Creating Visual Content
I have been creating content as part of my work ("professionally" sounds so... big) one way or another for nearly 8 years now. While I started out with writing, I am now focusing more on creating visual content - for both the blog and my clients. As with all things in life, I have put blood, sweat and tears (lot of 'm over the years) into creating content, and messed up many a time. I love photography and everything around it - from idea conception to post-production - but it can be super stressful at times. To avoid feeling overwhelmed in the process, as I have felt many times, I wanted to share some tried-and-true tips for making sure that your content turns out the way you had in mind, with as little stress as possible.
- Think about what you are trying to achieve with this content. Is it for your own channels? For a client? What is the subject and desired outcome (inspiration, sales, awareness, etc). Having a good understanding of the whole picture will help you with...
- ...a visual plan. Create a mood board. Make sure it's all aligned with what you've got in your mind. I usually use inspiration found online and in magazines, and use the mood board as a guideline. The purpose of the moods is not to copy everything 1-1. Feel inspired, add your own twist to it, create something authentic.
- On that note: plan your content creation! Outfits - location, poses, looks, props. Think about every aspect ahead of time so you can shoot & go, without having to decide and try things on the spot. It helps you to work more efficiently, as it helps keeping you on track, minimizes the time spent and avoids/reduces a lot of stress!
- Keep your canvas clean - and by canvas I mean the location. This is probably the one "rule" I, myself, should listen to more carefully. You can't really control outdoor shooting locations all too much, but when you're shooting indoors, at home for example, make sure everything is clean and tidy. Oftentimes when I shoot in my apartment, I'm in go-go-go mode and don't take the time to tidy things up. The result: a parkour, with random things spread all across the floors, and one clean corner or wall. It's fine for the photo, but bad for the vibe.
- Take note of your mental space. If you're working on a planned shoot, it's so important to be in a good mindset. I am not a very patient person to begin with, so when I have to shoot when my mind is occupied with other to-do's, I quickly get frustrated which affects the results of my work. The solutions: choose a day where you have enough time to shoot, attend to pressing matters beforehand, eliminate distractions (also point 4) and focus solely on the task at hand. Oh, and make sure you don't do this on an empty stomach. I speak from experience ;-)
- Good is good enough. For some reason, with most shoots (others have said so too), the first shots and sometimes the last shots are the best. The ones in the middle are often "meh". So while I do recommend having a plan and vision, I also say: go with the flow. Sometimes the best shots are the ones where you just wanted to quickly try something. Sometimes a shoot isn't going to be better than "good". And that is good enough! Forcing yourself to produce way more than planned, or being overly critical, will have an adverse effect. There's such a thing as post-production. Or re-shooting it when necessary - with a fresh mind.
- Now this one's especially good when you create your own blogger content. Let me tell you, the magic of good outfit shots isn't being perfect, it's simply making sure you've got a looot of options to choose from. Of course, after a while you'll know your better angles (most of the time), but depending on the outfit (and location, and light, and camera settings) it can still be a hit or miss. So I'll let you in on a little secret: most of us bloggers take 50+ shots to find the right one... And, you know, sometimes during post-production the result still won't seem satisfying. That's when I recommend: step away from your computer, let it be, and have a fresh look at your selection a couple of days later. Often we're just in a funk and in a critical mood, and have a completely different opinion when we look at it a few days later. It's a mindset!
Are you a content creator yourself? What is your process?
Would love to read it in the comments!