Improve Your Images // 8 Weeks to Improve Your Blog

improve your blog

Welcome to 8 weeks To #ImproveYourBlog, week 4.

During this 8 week course, we’ll be focusing on one thing per week. Every Tuesday, they’ll be a new post for you to read, go away and do some tasks that will hopefully enable you to improve your blog.

If you want to see what’s coming up in future posts, then check out the introduction post where I go through each weeks topic.

If you want to get this post sent to you via e-mail, then sign up to the newsletter either in the sidebar or below the post. Alternatively, you can keep up to date with me on Bloglovin‘, Twitter or Pinterest.

The previous weeks:

If you’ve missed the previous two weeks, check them out here:

  • Week 1: Check Yourself an audit of your blog and social media accounts to make sure everything is up to date and ready for the new year.
  • Week 2: Learning From Othersanalysing other peoples blogs to see how you can improve your own.
  • Week 3: Figuring Out What You Wantbeing clear about your blog goals and what actions you need to take to achieve them.

DSC_0542

One thing that comes up OVER AND OVER again in conversations amongst bloggers is how to improve blog photography.

This is something that will improve with experience – once you start to get a feel for the types of photographs you like to see on other peoples blogs, you’ll start to be able to develop your own skills.

The best thing you can do is keep yourself inspired by following and reading blogs who have images you aspire to. Follow Instagram accounts and think about what makes you love these photos and how you can take inspiration from them.

week 4 of the 8 week blog course #ImproveYourBlog where we talk about how to improve our blog images and photos

Improve Your Images 

I’m going to go over four things here:

  1. Improving the photos you take
  2. Editing images
  3. Making graphics
  4. Using stock images and where to find them

Let’s go!

Improving the photos you take. 

The most important think you can do is learn how to use your camera and your cameras settings. I could go on for hours about how to use a DSLR, but I’ll keep this short. The best advice I can give you is learn how to use your camera is familiarise yourself with the following settings that can be found on DSLRs and most compact cameras:

Aperture Priority Mode – Aperture is what you need to adjust to get that blurred background bloggers love – the lower the number, the blurrier the background will be. If you use the aperture priority mode, it means you can adjust the aperture and the camera will adjust the shutter speed  and other settings for you.

ISO – ISO is basically the level of sensitivity your camera has to light. The higher the number, the more sensitive your camera is to the light. This basically means that if you are in darker conditions, you can increase the ISO number to compensate – though this does mean the quality of the photo will suffer compared to an ISO of 100 or 200!

Exposure Compensation – this is another way to help your camera compensate from bad lighting conditions. If you adjust the exposure on your camera, remember to change it back to zero when you’re finished!

There are many other settings on your camera, but these are the ones I tend to rely on the most.

DSC_0294

You don’t need a posh lens to take nice photos!

Many bloggers swear by the 50mm lens – which is actually a great lens that can great a lovely blur – but the above background was taken using a standard kit lens on these settings:

Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G
ISO: 800
Shutter Speed: 1/50
44mm

You don’t need a posh camera!

Again, you don’t need a posh camera to take great photos. Most compact cameras will have some settings on them so you can take professional looking photos – if not, it should have a macro mode at least!

Camera phones nowadays are fantastic and you can get some decent photos out of your iPhone – the trick is in the lighting, editing and composition!

Your background.

You want to think about whats in the background of your photos. If you’re taking photos of products on your desk, then be mindful of whats in the background – you don’t want a dirty plate or general mess in the background! Keep it as clear as possible unless you want to include intentional props. I do have a post ideas for props in blog photos.

DSC_0403

I’m a big fan of using my phone, iPads or computer in blog photos – it’s a pretty cool way of making your photos yours as you can bring your blog or social media account up on the screen.

In this photo, I’ve used a wallpaper sample that I bought from Amazon for a £1 as the background, some rings and a shabby chick heart decoration.

There are many things you can use – flowers, candles, makeup, magazines, notebooks.. just have fun with it until you find something you love and want to stick with it for a while!

Editing Images:

I’m not going to go into too much detail on editing images, I’ve have wrote a full post on it here and I still pretty much use this way of editing photos.

Main things I use are adjusting brightness, contrast and sharpness.

I use Picmonkey to edit my photos – I do subscribe to the premium version so I can get some extra features!

I also have use photoshop for some graphics and images or if I want a more specific effect, but in general Picmonkey is my go to because it’s just quicker.

Making Graphics:

 

There are many ways to make graphic – you don’t have to be an expert in photoshop to do so. Some of my favourite tools are the following:

Picmonkey: You can add text, shapes, clipart type images, boarders and all sorts on picmonkey! It’s how I made my header and also how I’ve made printable worksheets in the past.

Canva: This is how I usually make my title graphics – it’s dead easy to use and there are loads of templates you can use. You can edit the text and upload your own images to it to make it personalised. They always look really professional, too and I recommend it over picmonkey for adding text to images.

canva

Easely: Ease.ly is a way to make infograhpics – it’s similar to Canva in that you can use pre-made templates, or you can start a custom one. It’s a great way to share information and figures in a different way than usual!

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 20.21.19

Piktochart: This is another way of creating various graphics to be used on your blog.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 20.26.21

Using Stock Images.

Hopefully most of you know that you can’t just take any old image from the internet. You could get fined if you are caught – because there are so many people who think Google Images is just a library of photos for you to take as and when you want, there are actually people that will scowl the internet looking for photo copyright infringement in order to try and make you pay for using the images – threatening legal action if you don’t pay them a hefty amount. But more on legally using blog images here.

Here are some sites you can get images from that you don’t need to pay for! Though some of these images are used across a few blogs – so you might run the risk of seeing the image on a friends blog!

