How to Blog for You and No One Else

How to Blog for You and No One Else

There are many reasons why you would want to blog for you or no one else. I came to a realization lately, that I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. I was trying to blog for people that probably didn’t care. I wasn’t blogging for me. And in turn, that wasn’t making me happy! Blogging was a chore. Now, I love blogging. But I had to find my why. Why do I blog?

check out my 3 Tips to Get Started in Photography post

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This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

why you blog

If you don’t blog for the right reasons, blogging will be very hard. You need to decide your ‘why’. I’ve had to do this recently. My blog used to be a place where I didn’t like what I was producing. And that’s all because I didn’t have a solid why. I was doing it because everyone else was doing it, it helps with SEO, and I heard it could make money. I sat down and really thought about my ‘why’. My why is I genuinely love helping beginner photographers and I love blogging. But first and most important, I love photography and showing others how I achieve something. I love learning new techniques and I love sharing what I’ve discovered. Figure out your why. Your blog might be based on something different, like food, fitness, style, etc. Why do you take pictures? Why do you love food? Why do you love to be healthy? Why do you blog? Focus on what your blog is about. Write down your why. Let it drive your blog posts. Let it drive your blog.

how to blog for you and no one else

There are, of course, a lot of reasons to blog for you and no one else. If you aren’t happy blogging, why do it? For the money? I think blogging will only make you real money if you truly love blogging and what you’re blogging about. Don’t blog for the money. Blog for you, and the money will come. My three ways on how to blog for you and no one else is below, keep reading or just simply look at the headlines to get the general idea.

1. don’t take pictures for your blog – write a blog post based on your experiences

My husband surprisingly made me realize this. I had a blog post in mind and I thought, “Oh now I have to go take pictures to match this blog post”. The pictures I was producing weren’t my style. They didn’t speak to me. But they fit the blog post. Which is great…sometimes. Sometimes you might have to do this. But don’t always do this. Blog about your experience. Blog about how you do something. Don’t try to fit in. Try to be unique. Who wants to go to a blog that looks just like all the rest? I know I don’t. This was a hard realization to realize. Write a blog post based on your experiences.

2. write about what inspires you

To go along with point number one, you should be writing what inspires you. Did you just try a new recipe that you want to share with your fans? Write about that! Did you just figure out an awesome new exercise? Write about that! Did you just learn a new photography technique? Share your experience and how you achieved your end result. If you aren’t inspired by the content you are writing, do you really expect your audience to be inspired? I didn’t think so.

3. blog because you love it

Very important. Don’t blog for the money. Don’t blog because everyone else is doing it. Don’t blog because you think it will help get your name out there. Blog because you love it. Do it for you, I really can’t stress it enough. I’ve had to realize this and it has helped me become inspired again. It has helped me want to blog again. I blog because I love it. I love blogging and I love sharing what I’ve learned. I want to help other photographers.

blog for you

Don’t forget the reason you started blogging. Feeling a little lost about what to blog about? Try reading my 100 Photography Blog Post Ideas post. It’s packed full of wonderful blog post ideas. You can even cater some to whatever genre of blogging you do. Have a question about photography? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! Are you a fellow blogger? Comment below! I love to connect. Thanks for reading.

My Top 17 Photos of 2017

My Top 17 Photos of 2017

I promise I’ll get to my tutorials soon. I am really excited for what I have in store for 2018. For now, I would like to share my top 17 photos of 2017. It was extremely hard to narrow it down. I also included a photo that was taken by my sister, I hope that counts! 2017 was a great year for my photography. I grew leaps and bounds and I hope the same will be true for 2018. Since the first half of 2017 was me anticipating my sons arrival and then the second half was enjoying my sons company, I feel as though 2017 went by so fast. I hope the same isn’t true for 2018, I really want to slow down and enjoy life with my son and husband!

my goals for 2018

Like many others, I have goals for 2018. Some photography related, others aren’t. I decided the best place to write down my goals was on my blog! Then people can keep me accountable!

