The reason a person reads your blog is as varied as the number of different blogs out there. However, most blogs have 1 key factor in common and that's PHOTOS. Because photos are so important, I have put together some photography tips for bloggers to help you improve your blog's photography, remain consistent to your brand and style, and save money by avoiding the cost of stock images.
I have to admit, when I come across a blog, I look for 2 things...the photos and the bullet points. Ok, I'll confess that usually I'm looking for a recipe, but still. I REALLY need to be interested in a specific topic in order to take the time to read the full blog post because I just don't have extra time. So, with our present high paced, crazy world there has to be at least a few people like me. Therefore, if your photos are not high quality this will not look good for your blog's professionalism.
If you're looking to take your blog to the next level and captivate your audience through quality free photos then, I'm here to help! I'm here to offer photography tips for bloggers so your blog can look more professional and you will save money while taking high quality images for your blog. Plus! The tips offered will show you how to use your camera phone, a point n shoot and a DSLR camera to achieve this look. By taking your own photos you will save money on stock photos, which can add up quickly to become a large expense you will be able to remain consistent with your style.
So, let's start off easy...there are 3 fundamental elements of a quality photo.
First up, is composition and perspective. The composition of a photo helps make it visually appealing and comfortable to your readers. The typical angle that everyone sees is boring, so change things up. Get low, get high or get an angled shot. These out of the norm shots of an average subject will make things much more interesting! Next, try to avoid placing anything near the edges. The focal point of your image should be in the hearty middle of the image not almost falling off the edge. When details are close to the edge, it makes people uncomfortable. However, with that being said, you don't want to center an object directly in the middle of the photo either. Have it slightly off center (vertically and horizontally) to improve the overall appeal. Just look at the 2 pictures below...the bottom one looks far more appealing than the top and a lot has to do with taking the details out of the center of the photo. You could make other arguments as well, but for now that's what I want you to take away from the two photos below.
I already alluded to this above and if you've been looking into photography tips already, then you've probably already heard about leading lines and/or the Rule of Thirds. These are very powerful concepts in composition. Does it mean they are rules set in stone? NO!! Rules are meant to be broken, but usually these are great places to start when composing an image. So, the picture directly above shows the overlay grid lines. You want to attempt to place important aspects of the photo on these intersections, as you can see with the diamond being placed in the upper left intersection point. Based on what you're shooting, you can place the important aspects on any of those points, and try taking the picture several times with different positions before you're done so you have several to pick from later.
Below you'll see a picture exhibiting the leading lines concept. The railing coming from the bottom of the picking is leading your eye towards the girl. This can be done in a million different ways, it's up to your imagination and creativity. Streets, hallways, railroad tracks (not recommended) all lead towards the center when you look in the distance. What you are blogging about may not incorporate people, hallways, or streets; so what you'll need to do is access what you'll be taking pictures of and figure out what you could use that will lead the eye of the beholder to your subject. Maybe that object could be a pen or pencil or even a piece of sports equipment. Be CREATIVE!!
Next, let's go over the importance of light. You've probably already heard people talk about hard and soft light. If this confuses you, then think of hard light as very distinct, abrupt shadows as if you were standing outside at noon on a cloud free day and soft light as gentle shadows on an overcast day. The hard and soft is really referring to how quickly there's a transition from bright highlights to dark shadows. The gentle cascade of soft light is much more flattering and eye appealing (unless you are photographing some buff bodybuilder who wants to see the hard shadows and contours of his muscles). Below are some photos to show the difference of hard light and soft light. Below, the top is an example of hard light and the bottom is of soft light.
You can find soft light outside just after dawn, just before sunset, in shadows, and on overcast days. Inside, a great place to get soft light is near a window, (without direct sunlight beating in on it) near a window with white sheer drapes covering it, by using a flash with diffuser, and with lamps. However, using lamps brings into the mix a whole new topic to talk about for another day. Flash will also be discussed in another blog post. The best for now for natural, good looking results would be to use natural sunlight or filtered sunlight through white sheers curtains.
The third fundamental element of a high quality photo is exposure. Exposure is the overall brightness or darkness of a photo. When you use your camera of choice set to Auto, the camera figures out what a properly exposed picture is and programs the settings accordingly. You can adjust this on your camera if you wish by taking it out of Auto.
Believe it or not, you can even adjust the exposure setting on your iPhone! All you have to do is tap the screen in order to place the focus on an object and when you do than you'll see a box appear. Next to it is a image of the sun, this is alerting you that you can adjust the exposure by sliding your finger up, to increase the exposure or brightness, or by sliding it down to decrease the exposure or darken it. Okay, so I can't quite hold the camera steady, tap the screen and screen shot it quickly without shake, but you get the picture.
Ok, that was a lot of info and we only went over a few topics. I sure hope you head isn't spinning! I would love to hear from you if you have any questions so feel free to drop me a line via email at LearnBlogPhotogrpahy@gmail.com or stop over to the Facebook page and leave me a message there!
There is a lot more to learn in photography. If you are using a DSLR and want to know more about shooting in manual mode to start taking control of your camera, start by checking out some of the photograph basics posts on the website. You can learn the basics of aperture here, the basics of ISO here and the basics of shutter speed here!
I'm not quite done yet. I know that was a lot of info, so I created a little Photography Tips for Bloggers Do's and Don'ts Checklist. It's a helpful reminder of some of the topics we talked about here so you can quickly refer back to it when you need it. Get it today and then share it with your friends!