If you read a lot of blogs like I do (ahem…150+) then most likely you're reading them in an RSS reader. This digest format is super convenient and
makes keeping up with dozens of blogs a snap. But the format also has its
drawbacks. One issue is how easy it is to lose track of who’s post you’re
Has this ever happened to you? You’re reading a blog post
someone has written about their latest knitting project and then they refer to
their baby and you think, “Wait a minute? When did she have a baby?” and you
have to scroll up and double check whose post this is anyway. Oh! It was
someone else entirely! Whoops.
Invite Us To Connect
From time to time we do actually click over from our RSS
reader to a blog itself, whether it’s to leave a comment on a post, or to check
something out, and when we do we are rewarded with a more personalized
experience. A color scheme, a banner, and page layouts pop out at us and we see
a bit more of who the author really is.
My friend, Carolyn, took this shot for me. She's a professional photographer. In exchange I spent an evening talking with her about what she should write about on her blog.
When a blog reader is actually on your blog you should treat
them to some photos of you. Whether the blog reader is a fellow
crafter, or the editorial director at a publishing house, or an illustration
agent, or your neighbor, they all want to see your face, your hands, and your
studio no matter how messy it may be. These
are real people who are there looking at what you’ve done and they want to
connect with you. Make it easy!
You can increase your blog’s power to connect with readers
10-fold, 100-fold even, by posting a good head shot and at a studio shot of you
in action doing your craft. Put it in a prominent spot on your blog that's easy and intuitive to find. We will be much less likely to forget about you if we have seen what you look like. It's true!
But I Hate Having My Picture Taken!
Yeah, me too. But you need to get over it. Chances are you
know someone who takes great pictures. Maybe they’re a professional
photographer with fancy lenses and equipment or maybe they’re your mom with a
point-and-shoot and a good eye for composition. Either way, schedule a time for
them to visit you in your studio for a photo shoot.
Clean up a little, but not too much. Wear something you
love. Smile and be confident and look busy. Get out the needle and thread and
look like you’re stitching something, dip that paintbrush in some paint and add
a finishing touch to your latest canvas. If you blog about your children, make
something with them and have them in the shot. Get lots of shots so
you’ll have a lot to choose from.
As people it is only natural for us to want to see your face
in order to connect with you. It may seem self-promotional because it is. And
that’s totally fine. We want to know who
is talking to us.
People Who Do It Right
Here are some examples of artists and crafters with
especially engaging “in the studio” shots on their About page. Maybe you've heard of them, and maybe you haven't. Spend a few minutes looking at their photos and I think you'll see what I mean about ease of connection:
Jean Van’t Hul (scroll down a bit)
Click on your own blog now. Do you have an About page? If
you don’t, you need to make one. And if you do, is there a photo there? Can we
see your eyes? Is it clear that you’re a maker? I’ll bet you could get some
new, better photos taken. It's quick and, relatively speaking, pretty easy to do and it makes a huge difference.
When you visit a blog with a great shot of the author how is
your experience different than visiting a site with no image at all?
And do you know of artists or crafters with particularly
good head shots or studio shots on their sites? If you do, please add a link
below so that we can get some more ideas.
Stacey (FreshStitches) says
Great post, Abby!
One way to pop in a photo of you is to take photos with you + your finished item. It’s fairly natural, plus, it lends some scale to the size of your animal/craft 🙂
This has been on my mind, and now I’m going to get on it! You’re really inspiring me to step it up! Thanks 🙂
That's a great point. Scale is so hard to imagine, too, so it really helps to see you holding what you make.
You've got a super creative, personalized About page like no other. People should totally check it out! http://www.freshstitches.com/start-here/about-stacey-trock-crochet-designer/
Sarah Edwards says
Hi Abby. Love the post.
FYI. The Lisa Congdon link is broken.
I’m so glad. It’s one of those small things that makes a big difference!
It’s fixed now! Thank you.
As much as I hate to get my own picture taken, this is a great reminder–thanks Abby! Seeing the face behind a product is a great reminder that what you’re seeing really is handmade.
This is such a good point. When you're there, making your products and holding them, we know they are handmade and we admire them, and you, all the more.
Mimi @ hello shiso says
How about exchanging a million hair clips for an evening of talking about what I should write about on my blog??? 😉
I LOVE your blog just the way it is! But I'd also love a few hair clips. Let's do it!
Very good point Abby. I took photos and my “About” page down ages ago always meaning to update them but haven’t. I haven’t been in the right place mentally for it, perhaps a new photo wold be a place to start.
Something to think about, thanks Abby.
Wow! This is great – now all I need to do is tidy up and overcome my natural fear of the camera… Thanks also for introducing me to some fantastic new blogs 🙂
You're welcome, Fiona, and good luck with your photo shoot!
Here I am again, working through the archives. Thanks to this post and a recent prodding by a mentor to do a video class, I spent a ridiculous amount of time taking selfies this morning. Certainly not a good head shot, but enough for me to get over the “I’m too ugly” negativity. Thanks for another thought-provoking post.
You’re welcome and yay for selfies!