Monday, February 2, 2015

Blogging 101: 10 Ways to Create Prettier Blog Images


Your front porch hasn't been swept, and the color scheme of the decor is, well, dull.

You want people to feel comfortable and at ease, right? You want them to be impressed with your home, no? Without a sense of beauty, chances are they won't feel comfortable at all, and may not even stick around. The same thing applies to your blog.

If the images you're using are dull, drab, and void of life, then the likelihood of people wanting to stick around will be slim to none. This is why it is SO important to create captivating, beautiful images on your blog.

Find out how you can create prettier blog images, whether for your blog alone, or to promote across Pinterest.


1. Use natural sunlight.


I have reiterated this point in many of my previous blog posts regarding image-editing, and I cannot stress it enough. Natural light creates much better photographs than artificial light.

For instance, take a look at the photographs below of my Mozzarella Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes.


The image above was taken in artificial light. The food is dark and drab. It doesn't really look appetizing at all.

The photo below, however, was taken in natural light. It truly brings out the color of the object being photograph, making it far more stunning.


If natural light is not available, try to use white light. Alternatively, you can opt for a high-quality light box with a white backdrop.

2. Choose colors that pop.

Beautiful colors and contrasting colors make gorgeous photographs. The image below utilizes lots of pinks and purples, with enough white space to capture the eye.


The photograph below is one that I took of Harvey Prince Hello Body Lotion for a product review. Believe it or not, I used a pink t-shirt to set the bottle on, a white backdrop, and sliced a lemon to add a little more complimenting color. The image was taken in natural light, which really makes the colors pop.

3. Use filters.

Unless you have an image that is truly captivating on its own, filters can do wonders for an image.


Below, you'll see two (gorgeous) photographs of my daughter, Ireland. The first photograph is untouched. While still beautiful, I wanted it to be a little more dramatic.


I edited the focus of the image by adding a "Fancy Focus" using PicMonkey, as well as the "Soft Focus" filter. I then messed around a little with the color, creating a warm, vintage feel.



4. Mess around with the focus.

Images with a focal blur are stunning. It puts one object center stage, which (especially on Pinterest) really grabs people's attention.


Below, I did the same with my chicken meatballs. I made the center meatball the focus of the image, while very subtly blurring the surroundings. It creates a stunning image.



5. Play around with overlays and text combinations.

Overlays and text are excellent ways to create beautiful photographs, especially if you're a blogger who's constantly putting out articles that you promote across Pinterest. Quote graphics, event announcements, and tutorial titles all benefit from overlays and text.

Check out my examples below.


The quote above was created with a rectangular overlay, faded at about 45%, with the Coneria Script font.


The 30 Mess-Free Art Projects image was created again using a rectangular overlay, faded at about 40%, with Egyptienne Light and Coneria Script fonts. Notice the colors.


Finally, the Easter Egg Hunt image was created with a rectangular overlay (can you tell that I love using those?), Egyptienne Light and Sacramento fonts.

Font can make or break an image.

6. Crop your image properly.

Don't let things in the background take away from the focal point of your image!


Use an image-editing program like PicMonkey to crop it out!


7. Take straight images.

Images that are side-ways, upside down, or at an awkward angle aren't nearly as captivating as images that are perfectly straight. Try to take your pictures as straight as possible, and if you're having trouble, try arbitrary rotation in an image-editing program such as Gimp.

8. Stay away from the flash.

The flash on a camera can ruin an image, as crazy as it seems. Often times, it shows off more dust than beauty, and casts strange shadows on an image.

Look at the two images below.

The first image was taken with flash. Notice how you can see every tiny dust particle on the surface of the pan. You can also see the reflection of the flash. Not very pretty. The bright flash distracts the viewer from the details on the pans surface.


In the second picture however, you can see every detail of the hexagonal Greblon surface. This picture was taken in natural light, without the flash.



9. Use less adornments.

Less is more, especially when it comes to photography (especially for beginners). Loads of adornments and lots of contrasting colors can really take away from the focal point of an image.



Keep it simple. Lots of white space can change the overall feel of an image.


10. Closeups are beautiful.

Don't be afraid to take closeups. They capture the true detail of an object or person. Just be sure that when you're up close and personal, that your camera is focused properly, or else you'll end up with a blurred image.




Needless to say, editing your images to make them captivating is really simple. With the right tools (PicMonkey is my favorite), you can transform a rather bland image into something spectacular!



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