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Why Your Pictures Aren’t Good Enough

If You Love It, Share It!
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I’m hoping that you got beyond that title and still decided to read this post. I’m also hoping that you didn’t open it, ready to attack me but if you did and you are still reading, I encourage you to keep going. I promise that by the end of this you won’t want to wring my neck and hopefully I’ve provided some valuable tips to help you get your photos shared more often.

Lately there has been a lot of buzz in our brand rep groups about reps feeling like they aren’t good enough.  They feel like they aren’t getting chosen to be on teams as much as they used to and they are feeling unappreciated by the shops they do work with. They feel like they provide great pictures, repost for shops and make their purchases as required.  And though they are doing everything they’ve been asked to do, their pictures are still not being shared on the shops feeds.  It makes them angry and it makes them lash out on social media. And while most don’t name the shops publicly, they are more than happy to privately message it to you if you ask.  This makes me sad for all parties involved, but mostly for that hard working shop owner who was probably never even asked why this person’s pictures aren’t being shared.  As a shop owner, I can tell you that there are many reasons why your pictures aren’t being shared and they are probably not for the reasons you think. Here are the top five reasons that I, as a shop owner, don’t share a picture.

  1. The Item You Photographed is Not a Priority: Shops promote different items at different times.  Depending on when you purchased that item and the time it took to photograph it, the shop owner may not be promoting that particular item anymore.  It may be sold out, an older season’s item or just doesn’t need as much promotion as the other items in their shop.  Your picture could be amazing, it just might be bad timing.
  2. The Look in the Photo Doesn’t Go With Their Branding: Before you photograph a shop’s item, do you take a moment to check out their feed?  Do you check to see if they have a preference as to location, background or styling?  If you’re not, you are missing an important step. If you find that the majority of the pictures they share are in front of a white wall, or in an industrial location, or in the woods or outdoors, then try to plan your photoshoot accordingly.  Do they prefer monochrome vs. bright colors?  Do they prefer street style over cutesy style? Spend that extra minute to find out before you shoot.  The shop will appreciate it and they are more likely to share!
  3. Your Pictures are Blurry: Shop owners pay attention to how crisp your photos are.  If you are chasing a baby around and the picture is blurry, chances are, they aren’t going to repost it.  It may mean you are taking 100 pictures to get 3 good ones, but you should always make sure that they aren’t blurry!  Believe it or not, I take 200 pictures of each outfit and delete at least 20 blurry images and another 150 or so where the product isn’t shown in it’s best light.  Sometimes my camera is just not as fast as my 4 year old but it’s my responsibility to make sure that I’m getting great, crisp photos of those items for the shops we represent. If the item isn’t in focus, it’s not going to work for advertising purposes.
  4. You Aren’t Using the Full Instagram Box:  Everyone wants their feed to look a certain way.  I think you should be able to do whatever you want on your own feed, but when a shop goes to share, if they are using full Instagram squares and you aren’t, the picture becomes less shareable.  The shop owner can message you and ask for the image to be emailed, but sometimes our days get so hectic that we can forget. I personally go through my tagged pictures and take screenshots of them all and stick them in a folder in my phone, so they are ready to share.  I can’t do those with the resized images and so they tend to get overlooked, not because I don’t love them, but because it takes the convenience away by having to do that extra step.
  5. You Are Over Editing: We’ve all done it at one point or another.  If your child’s skin has been so “smoothed” that he/she looks more like a porcelain doll than a child, you may be over editing.  If the colors of the items in your pictures don’t look natural (or even your child’s skin color), you may be over editing.  If you are brightening and editing your child’s eyes so much that they look like marbles instead of eyes, you may be over editing.  The thing about capturing items for small shops that is most important is that the items accurately show the item.  If the pictures you are providing are going to cause customers to question what it is they bought because it looks different in your pictures, the shop will probably not share them.  As a shop owner, I’m much less likely to share a picture if the child looks unnatural or there is a filter used which completely changes the color of my item.   I want to show beautiful pictures of real kids wearing my items and I would imagine that most shops feel the same way.  Keep that in mind when you’re editing!

While these are just some of the reasons a shop may not be sharing your pictures, I encourage you to reach out to the shop to ask what you can do better.  Most of them will be more than happy to help!  Accept constructive criticism.  Don’t take things personally and know that no matter where you are in your photography and brand repping journey, we can all improve in some way.  These shop owners want you to succeed as much as you do and can give you the best feedback of all, since you are working with them.

