I want to talk about the importance of using and taking quality images when you blog. There are lots of arguments about whether it is important to use images when you blog. For me this is a no brainer. Use images. We are a very visual society, we are drawn into blogs based on appearance. This may seem very shallow but in my opinion it is true. When I first started blogging I knew no one so I just started floating around from one blog to the next and I realized very quickly that I spent more time on blogs that were visually appealing. Sure if there really wasn't any content to back up the pretty pictures that caught my attention I was most like not going to be a returning viewer. I'm not saying this to discourage you but to really say that with a few simple tricks you will be well on your way to making your blog more visually appealing and will probably gain some new viewers along the way.
Lets take a peak at what my images looked like when I started blogging.... please dont judge its a bit embarrassing :)
5 simple tricks to taking better pictures:
1. Natural Light. Lighting is so important, you can see in the images above that I used a flash in my first image and natural light in the second. I learned quickly it is better to not use your flash so, if you have one take away from this post, I would say just start by turning your flash off and not using it again :)
When I first started taking blog pictures I would just take pictures of my recipes or project in the evening, but I saw quickly that this wasn't going to work. So I started planning to wake up a little earlier or wait for the weekend so that I could work with the natural light. Try and know your house and where and at what time you have the best light. I started (and still do) walk around the house with a plate of food and see where my light is best. Sometimes I would take pictures in my office or hold a plate to the window in my kitchen if the light was getting low. Play around and get to know your surroundings.
2. Composition. Composition refers to the placement of an object and its surroundings. When you are setting up your subject whether food, beauty products or people you want to pick your focus. Composition is a way of guiding the viewers eye to the most important part of you image, your subject.
Begin with the Rule of Thirds. If you haven't heard of the rule of thirds begin by looking into your screen of your camera and either turn on your grid or imagine a tick-tac-toe grid on your screen. Then place your subject within one of the 3 segments (vertical or horizontal) When working withpeople lining them up with one of the vertical grids works well, but with landscapes working with one of the horizontal grids.
3. Angles. Play with taking pictures of your subject from multiple angles. I rarely take a picture standing and shooting straight on. You can find me standing on a chair, squatting down or some other contorted position. When you play with different angle you will find that certain angles work better than others and sometimes you will be surprised at what angle you are drawn to.
4. Resolution. One of my biggest mistakes when I started blogging was not paying attention to the resolution of my images. I would take small images and try to enlarge them, which resulted in a grainy & pixilated image. Always take your pictures at a higher resolution, there is no quality loss to an image if you make a high resolution image smaller only if you stretch it larger.
5. Background. Know your background, if you're taking a wide angle shot make sure your background is cleaned up. You probably don't want a messy living room in your background while you try and take a picture of your favorite lipstick. If I'm shooting a recipe post from above I love display my food items on my favorite wood cutting board. This creates a clean backdrop for my subject. Another trick is to purchase some white poster board and place it behind the subject you are shooting.
I hope these tricks help you out, what sort of tricks have you learned when it comes to your blogging photography?