Let's get personal (photo blogs, that is)
Updated: Jul 22
I miss you.
There was a recent post on the tech-news site The Verge that shook me awake from a long slumber.
The piece by Monique Judge wasn't so much revelatory as it was relatable.
I've found myself most mornings for months scanning various platforms on my iPad desperately searching for ... wait for it ... a story about photography.
Not another tip sheet on the seven things I should avoid or how great another lens is (aren't they all?) or how to use depth of field.
What is essentially service journalism is an oversaturated market on the web. It's gotten kinda boring.
There are a few exceptions, but only a few. Search "photography blogs to follow" and the lists are overwhelmingly how-to websites.
Perhaps it's just me. And Monique. Maybe just you, too.
But after three years of a pandemic, after all this remote work that isolated us from others, after all this isolation, I guess I just want to read a photography blog that's more personal.
Something that takes me along on a photo shoot with the image maker.
Something with heart and soul, not tech'y how-to tips.
When I read Monique's post on The Verge, I gratefully concluded that perhaps I wasn't the only one.
From her post:
The best blogs gave us a glimpse into the life of someone we "knew" online. Good storytelling, coupled with a lively discussion afterward, kept us coming back for more day after day.
Most of her article is about how a personal blog and website allows us to control and retain our own content, unlike social media, which can change in the blink of an eye (Instagram) or turn into what Monique describes as a "hellscape" (looking at you Twitter).
What I'm hungry for, though, is more you in the content.
Yeah, I know the Google bots and all that jazz favor more service content. That, after all, is what you are searching for and the engines want to pump out content you want.
I'm ready, though, for a photographic journey with you. I want to know how you see what you see, what races through your mind and heart as you create an image, your triumphs and failures.
We have more than enough content out there about the exposure triangle.
We need more like Joe McNally. Read his blog. Here's a master photographer who invites you into his photographic conscience, taking you along on a photoshoot and helping you see why he chooses the lenses and lighting he does.
It's a perfect blend of personal storytelling and just enough technical info to give you a balanced blog post diet.
You might say: "FFS, Dave, none of us are Joe McNally. The guy's a legend!"
Yes, he is.
I still want to know you, though. You don't have to be a master photographer with a track record that includes National Geographic.
Just be you.
Help us see and understand you. Take us on your own journey, tell us your story or the story of a favorite image.
From Monique's post:
Carve your space out on the web. Tell your stories, build your community, and talk to your people. It doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be fancy. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. It doesn't need to duplicate any space that already exists on the web - in fact, it shouldn't. This is your creation. It's your expression. It should reflect you.
I want to read more personal stories about photography. Got one? Leave a link in the comments for all of us to read.
Dave Pidgeon is a seasoned writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.