Why You Need Unique Headshots to Standout

Think of all of your favorite business bosses you follow on social media. Are you able to list a few fun facts about them? Do they share their favorite foods? Do you know their favorite shows? These are very effective ways for business owners to connect with their audience and grow their following.

These bosses are crushing the game because they are creating a bond and developing trust with their followers. Aren’t you more likely to take advice from a friend rather than from a total stranger? The beauty of social media is we can make online friends and connect with people we may have never had the opportunity to interact with before the internet. Our followers can see our face every single day, listen to our different passions, and even stay up to date on our everyday lives. Sure, there are going to be some people who will become annoyed with the amount we may post, and guess what, they can just scroll/swipe on by. BUT there are those who are wanting to see our faces everyday and are not only interested in the products and services we offer, but also care about us and want to hear more of our story. Before I made my official move to Cincinnati, I followed a lot of creatives on social media where I was able to interact and become friends with them! This made the transition so much easier for me, because I already had friends welcoming me to my new city.

So the next question is, what do you share, and how do you stand out from the crowd and get your audience to engage with you online? You need to find things that can connect you with your audience. Sharing your uniqueness is so important because it allows your audience to connect with you in ways other than just through your products and services. One way to show off your personality and your uniqueness is by incorporating them in your headshots. My cats, love for IPAs, and addiction to coffee are a few things that shape and build my brand. I want to show my followers that I want to have a fun, candid experience and I want to be friends will all of the other crazy cat ladies out there.

If you are in the greater Columbus or Cincinnati area then you should check out my Authentic Headshot sessions! I am helping local creatives find their true selves and helping them put this into their brand.

Stay true to you and check out my authentic headshot sessions here.

How to blog when you're not a blogger

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So, how and why do you need to blog if you are not a blogger? This one hits home for me, because blogging stresses me the heck out, but I understand the importance it has when it comes to running a successful business. I truly believe I’m a terrible writer and I’m usually changing the entire outline of the blog at least ten times before I actually press, “Publish.”

So, you may be thinking… Why is it even necessary for a photographer to have a blog? It’s obviously not a requirement, and many photographers don’t use a blog, but I’ll go over a few reasons why I think it is so important.

First off, it is a great opportunity for you to share more of your work without blowing up your followers’ Instagram feed or stories. We photographers pretty much still do this anyway, but this allows you to show off some of your favorite photos that don’t exactly match the flow of your Instagram feed. I like to do this so I can include photos from receptions or maybe a favorite black and white photo that I can’t seem to fit in well with my Instagram feed. I originally started blogging just the weddings I photographed and then started posting more of my engagement sessions so potential clients can see more of my work. This ends up saving me a lot of time because interested couples can see full galleries on my blog and don’t need to request these from me.

Another big reason for photographers to blog is to, yes you guessed it… bump up those SEO rankings. This is the main reason why I am forcing myself to get out there and create consistent content for my followers. I have quickly seen the results it produces and with recently moving to a new city, I knew I needed to be on my game for this. The more times people are clicking on my website the better it looks for Google.

I also think blogging is a good opportunity for you to express more of your personality to your audience. My biggest struggle when it comes to writing is the tendency to be super formal, when this is not how I actually talk at all! If you struggle with this as well, keep reading because I’m sharing a few tips to help with this!

There is also the fear of putting yourself out there. What if nobody reads what I am sharing? Honestly, so what? If someone is not interested in my blog post, they don’t need to read it. That is okay! This content is for the people who want to go through my posts and want to read what I have to share. All that matters is you are providing content for the people who are looking for it from you.

So now we know the importance of blogging, but how do we make it easier for ourselves. Click here to download my freebie on how to blog when you’re not a blogger!

Exceptional Wedding Series

Since I am so focused on creating a unique wedding experience for each of my couples and pride myself on sharing their personalities in my photos, I thought I would start something new this year. After each wedding I want to share something specific that stood out to me from the day which I thought was special and unique to the couple.

I’m starting the series off with a great one from my first 2019 couple, Ali & Luke. After three years in the industry and working over 50 weddings, I have never seen this before and really loved the idea! Ali & Luke had these adorable Mr. & Mrs. aprons, (Amazon link below) which they put on right before dinner. They went behind the buffet tables and began serving their guests their food. I loved this idea so much, so I asked them a little more about why they chose to do this.

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What inspired you to decide to serve the food to your guests at your wedding?

“The whole focus on our wedding, we wanted to be different. We planned for the marriage and the kind of wife/husband we wanted to be (counseling, praying, conversations, reading books) more than we planned for the wedding day, because that’s what it’s about right? Not to say, the wedding day isn’t important because making vows for life with someone is a big deal, but in our current “selfie” and social media “highlight reel” culture you can really get consumed with super high standards of the “perfect day,” large budgets, and lots of time and stress, then at the end of the day, it doesn’t really have any benefit to the marriage, for you or your spouse.

During our engagement, we talked a lot about showing grace to each other and serving each other as husband and wife. Even when you don’t want to. Rather than being worried about what the other is doing or most likely NOT doing, but loving the other well in how they need it. It’s the picture of how Jesus loves us... we are undeserving and flawed, yet He is devoted to us.

We were thrilled to exemplify that idea of servanthood. We didn’t want our wedding day to be just about us and whatever we wanted without concern of our guests. Just like how we would treat guests in our home, we serve and make our guests comfortable. How we love each other as husband and wife, is humbling oneself for the sake of the other: servanthood.”

- Ali Barhorst - Bride

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Love this idea? Find Mr. & Mrs. Aprons on Amazon here! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. PS, did you know you can create an Amazon Wedding Registry? I think that sounds amazing and is just flat out brilliant! Check out the banner to learn more!

