Article by Aaron Johnson, Owner & Inventor of SHOTBOX
Just because a picture is worth a thousand words doesn’t necessarily mean those words are good ones. What your blog images say about your blog are the first “words” your reader will see. The impact on the overall tone of your blog is huge, for better or worse. Regardless of the subject of your blog, the photos you use are key to getting your message across—choose poorly and you could turn off potential new readers; choose wisely and you will have your readers coming back to check for more.
Here are 7 crucial tips to making the best photo choices on your blog!
Tip #1: Start With the Image
If you've ever experienced the frustration of writer's block, one possible way to break through is to start with picking your image first. This can give you the inspiration you need to get the ball rolling. Try this if you ever find yourself stumped.
Tip #2: Find Great Images
If you haven't taken your own photos, you may need to venture into the World Wide Web to harvest. Keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for out there. Just googling for your imagery may result in a lot of crappy images to sort through. You've probably noticed that often the better googled images have watermarks to the various stock sites. Going to a specialty site usually always means better quality and selection. I recommend that you subscribe to a good stock photo website, some of which are free or low-cost for decent images. A few recommendations are istockphotos.com (fee-based) and Pixabay.com (free.) Consider the copyright and make sure you only use images that you have rights for.
Tip #3: Make Your Camera Your Best Friend
Keep your camera on you and be on the lookout for photo opportunities. This is easy now that our smartphone cameras are exceptional, turning us all into better photographers. Take advantage of this! Even professional photographers often use this method. Willie Holdman, an incredible outdoor photographer and friend of mine, snaps and posts some iPhone photos alongside those shot with his very nice DSLR. Whatever equipment you’re using, make sure it’s always on you and you’re always looking for inspiration.
Tip #4: Learn Your Camera
Understanding the abilities of your device, whether it be a smart phone, point-and-shoot or full DSLR, can be extremely influential in your finished work. I highly recommend spending some time learning how deep it's built-in technology takes you to a great photo. You can easily find tutorials for any device on YouTube, Udemy and other sites. If you are on an iPhone, I highly recommend heading to iphonephotographyschool.com. This is an excellent site to push all the limits of iOS cameras.
Tip #5: Edit and Enhance
Don't just settle for the default result of your photo—doing some quick optimization or style adjustments might give a decent photo a major upgrade that impacts your readers all the more. Look at any of the built-in editing tools on your camera device as well as the simple photo editors found on iOS or Windows platforms. Definitely explore the deeper abilities of Photoshop, Vivid-Pix and the like. There are also quick and easy websites that do a great job like picmonkey.com or pixlr.com. These have simple but powerful tools and impressive abilities to get that effect you wish to have.
Tip #6: Reach Out
If you need some help with the process you might consider reaching out to the crowd design sites like Fivrr.com. For very little coin you can get a real person tasked with finding or taking just what you need. There are many capable individuals all over the world that can contribute. You might just make a friend along the way!
Tip #7: Get a SHOTBOX
If your photography needs include small to medium-sized objects, you may already have encountered the difficulty of staging, lighting and getting good, easy results. I highly suggest adding a SHOTBOX to your photo tools. The SHOTBOX is a collapsible, self-contained tabletop light box studio. It is easily set up and plugged in to get great object photos anywhere, at any time of day, with whatever camera you have! It was designed to work with smartphones, but is easily used with more specialized equipment. It even has accessories to dress up your surface or background, optional frontal lighting and top-down angle options. It may not be for every photo you need, but it is easily collapsed and stowed away when not needed. Plus, it’s transportable! Shop the SHOTBOX here.
Hopefully, you've gained something from this article that you hadn't considered or known before. I hope that your websites and blogs will be more impactful and memorable to your readers. Happy blogging!