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What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able? Los Rodriguez Life

Every day, 19 WordPressers are featured on the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress.com. And every day, many more wonder, “What…

Every day, 19 WordPressers are featured on the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress.com. And every day, many more wonder, “What do I have to do to get Freshly Pressed?”

Well, it’s time to reveal what the folks who push the launch button are thinking. Each week, a member of our editorial team will do a close-up on one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy. We hope we can provide insight into the process and give you tips and tools to make your blog the best it can be.
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Bloggers on WordPress.com publish various types of photography posts: from black-and-white to color, from digital to film, from Instagram to Lomo to Polaroid, from a single photo to a series of images. We love the variety and don’t prefer one approach over another.

Last week, we featured Visiting South Park City, a photo essay on Los Rodríguez Life. Husband-and-wife team Javier and Leslie started this blog to stay in touch with their families (Javier’s family lives in Chile; Leslie’s family lives in Nashville). Here, they explore everything: travel, food, and life. Images are an integral part of their blog.

On the Daily Post, we’ll highlight different kinds of photography posts promoted to Freshly Pressed. Here’s why this particular post made the cut:

They brought an unfamiliar location to life.

I’d never heard of South Park City before reading this post (and I don’t know much about this region of Colorado), but that didn’t matter. Javier and Leslie make this abandoned 19th-century mining town look and sound intriguing. The photos of an old saloon, schoolhouse, pharmacy, train, and more appeal to readers interested in an array of topics other than photography, from history and restoration to industrialization and transportation.

In other words, you don’t have to photograph iconic landmarks or exotic locations to wow us. We do love your shots of picture-perfect places and far-flung locales, but we want to emphasize that any subject or location—even your backyard or a random street corner—can be Press-worthy if you pique our interest.

The assortment of shots is outstanding.

This post has 45 images! It’s worth noting that more does not automatically make a set of photos better. In this case, we were impressed by the variety of angles and compositions in these images: Wide, establishing shots of a mining town versus close-ups of rusty antiques. Exterior versus interior. Still life versus people. Together, the images transport us there. Javier and Leslie insert descriptions to clarify what we’re looking at, but they are sparse and only include necessary details. Words come second to images here; the story of South Park City truly unfolds in the photographs.

In your own photo essay, create a narrative. Or think bigger: create a world for your readers. This may require taking photos of the same subject from above or underneath, from up close or far away. Shoot a city with different rolls of film, or filters, or cameras. Lie on the ground, or climb a tree, or look out over a rooftop to document a neighborhood. Experiment with angles and points of view to bring a place or thing to life, which will provide the visuals to tell your story.

The presentation was professional and effective.

Posts on Los Rodríguez Life are written in both English (on the left) and Spanish (on the right). This photo essay is presented in Javier and Leslie’s standard post format: two columns of text, side by side, which make it easy for readers of either language to follow. We like how these images are displayed; as you scroll down and view each large-sized image, it feels like you’re flipping through the pages of a print magazine. (For more on this blog’s design, check out the Modern News theme.) Finally, the order in which the photos are laid out is intentional—Javier and Leslie’s adventure is presented from start to finish.

Telling a story with text and images is different from telling a story simply with words. For photo-centric posts, consider how best to lay out and display your content. For example, you can create a gallery, display a slideshow, or insert images directly into your post. You should also consider at what size you’d like to display your images, and where to insert them in your post so they complement your text.

So, tell us: did you enjoy this Freshly Pressed pick?

For more inspiration, take a peek at our photography themes in the Theme Showcase. While you can publish photography-focused posts on any WordPress.com theme, our photography themes are great places to showcase your images.

For more on our Freshly Pressed content, check out last week’s Freshly Press-able post, read our roundup of Editors’ Picks for August, or read So You Want to Be Freshly Pressed.

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  1. I love this feature — and the following seems like exceptional advice: “In your own photo essay, create a narrative. Or think bigger: create a world for your readers.”

    While I haven’t yet tried a photo essay, I love the idea of creating a narrative thread connecting the images. Thank you! :)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. We did press one of the “Urban” challenge submissions, which was a longer travel/neighborhood photo essay focused on the theme. We’re on the lookout for standouts in those submissions, for sure!

  2. Reblogged this on Los Rodriguez Life and commented:
    We were freshly pressed a few days ago, and before that we always wondered….what do we have to do to get freshly pressed??
    Well, the WordPress folks are sharing their secrets and wrote a great post about our Visiting South Park City post. We are so flattered by the great description of our post and the several compliments to our blogging. We try our best to make our stories as engaging and interesting as possible, and this is reassurance that we are doing some things right! Thank you for stopping by and please take a look at what they have to say. Maybe you will be the next Freshly Pressed blog! Thanks WordPress!

  3. Thank you again for the suggestions on various writing styles. I had given much thought to my post for today, reaching for the narrative style. I question myself on the number of photos to include each time, and you have done an excellent job of showing when it enhances a post rather than distracting the reader from the message.

