I realize that by writing this post I’m setting myself up for tons of criticism. So let’s just get this elephant out of the room. I totally suck. I know this. I try. I try hard. That doesn’t mean I don’t suck. But sucking also doesn’t mean I can’t still share some tips that will help you not suck. (Or at least not suck as hard.)
Size matters. You see this…this right here? This space where I’m writing? It’s my blog post area and it’s about 600px wide. My typical picture on my blog is 500px wide. Great pictures make your stories. Pictures that span your post look great. Not using the space you have on your blog post is like owning a 2000 square foot house but only living in the basement.
Let’s make this clear. Your pictures shouldn’t be fuzzy unless they’re of a teddy bear. Learn your camera and what settings are available. Even a basic point and shoot camera has a few different settings. Figure them out. Learn what will make your pictures as clear and in focus as possible. Read your manuals!
Find some light. You’ve watched Top Model. You know lighting is important. They don’t tell the models to find their light for no reason. Why aren’t you trying to use light in your photos? Use natural light when you can. Turn on all of the lights in the room if you can’t. Turn off your flash whenever possible. Flashes blow out your photos and in most cases it’s going to be better to lighten up a darker photo in editing than use a flash.
Learn to edit. I almost never publish a picture without a few tweaks. I crop. I straighten. I lighten. I reduce noise. Photo editing programs come in all price points including free. There are very easy basic programs you can try. PicMonkey and Pixlr are two of my favorites. Play around and figure out how to make your photos even better.
No one loves watermarks. I get the point of watermarks and I’m definitely not hating on anyone who uses them. But I do think there’s a right way to do a watermark. It should be subtle and it shouldn’t take away from the photo itself. Huge opaque watermarks across the middle of your photo are distracting and not nearly as visually pleasing. A watermark in the corner can always be cropped out by a plagiarist, but hey…it’s a calculated risk.
Clean up a little. Have you ever seen a blog photo and wondered if A&E was on site filming for Hoarders? We all have our messes. Seriously. We all do. Don’t let the subject of your photo become secondary to whatever chaos is going on behind it. Close your drawers. Shut the cabinets. Push all of the clutter on the countertops out of the way. Then snap your pictures.
Don’t take pictures when you’re naked. Just don’t. Do you know how many reflective surfaces there are? Mirrors aren’t the only thing that can sneak a surprise into a picture. I once took a picture of metallic Easter eggs and realized you could see me snapping away on the shiny surface. Luckily I was dressed. But yeah…never take photos naked.