Jan

Q&A: What Should I Share On My Blog?

I think anyone who has a blog has probably asked or wondered about these questions at some point... I know I certainly have! What should I share on my blog? Are there things I should or shouldn't share? How do I know if I am sharing too much? These are such great questions and important things to think about. 
 
There is no clear answer, but what IS clear is that there is no right or wrong answer! :) Here are three things to ask yourself as you think about these questions and write for your blog: 
 
What are you using your blog for. Whether you are a photographer or another small business owner or just have a blog for personal use, it's important to identify what the purpose of your blog is. Is it the space that you showcase your recent photography work? Is it an educational tool where you post information and content to help others? Are you using it to share more about yourself and your story to inspire and encourage others? Knowing what you are using your blog for will have shape the kinds of content you will post on it. And this purpose will help you filter through the things you will/will not share in that space. 
 
I primarily use my blog as a tool for people to get more about me and my photography. This is why I share on my blog about my son and husband, failed cooking attempts, the last wedding we captured, frequently asked questions from other photographers and tips/tricks to shooting. I aim for a balance between posting personal, business, and educational content but let whatever I have going on in my life help determine the frequency of each. For example, when we are in the thick of wedding season, I post more weddings and share more of my couple's love stories. 
 
Once it's out there, it's out there. I know you already know this and have probably heard this a thousand times when it comes to the internet and social media, but it's worth repeating and reminding ourselves! I think when we write posts for our blogs, especially ones that are maybe more on the personal side, we forget that once we post them people will actually see and read them. After all, that's what we hope for! Maybe its five people, maybe it's five thousand. Just know that when it's out there it's out there for people to see, so deciding on boundaries and thinking about what you want to share is important.  
 
Before I publish each post on my blog I do what I like to call the "Super Bowl test." It's not as cool and action packed as it sounds, but it helps me! I ask myself, would I be willing to stand in the center of the field at the Super Bowl before BeyoncĂ© performs at half time, with the stands filled and it being broadcasted live on TV to the thousands at home watching for the game or just the commercials (I am a self-proclaimed commercial watcher) and say out loud to everyone what I just wrote. Would I be willing to share with thousands of strangers and also people I know what I am about to post? Am I comfortable with sharing with everyone what I wrote? Only if the answer is "yes" do I publish the blog post. If I'm not sure or think I probably wouldn't, I revise the post or decide not to post it. That's my super not-so-fancy gut test. Now this isn't to say I am not vulnerable in sharing things, but it's worth asking myself this gut check question each time. 
 
Setting boundaries. Thinking about and deciding on boundaries around what you share on your blog is really important. You may decide that you will have very few if any boundaries. Or on the other hand, you may decide you will have clear conservative boundaries and will just post photos from your weddings/shoots. Maybe you choose not to post any photos of your children and family, maybe you do. Maybe you decide not to most any posts about your personal life, but just share educational content. Whatever you decide, know that there is no right or wrong answer. You should decide what you are comfortable with sharing and what works best for you and the objectives you have for your blog. And you can change your boundaries if you choose, just know like I said above that once it's out there, it's out there! For me, I decided a long ago to share my photography, educational content, as well as personal posts. There are some things I choose not to go into great detail about and keep more private, just as many of us do in our lives, but do share things about myself and my life as a way for people to get to know me better!

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Jan

10 Months

I'm not even going to try and pretend that going into his room to get him in the morning isn't my favorite part of every day. I mean, you can't beat the instant HUGE toothless smile on his face when he sees me peaking in the nursery door. Bed head never looked so cute and my heart never seems not to melt instantly. I try not to hold it against him that when he sees me he says Dadda... we're still working on "Beautiful Amazing Mama." We're almost there... sorta. ;) Lots of hugs and snuggles after I reach in and pull him out of his crib sets my heart and focus for the day. I give him a squeeze and tell him to stop growing up so fast! 
 
Days that start with Greyson are the best kind. 

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Jan

Constantly And Continually

One person who has always believed in me is this guy. Chris is my hubby, my best friend, my soul mate, the father of my son, my love. He constantly and continually believes in me something fierce. At the times when I am weary, overwhelmed, and feeling less then confident, he is there cheering me on and telling me that I CAN do it. He walks along side me encouraging me and reminding me to look back to see how far I've come. He has believed in me during the times that I doubted it was possible. And the times I reached goals and accomplished those things that were once just daydreams, he has been there to celebrate and remind me that he always knew I could do it.  
 
Plain and simple, believing in ourselves isn't always easy. Sometimes it's plain 'ol hard. We see hurdles, struggles, mountains, and impossibilities. We focus on our imperfections and weaknesses and give them more weight then we ever should. But believing in ourselves is air in our lungs and gives us guts to DO. We have to get to that place where we know deep down inside we have what it takes to TRY and are worth it. We may fail or we may succeed but we need to believe in who we are and what we are capable of. And having someone else believe in us is wind under our wings. They encourage us to take that next step, remind us that we can do it, give us that boost to pick ourselves up after a fall and be a fresh breeze in our sails. Having people that believe in us is such a beautiful gift. And to have more of those kinds of people in the world, we must be that person to someone else, in a big or small way. 
 
So grateful for this guy who believes in me day in and day out! Love this photo from 9 years ago when we were dating! :)

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Jan

Survival Tips for Mom-tographers

Going from "Business Owner" to "Mom AND Business Owner" was definitely a huge transition for me. It was uncharted territory and I quickly found out what worked and what didn't. I listened to the tips and advice I was given by business owner moms I really respected and made adjustments to find a new balance.  
 
I am so excited to be part of a mom blog series by my sweet friend, amazing business owner and awesome mom Jody Gray. Today I along with some other incredible moms in the industry, are sharing our top survival tips for Mom-tographers! So if you find yourself making the transition to Business Owner AND Mom/Dad or will someday, be sure to check out the post by CLICKING HERE!

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Jan

Chris' Grandpa

On Friday we celebrated his 94th birthday and just days later we mourn the loss of Chris' amazing Grandpa... But we will continue to celebrate his incredible life! And what a life it was. He served his country in World War II and later worked hard as an entrepreneur taking over his father's barber shop in Jackson Heights. He married Grandma over 60 years ago, the kindest soul, and had three amazing daughters, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, including Greyson.  
 
Grandpa will always hold a very special place in my heart. He was as sweet as they come and could eat more cake then anyone I have ever seen. Literally. Not to mention he strongly believed in eating cookies and pastries for breakfast - that's my kind of guy! : ) His love for his family, his unforgettable sense of humor, and his stories will never be forgotten. He will always be deeply loved and remembered. 
 
Today, we celebrate and remember his incredible life and what a blessing he was to all of us. This photo was my last time with Grandpa, saying goodbye to him this past Christmas and promising to make him more peanut butter balls! 

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