When I first started this pet blog, it was more about words than photos. My first real post in September of 2012 only included one photo! My second post had three, all bunched together at the end of the post, and my third post had none. It didn’t increase much from there, at least not for months, and the photos I did include were small and poorly placed.
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I started my blog because I wanted to write, not share photos. It took quite a while for me to realize how much these two things could complement each other, and how sharing photos could even help my writing. As my creative process has evolved, almost every post I write is rich with photos. People who read blogs are probably not looking for something that reads like a book with so many words. I tend to get wordy when I write, and I believe that breaking up those words with some photos can help hold people’s interest.
How is it that photos can help my writing? They can:
Make or inspire a story. It’s important to always have a camera handy when you’re a pet blogger. You never know when the crew will do something cute and if I can grab a camera and capture it, that can give me a new story idea. One day Luke and Sheba were just being silly playing in the yard. Cricket was out of commission and their antics I photographed gave me the idea for my post “Where’s the Team Spirit?”. The photos illustrated the two of them screwing off without their “team captain” Cricket. I even managed to work a football reference in there, as football season was opening.
Tell the whole story. It’s very difficult for us bloggers to be truly wordless on the pet blog hop Wordless Wednesday, hosted by BlogPaws, but sometimes a picture really can tell the whole story. Cricket on her bed with her ball next to her and her tongue hanging out said it all in our post “Tired but Happy”.
Illustrate a story. This is most often used for sponsored posts. I like to tie in products we’re reviewing with a little story whenever possible. Showing the dogs or Sam with or using products makes the products more attractive. We have the most fun weaving stories around our Pet Treater subscription boxes. “Luke Parties on with Pet Treater” was so enjoyable to put together!
Be edited to make a different and fun story. Sometimes I have photos marked for sharing, but they just seem kind of boring on their own. I love it when an idea comes to me to make those more fun. I had a photo of Cricket in a Chewy box I wanted to share, and when I looked back at it realized I had a series of shots. I turned them into a silly story with just a little editing, in our post “Vanishing Beagle”.
Then there are the stories I have yet to tell that need photo illustration; but I just cannot capture those photos. I’m on constant watch for those photos yet to be taken. I had written recently about our cat Samantha and the little tower I had gotten her, and how she didn’t use it. One evening I turned around and she was inside the cubby hole on the bottom! Sometimes you have to be quick to capture these moments. My phone was the handiest thing and in the low light the photos were not the greatest. The photo below was the best of the lot, and at least they prove she really did go in there!
That goes to show that photography, especially of pets, can be very challenging on its own. It’s not always easy to get them to stay still or do what you want them to. Working with them, using treats, can help a lot. Luke will work even when the treats aren’t constantly coming. Having an easily trainable dog like Luke helps; he even gets excited when he sees the camera come out. I really do think he enjoys it, and he has become our chief spokesmodel here. Cricket and Samantha are less cooperative. Samantha is just going to do what she wants anyway, so most photos of her are candid. If I’m holding a treat to give Cricket once I’ve gotten my photo, she often just keeps trying to get closer to the treat!
The fun thing about today’s digital cameras is that you can simply shoot a series of photos and then see what you’ve got, and delete what you don’t want. I captured an expression on Cricket’s face once, without realizing it, that showed her impatience with waiting for treats, and shared that in our post: “#Beagletude”.
That illustrates the fact that with pets, you just never know what you might get with photos. My crew are truly my assistants in my creative process. They can inspire many ideas; and their antics (or sometimes just perfect poses), captured in photos enhance my words every time.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogPaws. The opinions and text are all mine.