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Blog | Jen Abert Photography

Plan Your Content

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If you’re considering adding a blog to your site, you’ll want to have a plan beforehand. Planning your blog will help your subject matter remain consistent over time. It’ll also help you determine whether or not there’s enough material to maintain a steady stream of posts.

One pitfall many new bloggers run into is starting a blog that isn’t posted to frequently enough. A shortage of recent posts can give your visitors a bad impression of your business. One may think “I wonder if they’re still in business” or “they may want to hire a writer.”

A blog, like any other customer facing aspect of your business, communicates your brand. If it isn’t maintained and given proper attention, people will notice. Post regularly and keep your content fresh. Give your audience a reason to visit often.

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Categories and Tags

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If you write about a variety of subjects, categories can help your readers find the posts that are most relevant to them. For instance, if you run a consulting business, you may want some of your posts to reflect work you’ve done with previous clients, while having other posts act as informational resources. In this particular case, you can set up 2 categories: one labeled Projects and another labeled Resources. You’d then place your posts in their respective categories.

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Pages vs. Posts

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If you’re new to WordPress you may be wondering what’s the big deal behind Pages and Posts. At first glance they appear to be one and the same: if you were to create either a new page or a new post you’d be presented with nearly identical interfaces and in many cases the public appearance of pages and posts will look the same.

Don’t let this fool you. There’s a very fundamental difference between the two and that difference is what makes CMSs, like WordPress, great platforms for integrating blogs with traditional websites.

Pages

Think about the kind of pages that make up a typical website. Most often you’ll see pages like “Home”, “About Us”, “Services”, “Contact Us”, etc. Within WordPress these are often treated as Pages; documents that have no particular regard for the time they were posted.

For example, when you visit the “About Us” page of your favorite company’s website you don’t expect the content to be very different from what was available there a week ago.

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Well, I’ve fallen behind on blogging again (quelle surprise), but I’m very excited to bring you a wedding I photographed last month! This is Kelley and Linda.

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Their celebrity name is KelLin, by the way.

 

They’ve been together for 9 years, and on April 25th, they finally tied the knot! The setting for their ceremony was beautiful Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs, FL. There was a little concern about the weather as we headed into the weekend, but the storms held off till Sunday.

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They did a great job with all the decorations and details! I love the colors they chose.

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One of my favorite nuances of same-sex weddings is that the couple getting married seems to know not to take their ability to do so for granted. People across the state and across the country have fought hard, and continue to do so, for all loving couples to be able to make a lasting commitment to each other in the eyes of the law. Kelley and Linda recognized those pioneers in their vows, and await the Supreme Court ruling in the hopes that other couples can soon marry in their own respective states.

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Do you know someone in need of a photographer? Getting in touch with me is just a click away! And be sure to leave a comment below for the happy couple!

Often, when I tell people I’m a photographer, they ask what camera I shoot with. I always tell them about my trusty Nikon D3oo, but I rarely give credit to the camera I use (and love) the most: my iPhone.

It’s true that the best camera is the one you have with you. And if you’re a skilled enough photographer, you can get some pretty incredible shots with whatever camera you’re given. I’m not saying I’d shoot a wedding with my iPhone any time soon (though it’s been done before), but my Nikon doesn’t exactly fit in my back pocket. Plus, I can’t go on Instagram with it.

With all that in mind, the key to getting great shots on whatever camera you’ve got is to learn to use it to its fullest potential. Whenever an update comes along, I read about any new features of the camera app. Stay tuned for a series of tips on getting the most out of your iPhone camera (many of which can be applied to other phones and tablets). Today, though, I’m going to talk about how to turn bad lighting into magic.

I was babysitting my friend’s toddler the other day, and when it was time for his nap (which, as with any 2-year-old, he was opposed to), I sat next to him on the bed while he drifted off to sleep to the sights and sounds of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy review video, en español, on his iPad. I was going back and forth between Pinterest and Facebook on my iPad, when I got a text from his momma asking if he went down for his nap okay. As is often my habit, I decided to answer with a photo instead of a simple “yes.” So I flicked open the camera app on my phone and snapped this:

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Now, I’m sure many of you recognize this picture. No, not specifically THIS picture. I mean the phone picture. Bad lighting. Grainy/noisy. Weird color cast. You know it; you’ve taken it.

I sent it to Momma. “Perfect,” she says.

Well…

I set his iPad aside, set up a slightly better angle with my phone, tapped the screen to the area I wanted exposed/focused properly, and took a couple more (I love burst mode on my phone).

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Hmm…still grainy and splotchy, if a little brighter. Sure, this picture would show up in a message just fine, because our phone screens are smallish and forgiving. But this is no different than a picture that anyone could take with their phone of their sleeping child.

So, armed with my understanding of lighting, I opened up a blank web page on my iPad (I actually ended up having to Google Image search “blank white page”), turned the screen brightness all the way up, and placed it where I wanted to light that sweet, angelic, unconscious face.

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As you can see, the horrible, splotchy noise is gone, and the iPad screen illuminates his face so that the iPhone camera can see and expose it correctly, then the light falls gently off around his hair and his shoulders. But those poor red cheeks! Little man’s been sneezing up a storm all day. So I hit the edit button, picked a black and white filter*, and sent this one off to his mom:

Use an iPad screen to illuminate your subject when taking a photo with your iPhone

“And I’m in love with you,” was the response I got back.

These are the words I like to hear. I took a few more, changing up my angle and repositioning my “softbox.” And then he turned over, and we were done.

The point is, I could have just stuck with that first picture. My friend would have loved it just because her boy looked so sweet and peaceful in it. But I had the tools to make something a little better, with very little extra effort. Seriously, I didn’t even move from my spot. Just sort of scooted and shifted a little.

