5 Things I Do When Taking Blog Photos
Photos make such a huge difference in a blog. They might even be the number one deciding factor on whether a post get shared or not. So when I take photos for the week, there's a few things I make sure to think about.
I better throw out a couple disclaimers now: I'm NOT an expert photographer or an expert blogger. So I'm definitely NOT the standard when it comes to great blog photos.
But I've been working with a lot of them over the last few years and have learned a few pointers. I hope they give you some fresh ideas if you aren't happy with your blog photos.
#1 - Find Good Light First
It's pretty easy to focus on the background or what's going on in the image first. But before I get to this point, I always check my lighting. I almost always set up shop near a window if possible for natural daylight. Another trick is making sure to take photos early in the morning or just before sunset. Taking them in the middle of the day creates harsh light with too many shadows.
Sometimes finding better light can be just a matter of turning around. To quickly find the best lighting angle, I hold my hand up and twist it around until there's not a whole lot of shadow on my palm. Or if I'm photographing my little ones, I move around them until I find the side that makes their eyes twinkle with light.
#2: Almost Always Shoot With My Camera
Yep, it's heavy and clunky. It doesn't always fit in my bag, and it adds a few steps of editing. But there is BIG difference between my phone/ipad photos and camera photos. The images on my camera are much more clear, with better light and color. No one likes to look at a small, dark, fuzzy or blurry image and so I try to think about what would be most inspiring to those reading the post. A really good photo is more memorable and is more likely to get pinned and re-pinned. The extra weight and work is worth it.
#3: Try To Stay Consistent
It's a good idea to make images easier on the eyes. So while filters are fun and changing things up might reflect my personality, it's more important for me to create a clear, consistent photo. I try to keep think about creating a strong brand as well. That's why I use the same set of fonts over my images and use the same simple tweaks to edit my photos every time. I also size all of my images to the same width early on so there's not a bunch of random white space.
#4: Set the Scene
I am all for keeping it real and sharing my mess once in awhile. But on the flip side I know readers might really appreciate some thought put into my imagery. One way I personally get uplifted and inspired is when bloggers set the scene or create a color story with props. So much interest can be added by including plants, fabrics, textured backgrounds and favorite objects. Or if it's a portrait there might be fun, eye-catching accessories. I keep that in mind and try to get creative about the details for a more memorable message.
#5: Take a LOT of Photos.
Part of the fun of digital photography instead of film is that we can go crazy and take as many photos as we want. I try not to be afraid to take 10-15 shots of the same object with slightly different angles or positions. Some might be off-center or with a little extra space for a title. I might zoom in or tilt the camera to find new angles. It always surprises me which ones come out the best. Plus it's nice to have backups images if I happen to post on the same subject again later. I always err on the side of having too many options instead of not enough. It's not hard to delete the rejects.