Recently I was going through my portfolio with a team of art directors at an ad agency. Answering questions, explaining how what I do is even possible. I haven’t gotten tired of seeing the bewilderment on peoples faces when I breakdown how I run my underwater shoots. A comment I was expecting was “We noticed that you haven’t posted on your blog recently” Guilty. Very guilty. I guess I was a little surprised that they did such a thorough background check on me…not that it’s hard to do with Google these days. One quick search of “Jenn Bischof” or “Commercial Underwater photographer” and you can find me.
I felt the comment came up with some concern. As if blogging directly correlated to my credibility as a photographer. Which, if it’s perceived to hold that power by someone, then, it does (which is something I’m so glad I’m aware of now). I, in fact, had a great reason (excuse) as to why I let my blogging slip without much guilt. Instagram. I just saw a few eye rolls from the readers. Honestly, Instagram. I told this particular art director that my blog has a solid audience. I’d even be so bold to say large when I show behind the scenes photos. If you didn’t know, underwater commercial photographers are almost as rare as mermaids themselves. The thing about that, is you can’t really showcase the reach you have without being a little tacky. But Instagram, she speaks my love language: photos. A community that centers around communicating in images, is a community I want to be a member of. It shows my followers and interactions with no self importance and is an expected statistic to see. I also mentioned it allows me easy access to big (and small) brands. It’s landed me jobs and will continue to do so the more I grow my following.
I also get to connect with brands I use within my business (equipment, software, charities). Following my favorite photographer brands allows me to geek out over the latest and greatest and connect with other photographers that share my passion. I’m a huge advocate for the movement to get every person on earth easy access to clean water on a daily basis. It’s one of the most basic, fundamental needs. With today’s technology, the cost of sustainable clean water is no longer a barrier (or excuse). I’ve found numerous charities that focus on clean water and it’s been refreshing to see their efforts, and most of all, their successes. <stepping off my soap box> A percentage of all my print sales goes directly to clean water.
There’s even a desktop version so potential clients browsing my site can easily stay in the same browser when viewing my Instagram.
Another great thing about Instagram is that it’s so much bigger than my portfolio. It’s better than a curated blog post. It’s about connecting with people/brands and feeding them a continuous look into what I do as an underwater photographer. It makes me shoot more, which will only improve my technique and workflow. I post a single image every week day, minimum. Sometimes it feels more a burden than a form of communication, but it’s been a great asset for my business.
With all that being said, I will put a larger effort into blogging. Even if my words are scarce.