Thoughtful, innovative, and well-written content is undoubtedly a big piece of the successful food blogging puzzle. But in today's visual society, you know what else can have a big impact? The quality of the food photography you include.
That's right—crisp, beautiful imagery adds a lot to your blog. After all, who wants to be overwhelmed with a giant wall of text without anything pretty to look at?
Crisp, beautiful imagery adds a lot to your blog
In order to make those mouth-watering food pictures pop, you'll want to start with one of our premium WordPress themes, which de-clutters everything non-essential so that your readers are drawn to your content and photographs.
Figuring out how to take high-quality photographs for your blog posts can definitely seem like an overwhelming challenge. But I have good news for you! You don't need to be a total shutterbug to make it happen. Even if you're a complete novice, there are a few different tips you can put into play to kick your photography up a notch!
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What's the Benefit?
There's no doubt that beautiful photography takes some major skill and practice—people make a living snapping photos, after all. But, before you dedicate serious time and energy into your blog photos, you might be wondering if it will even pay off.
Well, long story short, using great images on your blog has numerous benefits for both you and your audience. Here are just a few of them:
- Clean, professional photos improve the visual identity and overall reputation of your blogging brand.
- Photos break up large sections of text, making your posts more attractive and reader-friendly.
- Captivating photos do really well on social media (particularly Pinterest!), meaning your blog posts are more shareable and reach a wider audience.
Using one of our simple wordpress themes with a minimalist style helps make your images pop - keeping focus on both the content and those recipe photographs.
The social media point is one that deserves a little more attention. Pinterest—which you should become especially proficient with as a food and lifestyle blogger—is all about pinning images. Needless to say, the more attractive your photography, the more likely your post is to be pinned and then continuously re-pinned. More re-pins means more eyeballs on your content!
How to Improve Your Photography
Alright, so the power and impact of great photography doesn't really require much convincing. However, recognizing the benefit isn't the tough part. Nope, the trouble comes when you have that camera in hand and are struggling to take Pinterest-worthy blog snaps.
Take a deep breath! You can still take gorgeous photos for your food blog, even if you're just starting to dip your toes into the photography pond. These simple tips will help you create crisp, shareable images that will take your blog to the next level!
Find the Right Equipment
A lot of the blogging photography tips I read immediately recommend that you invest a hefty chunk of change into a nice DSLR camera. I can see where that advice is coming from. A high quality camera can definitely help you take better pictures.
However, it might not be the answer for everyone—especially if you're just getting started. Instead, place your emphasis on finding the equipment that works best for you right now. Some foodies have intricate photography setups that cost thousands of dollars, while others snap a few photos with their iPhone.
Yes, an expensive camera might be worth it eventually—especially as you advance in your blogging career. But focus on finding your style and developing confidence with your photography first. Photography is still an art that requires dedication and practice, no matter how much the camera can accomplish. Plus, that fancy digital camera isn't really worth the price tag if you have no idea how to work it.
Tell me if this situation sounds familiar: You drafted a blog post for tomorrow, and then let it totally slide off your radar. By 10PM the night before you're supposed to publish, you suddenly think, "Oh, shoot! I never took the photos for that post!" So, you take a few last-minute pictures just to get it done, even though you're tired, crabby, and lost all of that glorious natural daylight.
When you feel pressed for time, there's no doubt that you're sacrificing the quality of your photos. You're compromising perfect lighting, weather, and other important elements in favor of getting your photos finished in a rush. And those pictures you snap in haste? Well, they never quite turn out the way you'd like them to.
You likely don't need me to sing the praises of an editorial calendar once again, but here I am doing just that. Having an editorial calendar mapped out not only allows you to see what content you have in the pipeline, but also what photography needs you have coming up. So that afternoon when the sun is streaming perfectly through your kitchen window? You can photograph your cupcake recipe—even if that post isn't publishing for another two weeks.
Taking photos when the elements are just right is a surefire way to churn out better images. And, hey, pretty much anything is better than those grainy, rushed snaps from 10PM.
Remember the Basics
I'll spare you an in-depth photography lesson, as these tips are supposed to be simple. But if you want to wind up with somewhat professional looking images, there are a few important photography concepts to bear in mind. Trust me, you don't need to be Annie Leibovitz to master these basics.
Lighting: We touched on this earlier, but great lighting is crucial for crisp images. When in doubt, natural lighting is always best. Also, make sure you pay close attention to avoid any shadows or glares that may distort your images.
Composition: There's so much involved with composition that I couldn't possibly explain it all. But there are a few big things I always keep in mind when taking photos:
- Balance: For beginners, try having the main subject of your photo in the center of the image, and maintaining some sense of symmetry. The simpler the better when you're just getting started.
- Angles: The variety of angles you can take photos from is virtually limitless, and I recommend playing around to find what suits you best. But, to get started, snap a photo from directly in front and directly overhead to give yourself some options.
- Background: A cluttered, messy background can definitely destroy a photo. So much so, that we'll talk even further about this in the next tip!
If you're looking to go even more in-depth, PhotograpyMad offers some great insights about photo composition. It's definitely worth a read if you're aiming to advance your photography knowledge!
Consider Your Background
You snap what you think is going to be the perfect photo. But when you take a look at the preview of the image, you immediately spot your pile of dirty dishes in the background of an otherwise flawless picture.
Don't let a cluttered background ruin all of your photos. Instead, pay close attention to the backdrop of your shots before clicking the capture button.
This is another place where the simpler options typically win out—especially if you're just starting to master your craft. My favorite recommendation? Pick up a few different poster boards at a craft store and create your own mini photography studio. Whether you want a crisp white or a pretty pastel color, these flat boards make for an easy and clean background for close-up photos.
Don't Be Afraid to Edit
Many people anticipate capturing the perfect image right from the get-go—particularly if they're using an advanced, expensive camera. However, most images require at least a little bit of touching up - don't hesitate to polish your blog snaps.
If you're confident with Photoshop, you can definitely use that to clean up your images. However, there are plenty of other options you can put to work for you too. Online tools like Canva and PicMonkey are great for putting on finishing touches, as well as adding fun elements like text or borders. Or, if you're using your iPhone to capture your blog photos, you'll be surprised how crisp an app like Afterlight makes your photos appear.
The bottom line is that you shouldn't expect perfection right off the bat. Instead, put technology to work for you. No, it's not being deceptive—it's simply an effective way to improve upon your photos.
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They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. When it comes to blogging, that sentiment definitely holds some water. However, getting a solid grasp on all that it takes to churn out great looking photographs can seem a little intimidating!
Luckily, snapping high quality photos for your blog doesn't need to be an overwhelming or complicated undertaking. Instead, put these tips to work for beautiful, impactful images that are sure to kick your blog up a notch!
Make sure that your blog is loading lightning fast - a slow loading website can ruin even the best pictures and have visitors questioning whether they should spend more time exploring your site. Get signed up on our food blogger hosting today to have us take care of all the technical configurations and optimizations so that you can stay focused on what's important - baking, writing and posting those to-die-for food images.