Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
First and foremost, I am a specialist equine photographer, working with private clients and their own horses, or equestrian and country brands, on commissioned shoots, across the UK. Blogging my shoots felt like a natural and smart addition to my online marketing in the early days, which is how I started, and it just grew from there.
Blogging (and vlogging) has now sort of become my side gig and a whole other animal, in it’s own right. I still blog all of my shoots, but I now also write about my trips to horse shows and country events, I share business tips every Friday and I’m also exploring more lifestyle type blogs, recently, too. I absolutely love it!
Is blogging your ‘day job’? If not, what do you do?
Oops, sorry, I sort of answered that in the first question. I’d say it’s a part of my day job.
How did you first get into blogging?
Gosh, I’ve pretty much just answered everything all at once here, haven’t I? Sorry about that, lol. As I mentioned, I wanted a place (other than Facebook) to share a write up on each of my shoots and share my favourite images from the session. And blogging seemed like an efficient way to do this. I like to share the stories behind my shoots, so that the subjects in the images are more than just pretty faces, and I’ve always been a lover of writing, so blogging provided an outlet on all of those fronts. (Aswell as being great for SEO, of course. Win, win!)
Aswell as this, when I first started out as an equine photographer, six years ago, there were so few resources available about equine photography as a career and the people I approached for help were incredibly closed-off and unhelpful. So I decided that whenever I’d learned something that someone else might benefit from, I’d share it and encourage others. That’s how I started posting about running and equine business every week.
I tend to write like I speak. I like to think that by reading my blog, you’ll get a good idea of my personality before you ever meet me. I’m fairly informal, quite sarcastic, but also pretty wordy. Some might say I’m a bit of a chatterbox.
Obviously my style of writing might depend on the type of post I’m writing. A business post may be slightly more formal than a lifestyle post, for example (although probably not, lol). And of course, I always like to include lots of pretty pictures.
What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
This year I’ve really tried to focus more on blogging as it’s own entity, and not just as part of my photography process, which has been a huge challenge in itself. Firstly it’s time consuming and I’m super busy with shoots throughout the Spring and Summer months, so I’ve had to make sure I carve time out just for blogging.
I’ve had to put a lot more effort into thinking about what to write, making sure I post consistantly, creating a blog that people want to look at and that is easy to navigate, working out who my audience is and making sure the content is worth reading, than I did before and it’s still very much a work in process.
Although, I have lists as long as my arm of ideas, so that’s a start, right?!
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
I love it! I think the biggest tip with blogging is to write about something you love. Then you’ll never be stuck for motivation or inspiration. If you write about something you love, you just feel this need to share your thoughts and ideas with the world and it will come so much naturally.
I also find it really useful to batch write. If I’m in the mood to write, I’ll knock out five to ten posts all in one go and then save them to drafts, to use when I’ve got writers block or am out on the road, shooting and don’t have time to write.
And I love having guest bloggers write for me, too. I don’t have to use my own brain, my audience gets a different persepective on a subject and we can gain exposure to one anothers’ audiences. I often find huge motivation from reading a guest post somebody has written for me.
What is the biggest difference in your life since starting blogging?
Blogging has changed my business entirely! In my opinion, everybody should be blogging.
For starters, sharing the story beind each shoot has had a hugely positive effect on the engagement I get each time I share my work. Everybody loves a story, especially if it’s emotive or relatable.
And beyond that, it has opened up so many opportunities. I have been asked to be an ambassador for some incredible brands. I was invited to be on Radio Badminton, at the Badminton Horse Trials, aswell as writing for the official Badminton website. I’ve photographed Charlotte and Valegro, as well as interviewing Carl and Charlotte… It’s opened up possibilities I would never dared hope for.
Blogging gives you a voice and a platform to share your personality with the world. And every brand needs a voice and a personality!
What does the future hold for your blog?
Much of the same, hopefully. I love the versitility and excitement that blogging brings to my business.
As I mentioned, I want to continue to write a lot more lifestyle posts, bringing my audience all the best equine and country products that I find along my travels and social media stalking. I want to attend more events, documenting them in both images and writing. I’ll continue to blog my photoshoots and share my clients’ stories. I have some incredibly exciting, new collaborations coming up, which I’m dying to share. And I can’t wait to see what other opportunities blogging throws my way! I’m entirely open to new ideas. 😀
You can find Sophie’s blog here: http://www.sophiecallahanblog.com/
Thank you Sophie for a wonderful insight into your blog and photography!