, a place where people feel comfortable and where visitors will be excited to return and come back to. If your blog is not consistent with your overall brand and style, you will want to look into resources and ways to change this. Things to look into are blog templates, custom blog designers, do-it yourself options…the list is endless and there are so many easy ways to customize your space to make it all about YOU! My blog is a free template from ProPhoto that, when installed, is rather boring, plain and black and white–all.over. It really couldn’t be more different than what it looks like now. Did I attend some super-duper blog designer school (do they exist?!)? Nope. Google is my BFF. ;) So, what that means is, you can make it happen, too!

Laura_Winslow_Photography_Blog

Which do you love sitting in more, a room you have yet to decorate, or a room that you have decorated and feel comfortable in? Build a blogging space that you love, and you will find that you will start to actually love coming to your little corner of the internet and helping it grow.

PLUG IT IN, PLUG IT IN!

Discover the awesomeness that WordPress plug-ins can add to your blog and your life and put them to use . Plug-ins can do everything from changing the amount of time you spend on a certain blogging task to gaining new followers and creating a client database to emailing a personalized thank you to each and every person who takes the time to comment on your blog. They’re like little magic fairies that can make your blogging life a heck of a lot easier + sometimes even a little bit more fun! I have found that when I can speed up or automate those repetitive blog tasks that I can concentrate on the parts of blogging that I truly love.

Want to know which ones you should be using? I’ll be sharing all of my fave and must-have blog plug-ins next week during the Chic Critique Girl’s Night Out LIVE Webinar, so be sure to join in the fun on Thursday, October 9th from 8-11 PM CENTRAL.

Blog_Plug_Ins_and_Tips

ORGANIZE YOUR TIME AND CONTENT

Decide what kind of Editorial Calendar will work for you–digital or paper? Once you do that, make a schedule, organize your time and create a set of steps that you will do to automate your blogging so that eventually, it all just flows easily. When you sit in front of your dashboard at your computer and have no idea what you will write about, when you’ll post it or how to start, it all seems a bit overwhelming. Once you start blogging on a regular basis and with a true organized schedule, you just feel…relief, comfort and a true desire for cultivating your blog. Remember, if you want to watch your blog grow, you must remember to water it and give it attention.

HAVE A SPACE TO MEMORY DUMP

Now, doesn’t that sound lovely? It’s so important, though, to have one central notebook or place where you can just jot down, at any time, blog ideas and notes. How many times have you had a fabulous idea and poof! Life just kind of got in the way of that genius goodness and it’s gone for-eva, eva! Write down any and all thoughts and plans you have for your blog and revisit it, and often. Once you have this spot of ideas, you’ll notice that you generally only write down ideas for things that you truly LOVE and are psyched about blogging about. Soon, there will be no stopping you, baby! You’ll be cranking out fantabulous blog posts that are met with loud cheers from Pinterest fans + suddenly go viral…okay, maybe this last part will happen, maybe not, but the idea is that you now LOVE your blog and are more inclined to write and use that blog! Now, chant it with me…love that blog! love that blog! love that blog! Try these tips + in no time at all, you’ll really believe it.

Want to dig deeper and get personalized advice and tips customized just for you? Hang out with me, your computer and drink of choice (you don’t even have to change out of your PJs!) and sign up for a One-on-One VIP Skype Mentoring Session and jump start your blog AND your biz! Email me for all the deets!

Skype Session with Laura WEB

 

I’d Love To Know : What Do YOU do to recharge your blogging batteries? Share your answers with us in the comments section!

Thanks so much to Chic Critique Forum for having me and for fabulous YOU for reading–now, head out + make your blog uber-fab!

xoxo,

laura

 

laura-bio Laura Winslow Photography

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Don’t forget to join Laura and the ladies for Girls Night out on Thursday, October 9th!

