Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

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On Becoming a Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

Friends, I have some news to share with you that is of course exceedingly exciting for me but I think the story of how it all happened would also be very encouraging for you as you continue along your path to becoming an excellent photographer with very broad exposure.  Explore Minnesota, which is the Minnesota State Travel and Tourism Board, invited me to be a guest blogger at Explore Minnesota and cover the north eastern region of Minnesota. Check, another dream comes true!

Many of you know me as a fine art landscape photographer which is of course true, but another dimension of what I am and where I want to go is I want to be a globally known travel photographer and blogger. This invitation fits perfectly in that dream and passion.

So how did this all happen you ask? I believe this part of the story is where it gets interesting for you. This story is meant to give you ideas of how to grow your influence in your particular area of photography.

Instagram and Explore Minnesota

So this story all started 64 weeks ago. I can tell because of my Instagram feed and a picture that was posted in the fall of 2014. There was an Instagram instameet event put on by Explore Minnesota. Explore Minnesota is the State of Minnesota Travel and Tourism Board.

Wayne Moran Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

St Paul #OnlyInMN Instameet Event

For the event starting at the James J Hill House in St Paul, they brought in an Instagram rock star and they were simply going to explore the Summit Avenue neighborhood of St Paul. I arrived late to the event and everyone had left already to go exploring, except the two representatives from Explore Minnesota. So I spent some time with them, getting to know them and finding out what Explore Minnesota was doing in the social media world.

Red Bull Crashed Ice Event

It was this “chance meeting” of the Explore Minnesota folks that led to the next step down the path of dreams coming true. You may recall that St Paul hosted the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in the winter of 2014 – 2015.

Wayne Moran Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

Cathedral of St Paul all set for Red Bull Crashed Ice

I wanted to have official “press pass” credentials from Red Bull for that event. I applied on the Red Bull websites to get those credentials and they summarily rejected me because I was not big enough as a photographer. So I contacted my friends at Explore Minnesota and they happily sent a note off to Red Bull explaining why they should give me press passes. I am immediately got an email back from the Red Bull folks begging forgiveness and they happily gave me my press pass credentials.

Wayne Moran Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

Scott Croxall Winner 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice

That of course led to some great images from the Red Bull event and it also connected me with the event coordinators and many of the athletes from the event.

The Power of Social Media

Of course it’s important to recall that during my entire time as a photographer I have also been exceedingly active in the social media world starting more than 10 years ago on Flickr.com and continuing across many outlets. With a little encouragement from a friend about 2 years ago, I started checking out Instagram in the early days of Instagram. I figured out how to use it and how to start building a strong following. It was this strong following on Instagram that led me again to the next opportunity with Explore Minnesota.

Governors Fishing Opener

Every year in Minnesota there is a very large governors opening fishing event.

Wayne Moran Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

Rick Nolan The Big One Got Away ~ MN Governors Fishing Opener

This event basically kicks off summer in Minnesota. The fine people at Explore Minnesota wanted to have an independent social media person cover the event for them and give an independent perspective to the event. They invited me to travel along on the event and capture whatever I wanted to and present that to my social media audience.

Wayne Moran Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

Results of Governor Fishing Opener

As you can guess, that event was incredibly fun, but it also opened many more doors for me in the photography and social media world.

Minnesota Autumn Photography

The fall of 2015 my wife and I decided that we were finally going to go see and attempt to capture the peak colors of northeastern Minnesota autumn colors. With a ton of luck and a little diligent planning we managed to show up in what I believe is the most beautiful place in Minnesota on the perfect weekend of the year when the colors were indeed at their peak and the autumn weather happened to be perfect that weekend also. That weekend was an exceedingly successful photography weekend where we captured a significant library of great images capturing the essence of autumn in northeastern Minnesota.

Wayne Moran Guest Blogger at Explore Minnesota

A View of Heaven MicMac Lake in Tettegouche State Park

It was during this particular outing that I captured this image of my wife sitting on a dock on MicMac Lake in Tettegouche State Park looking out into the glories of Minnesota autumn landscape. I shared this image on Instagram and the people at Explore Minnesota picked it up and shared it on their Instagram page and other social media outlets. It became one of their most popular images both of 2015 and of all time on their Instagram page.

I believe it is because of that exposure that they have now invited me to be a guest blogger. Basically, I have proven that I have the ability to connect with viewers. It’s a combination of the topic of the image and also that the words that are shared along with the image. So my years of social media experience are indeed paying dividends.

Things to Learn

The main takeaway here is that I am no different than you. Yes most of you can do the exact same thing that I do. What is it that I do? I capture compelling images; I share them consistently in a manner that is compelling to my viewers. I interact with my viewers giving them feedback on their work and respond to the feedback that they give me on my work. Finally, I measure the results of what I share. All this means is that I pay attention to what actually moves people and then I tend to post similar content.

Conclusion

So of course this is exceedingly exciting news for me, but I hope it’s very helpful for you as well, to see the path of my journey and to know that a similar journey can be available for you.
Let me encourage you to actually write down your dreams and start making plans to make those dreams come true. After you have the plans on paper take action every day to make those dreams come true.

I hope this post has been interesting and encouraging for you. If it has been, please share with your social media community and be sure to give me some feedback if you liked it or if it was helpful for you.

These images and many more are available for purchase.

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Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website
wayne@LetThereBeLightFineArt.com