  4. Not only did I enjoy the Freshly Pressed pick, but enjoyed your post about it even more! Your section on showing vs. telling the story was helpful and the links for how to best layout and display visual content were excellent tips. Thanks. It may be time to update to a new Theme …

  5. I really appreciate all the helps and suggestions with this. I may not ever get Freshly Pressed but using your helps have continued to improve my blog, both the writing and photography. I continue to get new followers and they have encouraged me to “press on”. {Forgive the pun. :-) }
    WordPress is the best blogging community in the world.
    Thanks for everything. Keep it coming!
    Peace,
    Alexandria Sage

  6. This is great insight oh how to get Freshly Pressed and I’m sure it will help me and many others…

  7. I tend to find at least 2 – 3 blogs that I connect with on “Freshly Pressed”.
    Maybe one day that will be me :)

  8. Beautiful tips as always!
    Being real and being professional about it can turn out more interesting than ordinarily interesting subjects. It’s amazing! Keep up the good work of identifying uniqueness and giving us clues to; not just catch up but to distinguish ourselves. I love this!

  9. The “Los Rogriguez Life” photo essay is beautiful, and the “Daily Post” comments on the photo essay and the Rogriguez blog in general are helpful. To wit: “Here, they explore everything: travel, food, and life. Images are an integral part of their blog.”

    Ah, breaking out of the rigid conventional wisdom that a good blog must focus, focus, focus like a laser beam an one subject. I have failed miserably to find my focal point! Los Rogriguez Life has broken the mold with style.

    1. John,

      I liked you comment, thanks for your words. I must say, we never intended to follow or break a mold or style. We write about what is interesting at the time. We have read about having a focal point or a main theme for your blog, but sometimes having a wider scope makes writing more interesting.

    2. Hey John — I, too, like your comment. I agree with Javier: “sometimes having a wider scope makes writing more interesting.” I first started out blogging by trying to focus on a specific theme (travel). Indeed, this approach works for many people, but it doesn’t work for everyone (including me!). Now, I simply write what I want to write about; I write whatever interests me on any given day. (And with this approach, I think I’ve naturally attracted a readership that has the same interests as I do.)

      1. Does wordpress only favour gay-rights blogs or are christian blogs approved too? Just wondering. Not that my blog has bugger all to do with christians, but I have yet to see a really good blog slag of gay people. In the interests of balance it would be good to see someone give the other side of the coin as we get a lot of the offended stuff all the time. I would like to see the justifications for actually being anti-gay rather than anti-gay acts.

  10. Thanks for all the advice, I do often wonder “how do I get freshly pressed?” And I have to say that checking the freshly pressed page is always fun. You never know what you might find and sometimes I am drawn to pages that were not what I was looking for but ended up being very entertaining. So a big thanks all around!

  11. This is a good feature because, quite frankly, a lot of Freshly Pressed posts have me shaking my head as to why they were chosen. It seems 90% are because of pretty pictures. Fine, I get that. But I’ve seen some that are just reposting content from elsewhere with no added value.

    It’s easy for you to choose posts and explain why they were Freshly Pressed. If you want the challenge, I have a few that, as Desi Arnaz used to say, “You have some ‘splainin’ to do.”

    1. what i worry (just a little, it’s not a serious/BIG worry) is: that i’ve written/put up/ posted some (ahem! if i hafta say so myself) pretty good posts. the day could well come when i’ve put up something ill-considered, not hashed over or ‘combed’ very much, maybe even slightly (or more) embarrassing — & the FRESHLY PRESSED ROBOTS will pick that!
      yee hah! i spoze i can hope, eh?

  12. have you considered pressing some blogs that help to make wordpress the daily go-to for followers who are looking to replace their newspaper? Many offer opinion, some news, some photos, and we like to take the place of the puzzles page with frequent picture puzzles that are quick and fun (and clean). Thanks for your post!

    1. While we do promote very timely posts that comment intelligently and thoughtfully on current events and news of the day, I don’t think we’re striving to be a news service that would replace a newspaper.

  13. I think this was a good pick for Freshly Pressed; I was impressed! Still…while photos can make an article come to life and just make it overall more interesting (if well done), it is the writing that really matters, isn’t it?

  14. Thanks. You answered many longstanding questions I had, especially your comments on how to integrate photos into a blog – being such a wordphile, my bias often has me thinking blogs must solely emphasize the text. Please keep sharing your feedback.

    1. Many users who visit the Freshly Pressed page are curious about why those posts are promoted to the home page, so we feature these weekly Daily Post features there as resources.

      We also strive to improve the blogging experience in general across the WordPress.com community, and that includes unifying Freshly Pressed and the Daily Post. Thanks for the comment!

  15. This would help me too! I’m trying to write something for next week….. This is a promise to myself, a commitment I’m taking! Thanks for all!

  16. I think all our blogs deserve to be highlighted. Why? Just because we are all equal but also different. Logically no one has the capacity to look in to all the existing blogs. When I visit a new blog I will always look at it from my perspective. Trying to find something that captures me. Intrigues me.
    We all have at least one thing in common an that is to be read. Why would we keep on writing if that was not the issue? So if we want to be freshly pressed we should wish for it as if it had already happend! :)
    Love & light
    /Tammy

  17. I’m just not interested in people’s photos, and as long as the content is easily to read I’m not too bothered about fancy formats or design. This is painfully obvious if you read my blog, but I hope it is a good read. As you were bloggers.