Guest author Deidra Wilson. Do you know how to take better pictures for your blog? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, that the soul never thinks without a picture. You spend countless hours working on your blog; tweaking the design, researching keywords and writing interesting tidbits to keep your readers engaged. Do you pay the same amount of time and respect to the photos you put on your blog?
Relevant and original images will keep your reader’s interest longer, as well as capture that ever precious bookmark to keep them coming back. Photos tell stories, stories create emotion, and emotion solidifies your brand to your readers and customers. How many times have you logged on to Facebook and seen an eye-catching photograph attached to a post or link that you found irresistible to click on?
Everyone has a digital camera these days and that probably means that you do, too – with the following tips and tricks, you can take excellent pictures that will increase your traffic and conversions.
1) It is not the machine, it is the man
Better quality (ie: more expensive) cameras do not necessarily result in immensely better images. A simple point and shoot digital camera can produce more than adequate pictures. If you think you will be taking several unique images a day or photos of products you sell online, it might be a good idea to look into a higher quality and more versatile DSLR camera.
I have taken thousands of very cool images with my arsenal of simple point and shoot cameras – they are easily portable, cheap and most importantly – tough to break.
2) Go towards the light
Lighting is everything, be it inside or outside – it will make or break your photographs. You have probably come across photographers in strange places at sunrise or dusk – they are simply waiting on the light, waiting for that perfect moment to capture an image that only exists in that perfect light.
You do not need expensive external lights or even on-camera flash. Use natural light (sunlight) through a window or soft non-fluorescent light with the on-camera flash turned off. It helps to use a simple tripod when utilizing this technique because your camera will use a longer exposure time to compensate for the lower light it senses. Hand holding the camera when doing this will usually produce blurry images. Small desktop tripods are cheap ($20 or less) and work well, just make sure your camera has a tripod mount on the bottom of the camera (a small threaded hole).
You can also experiment with suspending a simple white bed sheet in between your subject and a light source to diffuse the light which will ensure even light distribution and a reduction in harsh shadows – this technique works well for small items (ie: a basketball or a computer).
3) Go where others have not gone
What is more interesting? A picture of an athletic shoe on a stark kitchen table or the same shoe shot very close up out in your yard in the grass (see the photo above)? When you set out to take a specific photograph, stop and think – what will make this picture unique? Aim to shoot your subject in its natural environment or take the out-of-the-box approach and seek out a polar opposite for your backdrop.
There are thousands of images of iPads on the internet and your readers have seen quite a big chunk of them before. Your readers will sit up and take notice of your post, your blog and you personally because you took the time to go shoot that same iPad in an unexpected setting such as on a ferris wheel at night, on home plate at a baseball field, on top of a taxi in Time Square, on top of Mount Everest, etc.
You have your location picked out now, so take your time when setting up the photo and actually snapping off pictures. Do not be afraid to take 30 or 40 pictures of one setup from different angles and depths of field. If you own Photoshop, spend a minute or two cleaning up the final image, resize it properly so it loads quickly and rename the image title for that little bit of SEO magic (don’t forget your alt tag and caption when posting).
In the vast ocean that is the blogosphere, putting in that extra effort with your blog’s photographs will pay off in increasing the value of your blog as a media property and as a brand. You can do it!
Guest author Deidra Wilson is a Las Vegas wedding photographer who blogs about how to make your readers happy through the use of creative and emotion evoking photography. See our guestblogging guidelines.