Meet Rob. He maintains the North Metro Photo Blog, a daily photo journal that highlights the Twin Cities and beyond. He is a photography and blog novice who usually enjoys snapping photos while hiking, biking, fishing, or urban trekking. Through his images, he shares with the world a unique view of life in the Twin Cities.
Many people blog for different reasons. What is your ultimate goal as a blogger? Basically, why do you blog?
I enjoy art, specifically paintings and photography. Both rely on composition and lighting. Photography is my art form. To improve and hone our photographic skills, we must shoot photos on a regular basis. But what do we do with the hundreds of images we capture? We either print them out to be closeted in a shoe box amongst the dust bunnies, or we upload them to online photo sharing sites such as Flickr. The latter is the most rewarding.
We participate in virtual communities sharing our work and praising each other. But for me, that was not enough. I wanted to be more creative and reach a larger audience. That is when I started my first photo-blog northmetro.blogspot.com back in May of 2007. Through my old blog and my current blog, northmetrophoto.com, I have been able to meet acquaintances worldwide and share our photos and comments with each other. Together we have learned about each other’s history and culture. It is a fun way to virtually travel the world with a cup of coffee behind the monitor.
Photo-blogging has brought the world into our homes. In short, a photo not shared is not worth taking.
Blogging takes time, dedication, a constant stream of new ideas. What is the biggest blogging challenge you face?
The biggest challenge is time. It takes a lot of time to go out and take photos of interesting subjects, post process them and post the finished results on a daily basis. Life always happens and interferes with the fun. Time is short. I try to keep a minimum of one week of scheduled posts to keep the daily work to a minimum. Time is spent culling images both in the camera and the PC to reduce redundancy and marginal images. Time is spent post processing my images from RAW to JPEG, uploading, posting, etc. There is usually never enough time.
It is the beginning of a new year. Where do you see the “North Metro Photo Blog” going in 2010? Any big changes coming up?
2010 was the end of Dusty Lens at northmetro.blogspot.com and the beginning of northmetrophoto.com. I decided take this to the next level by owning my own domain with a more professional appearance. My hope is to attain some freelance photography work and create a small photography side business. Nothing too big, yet; just enough to pay for more photographic gear.
Watch for more food photography and more off camera flash techniques.
Bloggers often draw inspiration from each other. What other blogs do you enjoy reading and why? What Twin Cities bloggers are your favorites?
There are so many blogs I enjoy I can’t list them all. You can find most of them listed on the sidebar at northmetro.blogspot.com. Many of these blogs, me included, belong to City Daily Photo, a fun way to see the world.
Mononeil has fantastic black and white photos. Paris Set Me Free has interesting video tutorials. Rome Daily Photo, simply because it’s my favorite city and I enjoy her urban style. Spatter for her outstanding nature and macro images. Evry Daily Photo, simple and fun. Maya has excellent work. I just discovered a foodie photoblogger – Smitten Kitchen.
My Twin City favorites who post regularly are Mitchster, Eyephoto and Snapshutter – I regularly shoot with these guys. Sam Can Shoot has the same eclectic style I have. Trout Caviar a local foodie and artisan bread baker.
What do you love about the Twin Cities / Minnesota?
We have a lot of events year round to keep us entertained. There is a lot of great art in the Cities and never really have to commute far to find it. We can photo-shoot wildlife in one of the many area parks and be downtown the same afternoon for some urban and art photo-shooting. The change of seasons always adds to the drama each quarter. Although I am uninspired by this dreary gray winter so far.
Everyone has their own secret for success. Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
Persistence. Keep up with it on a regular basis, not necessarily every day, but at least weekly to retain your followers. It is a fine line between doing too much to the point of burning out from it and not enough to keep people from losing interest. Sign up and use Google Analytics. Analytics has a myriad of charts and tables that pertain to your viewer’s behavior. After some time, you can get a sense of your posted material for what is working and what isn’t. Most of all, keep it fun, this should not be work.