Lastly, please remember that brand repping isn’t about the shop reposting YOUR images, but the services you are providing the shop in exchange for free or discounted items.  While it’s always great to see your photos on the shop’s feeds, it’s a bonus and not the requirement of any shop.  Focus on the positives and what you get out of the brand repping experience.  I promise you that the good will always outweigh the bad and if it doesn’t, maybe it’s time to take a little break and re-evaluate your “why”.   Take each experience as a learning experience and learn from others by visiting your favorite brand rep pages and studying their techniques.  Take chances, set limits and push yourself to surpass them.  I promise you that you can do it and the final results can be beyond your wildest dreams.

Looking for more brand rep tips? Click here to read more.

If you're a brand rep, always wondering why your photos don't get shared by the shops you work with, here are some helpful tips from a previous small shop owner.


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  • Rika Agustini
    June 21, 2019

    Very useful tips! I am really into photography, so thanks for sharing!

  • Kasey
    June 20, 2019

    I’m probably more guilty of under editing than over. It is great to know a little behind why brands pick -or don’t pick – photos.

  • Beth
    June 20, 2019

    This is great feedback! It can be easy to get caught up with my vision of how a product should be styled, instead of considering things from the brand’s perspective.

  • Catalina
    June 20, 2019

    wow! Thanks a lot for these tips. I have some issues with pictures lately!

  • Mama Maggie's Kitchen
    June 20, 2019

    Loving this blog! This list is really eye opening. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rachel
    June 20, 2019

    I think it is helpful to know what the brand’s mission is and what they want out of their marketing.

  • Lynndee
    June 20, 2019

    I love taking pictures but I know I still have a lot to learn about photography. And I need a lot of practice too.

  • Terri Steffes
    June 20, 2019

    I try to focus on my exposures when I edit. I like to brighten up the photo and get a lighter look.

  • Ruth I
    June 20, 2019

    These are all great points! I think it’s better to ask and talk to the shop owner before lashing out in social media. Communication is the key!

  • Danielle Janzen
    June 20, 2019

    I’m totally guilty of over editing, I’ll admit it! But I’ve also discovered that if I can take my photos outside, then very little editing is ever required.

  • Ricci
    June 20, 2019

    These are all great points to consider when using photography to get a brand’s attention. I will keep these things in mind.

  • Theresa
    June 19, 2019

    Every point you made is a valid one for influencers to consider. I especially like the tip about checking the brand’s feed before you style your photo to get a feel of what they are after when it comes to brand photography!

  • Krizzia Scollon
    June 19, 2019

    I agree with over editing. It makes the picture less authentic and kind of blurry too sometimes!

  • Leigh Suznovich
    June 19, 2019

    I was totally intrigued by the title actually, and I love the tips here! Photography is my biggest weakness and I am always wanting to learn new tips and tricks about it.

  • Pam
    June 19, 2019

    I have been hearing a lot of hype about brand repping lately. It is so important to realize what brands are looking for when you rep for them.

  • Glamamom
    June 19, 2019

    These are definitely some great tips if you are looking to have your images reposted and just improve the overall quality. I hate over edited photos and also the forced look of one aesthetic.

  • Tasheena
    June 19, 2019

    I really enjoyed reading this post. All of your tips are really helpful and important.

  • Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    June 19, 2019

    I agree that over editing is not good. It’s important for the picture to look authentic and natural.

  • Bre Paulson
    June 19, 2019

    So true, you’ve gotta take soooo many photos for just 1 good one. And I’m so over the super edited feeds as well.

  • Jeanette
    June 19, 2019

    These are definitely are some pointers! My husband loves to do photography and he makes it so pretty. I wish I can make it look as good as he does and how easy he does it. I will definitely take a couple of these and try them.

  • Rena
    June 19, 2019

    I get this all of the time too and these are such excellent tips. I think I would talk to the shop owner and get the answers needed to keep almost everyone (you know there’s always that one)!

  • Alli Smith
    June 19, 2019

    These are great tips! I hate to see over-edited photos with the color all wrong. I’m extremely picky about photos and I’ve rejected guest posts because of the photos.

  • cait
    June 19, 2019

    omg can i just say you hit everything on the head with this 😉 i couldn’t agree more w/ photos needing to WORK with the brand and need to be a big priority within the post! thanks for such a great and informative article.

  • Heather
    June 19, 2019

    These are great pointers for the budding photographer. My photography is limited to my iPhone these days.

  • Andrea
    March 21, 2017

    Yes! Love it.

  • Tracy Shane
    March 20, 2017

    Everything yes!!!!! ???

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Why Your Pictures Aren’t Good Enough

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