For many bloggers having an amazing photo makes a huge impact on click through rate. When I first started blogging over 2 years ago, I didn’t put a lot of effort into the feature photo. Or any of my photos for that matter. I just snapped a pic of my recipe or whatever and that was it. Things have changed a lot since then, so here’s how to take awesome pictures for your blog, find the best pictures for blog posts, and how to take good pictures of yourself.
When I started my first blog over 2 years ago, I didn’t really know what I was doing. But I knew what I wanted, to be successful. So I was willing to learn when I was doing something wrong, or less than average. Such was my photography skill.
I’m still taking photos with my iPhone, in fact I have the same one I had back then! But I decided if I wanted to make a business out of blogging, I had to teach myself all the skills required to be successful. So I read up on photography and how to take awesome pictures for your blog.
Lighting is probably the first important thing to learn. You don’t need any fancy expensive lights either. Natural light is your friend!
Go outside and find a nice little area to take photos of whatever it is you’re blogging about. Maybe it’s a recipe blog like mine. My first recipes were vegan smoothie bowls! My photos were dark inside pictures taken on top of my kitchen counter.
You can take your food outside in a garden or a picnic table. Or take your photos inside near large open windows.
2. Presentation Matters
When I first started blogging I just took a picture of my finished recipe without much effort into it. Now I put as much effort into making the finished product really POP as I do into lighting and even writing the content.
If you are blogging about something that requires steps, such as a recipe or a make up routine, take photos of the steps. For example, I take a few photos of the different stages of a recipe. Such as one picture of the ingredients, one of the uncooked prepared ingredients, and the finished food.
Let’s say you write a blog about a makeup tutorial. Maybe you want to take a photo of all the makeup you’re going to use next to the brushes, primer, etc. Then a second picture of your make up half way done, and then the finished makeup. Show a visual representation of the steps needed to repeat what you’re teaching. Your readers love photos and visual learning.
3. Do Your Homework
Do your homework meaning research other top bloggers with similar content. Look at how they present your topic in photos. Which ones stand out and why? For example, when I first made a recipe about muffins, I couldn’t find a good angle to make the muffins look appealing. So I looked up other recipe blogs with muffin recipes.
What I learned by researching other muffin recipe photos is that they look pretty cool stacked on top of each other with a bite taken out of the top one.
Another way you can “do your homework” is research all the free stock photo websites for the perfect picture. Maybe you don’t blog about food or makeup. Maybe you blog about something educational or informative and a proper stock photo is right for your feature photo.
Perhaps you blog about one of the most profitable niches like “how to make money from home.” Your title/headline is probably going to be more important than your photo. And your photo should be simple and clean. For example a stock photo of a stay at home mom or dad working on their computer.
Here is a list of websites with free photos you can use:
4. Free Photo Shop/ Editing Apps
Photo shop is your best friend. I’m talking about anything crazy hard to do either. Something as simple as adjusting the lighting, contrast, brightness, etc can make a huge difference.
Additionally apps like Enhance or Adobe Spark are so easy to use in order to make free graphics for Pinterest and social media.
5. Invest In A Lightbox
After I had been blogging for a while, and still struggling to get great photos, I invested in an affordable photo box or “light box.” Actually my husband bought it for me for Christmas in 2017. But still, it’s what I asked for lol. I use it for 99.9% of my photos, especially my food photos.
I can use it to make an entire recipe video. Like this video for a chicken wing recipe. I made the entire thing inside my photo box.
6. How To Legally Use Other People’s Photos
Did you know you are allowed to embed other people’s social media posts such as Instagram and Twitter? Even celebrities posts are allowed to be used as long as you embed the entire post. You can not scream shot or copy paste their photo. However it’s so simple to get the embed code and use the entire post in your blog.
Like this embedded video from Jason Mamoa’s Instagram account.
Mug shots are also public domain. For example I have a category on this blog titled “breaking news and trending topics.” You can use a persons public mug shot to write about a news article.
Many celebrities have been arrested and have accessible mug shots as well. Like this mug shot of R. Kelly.
7. How To Take Good Pictures Of Yourself
You can easily take photos of yourself with just one of these cheap tools. One is a selfie stick, another is a tripod phone stand, and lastly utilize the timer on your camera.
You can incorporate natural lighting or artificial lighting as well. I hope I helped teach you how to take better photos for your blog or social media.
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