April

Station #2

Another month, another four weeks with only a couple of posts. This is not how I want things to be, but life seems to be full of lots of stupid little distractions lately. The struggle is trying to figure out how to get things back on track.

The two posts in April were two polar opposites. The first was a big project over a year in the making, the other the sort of ‘easy’ post that doesn’t take much to throw together.

1/250sec, f/5, ISO 200, 18mm

Some More Portraits was technically started in April 2012 when I began to compile a new list of portrait images after being quite pleased with my first portraits post (and its  short follow-up). My portraits posts are a departure from my normal post format for this blog. Most of my posts are connected by virtue of them being taken on the same day; sometimes a single trip is spun out into two (or more) posts, but usually the theory is, single trip = single post. My portraits posts, however, are different. Their connection is purely thematic.

Although I started the post in April, it was slow going. Every time I contemplated actually writing the post, some more portraits would turn up, or I’d go out and shoot something more topical or interesting, and I’d get distracted. Eventually I had over 100 portrait images waiting, and then 200.

Screen Shot 2013-04-13 at 17.03.25

Once the portraits shortlist had grown pretty sizeable, I began contemplating the best ways of showcasing the amount of material. For quite some time I planned to split the post into groups of people, making it a little bit more manageable for you to read in one chunk. It was at about this time I quit working on the main Some More Portraits draft I’d been maintaining for a while.

The catalyst that finally prompted me to get the post was my Lastolite softbox. I was so happy with the results I wanted to share them, and yet by my own rules they were being held up by the ever-unfinished portraits post. I started writing them up in their own post, imaginatively titled Softbox Portraits, which was going to be the first of the ‘split’ posts. But then I had a bit of doubt: I’d be starting the series of portraits from the end, with what I felt was my strongest stuff. I didn’t really want to do that.

When I went and had a closer look at the original Some More Portraits draft, I realised I had originally begun it in early April 2012. At the time, it was a few days before the first anniversary of starting the post. The idea hit me: I could call it A Year of Portraits instead and publish it on the first anniversary of starting it. So, finally, I sat down to put in a concentrated effort on completing the portraits post I’d been talking about writing for a good year.

I soon missed my own self-imposed deadline, which I guess shouldn’t be all that surprising. Following the ‘year of portraits’ concept I ensured the images were ordered chronologically, but soon returned to calling it Some More Portraits – its original title from a year ago – after I realised some or the portraits were over a year old. That, and I preferred the original title. 

In the end, the post was published only a week after my original target. It wasn’t particularly well received, however – it only received eleven likes, and not a single comment – a mediocre reception at best. In fact, I’ve not had any comments on this blog at all since Fame in March. 

Tracks

Some More Portraits snuck out mid-April. Five days later I posted Instagram #16. My Instagram posts are often quick and dirty, but I’m usually pleased with the content of the images I’m posting. My Instagram images are pretty backlogged, but I’m working my way through them. I like to avoid publishing Instagram posts too close to each other, however – on this occasion, I only posted Instagram #16 when I knew it would knock Instagram #15 off of my ten-post-strong ‘recent posts’ list.

Instagram #16 ended up more popular than Some More Portraits, with seventeen likes. This is a bit frustrating when I compare the amount of effort put into each post.

That was the last post in April. I only managed to complete two posts in the month, which was disappointing. As I eluded to at the opening of this post, life has been a bit distracting lately. I’ve been struggling to find the energy to work on posts, and when I do, it’s always been devoted to working on the Daily Photo in order to keep up with it’s ‘photo a day’ remit. `it doesn’t help that a lot of the sets that currently remain in my backlog are large ones that need a lot of work. I’ve been struggling with it for a little while now, but hopefully it’s just a case of getting my head back in the right gear.

The Daily Photo is continuing unabated, not missing a day so far. It’s also had some pretty positive feedback from its posts, including twenty likes on Signs of Spring, which I didn’t think was my best effort of the month, but there you go.

The Daily Photo also saw an increase in hits in April to 128, the first month-on-month increase since December. This was helped by a massive and unexplained spike of 49 hits on April 13th. It also now has 176 followers, having added 25 in the month, which seems remarkable given the number of hits. I’m not sure I’ll ever know how many of those follows are genuine but it’s still encouraging.

Creative Splurges, meanwhile, had 227 hits in April, continuing a decline that’s been happening since Christmas and the lowest number of hits for a single month since December 2011 (I’m pretty sure I said the same thing last month). I have, however, managed to add 14 followers to the fold. I guess at some point the Daily Photo will overtake Creative Splurges. The stats suggest only three people found their way to Creative Splurges from The Daily Photo in April, which doesn’t really bode well for the ‘drive traffic to Creative Splurges‘ task that it was originally created for.

I’m planning for better in May. My niece’s and dad’s birthdays which catalysed the new portraits post are happening again this year, as birthdays are wont to do; these might not take so long to post this time. I also intend, for what it’s worth, to stick my head into some of the more sizeable sets in my backlog. I also have a smaller set that has been edited and just needs to be written up.

May is a new month.

Thanks, as always, for reading.
Rob

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