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Mar 19, 2014 Blogging + Photography

throughout my years of blogging, this space has changed and grown a whole lot.  i've been thinking lately about things that i've done intentionally to try to make this blog better, and focusing on putting together good posts has been instrumental.  

one thing that i think makes a post good is the photos you use.  your photos are your quick visual:  if a reader doesn't have time to read your whole post, or if they're trying to decide whether to spend the time reading it, your photos can either convey the content of your post or draw them in and convince them to give you their time.  

here's an example of a featured post image that helps draw a reader in and gives a clear expectation of what they will learn from the post:
(bonus:  if someone happens to pin this photo (original post found here), it will tell them exactly what it's going to link them back to)

i have to be completely honest here:  crafting great photography for posts takes time.  and personally, i'm not great at making that time.  i happen to own a really nice camera and a bunch of lenses that i love (check out what's in my camera bag here), and i actually run a photography business on the side, so i should have no excuse.

but if you're like me and blogging isn't your full time job, you know that oftentimes, it happens late at night or on your lunch break or even early in the morning before you've become a real person aka showered.  in a perfect world, i'd be able to take tons of awesome photos on some cute brick alleyway in a hip city with perfect magic-hour daylight and a rockstar outfit.  but that's not my life and sometimes a lot of the time, i'm crafting a post with zero daylight in my bedroom in my pjs.  

so, i've learned to take good pics with my iphone.  turns out that thing has a pretty great camera and it can really get the job done, depending on what you're trying to do!  (check out my fave camera apps here)

here's an example of a featured image that i used my iphone to create:
i cropped and added the text in adobe illustrator, but that pic was taken with my phone after a run one day.  in fact, i often use my instagram photos in my blog posts.  (original post here)

that's not to say that you never want to break out your big-girl camera.  heck, i'd be lying if i said that i wasn't really proud of myself when i can blog some good photos that make me proud to show them off.  but again, sometimes, you have to make due.  ya know, fake it til you have the time to make it….or something like that.

of course, your photography do's and don'ts will definitely differ depending on what you blog about:  food bloggers have different priorities than fashion bloggers who have different needs than diy bloggers.  so you need to figure out what makes your particular blog or post jump out.

for example:  you'll care more about your background and depth of field in an outfit post, like so:

and care more about really close-up details in say, a decor post, like this:

ultimately, like with any other aspect of blogging, you need to figure out what works for you.  these are just some things that i think makes a post feel a little more polished and a little more thought-out.  

here's a quick list of my few rules of thumb when it comes to blogging + photography:

- use good, clear, interesting images!

- make sure every post has at least one image.

- if you didn't take an image, then make sure you credit your source. (link with love, people!)

- choose or create a compelling featured post image.  it should be something that catches your reader's attention and gives a snapshot idea of what the post is about

- make all of your images in your posts the same width.  i read this advice somewhere once and started doing it immediately.  it gives your posts a more sleek and put-together feel!  (all of my images are formatted to 600px wide, with varying heights)

- add text to some images!  i like to add text to my featured image (the first one in my post) that has the post title or a quote from the post.

- if you're on pinterest and gain exposure from that particular site, try to think about what will look good and be eye-catching in someone's feed!

- when you're short on time or just can't get great images with a "real" camera, don't underestimate your trusty smart phone!


what did i forget?  what would you add?  what are your rules of thumb?

10 comments

  1. Great post! There is so much to photography!

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    1. Yes there is! I really think it can make or break a post!

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  2. Great advice! I've been in looking into getting a new camera.. what do you use?

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    1. I have a Nikon D7000 and I love it! I've had it for a little less than 3 years now, and it's pretty much what I shoot everything with (coupled with a 50mm lens, which aren't that expensive and are a total must-have lens).
      I also own a Nikon D3000, which is a good deal cheaper and definitely gets the job done! Not sure what your experience/needs are. When I purchased the D3000, I was interested in photography but didn't have plans to turn it into something more than just a hobby, but after taking a photography class in college and deciding I loved it and wanted to actually do something with it, I saved up and purchased the D7000, which is now what I use for both everyday photos, blogging, and also paid shoots & weddings!

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  3. It sounds ridiculous, but my most difficult part of blogging is the photos. I always want to do a million outfit posts, but when my schedule doesn't line up with someone to take them (no no to that tripod party) I can't!

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    1. so so so true! it's the hardest thing. and if you don't have the right person to take them, it just feels awkward! haha

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  4. I'm crazy about photography! I did I mini-side business in photography before I moved to California, but haven't picked it up since. I might like to do it again sometime, but blogging allows me to do all my favorite things in one, photography, design, and projects. Blogging has really challenged me in different ways as a photographer too.

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    1. Yes! I feel like I'm a lot more planned and intentional when it comes to photography for blogging. Not that I don't plan out shoots that I do, but getting a particular shot for a post is a different ball game!

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  5. I'm loving these posts... really enjoying this even though I'm not a brand new blogger. How do you post text on your pictures? I use Picmonkey most of the time but I'm loving yours, too. I love the fonts you have...share your secrets!

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  6. thanks! i do all of my design work (including adding text to photos) in adobe illustrator. all of the fonts i use are ones i've downloaded online...i'm a bit of a font hoarder! i can get sucked into font websites and then spend hours just downloading fonts! haha

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