I started my personal blog in 2005. I had lived in Australia for about a year and was living a life very different from my old life back in Sweden. Although I had been a copywriter in advertising for years, I had actually never written anything personal, nothing for the joy of writing, no sharing of my thoughts, nothing. When it came to writing I was a hired gun, no more no less.
My life in advertising in Sydney and Melbourne was pretty crazy. We partied and worked hard and I felt I needed to document it somehow.
So I started a blog.
I wrote notes about things, rambled on about what I did, my friends, memories from the past and hopes for the future. I wasn’t using my real name, for some reason it was easier to be open and personal under an alias. It didn’t take too long before people started finding my blog and over the weeks and months that summer in 2005, I built up some kind of audience. I have always loved the stage and here I had found the perfect forum. People coming to listen to my ramblings and actually enjoying the experience. So I blogged. And blogged. And blogged.
As the audience grow, there was interest from newspaper and magazines, I started writing weekly columns for a couple of magazines and eventually the blog was bought up and I was suddenly paid to blog.
In 2006 my personal blog won the title of the most popular blog in Sweden. One could argue the accuracy of that, but it was evident I had some hardcore fans who voted for me, so there you have it.
I kept blogging, but I felt I was slowly running out of things to say. Maybe because my life was changing. Noah was born and taking up more of my time, spending as much with him as I could was more important than entertaining people who wanted me to write more and more, not less and less.
When I started my photography business and set up this site, I knew I wanted it to be a blog. After years of blogging I understood the benefits of the format, both for business reasons, but also when it came to showing who you are.
I want you to know who I am, I truly do.
I must say I struggled at first, or I still do actually. Balancing personal content with my wedding photos proved very difficult. I didn’t want to scare away people. When you land on a wedding photographer’s website, you want to see wedding photos.
In your face!
So I’ve kept the writing to a minimum (for me). A few of my random thoughts have made it to the blog, but not nearly as much as I would have liked.
But I’ve finally made my mind up. It’s time for a change. I’m heavily booked up as it is, if I miss out on bookings because I don’t have a wedding image on the top of my blog every day all year round, I’m ok with that. This blog is now getting around 180,000-200,000 hits per month, so I’m willing to risk it.
So, welcome to a new beginning, this is now my personal/wedding/photography blog. I am a wedding photographer/father/partner/writer/music lover/amateur chef/traveler among other things and it’s time this blog reflected that. I also want to share things ABOUT wedding photography, not just post photos all the time.
If this is commercial suicide, well then you’ll be on front row as it all happens.
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Its now December and I am reading back to this blog, you did the right thing – excellent
Hey thanks,- you just made me exhale, to drop my shoulder and quietly ponder my life as a photographer….
My heart almost stopped a year ago, and I have not made the changes inside so needed,-thanx again…
I visited your blog for the first time when you shot my friend’s wedding back in ’09 – (I was the cellist at Dan and Edwina’s wedding) and I have visited very regularly ever since. I adore the wedding photos, but I don’t visit for the ‘weddingy’ stuff – it’s all about the joy and the beauty and the amazing sparkly things that people do that you seem to have such a knack for. I will continue to visit, probably more!
I’m sure it won’t be. : ) That is a struggle I think we all have. And you certainly staved off the personal stuff for a long time and are lucky to have such success doing what you love. I say, more power to you! And in the immortal words of Madonna, express yourself.
bravo. Enjoy the ride. I know i will enjoy coming along on it.
Really enjoying all your posts man. It’s been my daily dose of inspiration. I’m purdy sure half of those 200k hits are from me ;). Keep it coming.
All I can say is you’ve certainly done well :-) All the best for the future but you are at the top of your game now maybe become a film director and let me have a chance at the title :-)
i for one am excited to learn more about you and read your thoughts as well as see more personal pictures!
I love it. This makes me want to scream “YES!!” I have struggled with wanting to write and include my personal life on my business blog, but having others tell me that it isn’t a professional thing to do. You have me rethinking it this morning. I’m bookmarking this blog. Go for it!
SO glad you’ve made this decision. Looking forward with interest to the evolution of Jonas Peterson.
I think this is a fantastic idea. You have a fanbase, and I truly believe that people want to know MORE about you. Personally, you’re at the top of my list as favorite photographers so seeing a post like this where you’re going to let us in more is like Christmas.
