Over the last decade, blogging has become a way for people to share their experiences and, with enough effort, even earn money. Before anyone will take your blog seriously, though, you have to learn how to take top-notch photos. Otherwise, readers will dismiss you as an amateur.
Start by following these five tips. They will help you improve the quality of your images quickly so that you can attract more readers and potential advertisers.
Use Soft, Natural Light
Natural sunlight will make your photographs look more professional than indoor lighting can, so use it when possible. If you have to use indoor lighting, make the most of it with collapsible reflector discs. The reflectors come in gold and silver colors. The gold option works well when you want your photos to have a warm look. Although the silver reflector doesn’t influence light color as much, it will still redirect the light to help you eliminate shadows.
Add Props to Tell a Story
Image via Flickr by Kolin Toney
The old saying might have it that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but that’s not always true. A picture of a shirt, for instance, doesn’t say anything at all — it just shows your readers what the shirt looks like. Using props will bring your photos to life so that they can tell a story. Instead of just photographing the shirt, you might place a baseball glove and ball next to it. Suddenly your picture is about more than the shirt’s appearance — it’s about what someone could do while wearing the shirt.
This approach applies to practically anything that you take pictures of, including people. A few props can add a lot of meaning by telling stories about what those people are doing. Even if you just have your subject carry a skateboard, you’ve turned a boring picture into a story about someone who likes skateboarding.
Choose a High-Quality Camera
You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money on a camera to take top-notch photos, but your camera’s quality will affect how your pictures look. Forget about using your smartphone’s camera. Even if you have the latest model, it doesn’t offer the features you need to take professional-looking photographs.
Instead of using a subpar camera, choose one of the best digital cameras from Sony. Sony makes a wide range of cameras at different price points, so you’ll be able to find a model that matches your needs and budget. Even if you choose a small point-and-shoot camera, it will take better photographs than your smartphone.
Edit Your Photos Before You Post Them
Editing software does a lot more than just let you crop images and remove red-eye. Professional photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop CC lets you do things like create 3D images, retouch portraits, add captions, and stitch together panoramic shots.
When you use editing software, you take your photos to a whole new level of professionalism. If you want your readers to think of you as a professional blogger, you need editing software to improve the quality of your images.
Learn and Practice Photography Skills
If you’re serious about taking better pictures, you should consider signing up for a photography course. An online course like the one taught by the New York Institute of Photography can teach you a lot about taking photographs in just a few weeks or months. The school offers everything from beginner to professional courses. There are also plenty of free lessons online if you just want to learn the basics.
You’ll also need to practice using the equipment you own. At first, you might spend a lot of time adjusting lighting and trying various settings on your camera. The more you use your tools of the trade, though, the better you will get at taking high-quality photographs. Eventually, you will learn what settings, lighting, and compositions work best for you.
Blogging takes more than familiarity with WordPress and other blogging tools. You need to create content that will attract people to your site. As your photos improve, you may start to attract a loyal following of readers who visit your site regularly.