It’s moving day!! Today Slayer, my friend Elizabeth, and I are all packed into my little car headed for the west coast. You can follow our road trip adventures on Instagram and in the meantime I’ve got Badass Babe Allyson here to talk about taking better blog photos!
Hey, everyone! I am Allyson from Allyson Wonderland Photography. I am a social worker who loves photography & blogging and I want to talk to you badass ladies about photography & your blog.
Take your own photos
Do you know what sets apart great blogs from the good ones? Photos. You probably already know that. But it isn’t just the photos, it’s unique photos. You can find great photos online and use them on your blog, but you probably won’t be the first person to use them and it likely won’t make you stand out from the pack like something original could.
You have a unique perspective, a way of looking at things that is different from everyone else, life experience that sets you apart — why not utilize those things and do something a little different? Show your personality, parts of your day-to-day life, tell a story — you can do all of these things by taking your own photos.
It’s ok if you aren’t quite there yet. Here’s an entire post on photo-sharing etiquette for bloggers if you need more info on using other people’s photos while you improve your own photography.
Find your voice
Taking all of your own photos might sound daunting. If you are new to photography & aren’t sure where to start, figure out what you want your photographic voice to look like. Take a look at blogs that you think are doing photography well and take some notes about what you love and then practice, practice, practice. You don’t have to be the best photographer immediately. All you need is one good photo per post. Aim for that and work your way up. In the meantime, you can still use what you learn from your research to improve your blog and the way you present all of your photos.
Whatever kind of photos you use, no matter how many or few you post, be consistent with your style. It is fun to experiment with different ideas and I am all for trying something new, but what you present on your blog should look cohesive. Your photos should look similar across the whole blog since they are part of your brand. This doesn’t just apply to your style of photography, but also to how you format photos. All of your photos should be the same width, the same resolution, and the same overall style throughout your blog [this applies if you are using someone else's photos, too].
Lighting is definitely one of the more noticeable things that sets apart good photos from bad ones. If you’re like me, you probably don’t have a lot of extra money sitting around to buy fancy lighting equipment. Let me keep it extra simple: AVOID taking photos in low light/at night.
Shooting during the day is the cheapest and easiest way to get great photos. Stay out of glaring, direct light, especially if you are photographing a person — squinting is not pretty. Instead, use diffused/ambient light. You want the sun to give a nice, soft glow to your whole photo. When working with sunlight, you have a few options:
- Go outside on a cloudy day. You will be ok shooting almost anywhere.
- Stick to the shade if it’s super sunny. You’ll get a lot of bright light without over-lighting your subject.
- If you are inside, shoot near windows. If the light is too bright, use a sheer curtain to diffuse some of the sunlight.
If night is the only time you have to take photos, don’t worry. Just find well-lit areas or switch out your lightbulbs at home and use daylight bulbs. You can find them anywhere you buy light bulbs or just google it to learn about them. Using daylight-balanced bulbs will get that yellowy cast out of your photos that is a dead giveaway for you night photographers. Don’t be afraid to move your light sources or take off lamp shades. You can’t beat free fixes!
Find a photo:text balance & stay organized
If you are a photographer or have a very visual blog, your posts will probably have more photos than text. If you are a writer, you may only use one photo per post. Figure out what your balance is early on so you know what you need. It’s always ok to switch it up, but it helps to know what your goal is. If you want to post a lot of photos in every post, you may want to build up a back-log of photos to use as you need them — just make sure to keep your digital photo files organized so that you can find what you are looking for later.
I hope these tips help you improve the photography on your blog. If you are interested in more quick tips like the ones found in this post, check out the Uncommon Sense series over on my blog.