When I first got a feel for flat lay images and using them within my business I’d randomly grab stuff together to create an image. Love the image, use the image and then the next day I’d probably do it all over again as I was enjoying the creative process and the nett result.
Today, that thought scares the living bejeezus out of me.
“Why” – you may well ask…
Simple – that’s about as ineffective and inefficient use of my precious time as I can think of – and no-one likes ‘ineff’ anythings going on!
So I’m going to share some 5 tips with you today on how best create photographic content for your business without creating stress, strain or time wasting by telling you all exactly how I deal with it.
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When you batch your content, in this case I’m specifically talking about creating photos for content on your social media channels and website, you become far more effective. I find my creativity increases as the juices are flowing better in one longer session with multiple aims, rather than a stop/start way that just seems to block me mentally and leave me all just a bit, well, meh if I’m honest. When you think about an author writing a great book that you’ve read and really loved, do you think of them at their keyboard fully in the zone with the words flowing easily and the book taking shape smoothly, or do you think that great book was written with 15 minutes here and 15 minutes a day later with the author kicking themselves every day to write something, just anything…!
No, me either. I mean it may well happen like that but its really not an effective way to work.
So what does Batch Content mean?
When you batch your work you are giving yourself the chance to create photographic content that you can then draw upon in the future. Doing it in chunks gives you much greater depth to your options. You stay effective in what you are doing, you achieve way more in much less time that if you did a bit here and a bit there. Therefore making you more efficient in your business and actually giving you more time to do other things.
There will be some themed images I will want to create for upcoming promotions or general marketing focuses, and then there will be just some generic content too. I think about what I want to achieve in that session, prep with some scribbles sometimes and I’ll a list of the items I want to use as props. I’ll add to the Prep & Prop list as I go as I think of relevant things.
Block out your Diary
Commit to this and give yourself the time and space to work. I generally look at my diary once month and factor in a morning (because I’m at my most creative in the morning) where I’ll just create flat lay content. It stick it in the diary and it becomes an appointment, no different than if I was out on a physical equine shoot, or away photographing for a commercial client. Treating it that way gives you the focus and attention it deserves and stops you wasting time too.
Generic visual content pays dividends within your business.
By generic I don’t just mean random images that don’t relate in any shape to your business pulled from anywhere just to fill space on your website or social media timelines. In this case I’d say that generic refers to images that work all year round without losing the true focus or overall offering to your potential customers. So for a florist, having a great range of flower photos of all kind of variety that you can draw on at any time, without being specific, gives you flexibility in any message you are giving out, either consciously or sub consciously. There will definitely be times when the florist would want to be specific such as roses during Valentines Day promos maybe. There will always be a common theme that connect the image in some way to the business, in this case flowers or floristry items. The images and the written content do not need to correlate for it to be a valuable piece of content. You’ll regularly see an image of a horse or a dog from me, but the accompanying words may be connected to my day, maybe a quote, or just what’s going on right now. Don’t feel your written content always need to match your images. By releasing yourself from this belief you’ll soon be creating images with much more readiness!
Switch your view to push your content further
When I place my props together for my flat lay, I don’t just take a few overall images from above of the whole scene. I’ll zoom into smaller sections and shoot that too. Take the whole scene from different orientation or drop down to a more angled shot of various pieces. When I look at an overall picture, I reckon it’s easy to get at least a dozen shots from that one set-up. If you switch out a couple of props for a couple of others and reset yourself, you’ve got half a dozen more. Subtle changes give you another image to use. Do that again and you are already starting to really build a nice collection of images you can use at any point on your website or social media channels. If you look at the top set of images I’ve created, you can see there’s an overall image (the 1st one) and then there are 6 additional images taken from the same setup that can be used too. Each relevant to me and what I do. I often take a couple of ‘Behind the Scenes’ images too from a set up, as this is also great general content.
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I was looking at Batching from a photographic aspect, but you can apply the same ‘rules’ to other areas of your business. I bet you’ve already started to think about other areas that you could work like this too. For example, why not now go ahead and spend some time batching with a scheduling tool to place those newly created images from your latest session. Doing that rather than thinking each day you need to create a post means you save even more time in the long run.
When I save time in my day thanks to processes like Batching, it means I’ve got more time doing other things.
Like riding my horse!
Have a fabulous week ahead…
If you’d like a personal canine or equine photo shoot with me, or maybe you have a small business you need photographic content support with, then please see here for more details.