This article is guest posted by Deidra Wilson
You work tirelessly on your blog. You research your keywords, build links and pour through your analytics with the skill of a surgeon. Do you put the same amount of effort and thought into the pictures you post on your blog? As a Las Vegas wedding photographer, photography is my job. I do however have the constant demand of providing my blog’s readers with relevant and unique pictures. Good pictures on your website are a key part of making money online.
That old adage ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ very much applies to how your readers perceive your blog and your brand. Load up a popular news website – any of them. You will see current, relevant and well composed pictures to support their news.
If you were constantly presented with an 8 year old stock image that has questionable relevance to the subjects, you would view that news brand as not being a major player. By taking a few easy steps, you can start taking your own pictures to complement your blog posts that will make your readers come back again and again.
1) It is not the tool in the bag, it is the skill of the person using it
Everyone owns a digital camera. The one you own will do just fine – you do not need to rush out and spend thousands on professional camera gear to produce quality images. Some of the favorite photos I have taken have been shot with a variety of camera phones, $10 old film cameras and even Polaroids.
Point being, if you have a simple point and shoot camera, you can take great pictures with it. Set your camera on automatic, resist the urge to use any of the factory ‘scenario settings’ as the landscape setting might work one day, it might be terribly wrong another day due to available light.
2) Hit the lights!
Lighting is half the battle in photography. Sometimes I can be found simply waiting on light when I am on an outdoor shoot, the perfect moment does not always come (usually at dawn or dusk) but when it does it can be magical. For basic images indoors, keep your flash on but try and add as much additional light to the subject area as possible.
When you turn off the flash on a simple point and shoot camera, it overcompensates by keeping the shutter open longer to allow more light in. That almost always results in a blurry image unless you are using a solid tripod and remote shutter control. Experiment with using simple household flashlights or other on hand light sources, when in doubt, flip the switch for your overhead lights.
3) Avoid the ‘stock’ look
Stock photography is just that – it’s stock. You want to take and provide your readers with unique photos that they have not seen anywhere else. If you are taking a picture of a shoe for example, what do you think your readers would find more appealing? A heavily flashed picture of the show on your kitchen table or a more interesting picture, an intimate close-up taken in an environment where you would expect to see that shoe used – a basketball court, running, etc.
If you run a blog about basketball and you are talking about shoes – take a picture of a basketball shoe on a basketball court. Don’t stop there, get creative with what you do to that shoe (or your subject). Toss the shoe up into the net, hang it with fishing line, etc.
Your readers will notice the extra effort in your photography that supports your blog posts. Happy readers translate into more readers and more links each and every time.