Taking better photos is one thing, taking better blog photos is another.
You can take a technically great, or artistically wonderful photograph, but if it doesn’t catch the eye of a reader as they surf past your blog, it’s not a good blog photograph.
Hi everyone! I am thrilled to introduce the very first guest poster on DYOB: Emma Davies, a wonderfully talented photographer and blogger. In fact, Emma runs three photography blogs, all with incredibly valuable information even for us non-photographers. All photos in this post belong to Emma Davies, except for the title photo which is from unsplash.com.
This is also part of the Photography for your Blog series here on DYOB.
What’s Different About Blog Photos?
A blog photo has to earn its space on the page. In the split second your reader decides whether or not to stay on your page, it has to draw that reader in and persuade them to sit down and read what you have to say. It has to be eye catching.
How to Make Your Photo Eye Catching
The good news is, you don’t need lots of kit to make a great, eye catching blog photo. Most of these ideas can be put into action today, with whatever camera you already have, even a phone camera.
Try these tips one at a time, you don’t need to do them all in one photo. Don’t forget, you are just trying to make your photo stand out from the crowd, and pique your reader’s curiosity enough to let your words take over.
Just have one idea per photo, with lots of space for the subject to breathe. Blogs can be cluttered, messy places with lots of sidebar junk and ads. Make your post stand out with a clean, simple photo introducing your topic. Watch your background and make sure it isn’t competing or detracting from your photo.
Using bright, indirect daylight as the only light source is the easiest way instantly to improve your photos. Readers are put off by dark, badly lit photos taken in the evening and harshly lit by indoor lights. Conversely they are drawn to bright, airy photos which look more professional, cheerful and attractive. Save your photos up for the weekend if you find yourself always writing posts in the evening.
There is nothing wrong with filters and Photoshop* actions. Don’t listen to the photo snobs – they are fun, and make it easy to spice up a dull photo. However – try to keep your photos consistent with your blog’s design. Vintage Instagram filters might not be the best fit if you write a minimalist contemporary food blog, so reassure your readers that you know what you’re doing by keeping a consistent feel to your photos. They will trust you more, and come back to read what you have to say next time you publish a post. (Go wild on Twitter and Instagram if you need a creative outlet.)
This is where you draw your reader in. Compose your photograph to make it intriguing, leave a question unanswered, set the scene or introduce your subject. A picture really can speak 1,000 words, but this is a skill that doesn’t come overnight. Have a look on Pinterest for inspiration, and practise putting your ideas into photos.
5. MAKE IT SHAREABLE
Put a quote on it. At the moment people love Pinning, Liking and sharing quotes. Use picmonkey.com or canva.com to overlay your quote easily on a suitably atmospheric photo. Get in the habit of taking photos that you can overlay quotes on whenever you are out and about – sunsets, landscapes, beaches and urban grunge can all carry a philosophical quote well.
What’s stopping you from taking better blog photos? What’s your favourite thing to photograph for your blog? What’s your best photo tip? Please share in the comments!
You can find her on Twitter: @LovingOurPics. Join her on Thursdays where she hosts #BlogPhotoChat at 4pm EST (2pm MST, 1pm PST, 9pm GMT, 8am Friday Australia).
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