Blog photography is something that Kat and I could talk about all day. Blogging is a great excuse to hone your camera skills and really can add to your site. Consistently, when we talk about what makes a great first impression in a blog the quality and use of photos comes out on top.
Photography doesn’t have to be daunting. A few top tips can transform your photos from drab to awesome with a few simple changes, whether you are using you phone, point and shoot or DSLR,
- Read your camera manual. The best tips for handling potentially challenging photography situations with your camera (low light, movement, etc) are often found in your manual. The manual will tell you exactly what your camera can do, what mode is suggested for certain conditions and how to save your photos appropriately. Don’t have it any more? A quick google will turn up most manuals.
- Use natural light. Where possible, natural light will give you the most clear, natural looking photos. While its not always possible to harness the sun’s rays (especially in dark and rainy weather), moving nearer a window, investing in a reflector, or shooting a batch of blog photos on a sunny day are all good tips to getting great photos. Learn where in your house has the best light and make that your “go to” blog photography place.
- Have a DSLR? Learn how to shoot in manual. It seems like a lot of work, but learning how to take charge of your camera, rather than just doing what it says will pay off in dividends with photos you love. Need a kick start? Check out our Unmanual.
- Use the rule of thirds. Most appealing images are framed so that the subject is slightly off centre. This creates more depth and interest in the photo as the eye is drawn into the photo. Using the grid on your camera or phone screen (or just imagine one if its not there) to place your subject slightly off centre.
- Don’t worry about what is not on the shot. Don’t get hung up on how messy the house may be, how ugly the curtains are or how much you hate your floors. Clear the clutter out of the shot and then don’t worry about it. When you look at gorgeous photos in books or magazines, there is no question that a stylist has moved clutter out of the way to get those beautiful images.
6. Edit your photos. While we freely admit to being total photo geeks and love editing, many people find the process tedious. It doesn’t have to be. Find a programme or app you love to make your photos pop. Getting to grips with some editing basics can help make your photos stand out and also fix some basic issues. Picmonkey and Gimp are both free programmes and we are fans of Lightroom.
7. Learn to love the crop. Related to the points above, cropping can be used to cut out mess or change the focus of your image.
8. Use a range of shots. Focus on the big picture, the details, try the shot from above or at the level. Not only does this give you a range of shots to use on your blog, but it also gives you some options when choosing the best one.
9. Take photos in both portrait and landscape. Portrait photos show up better on Pinterest and mobile screens and landscape tends to work better on Facebook and on desktops. This makes sure your readers all have something eye catching.
10. Add a call to action or takeaway. Ever notice how the photos on these posts have text on them? When pinned to Pinterest or shared to Facebook, these calls to action let people quickly and easily see what the post is about. This really helps make the blog post more likely to be repinned or shared across the internet. We use photoshop, but picmonkey will allow you to add text as well. Or if you are blogging from your mobile or tablet, the Beautiful Mess App also lets you add text.
Want to know more? Check out our awesome Blog Photography Pinterest Board or see our recent twitter chat, all about taking pro photos in an imperfect home.
This post is part of our How to Start a Blog in 5 Minutes series. See the full list of posts here.