Photography 101: Why Blog Photography Matters

I’ve been blogging for two and a half years. When I started I didn’t have a plan. I was sending random words and thoughts into the blogging abyss. There’s nothing wrong with that but if you have clearly defined goals and a desire to be a successful blogger planning is essential.

One important element of blogging I neglected was photography. At the time I wasn’t interested in doing much more than sharing funny stories about my life in Vermont. Once I reevaluated my writing and blogging goals I set out to improve my photography skills and increase the visual appeal of my site. It’s paid off tremendously.

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One of my first blog photos. Yikes!

Incredible opportunities have come my way thanks to my blog photography. I’ve worked as a blog ambassador for a well-known photography forum and community, reviewed top of the line gear, and photographed a private event at a blog conference. Whatever your goals are if you’re using your blog as a platform to reach them -  visual appeal is important.

Blog photography matters because it makes your reader slow down and pay closer attention to what you’re saying. A photo can be used to illustrate a point, tell a story, sell a product or all three. Think of a nice photo as a rest stop for your eyes. Taking a break and letting your eyes linger at a nice looking image gives you time to process the content you’ve read.

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Think about the message you want your blog to convey and choose photos accordingly. My blog is about my life as an Ivy League MBA wife and inspiring women to document their children’s lives with photography. The photos one sees on my site are happy, fun, vibrant, pretty and sweet. That is how I see my life so those are the kinds of photos I share. Keep the rest of your visual branding in mind when making choices about which photos to post.

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The art of photography is intimidating. There is a mountain of information to learn and at times it seems impossible to keep up. Start small and set goals for yourself. Think of where you want your blog to be a year from now and how improving your photography can help with that. Do you want to increase traffic? Build a larger community? Create content that is curated by top bloggers?

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Make a plan and get shooting. Practice is the best teacher. I’ll be back next month with tips on how choosing the right aperture sets the mood of your photos and improves your photography.

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Comments

  1. I just bought a new camera and hopefully practice more with photographing. But the weather here is so awful and it’s always so gloomy and dark outside that I can’t take advantage of natural lighting for my beginner level photos.

    What camera do you use? These photos look so amazing and truly story-telling! I like the ocean one most.

    • As you become more comfortable you’ll learn to work your way around lighting challenges. It takes time but you’ll get there. Consider some off camera flash work. You can get a nice set up for not too much money. This is a great guy to follow on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv3727IGNok

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It means a lot. I shoot with an entry level DSLR mostly – at the moment (i’m about to upgrade) Canon Rebel T3. I have a handful of lenses but I mostly use my Canon 50mm 1.4. It’s a really amazing lens for the money.

  2. I started without a plan too, and I’m constantly working on photography. When I started, I really came to have a new appreciation for photography! On my Christmas list this year, a better camera (mine is so old). Great post! I pinned it. =0)
    I’m a new follower via Bloglovin! Hope you’ll come check out my blog too.
    ~Kim
    2justByou.blogspot.com

  3. I totally agree that blogs images are incredibly important in engaging the reader. The first picture you captioned “yikes” could have grabbed my attention quickly if the picture was brighter and I could distinguish the elements in the picture. I eat a plant based diet and it looks like it is a picture of collard greens, and I can’t make out what else is in the picture. The other pics are engaging and I love your use of depth of field.

  4. Yup, my photos pretty much look like the lettuce too! hehe I have started to use PicMonkey to pimp out of photos though so you know…baby steps… hehe

    What’s your favorite resources for helping newbies with their photos?

  5. hahaha!! Cute photo with the lettuce :D That sounds like me. My first photos were not good (and that’s being nice). But I’m working on it, and the fun thing is that along the way I discovered I LOVE photography :)

    Thanks for all these great insights Ciera. Very informative!

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