In this article we will talk about very important aspect for me, in both photography and life.
Another words KISS principle - Keep it short and simple - or my more favorite version - Keep it short and stupid.
There is something that you don’t know about me. When I’ve found passion to photography I was also passionate about UX and UI designing (User Experience - Designing positive experiences for customers visiting website or application, by psychological studies and approach / User interface - Graphic Design). I really wanted to become UX/UI designer. I read some books, tone of forums and tutorials, I was on the workshop and I was even thinking about studies. I’ve decided to go all into the photography, but my passion to UX is still here.
So what is it, what does it have common with KISS and why you should worry?
So the thing is that it’s more important than you might think. Everything you do in your life, business, photography or anything else is received by other people on the subconscious level.
We live is hurry and rush nowadays. Every information in the internet is processed by us in 1-2 sec. You scroll your Facebook or Instagram feed don’t even reading or staring at one picture for more than 1 sec. You will stop only if there is something unique that takes your attention.
How can you help yourself with this issue? Here it comes KISS. You need to keep everything as simple as you can. Too much information is too much. Before I will go precisely through each channel let’s list some my main KISS’s rules:
Less is more
Keep everything clear and visible
Remember that picture has more power than word
Remember than video has more power than picture
Remember that you on the video has more power than video without you
KISS on your website
Do you know this feeling when you meet a handsome guy, he smiles and look at you with lovely eyes and you already know that you like him sooo much. Why? You don’t even know him and you already imagine him as a father of your children. Naaah, I’m just joking, but you see my point. It’s the law of attraction.
And do you know that you have only 15 sec to attract new person visiting your website?
It’s not too much and if someone leaves your page you cannot grab his arm and tell him: “hey dude, I have more to offer than you think”. You need to ROCK and SHINE BRIGHT like damned diamond with the first impression.
Here are the main principles and things you should consider while building your website:
Use normal, visible and clear font. Don’t get crazy with any Monotype Corsivas or others. You can use it e.g. in titles like I did in “KISS on your website”. I use Verdana on this website. I also highly recommend Open Sans.
Don’t make your font too small. Remember that 50% of your readers are using phones.
Use grey text color instead of pure black. The psychological studies prove that reading grey text is more pleasant for eyes than pure black.
Use 12 maximum 20 words in one line (I know that you’re right now counting my words) and keep in the middle.
When you create your stories keep it also in the middle.
Don’t put too big pictures on your website, especially while building your stories. Remember less is more and smaller is bigger. (I use 1500px for longer side).
Don’t put too many things at your website and DON’t ever put full size images on your website. It’ll horrible slow down your website's efficiency.
Don’t put music on your website which will be playing automatically without pushing the play button.
Use subtle tones on your website. Don’t use flashy colors like red.
Make sure to put your logo / name in top left/center or right corner of your website.
Navigation bar - If I need to choose only one rule it would be this. Make sure to put it! Also don’t forget about “Home” button that can take your visitor back to the main page.
Put “About me” in navigation bar. It’s very important to introduce yourself. People want to see that you are not a robot. There is nothing worse that having “Photography Dreaming Team” website where you cannot find any information about yourself, including how you look and your name. Introduce yourself! Be honest. Tell what you like, how you love spending time. Show your face!
Don’t forget about Social Media icons. Put it on your website on the home page in the visible place.
The most obvious one, but I’ll write about this. Put contact details. In footer and in Contact tab in navigation bar. Put your phone number. Sometimes brides are very impatient and they prefer calling you immediately.
When you upload your new stories or blog posts type the date when the posts have been published. It will show people that you are active and that the post is not from the last year.
KISS your Social Media life
Basically Social Media has more freedom and flexibility than your website as there are more important things than KISS. The most important thing on Social Media is consistency, regular posting and engaging with people. But this is the post about KISS, so let’s list things that you can do:
Instagram caption: Use dot . click “enter” and then start writing your caption. Once you finish click “enter” again and type pause -
It will help you keeping tidy appearance on your feed.
Facebook - When you add link to e.g. your website, YouTube or anything else add photo instead of leaving “link window”.
Pinterest - There work infographics the best.
If we are talking about descriptions on Facebook or Instagram there is huge freedom. I like writing short quotes, terms, my feelings or call to actions. But I also like writing elaborates. In my opinion there is no bad or good way to do that.
KISS in your photos and storytelling
Minimalism is also very important aspect in photography and storytelling. Let me share with you some main rules that I try to keep:
Keep background as simple as you can. Avoid distractors, trash bins, other people or distracting colors.
Photograph with as lowest aperture as you can (in my cast F/1.4). Unless you shoot landscapes or wider shots.
Sometimes it’s better to show one powerful close up portrait e.g. on eyes or lips.
Don’t show and post the same frames. Choose one the best and share it.
Find lines and shapes and use it to lead your viewer.
When you build your stories keep the consistency in your style. If you decide to use specific preset or edit the photo shoot in darker mood make the whole story in consistent way.
I prefer using subtle and desaturated colors - But this is my personal preference.
I prefer building color or black and white stories. I try to not mix it e.g. 1 color and next 1 bw photo.
Sharpness and ideal digital look is what everyone looks for right now. Look for something different. Make unsharp photos, add grain, spoil your photos, don’t use flash even on a wedding party or in dark rooms, don’t make it look perfect.
If you shoot in forest and then in town and you like only 3 photos from town and 30 from forest, don’t put those 3 photos from town. Upload photos only from forest on your website to make your story consistent.
KISS your life
Make your life simpler! I think it’s the toughest one. It’s something what I was ignoring for too long time. I thought that everything what I do is defined only by my actions. It’s true, but actions start from habits and habits have beginning in your life and environment.
Create schedule and “To do list”. Be as most specific as you can e.g.
8.00 - 10.00: Emails, Instagram
10.00 - 13.00: Editing
13.00 - 14.00: Dinner
14.00 - 16.00: Editing
16.00 - 17.00: Having fun with kitty
18.00 - 20.00: Photo shoot
Use pens, crayons and paper to create your brain storm ideas!
Separate the place where you work and when you rest.
Delete all distractors from your environment e.g. turn off your phone and TV.
Decorate your home using things that inspire you e.g. polaroid photos.
Use Sticky Notes on your fridge with positive quotes.
That’s all for now! Thank you for reading.
If it is interesting topic for you I highly, highly recommend you reading two books: “Don’t make me think” and “Design of everyday things”.
Hope you like it! In case of any questions DM me.