Are your blog photos hit or miss? (Mine are!)

The Art of Picking a Photography Philosophy: Tutorial Rant

Taking blog pics is a weak area for me.

I'm an OK designer and reasonable writer... but at some point I realized the blog needed some photo love, and these pictures simply aren't going to take themselves!.

Because it's not instinctive for me to stop everything and whip out the camera at every turn... this picture-happy habit was one I had to develop (ouch... pun not intended!). I pretty much trained myself to snap relevant shots for the blog using my iPhone as a tool.

I've gotten better, still - my inner paparazzi artist didn't come equipped with camera know-how.

I feel like every time I take pictures for the blog it's mostly hit or miss.

I went to film school... but for me it wasn't about the cameras. I was all writing and editing.

What's a girl to do?

 This is a fairly grainy shot I took at Conimicut Beach. But I own it!

This is a fairly grainy shot I took at Conimicut Beach. But I own it!

Owning the shots.

You've probably heard the rule of thumb... which is actually a legally enforceable rule: before you post, make sure you have the rights to use ALL your images, music and words.

The easiest way to do this is to make them yourself, right? Otherwise you need to find free ones to use or buy them!

If you're confident about banging out articles, graphics or snapping photos, you're golden.

I'm a bit of a designer, and as I mentioned, I'm a fearlessly novice "iPhonographer", so I limit my use of stock images to moments when I'm really stuck. When I do, I review the licensing policies to the best of my ability.

So let's break down what you can do to get great images:

OPTION A - License the images

There are TONS of awesome sites online where you can get images by artists and photographers from all skill ranges... most of the vetted sites feature some free and paid options, which are sold individually or through "credits packages" which can save you money.

I really like Envato's photodune because it's a place where independent artists all over the world can showcase their best work, and bloggers like us can support their success while getting sweet images for our projects and articles!

If this is for you, check them out here:
(I also included "graphicriver" which features common design templates)


OPTION B - Take your own

My personal philosophy is just try stuff until you either get good at it or become otherwise motivated to pay someone else to do it for you!

The fancy phone method...

Honestly... most phones these days have lovely cameras. Your blog images really only need to be 72dpi (screen resolution) but it's best to take some nice big images (150-300dpi or more) and scale down as needed. And we hope they're also in focus and decent composition, right?

My iPhone has been a treasure trove of tools especially with all the apps out there. Look up iPhonography... it's apparently a real-deal photography movement!

But, I also have some very generous and kind photographer friends who have pointed out techniques ...and been honest with me when I posted something truly low quality. I've improved slightly, but I still have so much to learn!

For the DSLR camera owners...

Maybe you know the value of a great shot and you invested in a good camera... but you're still not getting the shots you want.

Recently, I stumbled across this and it totally resonated with me. It's a Photography Masterclass with a very talented young man named Evan Sharboneau.

Here are some examples of Evan's work:

He created this brilliant course for the beginners (like me) who are finally feeling the burn of frustration as they miss out on "the good shot" - and don't really know why.

You do need a DSLR camera for this class.

I'm seriously thinking about taking this course myself... and if I do, I'll post a full report here!

First thing's first, I need to invest in a proper camera!

Click below for Evan's Photography Masterclass

The Take-Away Nugget:

OWN the rights to post & OWN your right to play around!

We all have amazing strengths and our weaknesses are just things we can work around or improve. And with the Interwebs, we can keep educating ourselves all the time!

Give yourself permission to play and learn! And if you go the stock imagery road, play by the copyright rules, and have fun!

As always, I hope this article is helpful to those looking to rock out their DIY projects.

Be sure to share this tutorial rant on your favorite social networks, and write me with any questions or thoughts!