So how many of you guys are sitting looking at your Blog thinking ‘I want better images!‘ or ‘I’m tired of using stock images that aren’t really what I want‘ Well I’ve been there and only now am I on my way to improving the images on my Blog. I knew straight off that I wanted good quality photos for my site, but searching through stock images just wasn’t my thing, and I didn’t really want to pay for something that I felt to be honest I could do myself if I put my mind to it. So last week I gave creating my own stock images a go after being inspired by a post by Wonderlass. (Here’s a link to that post!) I realised with a little bit of effort I could try creating my own images!
So you may ask, ‘Why?‘ ‘Why should I bother trying to create my own photos for my blog?‘
Well number one, Blogs with ‘Meh’ kind of photos turn me off. That’s the bottom line for me. Do you find yourself drawn to Blogs with beautifully styled photos? Well that’s no coincidence but just because you’re a new blogger or are awful with cameras doesn’t mean you can’t have your own well styled images. Especially if you’re wanting to use Pinterest as a serious platform for promoting your Blog then you better listen up because the only way you’re going to get off to a good start on Pinterest is by having Beautiful Pins that people want to Re-pin over and over again!
So, lets talk a little about Branding. Your brand is basically you, it’s your Online Image, it’s how people recognise you as a regular and consistent blogger. Branding your Blog not only gives you a very professional look but if you’re working on making your blogging side hustle a career then having a strong brand presence is very important. It shows your readers and potential customers that you’re the real dealio.
Here’s a post that really helped me understand the importance of branding for your Blog: The Strong Brand Mini Course, this is another post by Wonderlass (a Blog I’m clearly obsessed with). I suggest giving it a read over because you can’t really begin to create your own images for your Blog if you don’t know the overall look you’re going for. If you want more information on branding then take a look at Boss Lady Blogger’s post on What to include in your Brands Style Guide! it gives you a great breakdown on what’s important in creating a brand for yourself.
OKAY! So now that you’ve gotten an idea of what kind of style you want for your fabulous Blog now you can begin getting ready to take your first set of images. Now for my images I decided I loved the Flat Lay look and because a lot of my posts are about blogging itself then my go to styling was cute stationary and my Ipad. However I knew that wasn’t enough, so I went to my bestfriend (aka Pinterest) and started creating a board of Flat Lay style inspiration! Want to check out my inspiration? Here’s a link to my Flat Lay Styling Board on Pinterest. YAY!
So here’s where things get technical. I fully believe that literally anyone can make their own Blog images, why? Because well I did it, and I’m not in any way a photographer or an eagle eye photo styler. For my first try though I’m pretty happy with the results although I know for next time how I’d like to improve and make them better! So stay tuned for even more stock photo give-aways!
Okay so the Set up is literally Two pieces of Foam Board (cheap as anything), some coloured card (also cheap as anything) for different background colours, Natural lighting (totally free), and even better news for you blogging newbies and camera shy peeps my humble Iphone (which I already own and I’m sure most of you guys do too!)
Here’s an example of the original photo and the photo after some editing:
So the before image was taken in natural light and I was using a second foam board to reflect light onto my set up to lessen the shadows (this only helped moderately). To get it to look like the image on the right here are the steps I took:
- Increased overall brightness (because the image is Dull dull dull…ew)
- Increased contrast (this part dramatically improves the stark white background look)
- Lightened the shadows (as the reflector board didn’t reduce the shadows enough)
- Increased Saturation to make the most of the bright colours! I love a good POP of colour!
- Also check out that adorable Bunny Illustration, it’s by my friend Bethany who does amazing artwork that’s perfect for in your home or giving as a super cute gift! Here’s a link to her facebook!
The moral of all this is that if you take a photo and immediately disregard it as terrible because it’s not the way you imagine it, wait. Play around with it, edit it even just a little bit and all of a sudden it could become your favourite image of like All Time, okay maybe not but hey it means you have another stock image under your belt for a rainy day!
Now what you do with your new set of fab stock images is all down to you, personally I love the transparent overlay look with writing on top. If you’re wondering what photo editor I use its Picsart, nothing fancy, so it’s great for new bloggers who want a way to make their images more professional looking without having to fork out loads on a DSLR camera or an expensive photo editing programme. It just goes to show how far an iPhone can take you!
So here they are! YOUR FREE STOCK IMAGES YAY!
What photo tricks to you have? How do you get the shot you want? Let me know in the comments and if you have any questions I’m here to answer them!