Reasons why to do a first look on your wedding day

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Just another person over here trying to convince you to do a first look at your wedding. First off, I want to share that I never want to pressure my couples into choosing this option. I believe this is completely your decision and you and your fiancé should decide this together. For me, I am obviously biased because I’m a photographer, and I know a first look allows for more photos opportunities. I love photo opportunities, but I also know not all of my couples will choose this option, and that completely is OKAY! I just want to share some of the main reasons why I do love them so much.

To my surprise, it is usually the groom who is not interested in doing a first look for their wedding. I thought about this for a little bit and then came to the realization, DUH, because of the pressure we put on them to have this huge reaction when they first seen their bride. Not all men will cry when they first see their fiancé in her white dress. If it is not their personality to cry, then that is completely fine and this should be understood. But in reality, grooms will have LESS pressure to have a big reaction for their first look than during the actual wedding ceremony, because the entire wedding guest list will not be there watching. It is a shared moment between you two and just you two alone. If you think about it, you really don’t have much alone time with your spouse on the day of your wedding. Sharing this moment together can be so special and a time for you guys to really soak it in together. Everything is flying by at this point and there is no better place to be than to slow it down in the arms of the one you love most.

Another huge reason why I love when my couples choose to do a first look is because of the timeline of the wedding day. When there is a first look scheduled before the ceremony, this allows for more time for portraits and for photos with the full bridal party. If this important to you, then you might want to really consider doing a first look. Typically when there is no first look, the bridal party is split and one photographer will do photos of the bridesmaids while the other photographer will do photos of the groomsman. In this case, the only time to do the full bridal party photos is after the ceremony. Usually, there is not much of a gap between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. If there is no first look that means we have to do family photos, full bridal party photos, and all of your portraits during this short time. By this point you may be completely checked out and just want to get the party started with your friends and family. This is why taking portraits before the ceremony always seems to be way less stressful for everyone.

There is also more of a middle of the road option where couples choose to have a first moment rather than a first look. This can be holding hands on either side of a door, a corner of a building, or even a tree. I have had couples pray together during this moment, read each others letters, and just share this special quiet time together before the ceremony.

There are definitely couples who still wish to take the more traditional route and I am COMPLETELY fine with this! I still love a good mix of wedding day experiences and I love when couples are passionate about their choice. These are just a few of my top reasons to organize a first look based upon my time as a wedding photographer.

Ali & Luke | Classic Columbus Wedding at The Annex at 801

This gorgeous, classic wedding was an amazing way to start off my 2019 wedding season. After having a pretty quiet off season, it was great to be back out there doing what I love most!

The simple black bridesmaids dresses paired with a whole lot of greenery made for the perfect modern and classic wedding day look. Ali & Luke shared their first look on the steps outside along the columns of the Ohio Statehouse. It was supposed to rain this day, but we were able to luck out with just some overcast skies.

A short and sweet ceremony took place at Grace Fellowship in Upper Arlington followed by a giant dance party at the Annex at 801. We knocked out all of the photos we needed before the reception so Ali & Luke were able to enjoy cocktail hour and to mingle with their guests. My favorite detail of the day was when Ali & Luke put on Mr. & Mrs. aprons and served dinner to their guests! I have never seen this before and thought it was such a cool idea! They also probably had the best first dance I have ever seen, which was so much fun to photograph. These two sure know how to get down on the dance floor! I had an amazing day with these two and can’t wait to deliver their gallery soon!

Below are the amazing vendors who helped with Ali & Luke’s special day along with some of my favorite photos!

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Ceremony: Grace Fellowship UA

Reception: The Annex at 801

Cake: Shannon Rosenberg

DJ: DJ Axcess

Florals: Dayla Ket Event Design

Makeup: Katie Mayhill

Hair: Katie Himes

Dress: Davids Bridal

Suit: Pursuit

Second Photographer: Jennifer Post Photography

Should your dog be at your wedding?

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Everyone who has a dog can probably say their pup is like family to them. So why not have them at your wedding day?! As much as I’m sure everyone would love to have their dog attend their wedding, there are some obvious logistics to sort out. I am going to help go over several things to consider when deciding whether or not to have your pupper at your wedding.

PS I am biased and my answer is always, “yes”.

Will the pup be in the wedding or just show up for photos?

Some couples feel their pupper should walk down the aisle and actually be a part of the wedding as a ring bearer or flower girl, while others think it may be best to just take a couple of quick photos.

Who will bring the pup to the wedding and bring them home?

Do you have a designated person to be in charge of the pup throughout the day? This person should not be in the bridal party so they would not have to miss any of the important festivities or photos. A date of someone in the bridal party might be a good option or even a cousin or family friend.

Will the pup behave or will they jump all over your fancy clothes?

A big question is always deciding how well behaved the pup will be at the wedding. Will they be super excited to see you and jump all over your fancy clothes, and do you even care if this happens? Lint rollers are always a life saver and if you have a dog I’m assuming you already have one on you at all times.

Will there be any special attire for the pup?

This is always my favorite part. I’ve seen adorable custom made suits fitted for dogs and even a classic bow tie or flower crown for the lady pups are a nice touch.

Should I bring my dog to my engagement session?

As you would probably imagine, it is a lot easier to manage a pup at an engagement session. Typically, if you have a friend to bring along to the session, they can watch the dog and even take the pup home after we’ve taken some good photos. I’ve had couples who will be in a more casual outfit while taking photos with the pup and then change into a nicer outfit when the pup leaves.

Below are some of my favorites of the pups I’ve had the lovely opportunity to work with over the past few years! (I’m missing some photos from older galleries and I’m really sad about it.)

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