Voyage + Heart

Using your “Influence” Without Being An “Influencer”

Voyage + HeartComment
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The other day, a brand I was communicating with called me an influencer, and quite honestly it made me uncomfortable. One look at my follower count will clearly tell you that based on popular standards I don’t fit into this category, and I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be an influencer, because I’m a small business owner. A professional photographer. My roots have been in this field far longer than I’ve been familiar with the term in question.

When you think of the word influencer, what comes to mind? These days, it’s likely sponsored ads, vacations, and promoting brands in exchange for free stuff. While not always the case, maybe you think of purchased followers or likes. I understand that for many, being an influencer is a full-time job that provides necessary income. Getting to use your creativity in addition to the perks it brings, of course I can see why this may seem an attractive path. But being lumped into this description just because there is the overlap of photography doesn’t sit well with me.

While admittedly it can be frustrating, I love Instagram, the opportunities it has led to, and community this platform has allowed me to build. That said, I have zero desire to wreak havoc on my mental and emotional well-being by feeling pressured by when to post, what to say, whether I’m getting enough engagement, or how high my follower count grows. I fully believe that occasional, well-chosen collaborations with brands who’s message aligns with your own can benefit both parties. However, when every post becomes a promotion, no matter how honest the opinion given, it begins to feel artificial. We live in such a noisy world, that I personally see so much more benefit in living quietly.

I believe you can have influence, without being an “influencer” in today’s sense of the word. With every image I take, caption I write, or post I share, I ask myself what value am I contributing? How am I using my business as a tool for impact? How am I serving the clients I work with, or bettering the world around me?

A pretty picture for a sponsored post isn’t enough.

I work closely with artisans and conscious businesses to strengthen their brand through the use of thoughtful, cohesive imagery that specifically fulfills their needs and shows off the quality of their work, so that in turn, they can attract their target market and cultivate personal connections with their community. I tag my clients in product photos, not because I’m obligated to the way I would be if I were partnering with a brand, but because as a business owner who heavily relies on word-of-mouth referrals, I know how much it means to me when my clients properly credit my work. It builds each other up, and as they say “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. When I share the stories of these entrepreneurs, it’s not to get you to buy a specific product or to earn a commission (doesn’t happen!), but because they are my peers — small business owners that want to make a difference — and I believe in supporting their message. By connecting buyers with ethical makers and shedding a light on topics that inspire others to lead a slow, intentional life, we as consumers are empowered to be a part of the change.

Time or Money: Which Are You Investing?

BusinessVoyage + HeartComment
Voyage + Heart - Product Photographers for Natural Skincare Brands - Shea Brand - Product Photography for CBD Brands - CBD Pain Reliever - CBD Oil for Anxiety and Pain Relief

As a business owner, you likely know the importance of investing back into your business. But what are you prioritizing?

Professional product photography should be a non-negotiable investment for any business, large or small.
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Why is it so essential?
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Because it tells your audience that you’re serious about what you do, that you’re an expert, and can be trusted! Strong imagery is a powerful way to communicate your brand story and sell a product, clearly portraying the value and quality of what you offer, and showing off the little details that make you stand out from the competition!
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Here’s where I’m going to be blunt: if you can’t invest your time on a consistent basis — planning, styling, shooting, editing and curating high-quality imagery — you need to invest the money by outsourcing this necessary work to someone who can help you!
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Are you ready to bring in new business and increase brand awareness through visual storytelling and beautiful, intentional imagery of your products? I’m just an email away!

An Easy Sustainable Swap To Kick Off #PlasticFreeJuly

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For me, at it’s core, slow living means living daily life with a more thoughtful approach. The brands we support, what we buy, how things are made, and how long we use these items all play an important role in the impact we have on the world around us.

In approaching consumerism and consumption more thoughtfully, finding non-disposable alternatives to typically-plastic objects used in the tasks of daily life has been a continuous objective.

Bathrooms are one of the worst offenders when it comes to the amount of plastic disposed of each year. Just think about all the plastic products we use and replace every few weeks: shampoo and conditioner bottles, body wash, hand soap pumps, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, cotton tips, and of course, razors. Disposable razors are one of those products that are continuously being thrown away after just a few uses, the majority of which ends up in our oceans and landfills.

Typically made of stainless steel, safety razors add a conscious touch to your skincare routine, while reducing plastic waste. With care, they can last a lifetime. The only part that needs to be disposed of is the blade, which can be recycled!

Once you’ve used up your previously-bought disposable razors or cartridges, take a moment to learn some of the benefits of using a safety razor. Looking for intentionally-designed and thoughtfully produced options to slow down an otherwise rushed routine, and transform shaving from a chore into a self-care ritual that you enjoy? Oui Shave is a fabulous brand made for women, by women (the rose gold doesn’t hurt to look at, either!); and the Edwin Jagger chrome lined razor, pictured here, is a great choice for men (particularly when paired with with a badger brush and natural shave bar).

Do you use a safety razor? Does it seem intimidating? Have any questions about this sustainable swap? Comment on this post!