Monday, January 17, 2011

Guest Post: 8 Tips for Better Blog Images, Part 1

I have to admit that I am not the best at taking pictures for my blog.  This is why I am stepping away from the norm today for a special guest post!  My good friend Christine @ Photographic Ramblings of a Photo Nut is going to give you some amazing tips to make your blog as pretty as a picture.  Here we go...

So you love writing for your blog, and often times you need to produce an example of what you’re blogging about.  Maybe a new recipe that turned out great, a fun location to take the kids, or something more instructional, like how to re-stain an old dresser.  You either have to search free image sites for a picture that comes close, or you’re brave enough to take your own. 

But you don’t have the studio lights, the backdrops, or the camera knowledge to get anything other than a “snapshot”. Well, I hope the next eight pointers will inspire you and improve the way you get that blog image without all the “stuff” mentioned above.  



 1.    Natural Light is Your Friend!  
Either sunny or cloudy, indoors or out, natural light will always give you better light. Who needs professional lighting when you can sit your subject near a window and get some lovely sidelight across them, or take them outside and get naturally diffused light on an overcast day. Seems really sunny? Find some shade against a wall, or a cluster of thick trees. Keep the sun behind or beside you, but when photographing people, keep the sun beside or behind them to avoid squinting. 

2.     Aim for Color!    
Find a way to make the most of color within your composition. Blogs for the most part should be bright and eye catching, unless you specifically use B&W images. For example, this image was from a farmers market. I also had a great shot of piles of rustic potatoes and heads of garlic... but for a blog about fresh produce, the image of the green beans won hands down because of their bright, fresh color throughout the shot. 



 3.     Get in close.... then get in closer!  
Ever wonder why you see a finished shot and your subject or scene still looks far away or ineffective. You need to get closer. I realize when you shot the image you thought you were quite close already but trust me, get really close! A tight shot can produce a professional composition... so when you think you’re close enough, get even closer. This example is two shots I took over the holidays, one was from a good distance to include most of the cat... but there’s objects in the background that distract and clutter the composition. The final image looks markedly improved simply because I made a decision to scoot even closer and frame him tightly. 



4.     Stay Away from Flash When You Can!  
Flash is always tricky, even for professionals. Most prefer to stick with that natural light mentioned in the first tip if they can. And the reason is this: when used casually without knowing the properties of lighting, it’ll make your images look flat every time. Flash can wash out any real color, and heaven forbid if you have reflective surfaces like glass, it bounces the light back at the camera causing spots of white light and blown out areas you can never get back. 

Here are two examples: the before I took of some soft pretzels I made one day, and thought I'd get a quick pic of my efforts... but the kitchen had been dark, and naturally the flash went off. Looks dull and not too tasty. For the after shot, I placed the plate near a natural light source, got closer, and shot without flash. Big difference right?  

Stay tuned for more of Christine's tips in Part 2.  Meanwhile, check out her website, C. Duncan's Photography, for inspiration!


  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog and thanks for stopping by and reading!

    Thanks for these photo tips! I just got a new camera ! Have a great night! : ) Love your blog and very cool your a personal trainer, Im looking to get certified as a group fitness intsructor!

  2. My pleasure, I am really enjoying your blog! I am glad you found the tips helpful. Part 2 will be up later in the week, I hope you stop by again :) What kind of instructor are you going for?



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