Photos are HUGE in capturing the attention of readers. The bigger and brighter, the better. And the better photos look on social media, the more clicks you’ll receive back to your blog.
I’ve come a long way in figuring out this whole photo thing with blogging. I went from using really bad quality phone photos that were super tiny and grainy, to using my Canon DSLR to snap my blog photos, back to using my phone to take all of my photos in addition to using high quality free stock photos from certain sites.
Also part of blogging photography is adding text and designs to your photos so that they can do well on sites such as Pinterest.
You don’t need tons of fancy equipment or programs. You just need your phone or a camera, a decent photo editing app, and some basic knowledge on how to create designs for your photos. It’s really very easy! I’ve always had an eye for photography so I feel like it comes somewhat natural to me, but I will share my editing tips (which are actually super basic) that I do for all of my pics.
As I mentioned above, I now use my phone (an iPhone 6) to take all of my photos. Most phones have come a very long way in photo quality and unless you’re a professional photographer or your blog really centers around photos, your phone is truly all you need.
My most favorite photo editing app ever is Afterlight. It has the best brightening tool I’ve seen on an app, and it has gorgeous filters. Most photos definitely need to be brightened if they weren’t taken outside, and even then I will still usually brighten a photo just a bit!
I also like to desaturate my photos in Afterlight, and then I like to apply my favorite filter which is Russ, under the Guest icon. Usually I’ll scale it back some so it’s not the full affect of the filter, just so it looks more natural.
After I have my photo edited in Afterlight (all done on my phone), I’ll transfer the photo/s to my laptop and open it in PicMonkey. I have access to better editing programs but I seriously always just use PicMonkey because I can do so much with it. But there’s two main things I use this site for: resizing and adding text and overlays.
I resize my blog photos down to a width of 750. You want all of your blog photos to be the same width so that they flow and look neat (ignore the fact that my phone screen shot above is not the same width, screen shots won’t save at a high pixel, dang it!).
After resizing, I go into the Text section, where I’ll add the title of my blog post or a description, etc. I’ve learned that it’s best to use clear, large fonts. Something that’s easy to read as a thumbnail on Pinterest. Here is a tutorial for creating overlays and this is a compilation list of lots of PicMonkey tutorials for all the ways you can edit your photos using the site. Also an awesome thing you can do is add your own fonts to your PicMonkey account, which I’ve done quite often.
Recently I’ve been favoring one large overlay on top of my entire photo and adding simple text. My photos have been doing really well on Pinterest and getting a lot of repins!
Pinterest thumbnail tips
Photos that do the best on Pinterest are vertical, have easy-to-read titles, and are simple and bright.
I just did a quick run-through on my Pinterest and these photos caught my eye. They’re all vertical, bright, and simple.
My absolute FAVORITE resource for free stock photos is hands down Unsplash. I actually feel like it’s a crime that I get these photos for free because they’re such high quality and gorgeous photos. They are completely free-do-whatever-you-want with photos.
When I click on their site, I do a few things to make sure I see all the photo options since it’s set to just show the featured pictures.
Right above where the photos start, you have some options. I click on the “All” button first so that all the photos are brought up, not just the featured ones, and then I click on the grid button so I can more easily see them in a smaller version. If I’m looking for something specific, like a photo that would work well with a post on blogging, I click the little search button and then click on one of the options that shows up under it, like “Technology”.
Death to the Stock Photo
My second favorite site to get stock photos from is Death to the Stock Photo. I’m signed up with their free option of receiving a free pack of high quality photos to my email monthly. Their premium package is only $15 a month with some pretty awesome perks, which is cheap when you think about how much other sites try to charge for just one photo.
The last thing I use for my blog photos is Photobucket. Since my WordPress blog would get bogged down if I loaded too many photos on here, I host them on Photobucket instead. This post goes into some more detail on why you would want to do that.
I just upload my photos, go to the Share Links button on whatever photo I want, copy the code in the Direct Link, come back to my blog and click on Add Media, and then paste that code there. Really easy and I get to keep a quick loading site! Win win!
If you’re a blogger, what are some of your favorite photo editing resources and apps?