Friday, 20 March 2015

Is Photography Valued More Than Writing In Blogging?

Writing is my number one passion and I feel like words just come naturally to me. Photography, on the other hand, doesn't. When I started blogging, back in November, I had no idea how much time and effort I would spend on photography. That I'd literally jump out of bed at 8am on a Saturday morning to try and get some snaps whilst the sun is shining and that I'd take about 50 photos of a lipstick from different angles before I got the perfect shot. Whilst I'd like to think my writing manages to engage readers, I'm a little more apprehensive on the photography front. When my Bloglovin feed is filled with crisp, clear photos that look like they've been lifted from the pages of a glossy magazine, I can't help but feel a bit of an amateur, in comparison...

I have always loved writing. I feel like I can express myself so much better in the written form than I can verbally. I'm not saying I'm the best writer ever - far from it. But, I'd like to think it's one of my strengths. I studied Journalism at university and, whilst writing isn't my career just yet, I really do hope that one day it could be. 

For me, my blog is my opportunity to write. Whether 2 or 200 or 2000 people are reading, it doesn't matter because I just love the fact I have a platform in which to express myself. I also like to think of it as an online portfolio, to showcase my writing, that one day could be used to help me progress my dream career - who knows. Which is why I value writing far more than photography on my blog and, naturally, am drawn to other blogs that do the same.

However, I feel I may be a minority. There are so many Twitter chats about photography; how to improve it, what makes a good photo, would you be put off a blog by bad photography etc. Equally, photography tips and tricks regularly adorn the Bloglovin popular posts section. I'm not complaining about this. As a photography noob, I actually find it very helpful. However, I don't seem to see the same emphasis on writing within blogging - which obviously makes me question if this is because most people just care more about photography?

Now, I've said that I value writing over the two, within my own blog. But that doesn't mean I don't care about photography. It actually means that I probably spend more time taking and editing photos as I'd like them to improve and, whilst my photos won't meet the high standards of some, I'm still as much of a perfectionist with my photography as I am with my writing. I will only take photos in natural lighting. I hate there been any clutter. I love the classic white background. I hate out of focus photography and I make sure the width of every photo is identical. 

I also really appreciate blogs that have great photography. For example, one of my all time favourites is Milk Bubble Tea. Becky could literally just post photos, with no words, and I would still love her blog as it's just so aesthetically pleasing. It's pretty, it's bright, it's clear and it's like virtually flicking through a glossy magazine.

Similarly, I love blogs that place an emphasis on writing such as Hannah Gale. Her easy to relate to, well thought-out posts are some of my favorites to read. This isn't to say Hannah's photography isn't great, either. But, even if Hannah's blog had no photos at all, I still think I would read it. But this is very rare. Blogs are very visual - when someone clicks on to your blog, you want them to stay and chunks of writing with no images is probably going to result in the, making a swift exit. 

Photography is hugely important in blogging - there's no denying that. If I didn't value photography, I wouldn't spend the time and effort on it that I do. But I play to my strengths. I don't think I'm the greatest writer (far from it) but, of the two, writing is definitely my stronger point. I know that my photos aren't great. I use a refurbished compact camera that cost about £40 and I've had it nearly 3 years, yet, I still try and do whatever I can to make my photos the best they can be. If I had the money; I would buy a fancy camera, without a doubt. As they DO make blogs look better. But, what I'm trying to say is, photography doesn't have to be everything. Obviously, for some blogs, it is the most important factor. Their 'selling point' is their dreamy photography and that's fine. But, if you're like me, and worry that your blog is crap because your photos aren't bright, white and perfect, there are people out there (over here!) that actually pay more attention to the content, the writing style and the personality behind a post rather than just nice, shiny imagery. 

Ultimately, I think, unless you're absolutely amazing at writing, or absolutely awesome at photography, then it's likely a balance between the two is going to be be necessary on almost any blog. And I'm sure most people will probably think the same. Although, it's definitely easy to get wrapped up in the idea that high quality, perfect photography is vital when apparently everyone (except me) seems to be so god damn good at it and it just seems to be so highly regarded within the blogosphere. 

When I first started blogging, I even started to save up for a DSLR. Then, I noticed that my more popular, most-read posts were those that were actually more focused on writing - some of them even just having a photo taken from the internet, or one created on photoshop. This makes me happy as it (hopefully) means people read my blog because they enjoy what I have to say and the not-so-high quality photography mustn't be too off-putting, after all. I won't rule out investing in a good camera and paying more attention to photography in the future but, for now, I'll focus on why I started this blog - to write (especially lengthy feature articles, like this, so I can imagine I'm still a journo student loving life.)

What are your thoughts on this? Do you prefer photography, writing or a bit of both? How important is photography as opposed to writing, for you? I'd love to know!
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