Oh social media…why do you feel like a necessary evil to our business? As photographers, we just want to take pictures. Social media sometimes falls into the business bucket instead of the fun bucket. I said sometimes, but if you only knew how uncomfortable recording myself behind the scenes feels for me. Our clients know, and anyone who watches our Instagram stories knows how awkward I can get captured in action “behind the scenes”. I prefer to be on the other side of the camera. But I get it, it is fun for people to see other people in action doing something different from what they are doing. It makes sense, and so we are making the resolution to be more active on our social media platforms.
I realize social media can be repetitive, and that really is the easiest way for all businesses to post, or should I say repost the same content on all of their platforms. We are guilty at times of this I know. Posting the same wedding photo across all of our social media platforms. But we have big plans to keep it real, and real separate on our social media platforms. So here is the break down for you, the viewer, the client, the bride, the competitor, the fellow creative. Now you can pick and choose which platform you prefer based on the content we are putting there, rather than only subscribing on one platform and ignoring the others because you expect it all to link to the same content.
So without any further ado, here is a list of our social media platforms and the type of content we publish on them.
Our Blog is going to have a minor facelift. Back in 2009, Elise just blogged about whatever she wanted that had to do with anything photography related. When we rebranded our business a few years ago, we turned our blog into a monthly newsletter showcasing the different projects we worked on the previous month. Now yet again, we decided to completely change the purpose of our blog.
We noticed that Las Cruces is really underserved when it comes to local guides to help locals plan big life events such as weddings. Don’t get me wrong, we have some great local resources; the Bulletin puts out a Wedding magazine every year, there are two bridal shows, one put on locally at the convention center every year, the other put on by a group from Albuquerque at Hotel Encanto, but all three come out in the beginning half of each year. Leaving anyone who gets engaged after that time in the dark. And those resources are available only to those who have the time to get out and into the world. Which is fun, but really annoying at times for those who rely on the internet for researching and making decisions (people like me). If you go to big wedding websites like The Knot, or Wedding Wire, these are big “pay to play” websites, where the vendors shown first are paying to be shown. Kind of like the first listings on a Google search that shows the “Ad” symbol next to them, except on these sites they don’t disclose that. Which is fine, except for wedding vendors who are trying to keep their costs low so they don’t have to increase their prices.
OK, TMI, I know, but this is just a small part of the ugly side of having a photography business. And the not so pretty side of planning a wedding in a smaller city that has vendors moving in and out as fast as their spouse’s military posting changes. So what about the locals, the people that are born and raised in Las Cruces, the people you know are going to be here in twenty years and their kids are learning the same skills as their parents so they can take over the family business? How do you find these guys if they aren’t paying to play on planning websites such as The Knot?
This is the problem we want to address on our Blog (and on our other social media platforms on occasion). We want to create a resource for our local Las Cruces Brides to find talented and reputable Las Cruces wedding vendors. Vendors that represent the #shoplocal movement in our area. Businesses that say loudly “We love Las Cruces, it’s our home, and we are doing our best to lift where we stand in our local community”. Money spent here stays here kind of thing.
It is with this mindset that we are altering our blog and renaming it to the “Las Cruces Wedding Blog”. Our Blog posts will fall into one of six categories so that visitors can easily click on a category and find corresponding useful info. Here they are:
These will be posts about upcoming local events, sales, requests, etc.
Don’t toot your own horn! Unless it’s a Boast Post. Yeah we are totally going to do that since we are proud of our work
When it comes to photographers in Las Cruces, we offer the best quality archival photographic products. That is our business model. These posts will focus on them.
Checking out real weddings is probably the most helpful way to get ideas and inspiration for your own wedding. We have tons of those photos, so we are going to post some of our favorites to help with wedding ideas and inspiration.
We are going to show some love to other local Las Cruces wedding vendors. People who work hard and represent the #shoplocal movement in Las Cruces.
Word to the Wise
This is all the advice you want to hear. From tips on planning from married couples to how to archive your digital files so you don’t lose them all.
Is there anything better than scrolling through your Facebook wall and not seeing one political post? If only that would happen once this month… On our Facebook feed, you won’t see any of that, but we do go post crazy on all things related to sentiment, local vendors, our photos and products, and our clients. Not to mention, Facebook is our melting pot for our social media. And yes that is vague, so with more specificity, we mainly use Facebook for the following:
We do Facebook Live videos with clients to show our prospective clients a glimpse of what it is like to work with us, and to give our brides some helpful tips and inspiration for planning their own wedding. Some of these videos we have even taken clips from to turn into useful “Word to the Wise” blog posts.
We also plan on making several Facebook Live videos showcasing other vendors and our products. We are even open to Live Q&A so if you have any questions yourself that you think would be great for Q&A, let us know.
Links to Outside Content
We do like to link to helpful or just fun articles or videos that we deem relevant to our clients. For instance, Canon published a video showing how different seven separate photographers photographed the same model. The results were dramatic. We posted that video on our feed. A charity that we support called Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that performs sting operations to capture traffickers and rescue enslaved children, had a blog post on how a couple asked for donations to this charity in lieu of wedding gifts. A pretty cool story, and a unique idea. We reposted their link to that. Articles on psychological studies of the correlation between family photos on the wall and a child’s self-confidence? You bet.
Links to Our Own Content
Yes, we link to our Sneak peek videos, our blog posts, our Instagram photos, etc. Guilty. But in our defense, Facebook posts are the easiest way for our clients to share the art we make with them. So is Facebook is the exception to what I said earlier about keeping it real separate? Sort of. But we will try to add value, like something that wasn't mentioned before, when we do such posts, rather than just repost our links.
Vendor Spotlights and Reposts
Of course we are going to support our local vendors. The ones we work with, the ones we love, and feel should be given their moment of glory in the sun. And if they post something on their social media that we feel would be useful to our clients, we are definitely going to repost that. If they have a sale, are moving locations, had a great interview, or are advertising an event they are participating in, all such posts we consider reposting. We don’t get all spammy with these posts, but we do like to show some love with our #shoplocal fam.
We are proud of our hard work and dedication, and most of the time, few people are watching. So sometimes we like to let people know what we are doing. Examples of this would be styled photoshoots, exhibiting our photographs at a museum or gallery, showing light on interviews we have had, or just saying something nice about each other, or the wonderful clients we have that support our business and family life.
Whether we photograph or film a wedding, we post sneak peeks. Usually about 30 or so photos and only a 2 minute video, short and sweet. What is great about these is not only do you get to see a sample of our work, and the details of someone else’s wedding for inspiration, but we also tag vendors. This way you can see who made that ridiculously intricate wedding cake, or where the bride got that A-line wedding dress. The easiest way to find the right wedding vendor for you, is to find the wedding piece that is most similar to what you envision and knowing the vendor behind it. Our Sneak peeks are a great way to assist you in that process.
Google+ is kind of like the LinkedIn of Google. We upload some of our favorite photos to Google+ and links to our YouTube Videos. It isn’t our favorite, but if you are one of our local competitors, join the Las Cruces Wedding Photographers community on Google+. This is an appropriate way to connect with us if you yourself are a local wedding photographer.
I once had a favorite app, and that app was Instagram. It used to be so great…I digress. If you enjoy watching behind the scenes videos and photos, we post lots of those as Instagram Stories. From wedding days to frame assembling, you can see what some of our workdays look like. We aren’t the best at these, and we can get a little awkward being on that side of the camera at times, but we are trying to get better at these. And by better, I mean remember to do more of them.
Our regular Instagram posts consists of a random bunch of photos from weddings to infant portraits. We like to congratulate our clients on their big life events; getting married, having offspring, 1st anniversary, graduating from high school, etc. And we generally post a photo to show them how happy we are for them. It ends up being a portfolio feed that consists of pictures that are relevant for the moment.
I still love YouTube. I used to watch Casey Neistat when he had less than 100k followers. Not anymore, sorry Casey. He doesn’t need my views anyway. I have not really put our YouTube channel out there, so to speak. I have a video on my personal YouTube channel that is approaching 100k views. But our business YouTube channel is mainly just shared and viewed locally. With that said, I hope you check it out and subscribe after reading this blog. The videos we share on our channel not only are a great way for prospective clients to determine if they like our video style, but are uplifting short stories that anyone can enjoy.
Our YouTube channel, like our Blog is broken up into categories, only these categories are called playlists. The cool thing is that you don’t have to subscribe to the entire channel, you could just subscribe to your favorite playlist. At any rate, the playlists are as follows.
Storytelling Films: Love Photography
These videos showcase what our business does: we help people tell their stories visually. They include video clips of our clients and us, and they tell short stories that hit home with our prospective clients.
Wedding Sneak Peeks
All of the videos in this playlist are Sneak Peek previews of our clients' wedding days. This is the trailer to their wedding highlight video. Every videography package we offer includes sneak peek previews which we like to post within a week of the bride and groom's wedding day to show some of our favorite footage that we made at their Wedding. These videos tell a short story of what happened on their wedding day.
These are our favorite videos to make. Love Story videos are videos of the couple telling the story of how they met, fell in love, and decided to start a family together (get married). These are short, sweet, and are one of the greatest heirlooms a couple could give their children. I would love to see my twenty year old parents tell their love story. Unfortunately, I never will. That is why these are so important to us. Life moves faster the older we get, so making these videos while we are young and our feelings and excitement are fresh provide a unique once in a lifetime experience for the viewer that wasn’t even around when it was made. If you like watching people’s unique love stories, then this is the playlist for you.
Vendor Love #ShopLocal
We know planning a wedding can be shaving years off your life stressful. This playlist consists of other local businesses that may be able to fill that need you have in your wedding planning. These are vendors we have worked with, which in our experience with them are reliable, dependable, and we would recommend.
This playlist is still in the works. While we do have a video of one of our products, we are in the process of making more. We offer our clients archival quality photographic products. We hunt for these products, and are excited to offer them and have them in our own home. Videos and photos don’t do any of our products any justice. You just have to see them for yourselves in person to truly appreciate them. However, we still want to showcase them and their features that make them so different from what the general public is offered. These videos do just that.
Behind the Scenes
This is another playlist that is getting worked on. We have been told by several people that they enjoy seeing behind the scenes. We aren’t going to make videos of us sitting at our computer all day which we tend to have to do (to edit, to post, to email, to write this very post), but we understand the fun in participating in the projects we work on in our business. So we are working on sharing more of that time with you.
This may have broken a record of the longest blog post I have ever written! I hope it was fun to read if you read it all. Check out our different social media links, subscribe to the ones you enjoy, and if you have time, share your thoughts after reading this blog post in the comments below.