Taking photos is my favourite part of doing a blog post. I've always been into photography and I love that blogging gives me an excuse to constantly snap away. I think my photography has come a long way as well since I first started my blog, though admittedly, I was taking photos on my iPhone and now I take them on my old, trusty DSLR.
The photos and graphics are so important on your blog to bring in readers. If someone is scrolling down their Twitter feed, they are most likely to be attracted to a quality photo and then pause to look and read the words. It's definitely still possible to get traffic to your blog without attractive photos and/or graphics, especially if you're writing vey informative and quality posts, but with people's attention span shrinking, the single best way to grab someone's attention is with a photo. Though, the writing is what will encourage them to read on and stick around.
Here are my top tips for achieving better blog photos:
As I mentioned, when I first started blogging I only used my iPhone for photos as I didn't have my DSLR at university. Phone cameras are really good now and you can achieve a lot with them, as a lot of bloggers do. However, if you really want to take your photography to the next level, a DSLR will be essential.
You know the saying 'all the gear and no idea'? This can definitely apply to photography. You can spend thousands of pounds on cameras and lenses and lights and tripods and whatever else you might want (like remote controls, filters, hoods, spare batteries, seriously my list is never ending) but if you don't know how to use it, you're not going to take better photos than if you had stuck with an iPhone.
The most important thing for an attractive photo is the composition. This involves setting up your props and products and backgrounds in an eye catching way, with the focus on where you want. This blog post is the BEST post I've come across for flat lay tips, with lots of examples.
Don't be afraid to experiment. Sometimes my photos come out right straight away, others I will have to play around with and change for so long before I'm happy with them. I tend to take a few, move stuff around, take a few more, and so on until I've got lots to work with and then I pick out my faves and delete/archive the rest.
I think the ultimate game-changer for photography is natural light. It makes a huge difference. Find a point in your house where there's lots of natural lights such as on a windowsill or by French doors and set up your 'scene' there. Try to keep a watch out for shadows!
Editing is what will take a good photo to an excellent photo. You don't need expensive editing software either, most of the time I just use the basic editing tools in Apple's Photos app. Admittedly, Photoshop and knowing how to use it will almost always be superior, BUT you can still achieve amazing results without it. Plus there's only so much editing you can do, the composition of a photo is much more important.
My favourite way to edit photos is increase brightness/exposure, and then adjusting the black point/shadows so my photos aren't 'washed out'. Sometimes my photos can have a yellowy tint to them so I will adjust the colour cast too so the photos appear white.
Ideally, I'll try and get my photos right by adjusting my camera's settings so they need minimal editing. This can involve adjusting the ISO (low as possible is best to reduce noise (graininess)) and the White Balance.