What's On Your Director's Cut?

We're movie fanatics in my family ...

we don't just watch movies, we critique them.  We discuss them.  We rip them apart 😂

It's part of being married to an actor/writer/director and all-around super creative person. My husband's brain NEVER stops, so when we watch movies, we go deep.  

Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with photography marketing???

I'm getting there ... stay with me.  

Last night, we were watching the bootleg cut (director's cut) of Almost Famous.  You can only get it on Blu-ray as part of its 20th anniversary - released last year.  It's hands down one of my favorite movies of all time - it's truly a work of art.  And right in the middle of it, as I was losing my mind watching the scenes that were cut from this masterpiece, I had a revelation.

A director's cut is the entire vision of the director and in this case, also the writer.  It's the whole story - all the little nuances that add to the exposition.  

And very rarely do the movies that make it to the screen contain that entire vision. 

Most of the time, they are picked apart by old studio execs who just want to make sure they are making money and they just don't care about the director's vision.  My husband has mentioned this at least 84,000 times in the last 20 years and I get it!  I don't know if I could hand my "baby" over to a studio and let them chop it up 😩

But I digress.

The point I'm trying to make to you, dear photographer is that your story - your ENTIRE story - is your own director's cut.  

Stay with me here .... 

I've been talking for a while now about how Instagram is moving away from "just pictures" - they announced this last month.   We are seeing a huge resurgence of raw and authentic content, thanks to TikTok  (Side note: it is NOT too late to jump on the TikTok trend, by the way). 

So it makes sense that we are seeing the abandonment of the perfectly curated feed on Instagram and seeing more real, uncurated, slices of life. 

The algorithm is changing; reels are being pushed heavily to compete with TikTok and people are sharing more of their real lives - including the vulnerable stuff.  

Listen, I'm not saying you have to overshare way outside of your comfort zone; but I AM saying I think you should decide what's gonna go in your director's cut.  

And the perfect way to showcase that cut is by using HIGHLIGHTS.  

Our Gen Z clients are the streaming generation.  They love consuming content on Netflix, Youtube, and TikTok (now you can do 3-minute vids there).  Why not give them content on YOU and your amazing business to binge?  

Here's a few of mine:


I have a LOT of highlights lol ... you don't have to do that many but why not give your clients the whole story?  Honestly, I think this tool is the best one Instagram gave us.

If you aren't sure how to create them:

  • First, you need to be sharing on your story - I like to encourage photographers and business owners to share here DAILY.  Bits and pieces of your life, what you do in and outside of your business - we're talking more than just behind the scenes pics.
  • Once you have content on your story, you can then click the little ❤️ at the bottom right (says highlight under it) - and it will prompt you to add to one you already have OR create a new one. 
  • If you create a new one, you will be able to name it whatever you like and you can upload a cover photo for that highlight as well 
  • You can go back through your story archive and add to a highlight - so don't feel like you have to create a whole bunch of new stuff now ... you can totally go back and grab stuff you've already posted

Now, if you aren't posting on your stories yet, let's have a come to Jesus moment, shall we?

I know you're busy.  I know you don't like being in front of the camera.  I know you think your clients don't care about anything you do. 

Those are excuses.  Not facts.

And it's up to YOU to shift that thinking.  

Let's reframe:


You can and do make time for things that matter.  You aren't prioritizing this marketing yet.  Make a commitment to create ONE story slide a day for three weeks & hold yourself to it. 


Bestie, this is why filters exist!!!!!  Get over yourself - nobody cares about you as much as you think they do 😜 Okay I know that sounds harsh, but for real - you are your own worst enemy; don't NOT show up for your clients because you wish you looked 20 years younger .... throw a filter on and move on with your day!


Did you know that it's estimated that Gen Z'ers need upwards of 30 touchpoints from a biz before they decide to buy from them?   Did you know that a story slide counts as a touchpoint?   Also?  Your clients DO care - that's my point to this entire blog post.  Your clients want to know your director's cut!!!   

Let's dive into WHY this is important:

By now, we know that Gen Z'ers value personalized experiences, authentic interaction, and meaningful connections.  How are you communicating this in your marketing?  

Sure, you can create posts and captions about this but what if ... and I know - it's a crazy idea, but what if you SHOWED UP AND EMBODIED THOSE THINGS????

Including but not limited to:

  • Talking about a hobby you love and WHY (maybe it was handed down through generations, etc.)
  • Showing old pics or albums of your family - adding to the narrative that physical products are important 
  • Creating content about causes you love to support and why they're important to you (is it something you've supported for a while or is this something new you've found and want to share with your audience?)
  • Sharing your personal life as much as you feel comfy with:  funny things your spouse does; why your kids hate the music you listen to; how many pets you have and their personalities; something in your home that makes you happy; your skin care routine; your smoothie ingredients .... the list is long!

My point is that you ARE your business. This is something my Level Up students hear all. the. time. because it's true.  If you are running a boutique photography business, you are in the relationship game, my friend.  

It's about connection

Telling your story - your director's cut - is how you create that connection. 

Let me know how YOU do this or if you need help learning how.  I'm happy to chat to see if the coaching I offer is right for you!  


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