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More Than Words: Better Blogging with Photos

Author:

Aaron Hockley
Photography Tips for a New Media World

Room: Tradewinds A & B/10
Friday, October 15 2010

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

You’ve heard the tips from various sources about how photos can be used to liven up your blog posts. Whether they’re supporting material for a text post or standing on their own as content, photos and other graphics give a bit of pop to the otherwise mostly-textual web.

Today’s point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras offer great resolution and all sorts of features for prices that are lower than ever. You’ve decided (rightly so) that taking your own photos means you’ll have more authentic and unique content than if you find images elsewhere for your site…

… but then you realize that your photos might suck.

It’s okay. You’re headed in the right direction, and it’s not hard to polish off your social media photo skills. Here are a few tips to up your game:

  • Before shooting: Don’t obsess about camera gear. 99% of the cameras are better than 99% of the photographers. Whether you have a point-and-shoot, a fancy DSLR, or a camera phone, you have what you need to get started creating images. Since you’re here reading the BlogWorld blog, I suspect that you’re amongst the digitally-savvy… your iPhone or Android smartphone probably has a camera capable of great images.
  • When shooting: Fill the frame. Get close so that your subject fills most of the viewfinder. There’s an old photo adage that says when you think you’re close enough, get closer. For photos embedded into blog posts this is even more true – you’ll want your subject to take up all of the screen real estate that it can.
  • When embedding: Bigger is better. You went to the effort to create a nice photograph; don’t lessen the impact by only showing a 100 pixel thumbnail. There’s a reason why Flickr’s “small” size is 240 pixels – I consider that the minimum for effective use in a blog post.
  • When inviting engagement: Instead of just posting a photo as supporting material on your blog or Facebook page, put up an interesting picture and ask readers to come up with a caption. Folks can invent some hilarious captions and you’re sure to get a variety of responses. You can do it as a contest with a prize or not… either way you’ll get people talking about your article and picture.

If you’re interested in more tips both for photography and how to use photos on your blog and social media outposts, join me along with Kris Krug for our BlogWorld session called Photography Tips for a New Media World. Kris will be diving into a bunch of advice and secrets for creating better photos and I’ll be talking about getting those photos online and how to best integrate them with social media to drive interest and engagement.

Aaron Hockley is a photographer and blogger who has been involved with social media since 2002. He attends and speaks at various new media conferences and is often quoted and consulted on the use of social media by the photography industry. Follow along with Aaron on Twitter (@hockley) or keep up with his latest musings at Picture Pundit. He can be reached by email at aaron@hockleyphoto.com.


Feedback

2
  • Any Idiot Can

    I use photos on every post I write as it adds to the interest of what I’m writing about. I also don’t read blogs that have no posts. They’re boring and make my brain feel gray 🙂

    I either use photos I took myself or, if I don’t have anything that fits, Wikimedia Commons has excellent stuff and lots of it is in the public domain, so no copyright issues.

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