Hopefully I’ve given you enough here to at least teach you one new thing?

What are you going to do different in your blog photos?

What are your tips?

Untitled3

If you like what you see, please sign up to my newsletter below and follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin so you don’t miss out on updates!

Keep up to date with my newsletter




Follow:

26 Comments

  1. January 26, 2016 / 8:55 am

    I’ve always been told to use the aperture setting on my camera but I’ve had no idea what to do with it until now – definitely going to have a play with that this afternoon. Still loving this series, thanks for all your help so far 🙂 x

    Viva Epernay | Lush Giveaway ❤
    Sarah recently posted…JADU TEA | MADEMOISELLE GREYMy Profile

  2. January 26, 2016 / 10:57 am

    this was so useful! I always struggle finding stock images!

    xx

  3. Jackie Harrison
    January 26, 2016 / 11:00 am

    Great tips and it so true you do not did a posh lens practice make perfect.

  4. January 26, 2016 / 11:34 am

    Ooh great tips. I love Picmonkey, need to get on Canva 🙂

  5. January 26, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    This mini series is fantastic. I love it.x

  6. January 26, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    Easely looks like a lot of fun. I’m definitely going to have a go at playing with that later 🙂

  7. January 26, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    Very useful tips! I use photoshop and Fotor but I will also try Canva!
    Darina recently posted…Weekend Notes #41My Profile

  8. January 26, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    These are great tips! My images are definitely what I am ALWAYS trying to improve on my blog so I always enjoy reading what other bloggers (especially with great pictures!) are doing! Thanks for sharing! XO -Kim

  9. January 26, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    I really like blurred backgrounds, it just adds depth to photos and make it look interesting. Agree that you don’t need a professional camera to take good photos, nowadays phones can take great photos. It is all about getting the right light and creating a nice background. I really need these wallpaper samples, they look good! x

    http://www.elabellaworld.com
    Ela recently posted…Rihanna Rebl Fleur PerfumeMy Profile

  10. January 26, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Last year I took a short camera course for about £24 to learn to use my camera and it made such a difference – not just to my photos, but also to my confidence in taking them! I’m still struggling with lighting (hello winter evenings and a house without many convenient windows) but getting there. Also a HUGE fan of Canva on a couple of my other sites! Great post, Corinne 🙂

    Jodie x
    Jodie recently posted…Laser Hair Removal: Update #4 + Your Questions AnsweredMy Profile

  11. January 26, 2016 / 11:08 pm

    This post is very useful, especially on the issue of the use of images from the Web, sometimes images using Google and now I have the fear of having problems someday so, thanks to share some links image bank, thanks!
    Rebeca recently posted…El blazer blancoMy Profile

  12. January 26, 2016 / 11:46 pm

    This is so helpful!! What a great series!:) I LOVE canva! It’s a really great to make graphics! I’ve only been blogging about a month and my photos improved already! But I still have ways to go! Thanks for your help!:)

    Shannon Sage
    Shannon Sage recently posted…My Current Everyday Makeup Look!My Profile

  13. January 27, 2016 / 7:24 am

    I love these kind of posts! I agree you don’t need the high end camera..but I soooo want to upgrade my camera! 🙂
    whitney recently posted…Skinny & CO. Coconut OilMy Profile

  14. January 27, 2016 / 10:43 am

    Great advice. For backgrounds it is worth visiting Homebase or similar as you can get wallpaper samples. These are perfect for using as backgrounds. The wallpaper you are using as a wooden floor is perfect Lucy xj
    Lucy recently posted…Having a baby the first few weeksMy Profile

  15. January 27, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing this really helpful series. I’m going to try a few of the tips you given and hopefully it will improve my blog in general and my instagram photos ☺

  16. January 28, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Great tips!!!! I would love an SLR though my little compact has held me in quite good stead!!x
    Kezzie recently posted…The StarfishMy Profile

  17. January 29, 2016 / 7:59 am

    Loved reading this. It’s something I really want to improve so thanks so much for the help!
    Aimee X

  18. January 29, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    Thanks for these tips! I have been thinking about creating my own images for a while, and now I think I just might. I have been using stock photos. I recently started adding graphics to stock photos to make them a bit more unique to my blog, but I am going to put some effort into taking my own photos now.

  19. January 30, 2016 / 9:08 am

    Brilliant advice as always. I’ve been using pic monkey to edit my pics since you mentioned it to me months ago it has really improved them.
    Carrieanne X
    Beautiesunlocked.com
    Carrieanne recently posted…Mark Jacobs – DecadenceMy Profile

  20. January 30, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    This post is so important. Actually – the whole series is. I love that you share the best tips, that you’ve learned yourself throughout the whole time you’ve been looking.

    Personally, I feel like I struggle quite alot with the photography side of blogging. And I hate it. And I’m so self conscious about it. I want to get better at it and I feel like these are great and really important tips for me, that I’ll take into consideration.

    I couldn’t ask for a better person to provide me with this as I really trust your whole judgement on this whole issue! Have a really good day babe <3

    Ella x
    Ella Pinto recently posted…5 easy steps for a healthier skinMy Profile

  21. January 30, 2016 / 6:51 pm

    such useful and motivation post
    I have been trying to make some changes to the way I take pics and this post is so handy 🙂
    krithi recently posted…January Favorites! 2016My Profile

  22. January 31, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    This is so handy! I take all of my photos on my phone as I don’t have a fancy camera, so I can’t wait to try your tips out!

    Lizzie Bee // mysticthorn.com
    Lizzie recently posted…5th International Gyaru Lovers Meet!My Profile

  23. April 21, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    This is what I have been trying to improve on

    xtrafabb.blogspot.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *