I follow around 25 blogs at any one time, all of them chosen as I feel they are well worth my attention.
We’re each limited in how much time we have, so who wants to waste it on blogs and sites they’re not getting anything from?
In my explorations, a few common features pop up in photography blogs that almost always turn me away instantly.
Here are the three biggest culprits –
1. Too many photos.
Wait, surely on a photography blog we want to see plenty of beautiful photographs? Yes, absolutely! The problems come when someone shares virtually every photo they make!
“I went out for a walk today, and here are the 37 shots I took”… Even if there are a handful of amazing photos amongst those 37, the chances are we will have stopped looking after the first dozen that aren’t. And perhaps we may never return to look at another photo here again.
A popular variation of this is “I found this old camera in a charity shop, and ran a couple of films through it to see what it’s like, see the 72 images in full below…”
Again, why not edit your work to just the very best, then share that with us?
A post with even a couple of fantastic photos is infinitely more likely to endear us to you (and that old camera), than having to wade through dozens that lead us to wonder why you shared most of them?
Even the best photographers in the world don’t have anywhere near a 100% hit rate. Share only your very best, our opinion of your work will rocket, and we’ll eagerly anticipate each new post.
2. Poor design with too much to distract from the photos and writing.
When I find a blog I like, it’s nearly always one where the layout is clean, and simple, with a large central column for the photographs and writing to be the main feature.
Why do some seem to insist on one or two additional sidebars stuffed with distractions, nearly all of which are pushing the reader somewhere else – the latest photos you shared on Instagram, the other blogs you follow, or asking to be “liked” on Facebook?
And let’s not even begin to talk about ads, especially those ones that have those annoying windows you have to scroll down through to get to the next tiny section of text or an image before you’re hit round the side of the head with the next ad. No thanks, I’m off!
If you’ve chosen to publish a blog, then make it somewhere we can come and get lost in, without distraction, like a favourite table (with a favourite warm beverage and slice of cake) in a home spun cafe, or a familiar cosy nook in a local library. Not somewhere that makes us feels like pedestrian in Tokyo at rush hour.
3. Photos that are too small.
It seems obvious to me that if you’re a photographer, wanting to share photos, you would want them to be at a size where viewers can fully appreciate them.
So why are so many photo blogs not displaying images at the majority of the width of the page, if not the full width?
This overlaps with the previous point, where a three column blog, say, obviously won’t have so much space in the main column for the images, so they’re compressed even further, knocking elbows with those other competing distractions.
Bonus annoyance points to those who then add some kind of thick border to the images that then makes them even smaller.
Please just let your images breathe and stand tall, at the largest size you can, then we can truly appreciate and enjoy them.
So there we have it, my top three photography blog turn offs.
As you might already have known even before this post, I have fairly particular preferences about what I like online – but much of it is not about the work itself, but how it’s presented.
All three of the above put me off a blog, even if I do see images I love. It’s just not worth the hard work to try to find and see those images in their full glory, because of the barriers the photographer is putting in the way of the viewer.
As photographers we are visual people. Why are we not optimising our online galleries to present our best photographs, in the best way?
Can you imagine what the equivalent of these obstacles would be in a real gallery, and how hard it would make it to appreciate the photography exhibition?
How about you? Am I alone with the three turn offs above? What makes you click away from a photography blog?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking.
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