Blogging and the Power of Photos

I am so excited to have the opportunity to guest blog here at Virginia is for Bloggers today! If you are interested in my backstory, read a little more about me here. I had SO many ideas for this and had to narrow them down or we’d be here till Christmas! I finally decided to write something that would appeal to you all directly.

Being a fellow blogger, I know how important photos are to telling your story. With me, photos are the main attraction since my topic is photography. But no matter what your blogging topic is, photos are equally important. There is nothing better than using photos to tell a story or show an example of how to do something. But if that photo is not clear, fuzzy, or too dark, it will do more harm than good.

In addition to photography, I am also an upcycler. I am always perusing DIY or upcycling blogs for ideas and “how to” info. I find there is nothing more frustrating than looking at a photograph and having to spend time trying to decipher what is going on in that photo. If I can’t tell at first glance, it misses the mark.

Let me use as an example. When you log onto ETSY, you are filled with beautiful images that are amazingly staged and properly photographed. Even if the item is something I don’t have the least bit of interest in, I find myself wanting it because it just looks so amazing. The same should be true when you are blogging. You want to use your photographs as tools to help tell your story, but to also engage your readers to want to spend more time on your blog and to come back again and again.

Top Five Tips for Improving Photography in Your Blog

Tip #1 ~ Turn off that flash!! Get outdoors and photograph your item or use natural light, like from a window. If your flash is trying to kick on, you don’t have enough light. You don’t need a fancy camera ~ even a camera phone can take decent photos ~ just remember to turn off that flash!

United States Botanic Gardens, DC
ISO 100 ~ 60mm ~ f/2.8 ~ 1/125 sec

Tip #2 ~ Use an interesting perspective. Get lower than your item or maybe stand up on a chair or a ladder and get higher than your item. Maybe photograph part of the item rather than the whole thing to create interest.

Restoration Project, VA
ISO 100 ~ 41mm ~ f/5.0 ~ 1/60 sec

Tip #3 ~ Find your focal point. If you are using a DSLR, you can switch to manual focus to make sure your focal point is dead on. If you are using a point and shoot, typically it is set to focus on the middle of the photo. Most point and shoots )and DSLRs) have a focus lock. Press the shutter halfway with your focal point in the center and then re-frame your image to your liking. When you are happy with the composition, fully depress the shutter. When you do this your item should be in focus even if it is not in the center of the photo.

Belvedere Plantation, Fredericksburg, VA
ISO 100 ~ 60mm ~ f/3.5 ~ 1/1250 sec

Tip #4 ~ Use the rule of thirds. This is not something to follow exclusively, but a good guideline to keep in mind when composing your photo. It creates well balanced and visually pleasing photos that will have your reader coming back for more.

Empire State Building, New York, NY
ISO 100 ~ 28mm ~ f/11 ~ 1/50 sec

Tip #5 ~ Be creative and have FUN! Don’t be afraid to think out of the box. Find things around the house to use in your photos to create more interest to your item. If you are shooting outdoors, look for things to create a pop of color. Or maybe use a wide open aperture to isolate only a small part of the object (as pictured below).  I usually have a stash of tricks in my camera bag to pull out when I want to add a little more to the photo such as a mirror or a brightly colored scarf ~ you never know when they will come in handy.

United States Botanic Garden, DC
ISO 100 ~ 60mm ~ f/2.8 ~ 1/1600 sec

If you improve your photos they will help your blog stand out above the rest!

If you are interested in following my blog click here or follow me on facebook.  I also have a website and an ETSY store.  And for those fellow instagrammers, follow me @travelingheartsphotography.

Happy Shooting!