sweet bohemian flower girls
sweet bohemian flower girls
I know this might sound weird, but one of my very favorite parts of my job is to curate a wedding blog post. The actual process of arranging my favorite images from a wedding to tell a cohesive story is so cathartic for me. And the end product is a huge source of pride. I shoot for my clients, to be sure, but I also shoot for the blog post. I shoot to make MYSELF proud with the final product and to have a beautifully presented, moving story that can be easily consumed by the public on my blog.

Over the years I have refined my process and approach to curating a wedding blog post, and today I thought I'd share some tips for other photographers who might be seeking to do the same.

1 -- Start with a hero image
This is an obvious tip, but the first image in your blog post is of utmost importance. It's your leading lady. It's the one-liner that is opening the play. So you'll want to use it to grab your audience's attention and draw them in. Select one of your very favorite images that introduces the location, the couple, or the event. It doesn't always have to be a portrait of the couple, but typically a photo that either shows off the location or the couple (or both!) is my pick!
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
2 -- Share a short story
All of my wedding blog posts also include a short story about the couple -- how they met, or how he proposed. Giving background on the characters in the story you are presenting will draw the reader in and help them to become better acquainted with and more invested in the outcome of the story. A handy tool I use to help me prepare this story is my Getting to Know you Questionnaire. Having my clients fill this out when they first book is super-helpful, because then I have all the info I need on hand when I sit down to write the post.

3 -- Be selective
I sit down to put together a wedding blog post right at the time when I'm the MOST excited about my images. As a result, it is super-tempting to stuff as many photos as possible into the post. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see photographers make when it comes to blogging. They share way too many images. Remember this is a short, consumable story. You want to keep your readers engaged and interested. So don't post too many photos that are similar or from the same setting. Variety and restraint are key. And narrowing down the selection of images you share will likely be the most difficult part of the process.

I looked back at my recent wedding and engagement posts and discovered that I typically post between 30-40 images for engagement posts and 40-60 for weddings. But I'm never really aiming for a specific number. I post only the best of the very best images from each shoot, and when I post 60 images for a wedding, that means it was an AMAZING wedding. A shorter post that shows off only your very best images will make a bigger statement than a long post with a bunch of mediocre shots thrown into the mix. It's always best to leave your readers wanting more rather than feeling uninspired or bored.

4 -- Pair images thoughtfully
When pairing vertical images side-by-side, don't post similar images with just a slight variation in the pose. Vertically paired images work best when you combine any of the following:
  • A wide portrait with a close-up portrait
  • A portrait and a detail shot
  • A portrait and a scene-setting shot
The pairings below fit these guidelines well and you can see how well they compliment one another!

For more information on how to shoot for this end result, click here to read a post on How to Shoot with your Blog in Mind!
wedding portrait at El Chorro Scottdale, Arizona
wedding couple portrait detail
organic white wedding bouquet
bride getting read with cathedral length veil
Arizona desert cactus
rainy day wedding portrait with an umbrella
5 -- Be mindful of how the reader's eye will move throughout the post
This is a more advanced tip, but as you become more astute at arranging your images within a blog post, be mindful of where your eye travels from one photo to the next. It is not ideal to post one horizontal image after the next. A better blog post structure alternates between vertical images, horizontal images, and image pairings to create movement and interest.

6 -- Work outside the constraints of chronology
YOU know the order in which the day's events unfolded, but the viewer doesn't. Just because you shot all of the detail photos at the beginning of the day doesn't mean you need to load the front-end of your post with details. Think about telling a cohesive story, but sprinkle in details and scene-setting photos throughout. I also like to vary the order in which I share the portraits of the couple and the bridal party portraits, for example, so they are all mixed together. For me, this creates a more balanced, interesting story. You're the artist, and it's ok to take artistic license even in the order in which you share the photos from the day.

Now that I've shared these individual tips, I wanted to conclude by sharing my actual workflow for how I prep images for my wedding blog posts. First I narrow down my culled favorites from the wedding to around 80 images. I won't be using all of these, but these are the ones I will select from as I resize images. Next, I resize all of the horizontal images and save them in a separate folder. I'll then go through the remaining vertical images and select my very favorite ones to resize as stand-alone vertical images. These images appear very large in my posts, so I always select the ones I want to highlight most. Then I start prepping vertical pairings, being mindful of tip #4 above. Finally, I go into the folder of prepped blog images and start arranging them in the order in which I want them to appear in the post. This is my favorite, and sometimes most challenging part of the whole process. But I put quite a bit of thought into how I want the images to follow one another, keeping tips #5 & 6 top of mind. Once I'm happy with the order, I upload the images to my blog.

One note regarding blogging tools. I have a custom blog that allows me to pair vertical images side-by-side but still upload them as individual images that can be pinned separately. This is SUPER-handy as I mentioned in this post about optimizing your blog for Pinterest. But if you are using Wordpress, I would definitely recommend checking out PicPress. It's a powerful tool when it comes to curating your photo blog posts!

Finally, there is no better way to illustrate the power of this topic than by sharing some wedding blog posts in their entirety that do all of the above well. Click below for some of my favorites:

Rainy Day wedding at El Chorro in Scottsdale, Arizona
Destination Wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Bohemian Wedding in Paradise Valley
Elegant Scottsdale Wedding at the Omni Montelucia

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How to curate a wedding blog post for maximum impact!
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