 

girlsnight

GNO-Chicspeakers

SPEAKERS:

  1. Laura Winslow- Blog Bling (blog plug-ins every girl must have!)
  2. Kara May- Creativity Roadblocks
  3. Leslie Kerrigan- Perfectly Styled Seniors
  4. Mary Macomber- Newborn Posing Secrets
  5. Kelli France- Instagram Marketing
  6. Sandy Puc- Successful Sales Strategies

PRICE: $69 for Chic members. $89 for everyone else.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

$69 for Chic Members:

(must sign up or sign-in first)

$89 for non-members:
Add to Cart

 

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Hurry! Registration for the Luxe Workshop is NOW OPEN!

Registration for the 2015 Luxe Workshop is now open!!! HURRY because we are already 25% sold out from last year’s attendees and we’re sending out newsletters to over 50,000 photographers so you don’t wanna miss your chance!

This is an AMAZEBALLS workshop for Senior Photographers (or even wannabe Sr photogs!) because you can build a KILLER portfolio in one day!

You’ll get to learn from Kelli France, Leah Remillet, Leslie Kerrigan, Courtney DeLaura & Brittney Kluse!

We’ll have NEW teaching topics, NEW gorgeous models (10!) & a NEW stylized theme (Gossip Girls!)

So if you are attending WPPI in February, this is a no-brainer!

Sign up before it’s too late at www.luxeworkshop.com 

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BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO MADE BY AN ATTENDEE:

TESTIMONIALS FROM LAST YEAR:

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“As soon as I saw the opportunity to attend a workshop and portfolio building experience in my own city, I knew I had to jump in and take advantage of it. Well of course it was the best purchase I have ever made! The images produced rocked, the education was invaluable, the friendships that are made are so special to me and the mentors I now have in this profession are priceless. I really found my “calling” during this workshop and decided to specialize in teens & high school seniors. I’ve got a long way to go still but that’s why I’m ready for LUXE, round 2!” -Priscilla Davis
“Do you need a fresh perspective on your High School Senior photography? Or do you want to get into the Senior market and have a place to start with your portfolio?Luxe was an amazing workshop for both the beginner in Seniors and also the veteran! Inspiring teachers, wonderful topics, a fabulous time, and new photography friends to boot!! I would totally recommend this workshop!” -Brooke Roundy 
“Thank you so much to all the teachers for the incredible information they shared. The styled shoots were fantastic. I walked away with not only exceptional images and the skills to replicate them, but also lifetime friendships. This is a must-attend workshop!” Susan Willis
“These are the best photos I have ever taken. This is the first time in a while that I love editing each and every one. Normally I get board and my adult ADD (self diagnosed) kicks in. Hey maybe I am not ADD after all, maybe I just hated trying to edit crappy photo sessions! LeslieCourtneyLeahKelli and Brittney can’t thank you enough for an amazing day.” -Rebecca Rosen
“What a fantastic group of women to learn from and have openly share their knowledge and experiences with all of us. They were all so gracious and kind. I still reach out to these women and get answers, advice and encouragement when I need it. If you are thinking twice about attending this workshop…don’t, you won’t regret it.” -Jackie Harley
“Thank you so much for such an amazing workshop. I loved everything about it! I’m having so much fun going through all my pics!” -Brooke Samuelian

 

REGISTER HERE >>

 

 

 

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KARA MAY’S FAVORITE LENSES AND WHY | CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER

Guest Contributor | Kara May

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MY FAVORITE LENSES AND WHY!

 

I get asked a lot what lenses are my favorite so I thought it would be beneficial to share a little about what lenses I love and why!

I’m a Canon girl and shoot with the Cannon 5D MkIII; all of my lenses are Canon USM lenses.  What’s USM and why is it important?  USM stands for ‘Ultra-Sonic Motor’.  It’s a unique technology that Canon has created with a quieter motor and a quicker auto focus speed than non-USM lenses.  But is this worth the extra cost?  I think so.  These lenses are a little heavier because cheaper plastic parts are replaced with metal parts in the USM lenses making them more durable but more importantly enabling faster, sharper focus.

Image 1

 

I’m a constant lens changer during sessions. I really wish I had 5 or 6 camera bodies to save time switching lenses.  Ha!  But my current go-to lens is my 50mm f/1.2 L.  It’s tack sharp and at that focal length there’s minimal lens distortion on close up, detailed shots.  I’m pretty smitten over it’s creamy bokeh too. It’s a great overall lens.

