Taking Pictures and Creating Graphics
Viewer engagement is a huge part of encouraging consistent readership for your blog. Even if you’re a wizard with words, graphics have a remarkable greatness that can sometimes be even more powerful than the punchiest of paragraphs. Ideally, your blog should have a mixture of text and graphics. If you’re feeling a little intimidated about snapping pictures and creating graphics to use in your blog, don’t worry. The tips below will get you off to a solid start.
Photo Basics – Size Matters
Regardless of what kind of camera you are using, from the iPhone 6 to a DSLR, make sure to tweak the camera settings, if it allows, so you’re shooting at the highest possible resolution. That’ll help your pictures pop in the online realm, even when you display them at 72 DPI.
To save space on your site, which will help your site speed, put your pictures through JPEGmini.com to get the same great look but half the size.
Also, before you upload your images to your blog, make sure they are the right dimensions. To find the right dimension for pictures, go to one of your blog posts, highlight a few lines of text, right click and select “inspect element”. Make sure your blog is full width on your screen if you have a responsive website.
The above screenshot shows that a photo would need to be 750 px to fit full width on Blogelina. You can easily edit the size (ie px or pixels) of your photo by opening the image in Paint, choose “resize” then click on “pixels” and enter 750 for the width.
Try Off-Center Composition
It’s understandably tempting to always put your subject smack-dab in the middle of the frame. However, you may get more interesting results by instead placing your subject slightly off center in the frame. If you need help getting the placement just right, imagine there’s a tic-tac-toe grid drawn across your lens, and align your subject on one of the vertical lines. This is also called the Rule of Thirds.
Focus and Don’t Be Afraid to Use the Zoom
Your zoom lens can help you fill the frame with the subject of your photo and make a memorable impact. Whether you’re zooming in on a blooming flower or a baby’s blue eyes, shooting your subjects up close could get impressive results and help you start to develop a reputation as a blogger who isn’t afraid to be bold when showing the intricacies of the subject.
One artistic way to get your photos to really pop is using depth of field to focus on an object and blur the rest. For example, in the photo below, the camera was focused on the flowers inside the glass and blurred the greenery closest to the camera. You can also do the opposite.
Use the Fill Flash When Shooting Outdoors in Harsh Sunlight
The outdoors offer plenty of opportunities to find and capture terrific material for your blog’s images. However, sometimes bright sunlight can do more harm than good. To compensate for harsh mid-afternoon rays, use your camera’s fill flash setting. It exposes the background of your photo first, then adds just enough flash to illuminate your subject.
Use Screenshots to Showcase
Sometimes the easiest way to get your point across in a blog post is to capture an image that’s on your computer screen. Although there are built-in keyboard commands to take screenshots on both PC and Macintosh computers, you may want to use special software to get even further. For example, Jing is an option that lets you not only take screenshots, but add annotations to them. That works especially well when writing a how-to post. I also like to use LightShot, which is a free screenshot software as well.
You can even create gif screenshots to show a movement on screen over and over again using LICEcap.
Unleash Your Creativity with Canva
When it’s time to create your own graphics by going beyond what a mere screenshot can provide, Canva can help. It’s a powerful graphic design software that’s geared towards people who aren’t naturally graphically inclined. The tool itself is free and you can upload your own pictures to create a feature image or college that fits the style of your blog. I used the tool to create the feature image for this post.
These suggestions should help you feel more confident when it comes to getting graphics for your blog. Once you get the hang of it, your online platform will offer a more complete experience for visitors, and boost the chances they’ll become eager, regular readers.
BIO: Ali Lawrence is a tea-sipping writer who works as a content specialist and blogs about PR and marketing on MarCom Land. She was born and raised in Alaska and dabbles in nutrition, ghostwriting, and is a princess for hire for kid’s parties.