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Reconciling The Private & The Public || NYC Elopement Photography

This coming August, I will have been steadily blogging for four years. This specific blog begins in July 2010, but I began blogging in August 2009 on Blogger, and then switched over to WordPress the following year. I have vacillated between being very open and sharing a lot of personal stuff to being a bit of a closed book in the last six to eight months. (This also culminated in me deleting my personal Facebook, and only using my business Facebook page. Truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.) I really struggle with how open to be on here – and I always assumed most people were here for the photos more than anything else, and so personal posts wouldn’t be missed. Then I did the reader survey last month, and over and over again people said, “Write more personal posts. We miss reading about your life.” I was so shocked by that.

Now I need to figure out how I feel about that and what I’m willing to share about my life. It’s not that I have any crazy secrets… it’s just that I don’t want to live my life online, if that makes sense. (And frankly, this business is mostly my life right now, so there’s that.) There are two parts of me – one that very much wants my readers and clients to feel like they know me; and one that just prefers to keep to herself because she’s not that interesting, and let her photographs do the talking. I need these two sides to meet somewhere in the middle. The funny thing is that I’m not really any different off the internet – if you are my husband or one of my best friends, then you know literally everything about me. But everyone else only gets little pieces. I’m just a very guarded person in general – especially the older I get – and there are a lot of valid reasons for that. I don’t think that will ever really change. (When I started a personal blog in 2011, it only lasted a few months before I had a panic attack about my life being online and deleted it.)

But me saying all of this to you right now is actually a big step in removing a piece of the wall that I have around me. I am going to bring back more personal posts, and figure out what “personal” means to me. I do want you to get to know me a little bit better. I guess I just need to figure out where to draw the line and how much of myself I’m comfortable sharing. You know… the internet is forever. And forever is scary.

Where do you draw the line between your public and private personas? Are you an open book or are you a bit more guarded? Why?

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  • i don’t think it’s bad to not share intimate details of your life – so many photographers HARP on your brand being all about YOU YOU YOU. but to be completely honest, my brand isn’t about me. it’s about my clients. my ideal clients. i think it’s a decision that, ultimately, only you can make. being vulnerable is difficult, but it can be rewarding. but i don’t think that sharing more personal posts necessarily has to be you being an open book – maybe find a happy medium… share a favorite drink/supper recipe every once in a while with pictures to go along with it. or tell a story about an experience and how it shaped you/your photography. good luck – this is a difficult road to travel. <3

  • I have a brand that’s very much about “me” and attracting people who love me…people who really like me and love my work are more my ideal clients than any one type of wedding client is…if that makes sense. Anyway, I write a lot of personal posts on my blog, but most of them are pretty superficial. I’m not writing about family drama or what really makes me sad, or really opening myself up…it’s mostly superficial things about how exciting Christmas is to me, or a funny story about a holiday tradition my family has, or some tv shows I really like. It’s nothing I would care if strangers knew lol. There is definitely a middle ground! But for me at least, the personal posts are very valuable because I feel like my clients in particular connect with them and that has been really beneficial to my business.

  • I know this can be so hard! And I’m guessing I might reach a point eventually where I pull back some….but I love leaving my heart on the blog. And my readers love it too! So silly but I follow an old J* rule of thumb that I don’t share anything I wouldn’t tell the person sitting next to me on a plane. I’m pretty chatty though, so they might get more detail than they bargained for ;-) I know you’ll find the right balance for yourself though. XXOO

  • Great post! One of my goals for 2013 is to really ramp up my blogging and that means, of course, that I am going to have to start blogging about personal things a lot more than I do now. Personally, I enjoy sharing things like trips (photos!) or interesting things that are happening around town but not really things that are super personal. I would love to hear more about your life in NYC in general!

  • Thank you for this post…..I feel the same way. I kind of shy away from personal posts because I tell myself people don’t really care about my personal life. But I know I’m just lying to myself in order to give an excuse to not write them. I know that clients want to have a good mix and want to be able to get a good feel for who I am as a person before wanting to pay me to spend the whole day following them around with a camera. Definitely something I’ll be working on in 2013 as well.

  • I looooooove this post and think this topic is so interesting. Also- I think it is different for everybody – since some people are naturally more guarded than others. Like Emilia said – if you wouldn’t tell the person next to you on a plane this – then maybe you shouldn’t blog it. But like Emilia – I’ve told people next to me on a plane A LOT. I literally got to talking to this woman and somehow it came up that she thinks her daughter has an eating disorder and I told her about my experience with one in college and offered her advice and my email address to chat more if she’d like. Anyway- you get the point – I’m an open book. haha. But I think you just need to find where you’re comfortable drawing the line for YOU and that may change from day to day! xoxo

  • This is such a great post. I often struggle with the same thing when I blog… I tend to be pretty modest and think my life is not that interesting. I hate sounding like i’m bragging (especially to my friends that live in very small town midwest). I hate feeling like i may be getting bigger than my britches, but at the same time i personally love learning more about people and their stories… I think that might be my only driving force for putting in a little bit of personal stuff here and there in my posts. If I like learning more about people, then there is a good chance that others like to learn about people… Like you though, it’s has to be a balance. I decided that if I have some personal stuff to blog about it will most likely be on Sundays… and only if i have time and photos that I really want to share.

    My two cents ;) Hope you are well!
    -McKenzi

  • “There are two parts of me – one that very much wants my readers and clients to feel like they know me; and one that just prefers to keep to herself because she’s not that interesting, and let her photographs do the talking.”

    Yep, I relate to this! On my blog I think I mostly talk about superficial things I’m doing or places I’ve been, as opposed to things I am feeling, which I only do maybe a few times a year. I hardly ever blog about family or friends, things like that. And yet on my blog I probably share more about myself than I do in person, because in person I don’t talk much at all.