Keenan Kids 2014-04 50mm Eddings Girls 2014-12 50mm Eddings Girls 2014-02 bw 50mm Keenan Kids 2014-18 50mm Keenan Kids 2014-19 50mm Pink Indian_Sep172013_7054 50mm

 

To capture busy, fast little kids during shoots, the 24-70 f/2.8L is my go to lens.  Its zoom makes it so easy to get both wide angle shots as well as portraits.  This lens used to stay on my camera 90% of the time before I became a serial lens changer.  Since this is an f/2.8 lens, the DOF can be very shallow if I shoot wide open.  I tend to shoot wide open nearly 95% of the time.  If you’re a zoom person, this lens is a must have!

Brielle Mad Hatter 24-70

 

Another lens that has resurfaced in my bag is my 100mm Macro f/2.8.   Some people are shocked to hear that I don’t necessarily use this lens for macro shots.  I use it for pretty much every type of shot – landscape, portrait, and of course detail shots.   Although I have the non-L version of this lens it still has the USM motor that makes focusing easy and sharp.  The compression this focal length offers also makes it one of my favorite lenses to use during shoots. Desert My Kids Sept 2014_5994 100mm Desert My Kids Sept 2014_5729 100mm Boho Lost Dog Trail_4763 100mm Animal Masks & Boho_3562aaaaaaaaa Animal Masks & Boho_3254baa 100mm

 

I bought the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS-USM in the beginning of my photography career so I could capture a family from further away.  Being up too close with my 50mm or 24-70 didn’t allow a family or siblings to have natural interaction.  If I was further away and less involved, I could capture genuine, sweet moments of movement and interaction. This lens is HUGE and heavy but it’s worth it to get these intimate shots.

Stephanie Moore-31 70-200 Keenan 2013-04 70-200 Keenan 2013-01 70-200

 

I’m always craving additional ways to be creative as an artist, so I couldn’t resist including my Lensbaby Lenses in my line-up of favorite lenses.  I could write so much about Lensbaby since there’s so many creative uses for the lenses they offer, but I’ll keep it short.  I have the Composer Pro Sweet 35 Optic, Composer Pro Edge 80 Optic and the macro converters.   I have to admit, I was nervous about mastering the manual focus and being able to control my outcome.  But once I played around with it, I was addicted.  You control aperture with the rings, so that was different but easy to grasp.  This lens is a great outlet for those of you who feel a little stuck creatively.

Finally, I couldn’t live without my fisheye.  I’m a proponent of ensuring I meet my own creative needs as well as my clients photographic and artistic needs, so this lens gives me both.  I love the unique prospective it captures.  It skews the world in such a distinct way; I can’t help but love everything about it.  My clients like its funky perspective too, so I usually whip this out at the very end of the session for some relaxing, free-for-all, do whatever you want, photos.

lensbaby_Jan182014_6781-2 lensbaby lensbaby_Jan182014_683 lensbaby lensbaby a Grande Luxxe Eddings Girls 2014-01 bw lensbaby-1

I have several other lenses in my bag but the above are my current favorites.  I strongly urge those I mentor to change their lenses as much as possible and experiment and get creative.  Step outside of your comfort zone even though it’s so hard to do that sometimes.  I promise you, you’ll learn some new things and expand your creativity.   I’d love to hear what your favorite lenses are.  I have a ‘wish list’ and I’m sure some of your favorites are on my list.

kara-bio Kara May Photography

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Don’t forget to join Kara and the ladies for Girls Night out on Thursday, October 9th!

 

girlsnight

GNO-Chicspeakers

SPEAKERS:

  1. Laura Winslow- Blog Bling (blog plug-ins every girl must have!)
  2. Kara May- Creativity Roadblocks
  3. Leslie Kerrigan- Perfectly Styled Seniors
  4. Mary Macomber- Newborn Posing Secrets
  5. Kelli France- Instagram Marketing
  6. Sandy Puc- Successful Sales Strategies

PRICE: $69 for Chic members. $89 for everyone else.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

$69 for Chic Members:

(must sign up or sign-in first)

$89 for non-members:
Add to Cart

 

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