Gud så gärna jag skulle vilja vara din praktikant. Jag skulle ge upp hur mycket som helst för att åka till Australien och få vara med en dag i ditt fotoliv.
Att du sen tar steget i den skrämmande personliga världen, gör dig-för mig- än mer intressantare som fotograf.
Jag avgudar ditt sätt att fånga den stora dagen, och du kommer vara min absoluta inspirationskälla när jag i sommar- eller nästa- fotograferar mitt första bröllop.
Jag är väldigt nyfiken på ditt liv i övrigt också, på din lilla kille, på frun, ja, på livet. Därför ser jag nu ännu mer fram emot dina inlägg.
Vet inte hur jag ska avsluta detta- jag skulle vilja skriva att jag verkligen önskar att vi träffas en dag. Och det gör jag. och jag vet vad det skulle ge mig. Kruxet är väl att jag kanske inte har så mycket att ge tillbaka.
I think you’ve got a knack for knowing what people want.
Personally, I quite miss your accurate ramblings.
Looking forward to it!
You know Jasmine Star is who she is because of her personal/business blog updated once a day! Being named Top 10 Wedding photographer in the world is not a bad way to go.
go for it, dude. i don’t think you’re risking anything at all. you’ll just get more readers – maybe even more faithful readers.
looking forward to read what you come up with.
I can’t wait for more personal posts Jonas! In fact that’s what lead me to picking you as a photographer :) Everyone loves a good wedding photo but what makes your work even more kick ass is the commentary that goes along with it. I reckon that’s what makes you so great at what you do :) And I reckon if people don’t choose you based on the fact that you blog about personal stuff then they’re probably not people you’d wanna shoot for anyway! Looking forward to the next installment!
U r such a stud muffin. Do you think you can make a post on your mom’s recipe for Swedish Meatballs?
I think you have nothing to worry about. Your personable side is a huge part of your success, Jonas. No fear man. Just go for it.
If you’ve been holding back on the blog then you weren’t being wholly true to yourself, so this is exactly the right thing to do. :) Looking forward to it.
I have been enjoying the ride so far mate. Not getting off anytime soon. I think it is a stroke of brilliance. Congrats as well for the accolade.
I think that of all the vendors that people pick for their wedding, a photographer is probably the most personal one. Think about it, we’re there for all these intimate moments and it has to be more comfortable for your clients if they know you a little better. A lot of my clients feel like they know me because I’ve gone ahead and put personal stuff on my blog. Thoughts, pictures, things that inspire me, behind the scene stuff. They are more willing to open up, have faith in me and let me do what I do, because they are trusting a friend rather than a hired hand. I think it’s the opposite of commercial suicide, actually. You might find that it’ll make you more popular than ever. Any besides, personal work, wedding work, they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Or at least they shouldn’t be.
I have loved your blog because of your photos, I will love it even more because of your words. Thanks for showing who you are and be honest about it.
I’m all for it. Especially if you write a little about photography and certain shots and how you made them. I’m sure you will always include pictures and there won’t be too many posts in between weddings – and this way anyone NOT interested in your writing can simply scroll a little bit to what they want. Keep us entertained, Jonas.
Thanks for sharing. He is too cute
I decided to do something similar… I was trying to decide how my blog should look, I was trying to think if I should show just wedding stuff or not… and then I thought friends visit my site to see about what I am up to. So I decided to link to weddings at the top, mention it, but post about anything. After all you have a Portfolio at the top that could say wedding portfolio or something like that because it doesnt say anywhere.
Good luck on your new blogging style, it feels good to post about whatever you want instead of posting stuff mainly for business.
Hi Jonas — I’ve been following your blog for some time and if I don’t get it wrong, I think you’ve promised this before (once or twice), meaning you will write more on this space. You really have a talent for writing so I can’t wait to read more about whatever inspires you. I don’t know if this will a be commercial suicide – I’m not a prospective bride, just a fan of your work, but I don’t see how being true to yourself and your many interests can possibly harm your career. Go Jonas!
Jag har varit med sedan starten och det glädjer mig att du återupptar ditt berättande med bokstäver igen, även om jag såklart väldigt mycket uppskattar dina bilder.
I think it is wonderful! Doing things the way you love brings a genuine audience and longevity. Your work is amazing!
I’ve read your old Swedish blog almost from the beginning, and reading this blog post actually gives me ståpäls and tears in my eyes. Weehaaa!
