It’s no secret in the blog world that a good post includes good photos – especially when you factor in Pintrest. But, you’ve got to have a fancy, expensive camera to take quality photos, right?
Taking quality photos is more about size, lighting, and editing than a fancy camera…though I won’t lie – the fancy camera is a lot of fun.
Now, I’m not saying that every photo I post on my blog is excellent, but there are some things that I pay attention to in an effort to make my blog visually appealing.
1. Lighting. As a total and complete hobby photographer, I think lighting is one of the most important factors in a quality photo. The kids have quit asking why I’m carrying my plate of food and my camera outside – because the lighting is better. And, who wants to look at yellow food that isn’t supposed to be yellow?
Even my 10-year-old could see the difference in the following two (completely unedited for the purposes of the illustration) photos:
The only difference is that the first one was taken inside on our dining room table where the lighting is terrible and the second was taken outside on the patio with some soft, natural light from the sun.
2. Size. The size of your photos is important, both when you take them and when you post them. Don’t make your files teeny tiny in order to save room on your memory card. You don’t have to make them the biggest size possible, but mid-to-large size photos make clearer photos than small ones.
The size of your photos when you post them makes a big difference, too. I try not to post any photos smaller than 350 pixels (usually for vertical, measuring the vertical side), but most of mine are 450-525 (measuring horizontally). I try to stick with 450 for consistency’s sake.
(This photo was taken on my front porch in the great lighting there.)
3. Editing. You don’t have to have a big, fancy editing program to create quality photos. I was so sad when Picnik went away, but I think I may like PicMonkey even better. It’s free and you can do so much with it!
- Adjust color and lighting
- Add text
- Add frames
- Make collages
- Add effects
(My favorite PicMonkey effect: Urbane)
4. Instagram. While I definitely make better photos with my camera than I do my phone, Instagram is a pretty cool app…and I’d rather have a blog post filled with Instagram photos than no photos at all. Or, even just phone photos. They don’t have to go through Instagram.
The thing is, my phone is with me almost all the time, so all those missed photo ops because I didn’t have my camera are no longer a problem – unless I forget my phone at home, but then I just get Brianna to take pictures with her phone, like I did for the one above.
I mean, really, who wants to miss moments like these:
(Gus, the cat, curled up in my lap.)
(Visual proof of my OCD tendencies.)
So, my tips for you, if you want to create as visually-appealing a blog as possible are:
Find the best light you possibly can for your photos.
Don’t take or post teeny, tiny pictures.
Do a bit of editing – even good photos can usually be improved with some simple edits.
Don’t be afraid to use the photos from your phone.
I’m probably forgetting something. It’s the total, complete hobby photographer thing.
What tips would you add?
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.