  1. Project 52 weeks – I am late posting my images, but I am going to start posting one image every week.
  2. Monthly self portrait with my son – I started doing this since month one of my son being born. I have a goal of continuing this into 2018.
  3. Apply for and make ClickPro – This has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I think each year I get that much closer to it. I would really like to be known as a Pro by others. Wish me luck this year!
  4. Write 2-3 blog posts each week – I’ve been slacking!!
  5. Be present – I want to do all of these things, but I also want to be present in my sons life. I want him to remember his momma playing with him, not just always on the computer blogging!

Those are my goals for 2018, what are yours? Writing them down is the best thing to do! I’ll keep you accountable if you keep me accountable!!

my 17 of 2017

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Aly Dawn my top 17 of 2017

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Letters to My Little One | 6 Month Old

Letters to My Little One | 6 Month Old

 

Friday, January 12, 2018

To my little peanut,

You’ve been with us for half a year. HALF A YEAR! How is that even possible? It feels like just yesterday we found out we were pregnant with you! I am so happy to have you in my life, I really can’t express how much I love being your mommy. You are amazing. I am so happy I get to watch you grow up.

You can CRAWL! You’ve been army crawling for a while now, but the first week of January you decided army crawling wasn’t good enough and took off crawling everywhere. On top of learning to crawl, you have decided it’s a great time to also start to pull yourself up. When I took you to the pediatrician, she was literally amazed that you could do all of that. I, of course, was proud of you. At your appointment, you weighed 17.4 pounds and were 26″ long. According to the average, you are small. 50th in weight and 25th percentile in height. I love you, anyways!

You have two teeth on the bottom. They are adorable. I love seeing you smile and showing your two teeth off. It’s amazing! Right now you love watching these cute little YouTube shows, reading books, and playing with anything you can get into. Including, of course, things you aren’t supposed to get into, such as cables, wires, cords, and plugs! I have to watch you like a hawk and hide them the best that I can! Please, for me, play with just your toys?

You are also starting to not only pull yourself up, but walk along the furniture as well. Now, I am so proud of you, but please slow down! I don’t want a 7 month old who can walk! 

Another cute thing you are doing this month is giving us kisses. We ask, “Can I have a kiss?” and you will open your mouth and attempt to kiss us. Oh my. A-dor-able! You are also smiling a lot more, which is really cute with your two teeth. You laugh at a lot of things. One of your favorites is funny faces. If someone makes a funny face, you giggle! You also laugh at being tickled and when someone else smiles or laughs at you. You will put on a show for anyone who wants to watch.

You are also started to notice stranger=danger. One time your uncle, who you haven’t seen in a while, came over and you did not want him to hold you! You are also becoming a mommy’s boy. Which is cute and all, but sometimes it’d be nice to let other people hold you. I cherish the time I get holding you, though. Because I know it won’t last forever and I know one day you won’t want mommy to hold you.

I am blessed to be your mommy.

I love you so much!

Love, mommy

 

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read month 1 here
read month 2 here
read month 3 here
read month 4 here
read month 5 here

Letters to My Little One | 5 Month Old

Letters to My Little One | 5 Month Old

 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

To my little peanut,

You are adorable. You amaze me almost everyday. You’re starting to want to crawl. You can get on all fours, but you’re not sure what to do after that. It’s adorable. I love how happy you are all the time. You are such an amazing little baby – you really make me proud.

Two little teeth are starting to come in – it’s adorable. I love seeing them. I went from call you ‘toothless’ to calling you ‘toothy’ – you’re too cute! Although, now it hurts for you to chew on my finger. OUCH!

We’re so excited to celebrate your first Christmas this month/year. I know you won’t remember it, but I will. I will forever cherish each Christmas with you! It’s not about the presents, it’s about spending time with those you love. I hope I can teach you that. I hope that one day you will love spending time with your family. I hope one day you will cherish the time you have with us. That’s my wish this Christmas.

You are getting so handsome. I still can’t believe it’s Christmas time and that you’ve almost been with us for half a year. It’s surreal. This time last year, I was announcing that I get to be a mommy. This time last year I was wondering if you were a boy or a girl. This time last year I was excited, yet very nervous about what was going to happen next year. This time last year I was exhausted. But, I won’t hold it against you! My body created such a beautiful baby boy, of course it was tired! It’s crazy to think that this time next year you’ll be about 18 months. You’ll be walking, hopefully talking, and I will be so proud.