180k a month is pretty mad.
People love a success story… people also love a train wreck, either way, I think you’re good, Jonas.
Jonas that’s what blog is for. Is your blog and you have to use it the way you want. Is the blog your “shop window”? Great don’t you do the same with the window in your shop? It’s your way of sharing, your way of saying who you are. “They” wont like it? Don’t worry, here will be other “they” ready to take their place. Enjoy your new life!
Good luck Jonas! To follow the heart is sometimes the best commercial idea. I will be applauding, big quite ones, among the side. /erika
you could blog about what colour undies you’re wearing today and it’d sound interesting….keep up the good work!
Well I used to come here for the photos. Now I have another reason. Bring it on ;)
Hooray. Can’t wait to get to know you better!
Oh I love that… cos that’s how I run my blog too :) and it hasn’t lost me any readers… and I’ve gained clients because they feel they “know” me
Jonas, you’re a super talented bloke…hardworking too (…17 hour wedding…what the..). Your instincts seem to have taken you to all the right places so far, I look forward to it!
Looking forward to this! Good luck (not that I think you’ll need it)!
I have to agree with Lisa! I’ve missed your old blog too and I really look forward to reading more of what you have to share in the future! So, yeah, bring it on!! :)
Bring it on!
I’ll keep reading…but keep in mind if it gets crap I’m gone :) but don’t fret you have another 199,000 readers who I’m sure will fill the gap…
way to go!
Staying true to yourself and do what feels right for you is absolutely the right way to go. I look forward to see what you want to share.
Jag tror att jag bara kommer att älska dig mer…. ;)
Jonas, you have inspired me so much. Yes I have a life and I’m living it. But when there is doubt in my mind I go to your blog and see what can be done if one is passionate and determined. I’m not there yet at all actually I just started. But firmly believing I will get there. I love your work. And your thoughts. Thanks.
FINALLY! I have been following your blog since the (almost) start and one of your posts about not missing Sweden and talking about where “home” is at, is one of my absolute favorites all time. I have the same kind of restless soul that you seem to have (or had?) and I find it comforting to read your stories and very inspiring that you follow your heart and shows everyone that whatever you do can be an awesome idea if you just put your heart into it. I still visit your swedish blog often and I can not express in words how happy I am that you will start blogging again. For me it doesnt matter if its in Swedish or in English, as long as it is your words. And Jonas, by now you should know that you can do whatever you want and it will be a success, not commercial suicide. We love you for being you, not for being like you should.
I wish I would know you in person.
Det gör du så alldeles rätt i. Heja, och välkommen tillbaka till något nytt!
This is my first time commenting here, and had to tell you that I for one welcome the change! As a film shooter but not a wedding shooter I often glance over blogs of wedding photos. I am far more likely to linger now and I truly think it will be good for your business!
Spännande! Det kommer bli toppen, ser fram emot fortsättningen :)
Kul att höra! Har saknat dina texter sen den dag du slutade skriva som du en gång gjorde, för fem år sedan.
Tycker på något sätt att det är lite kul att du också varit på min strand Herta, herte? Eller minns jag helt fel nu…? Kanske jag gör, men då får jag be om ursäkt i framtiden, kanske på mitt bröllopp om fem till tio år som jag så innerligt önskar att du skulle föreviga. Jag fullkomligt älskar dina fotografier. Men det har jag alltid gjort Silverfisken.
Welcome back, you’re rambling has been deeply missed. Your blog was always the most interesting. Your story about “två ankor och en röv” still makes me laugh, not to mention your “meeting John Malkovic” lift back in Melbourne!
Och eftersom jag inte planerar på att gifta mig är dina bröllopsbilder rätt ointressanta även om din fototalang är lika fantastisk som vanligt. Jag är glad att du vill börja skriva mer igen!
I think that is a great idea! I can’t imagine it being a huge number of people going on first hit/seeing a picture at the top when they look for a wedding photographer – they should take it more seriously.
I do believe it’s good, both for you and your photography, to write more About that, yourself and life.
Can’t wait for new posts in this spirit to show up :D
We welcome it brotha. Don’t worry, it will still be awesome. :)
Thanks for sharing your pics and your writings !!!
no commercial suicide if you’re being true to you. can’t wait to read your writings :)
And we are so happy about it! I’ve been waiting for you to write even more in your blog. I’me one of those old followers from 2005, and I must say I really miss the blog and what it was like back then. Ok for photos, but your texts are really something extra. Hälsningar från Sverige.
thanks for sharing your personal thoughts Jonas.
