The internet has become a much more visual place over the last few years. Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat thrive because of the snackable, visual content they serve users. And if you have blog, you need to follow the leader – prioritizing visual content as much as possible.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to get this aspect of your blogging strategy right. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can take your blog to the next level.
Here’s where you start:
1. Get the Right Equipment
While there’s certainly a lot of skill and technique involved in photography, good equipment can take you a long way. If you all you have access to right now is a smartphone, work with what you’ve got. But if you have room in your budget to invest in a DSLR – and think you’ll be using it enough to justify the purchase – go for it.
For a mid-range budget, consider the Canon Rebel T6i. It has everything you need to take high quality pictures right out of the box. If you’re willing to spend more, the Canon EOS 6D is an excellent choice.
In addition to a good camera, you’ll also want to invest in some good lenses and a dedicated memory card. As BulkMemoryCards.com’s Steve Foley explains, “Memory cards sometimes get weird when they are switched between MP3 players, cameras, computers, etc., without being formatted first. So, if you can afford it, keep one memory card for each device you need to store information from.”
2. Learn How to Master Lighting
Nothing influences an image more than lighting. Good lighting will make you look like a professional, while bad lighting will leave you with MySpace-quality pictures.
Blogger Abby Lawson used to struggle with lighting, but has since found what she believes is the magic formula: tripod + low ISO + long shutter speeds.
“In the new method, I put my camera on the tripod so I don’t have to worry about holding it still for the photo. I keep my ISO at 100 for almost every single shot so my photos are as crisp as possible,” Lawson explains. “If I want to have the whole room in focus, I’ll set my f-stop at a 10 or 12, and then I slow down the shutter speed to get the photo light enough.”
You may find your own formula, but make sure you play around with lighting until you get it right. This will really make or break your efforts.
3. Take Pictures From All Angles
With a digital camera, there’s no reason to be conservative with how many pictures you take. Snap images from all angles and remember that you can always delete the ones you don’t want at a later point in time.
4. Figure Out Photo Editing Basics
You don’t need a master’s degree in Photoshop, but it would behoove you to find a tool you like and figure out some photo editing basics. With the right hacks, you can significantly improve the quality and appearance of images in just seconds. It’s well worth your time to acquire these basic skills.
5. Pay Attention to Image SEO
If you’re going to reap the full reward of blog images, you must look beneath the surface and pay attention to the technical aspects. More specifically, you should prioritize SEO and remember to give images good alt attributes.
Alt tags and title tags may seem like a small detail, but they can have a significant impact on how easily your content is found by search engine spiders and crawlers. Leaving these attributes blank is a missed opportunity.
Adding it All Up
You can always find generic stock photos and royalty free images, but if you really want your blog to be engaging, personal, and authentic, original photography is the way to go. Keep this in mind and continue to refine your skills.