Why good images are important.
Blog posts with images will do way better. They create a stronger impact and make your post more memorable. They will also allow you to show off your style and it looks good to break up your text a bit. Good photos are a must. By following a few guidelines, you can take great photos for your blog, be it on a camera, or phone. Here’s how..
1. Camera and Gear
Having a good camera is a must for a good photo. I am a big believer in “the camera you have” is the best camera for the job. But when it comes to having clean, clear blog photos that stand out, having a good camera really will make a difference.
Now luckily phones have come so far when it comes to cameras, so chances are most people have access to a good camera. Generally, I only take blog photos on my DSLR. It makes such a difference to the look of my posts. The pictures on my DSLR stand out a mile, where as the phone pictures just don’t have the same effect.
Some of my gear
If you do have a DSLR, learn how to use it. Sticking to auto won’t make the most of your photos. If anyone is interested, I can do a post on settings.
1.1 For gear,
Chances are you won’t need much gear to take good photos for your blog. If using a phone, a good piece of gear might simply be a selfie stick (yep, I just said that), or a tripod if you’re using a camera.
Lighting is everything for a good photo. Try to take your photos in natural daylight. This will give clean, bright, detailed photos. If taking photos indoors, try take them near a window to take advantage of the natural light. Avoid direct harsh sunlight. It will result in unattractive shadows and washed out colour.
If you can’t help bad lighting situations, pick up an affordable ring light. If you already know of one, let me know in the comments because I actually don’t have one!
For lifestyle and beauty blogs, having bright photos with a lot of whites always looks good.
Composition is basically the placement of the items in your photo. Without viewes realising, it is a big influence in what makes a photo aesthetically pleasing or not. You want to be drawing your readers eye to the essential points of the photo.
Until composing your photo in a good way comes natural to you, there are a few rules you can follow which are pretty much guaranteed to get you a good picture:
Rule of thirds:
The most common. You divide your photo into 9 squares. You want to place your subject on intersecting lines of the grid. If you can put a grid on your camera do this, then you will be able to place your subject at the intersection of the lines . To see what I mean, look at the image below.
Photo credit: Pretty Presets for Lightroom
These are natural lines that will draw the eye to the subject, it can the the horizon, lines on a wall. the easiest is a road. Lines will naturally pull the eye in.
Using elements of the photo to frame your subject.
This photo I took in Donegal is an example of Framing: the sign frames the lighthouse, Leading lines, and the rule of thirds.
Other guidelines include: Depth of field – the area of the photo that is in focus, colour, incorporating negative space and symmetry.
The ironic thing is all of these rules are made to be broken. Depending on the photo you are trying to take and the mood and style you are going for, feel free to break all of these rules, but knowing and understanding them can really help in improving your photos.
Depth of field: The area of the photo in focus is the front, where the food is. This is the important part of the picture.
4. Take lots of shots
When you see a picture in a magazine, do you really think that’s the first and only shot? Take lots. Go closer in and further away. Try different angles. Utilize different composition methods. Having some to choose from will make a huge difference and when looking through them after, the best one will jump out at you.
For me, what really pulls me into a blog post is the images and I’ve come across many a blog where the images just don’t do the post justice and I click off before reading anything. Images can look flat and dull straight out of camera, so use editing to add back in dimension and colour and really make the images pop.
5.1 Editing software
If you’re really interested in getting better photos, consider getting some sort of editing software. For editing on your computer, if you are passionate about your photos, consider getting an Adobe subscription. I use Lightroom almost every day. It is so straightforward but you can do so much. There is a free trial if you wana test it before buying.
For those using their phone for pictures, there are so many good editing apps out there. I would recommend VSCO cam. That used to be one I used a lot. I can do a post on the apps I use for editing on my phone. If interested, comment on the post and let me know.
5.2 Less is more:
Don’t go OTT with editing. In my opinion, going mad with saturation and contrast, ruins a photo. Use editing to enhance the image rather than completely change it. Although filters can be too much, using some natural filters can help in the beginning.
5.3 Stick to the one style.
Having every photo edited completely different will make your blog seem messy and just not as attractive. You should try and stick to a cohesive theme for your editing – similar colours or exposure. Or at least – the one style for a single post.
The kind of blog you have might influence what style of photos you want. Do you do travel? Maybe have more natural photos with nice saturation and not too much editing. Let the landscapes really speak for them selves.
For Beauty and Lifestyle – Nice bright clear images with bokeh always look good.
Whatever style it is, try and find one you like. Keep a semi-consistent theme running through your blog. Honestly, this is something I struggle with myself. I like a lot of different styles of editing – but, having a consistent editing style will give your blog a real put-together look.
So there you have it, some simple tips for taking great blog photos. Although there is one more thing that will improve your blog photos, and it’s probably the most important one – practice. The more you practice your photos the better they will be. Hopefully, following on the tips I’ve given will help further, and make the quality of the photos on your blog posts really stand out.