I personally am all for sharing personal life/stories/photos on a business/wedding/photography blog. And I especially cannot wait to hear what you have to say – being the story teller that you are naturally. Glad you’re making the change! :)
You forgot teacher!! I have learnt much from your blog and your “ramblings”! Love your space! B.
I’m 1,000% in support of your decision. I can’t WAIT to read all that you have to say.
Totally love this picture and thanks for sharing, I don’t think it’s commercial suicide, I think if anything it’ll make your business grow, Women looking for a photographer wanna have a personal connection with the people around her involved in the wedding so I think it’ll make your potential clients happy and comfortable. Cheers!
i didn’t know there was such a thing as ‘commercial living’? sounds like some marketing jerk made up the whole concept anyway, haha. keep it real, homie. that’s all anyone needs.
You are right Jonas, I totally agree!
I can’t wait to see where you head with this blog. I think this might be a great career move.
yay! your writing = awesome :)
Your personal touch, your point of view, your fascination for life and events do shine and sparkle wether your veapon of choice is your camera tor your words. But oh how I missed those words!
I’m really excited about this. Cheers!
I can’t wait to sit front row and learn more about your personal side. So excited to see what the future holds. Thanks for sharing!
seriously the best news I’ve heard in ages…my front row seat & popcorn are ready & waiting!!!!!
Hi New-Old Mr Peterson, it is nice to meet u after all this time following your work, im so happy im gonna have the chance to meet not just Jonas the wedding photographer, but Jonas the Person who feel that photography and see not just with pic but with words how u see life! Welcome to online life Mr Peterson! I will keep following u even with more curiosity if that is possible :P Regards from Spain!
It’s so important for clients to love who you are, not just your photos. The right clients will love you more for what you say about yourself!
Front row seats for the big show, how awesome looking forward to the ride and where ever it may take us all. Thank you in advance for the about to being showing of your personal side.
Straight up. Best. decision. ever.
Blog whatever comes to your mind and state! We will continue to read.
I’ve thought about this exact same conundrum for ages as well. I applaud you for making a brave choice. I still fluctuate and have even deleted posts because I was scared of what they would do to my ‘business face’.
But I do believe that showing personality, humility, character and even vulnerability are nothing to be ashamed of, not even in a commercial sense.
Love your work by the way
this post makes me happy!
I think it’s a great idea, you’re very fortunate to be in a position to do so. It’s also an excuse to take time to shoot more personal photos too. Win – win.
I’m right there with you, friend. My blog was heavily personal & weddings for a long time – but it’s been a while since I’ve done that. I, myself have been thinking about that a lot and really want to post more personal work again. Yes yes. Thank you for sharing & looking forward to seeing where it takes you.
There’s no way this could be commercial suicide because there’s a whole world of people who don’t need that instant hit.
In fact, I’m bored of it and I doubt I’m the only one.
I want to see that there’s a living, breathing human being on the other side of the camera because having someone point a camera at you is a very personal thing, wedding or otherwise. And because your site won’t be there working it’s ass off shooting at my wedding. Well, not MY wedding. I think my husband would pass out at the thought of doing it again!
Look forward to reading what comes next, whatever it may be.
I think staying true to yourself is the best move in life, not just blogs. I am excited to read more.
My attention span left me a few years ago – without my permission.
I’ll happily read the first few paragraphs of any given blog post before my mind wanders and I find something else (seemingly) more interesting to attend to.
There’s something different about you, or this blog for that matter.
It’s as if I can’t read enough.
Is your old blog still online? If so could you please post the link xx
thank you for the honesty and personal thoughts. i do agree that many many many photographers these days just bring out the images and no depth in words *guilty* *there used to be so much*.
keep doing what you’re doing Jonas!
Having read a few bits of your blog when you still wrote ‘random’ posts, and knowing you from the flickr forum, I’m looking forward to reading more personal stuff from you, Jonas.
After blogging about starting to get into photography for a few months I realized it was way more fun to write about being a photographer and my life than just posting photographs. As a giant fan of yours I cannot wait to learn more about the man behind the camera and see more of your adventures!
And I believe quite a number of photogs out there feel the same way you do :) Thanks for sharing