You keep growing and developing, little one. I’m watching you with amazement, I can’t believe how far you’ve come, and I’m so excited to see how far you’ll go.

I am blessed to be your mommy.

I love you so much!

Love, mommy

 

read month 1 here
read month 2 here
read month 3 here
read month 4 here

A Beginner’s Guide to Shooting in Black and White

A Beginner’s Guide to Shooting in Black and White

Black and white is a great tool to use in your photography. It can impact and really take your images to the next level. That being said, there are times when you should convert your images to b&w, and there are times when you should not. Have you ever converted an image to b&w and it just didn’t look the way you wanted it to? Chances are, that image just wasn’t a good candidate. So, let’s dive into what makes an image a good candidate to black and white photography.

check out my 5 Reasons to Convert an Image to B&W post

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This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

what makes a good black and white

Let’s really dive into what makes a good b&w. Because, believe it or not, not every image makes for a good black and white. I have 4 reasons images will make a good b&w.

  1. Light – if the light is good, the b&w will most likely be good
  2. Contrast – whether you have high contrast lighting, or your subject is dark against your background, contrast creates a good quality for b&w images
  3. Texture – converting a image to b&w that has awesome texture is a win!
  4. Color – when color isn’t an important part of the story, black and white it is!

reasons to not convert your image to black and white

I believe there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t convert an image to black and white. Not all of these are solid rules, they’re just general guidelines I like to follow in my own black and white.

  1. Flat light – I feel like sometimes we convert our images to black and white because the light isn’t interesting. This is not a good reason. It will leave your black and white looking very flat
  2. Distractions in the background – don’t take an image with distractions in the background, and convert to black and white to try and ‘cover’ up those distractions. You should be removing distractions before you ever press that shutter speed – this is important in any setting
  3. Color – when the color IS important to the story, don’t convert!

a beginner’s guide to shooting in black and white

I want you to consciously think about an image in b&w. Shoot for b&w. Think about ways an image will work if it’s in b&w. You can even turn your camera to a certain setting that actually only shoots in black and white. I’m so nervous to do this, but if you have the guts, do it! It will definitely improve your b&w images! When you shoot with black and white in mind, your images will turn out better.

1. when the light is pretty

I think we sometimes convert our images when the light isn’t beautiful. It should be the other way around! If you have beautiful light in your image, you can bet that the image will look good in b&w. When you are out shooting for b&w, aim to have gorgeous light.

That said, when there isn’t beautiful light, other factors and contribute to a beautiful black and white image that has dull light.

2. contrast

Think about it. You want your black and white images to have contrast. Below, the two images are edited exactly the same way, except for the left has all contrast removed, and none added! Which one looks better to you? Most likely the right one, right? Why is that? It’s because of the contrast! It makes your black and whites look deeper and richer, which is definitely what you want. That being said, if your color edits tend to have a more matte look, then your black and whites should as well. The key here is to stay consistent in your editing.

Black and White Photography Tips and Tricks

3. texture

Images with a lot of texture tend to look good in b&w. Texture could be so much as water droplets on your flowers or even a fluffy rug. Why is texture important in black and white? It helps create a sense of feeling to your viewer. When we incorporate textures into out images, it helps the viewer feel like they are there with us.

4. color

Like I have previously stated, when color doesn’t play an important part, convert to black and white. When would color play an important part? You can use color to compose your images. If you had a blue wall and a girl in pink with a pink balloon, that image wouldn’t look good in b&w, it would look washed out. You need the color to add pop and interest. However, if you have a bunch of brown in your image, like the image below, then converting to b&w can make your image pop more than what it was in color.

A Beginner's Guide to Shooting in Black and White

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Why do you think an image will turn out good in b&w? Please comment below!

Last thing I wanted to say is, if you’re not sure if an image will look good in black and white or not…just convert it and see! I’d love to see your creations, #alydawn_blackandwhite so that I can see and comment on your creations! Happy shooting!