So, to recap:

1. Make sure your tablet’s screen brightness is all the way up, and navigate the browser to a blank white page – OR – download a softbox app (which I discovered I already had on my iPad after all of this). The nice thing about an app is that a lot of them will let you change the color, so you can get some cool lighting effects, or match the screen output color to odd ambient colors.

2. Position tablet so that it illuminates your subject to your liking. The great thing about this kind of lighting is that you can immediately see it and adjust as needed.

3. Take the shot!

4. Edit as needed.

Thanks for reading!

Jen

*A note about the black and white filter: I used to be very particular (read: stubborn) about using pre-set edits, but now I’ll go through the available filters and adjust if needed. There are myriad apps in which you can edit your photos, but I’ve found that if you have to get too heavy into editing, you should probably just try and retake the picture and make it better from the snap. 🙂

Yesterday morning, I and a few of my friends and family gathered together in Clermont for one singular purpose:

to get muddy.

That’s right, boys and girls, it was the Warrior Dash! There was running, climbing, swimming, and sliding. And of course, mud.

 

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It was a somewhat chilly morning, but by the time we got moving, we were good to go. Although, I could’ve done without the slide into the icy water near the end of the course. But we had fun, and walked away with only minor bumps and bruises. Would I do it again? Absolutely. How often do you get to play in the mud?

 

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Thanks for reading!

This Sunday, I got to meet 5-days-new, sweet little Miss N. I photographed her brother, Mr. W, about a year and a half ago for his first birthday cake smash.

Her momma, Jodie, warned me that Miss N didn’t seem to like sleeping much. But she didn’t seem to mind too much being photographed, anyway.

 

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She even practiced her Jedi mind tricks to get her momma to feed her.

 

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Starting them off on the right path. That’s a parenting win! We eventually got the young Padawan to sleep.

 

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Love those cheeks!

 

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We even got big brother into some pictures.

 

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They were so sweet. Congrats to Bryan and Jodie for their beautiful family. Thanks for letting me hang out with you guys!

 

Have you recently welcomed your own Jedi-in-training? Do you know someone in need of a photographer? Drop me a line.

You may remember the newborn pictures of this little guy:

 

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Well, he’s already 3 months (and some change) old! Which means it was time for the next session in his Grow With Me plan.

He was very alert again, and let me tell you…this kid is expressive!

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And he’s not afraid to show his skepticism, either.

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But he eventually seemed resigned to the fact that, yes, this photo shoot was really happening.

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But that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be a little mischievous.

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Thanks to Mr. B’s mom, grandpa, and grandma for letting me hang out with him! He was cracking me up when I was going through some of these.

 

Do you know someone in need of a baby or maternity photographer? Packages are available to cover pregnancy all through to your little one’s first birthday, and we can set up payment plans (psst…they make great baby shower gifts)! Contact me today for more information, or to schedule your session!

 

And hey, thanks!

Jen

 

 

Well, I’m catching up on blogging today. Here’s a newborn session from October featuring Mr. B!

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Don’t let that picture fool you. He spent more time awake than asleep for this session.

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Though it did make for some amusing photos, like in this next panel.

Hockey baby

 

It seems clear that this little guy prefers the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Buffalo Sabres.

Okay, okay, maybe that’s not entirely true.

Happy Sleepy Baby

 

We did work quickly to get as many different shots as possible when he finally drifted off.

Sleeping newborn in hats

 

We love hats!

Baby in Jayne Hat

 

But they’re also precious on their own.

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Readers, you’ll have the privilege of watching Mr. B grow through his first year, as I’ll be capturing milestones through the “Grow With Me” package.

Are you expecting a new baby, and want to document his or her first year? Get in touch! Payment plans are available for the First Year packages, and they make great baby shower gifts!

So, it’s been awhile, friends. Hope you all had a great holiday and are starting off your new year right! I know I’m trying to!

In that vein, I’m finally posting about a wedding that I photographed in *gulp* October.

I first met with Katie in March to talk about me possibly photographing her wedding. As soon as I heard that it was at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, I knew it just had to be me! What a neat wedding it would be! So I was very excited when I met back up with her and Jeff, her fiancé, a couple weeks later to book.

St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art wedding

This venue was seriously gorgeous. Almost as gorgeous as the bride! Bride

A new trend that’s becoming more and more popular at weddings is the first look. Instead of waiting until the ceremony to see each other for the first time on the wedding day, couples plan a place to meet before the ceremony begins, sometimes hours before. I’ve found that planning to have your first look at a planned time before the ceremony helps to calm nerves. It also gives you the bonus of getting some of your portraits done before the real craziness of the day begins! Katie and Jeff opted for the first look for these reasons, and it was fantastic!

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One of the things Katie and Jeff really wanted was to get some photos in front of the Banyan trees in the park next to the museum.

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And of course, there was that fabulous museum front.

Wedding Party

After the ceremony was cocktail hour, which meant we had some more time for portraits (yay!).

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Jeff helped bustle Katie’s dress, then they had an impromptu first dance practice.

Bustle and first dance practice

Then it was time for the real thing.

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The reception was fun, as they usually are. Everyone was having a good time enjoying the music and dancing! The evening finished off with a sparkling send-off.

Sparkler Exit

Thanks so much to Katie and Jeff for letting me be a part of your beautiful day! You guys rocked!

Know someone looking for a wedding photographer in the Tampa Bay or surrounding areas? I’d love to hear from you! I happily cover same-sex weddings, as well! Contact me today and tell me about your event!

Thanks,

Jen