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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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How to Create Social Media Content While Remaining Present in Real Life Hope Taylor Education

For Photographers

Over the Thanksgiving week, I logged off of social media and didn’t share anything throughout the holidays. So, I shared a big recap on Instagram stories Sunday evening. I got SO many messages from followers saying how cute my recaps are and how much they love them – which is SO sweet! I love them too!!! But, there is a much deeper, more intentional reason why I share my instagram story recaps the way that I do. It has nothing to do with trying to be cute or strategic…it has everything to do with me trying to be PRESENT.

Two years ago, I was super sick with autoimmune issues. I was in and out of doctors and landed myself in the hospital a handful of times. It turned out that it was almost all stress-induced…and it quickly reminded me how important my personal life SHOULD have been. I wasn’t making near enough time for myself, my mental and physical health or my family. It shifted my perspective ENTIRELY on the value of simply unplugging and spending time with people you love. I’m not quite sure exactly when it happened, but this was around the time I completely STOPPED sharing on social media in real time.

Not sharing in “real time” simply means that I am still taking photos and videos to capture memories as they happen…but that is ALL I’m doing. It completely frees up my mind to be PRESENT in moments as they unfold with absolutely zero pressure to make the lighting perfect, edit it on the spot, make it consistent on my feed or share it anywhere. It’s actually even gotten to the point that I’ll put my phone on airplane mode and ONLY have it on me to use as a camera. That way I can truly be 10000% present without social media notifications or text messages interrupting my peace – haha!

Then, whenever I’m ready (typically when friends leave town or the holiday is over, etc.) I will go back through the hundreds of pictures and videos I’ve taken to decide what to share, edit and post. It’s actually become one of my absolute FAVORITE parts of any trip or memory…because I get to live it TWICE. Once when it happens, and a second time when I go through all of the images later to share a recap! I look FORWARD to this process now!! It also allows me to leave my camera at home when I want to. There is just so much freedom inside this workflow!!!

So, I wanted to share a step-by-step workflow of how I do this so that I can give YOU the same freedom to be PRESENT in your daily life. Some of this may seem like common sense…but I’ve come to love this process so much that I’m going to share it all!


When I say TONS of pictures…I mean TONS. I’m taking pictures and videos of everything from food to my friends to the activities we do and the places we go. But, taking the picture is ALL that I’m doing. I don’t even go back and look at what I’ve taken to delete extras…I just let my camera roll fill up and worry about it later! I also love taking just as many VIDEOS as I do pictures. They are so fun to watch later!!

I had already gone through and deleted the unedited versions…but here’s a screenshot of my camera roll!! So many random pics!!!


If you’re a wedding photographer, you know what the term “cull” means – it just means that you go through and decide which images you want to keep! When I do this on my phone, I go through everything I’ve taken and “favorite” it by clicking the little heart in the bottom toolbar. I make sure that the “favorites” folder on my phone is empty besides the images I’m culling because it makes step 3 so much easier!


VSCO is my favorite app to edit images, because it’s so fast! It lets me copy and paste settings, just like Lightroom would, and I can easily make everything look consistent! But, I just open the “favorites” folder in VSCO – so that way I’m only uploading the images I know I want to keep!

The edited versions are so much prettier!!!


This app is one of my Insta story secret weapons…and I don’t think I’ve shared it anywhere before!! It allows you to edit VIDEOS the same way you edit PHOTOS! You can brighten them, increase contrast and saturation, crop and straighten, etc. – it helps your Instagram stories look so much more elevated and professional (plus it’s consistent with your photos – which lets you not worry about the lighting when you’re taking them!)


Once I’m done editing everything, I export it and share it to my stories! I make sure to tag any local restaurants, vendors and locations to increase marketing awareness in my area (more info in THIS post on how to market in a new location!) and I also try to add interactive features like polls and questions!

And that’s it! I’ll even create Instagram Story highlights for different trips, locations and categories so my audience can watch them over and over if they miss them during the 24 hour window! HERE is a free guide that explains how to create those highlights!!

  1. Quianna Marie says:

    Love these tips, Hope! I love being snap happy and present during the holidays! ❤️

  2. Jade Lunny says:

    It’s silly but sometimes I think I need this, like I want to show the world my life but I also want to live it!

hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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