When blogging started, it was mostly just writing.
In fact, if you have ever seen the blog that the movie “Julie & Julia” is based on, it is all words. No images.
If you don’t believe me, here it is: The Julie/Julia Project Blog.
I don’t even think she put a picture of herself or any of the food on there. And she got a book deal out of it!
But these days, it isn’t that easy. Readers expect visuals when they come to your blog.
They want to see your face, pretty pictures and graphics.
But what if you aren’t a great photographer? Can you still blog?
Yes. You have basically 3 options.
- Use stock photos. You can find out more about stock photography in this post —> 9 Paid Stock Photography Websites That Will Rock Your Blog.
- Hire someone to take photos. You can pay someone to take photos of you or for your posts.
- Take better photos. That is what we are going to talk about today.
If you look way back in the archives of your favorite bloggers or Instagramers, you will most likely find that their photography skills have increased over the years. And yours can too.
12 Quick Photography Tips for Bloggers
1. Get near a window
Light is pretty much the most important thing in photography. Without light, your photos don’t look professional or clear.
The best way to get good light is to use natural light from a window in your home.
Indirect natural light (not harsh sunlight) makes your photos look bright and evenly toned. You may need to try several different windows in your home at different times of day to see which one works best.
Don’t be afraid to use a bedroom window, even if you are shooting food photography. No one will know and it will make your photos look so much better.
2. Use a reflector
A reflector is used to bounce the light back into a photo, which adds more light onto your subject.
This can help fill shadowy or dark spots with more light.
You can use a white foam board or buy a reflector, which ever you prefer.
Hold it up just outside of the photos edge to bounce light in the picture.
Check out this video about using a reflector. This particular video is about portraits, but you can use the same techniques on still life shots as well.
3. Adjust your white balance
White balance is the color of the light in your photo. Different types of light have different colors.
You want your white balance to look as real as possible. You can do this in camera or in editing.
To find out more about white balance, read this blog post —> 10 Steps to Manual Mode: White Balance.
4. Try different backgrounds
Good backgrounds can make or break your photos, so experiment with different things until you find a few that you really love.
Backgrounds can become a part of your branding if you use the same ones over and over again.
To find new background ideas, read this blog post —> 9 Simple DIY Photography Background Ideas For Shooting Indoors.
5. Keep moving things around
Don’t think that you are going to take one picture of something and be done. To get the best shot, you need to move things around.
This could mean trying a different window, a different angle or moving props around.
Keep trying new things and then decide in editing what you like the best. That is the best way to find those awesome photos.
6. Keep editing consistency
Editing can be hard to get the hang of at first, but it is essential for good photos.
When I say editing, I’m not talking about head swapping or making people thinner.
I mean basic editing like white balance, contrast, exposure, etc.
Don’t go crazy with editing. In my opinion, photo editing should be subtle but give your photos a little kick.
You should also try to edit all of your photos in a similar manner for a cohesive brand.
For more information on my editing workflow, read this blog post —> Take A Peek Into My Photography Workflow.
7. Stay steady
Having clear photos is the first step to good photography.
In order to have clear photos that are in focus, you must keep your camera steady while you are shooting.
If you don’t have a steady hand, you should lean against something or use a tripod.
I discuss holding your camera properly in this blog post —> 10 Steps to Manual Mode: Holding Your Camera.
8. Use fun props
Props are one of my favorite things about still life photography. I love to find cute plates, mugs, greenery and other props to use in my photos.
You don’t have to go crazy buying props for your photos. Most things you need you will probably be able to find just lying around your house.
You can use props to insert your brand colors in your photos, to bring life to boring photos or to help illustrate the story you are trying to tell.
For ideas on where to get props for your photography, read this blog post —> The Budget Friendly Approach: 7 Unique Places to Get Photography Props.
9. Follow composition rules
Composition in photography means how objects flow in your photo and how your subject is placed in your photo for maximum interest.
The most popular composition rule (and the one you should use most of the time) is the rule of thirds.
Basically, the rule of thirds means you divide your viewfinder into 9 equal squares. Then you put the most important part of your image in the intersection of those lines.
This keeps the subject out of the middle of the photo and makes it more visually appealing for the eye.
For more composition rules, read this blog post —> 13 Composition Rules To Take Your Photography from Boring to Striking.
10. Leave white space
While I love a good close up photo (especially of food!), you want to have some photos with white space as well.
What is white space? It is empty space in your photo, usually around the edges or top of your photo.
For bloggers, we can use this space for titles or words in on a Pinterest pin or social media graphic.
This goes back to #5 (keep moving things around). Take some photos close up and others farther back to add white space for marketing reasons.
This will make life so much easier later in editing.
11. Take vertical and horizontal shots
In each blog post, I include one vertical and one horizontal shot. This is my minimum requirement.
The horizontal photo is my “featured photo” for my blog and social media.
The vertical photo is used to make pins for Pinterest.
So when you are taking your photos, go ahead and take several of each so you have more to work with later.
12. Get in the photos
This is one I struggle with personally. I hate being in pictures. I guess that’s why I’m a photographer and not a model!
But your readers want to see your face. They want to get to know you better.
I have also heard that photos of you will do better on social media than photos of your products or still life.
So set up a tripod or have someone else take your picture every once in a while. Show them who is behind your awesome brand.
- Read this list of photography tips for bloggers.
- Evaluate where you might need help.
- Start practicing these things to increase the power of photography on your blog.
Increasing your photography skills can make a big impact on your blog. The world is very visual now, and images are an important part of blogging and brand building.
So take the action steps above and get started improving your photography now. You won’t regret the time you spend on this important task.
What parts of photography do you struggle with as a blogger? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!