If you are like me, you hope, hope, hope……that someone will read and enjoy your post. In the sea of bloggers, what can we do to make ours stand out each week?
Ok, so sometimes we write a post just for ourselves …..or we want to show the family all the great photos of the kids at the last family gathering. No one is going to feature these, right……so on those, no worries.
But when we take the time to plan a dish to cook or a craft to make and post, I think we can all agree that we would prefer to have page viewers. Call me crazy…ha. I have a lot of blogging acquaintances and they are always trying to figure out how to get “traffic” to their site.
So here are some helpful hints that I have either done or noticed done by others (mostly done by others since I have only really been putting a ton of effort into mine in the past few months):
PICTURES ARE EVERYTHING…IF you are a craft/artist, fashion, or food blogger! They must catch someone’s eye and make them desire to see more. If I am joining a link party that has 100’s of entries, my photo is one of two ways that someone determines whether or not to look any further. It must draw attention to itself. Enlarge it!!!!
1. Do not use flash photography. Use natural lighting or artificial lighting that appears to be natural. Try not to have shadows falling across your craft or food, unless it adds to it to make it pop. (My current recipe starts with a photo that breaks the rule….oh well) (And if you can tell me how to make my font cooperate…..that would be appreciated)
2. Invest in some colorful and CURRENT background material…..fabric, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper. Place your item on the background choice and photograph it so that around your dish or craft, all you see is the cute background. Or use props, if they help evoke some emotion or nostalgia. I am a granny and I love the big rose fabric but it ain’t necessarily current. I have it in my house (sorry to admit) and I drool over it. But if I want Emily at 52 Mantels to feature me, it better be current looking. (Ok….well she is my daughter and features me regardless, right?)
3. Choose attractive models to show off your new sewing projects. Adorable children make for adorable photos. What can I say? Not meaning to sound superficial. One of my daughters has an Etsy store called Head Over Heals (might as well plug her too) and the clothes that are modeled by cute kids (a.k.a. my grandchildren….teehee) sell better. I would not be my model of choice…ha.
4. Clean up the background. Make sure you aren’t photographing with dirty dishes or disarray in the background. You know we have all done that. I love what Aimee with It’s Overflowing did while photographing the remodeling of the kitchen. She highlighted the loosely hung stuff on the refrigerator (which I guess bugged her). Go here to see what I mean. Personally, I think it made her seem real and I am not sure I would have noticed but I understand what she was doing and I loved it.
5. It isn’t necessary to take photos of every single ingredient, if you are writing a recipe post, though I used to do it all the time. It is only good for the vendors, unless we need to see a different brand or a unique item. Everyone knows what Kraft grated Parmesan Cheese looks like. If you are into the vendors, go for it. I have done it more than I have not done it…..but I am not doing it any more.
6. Purchase some small white serving pieces to display your food. I am saying this from experience. I bought mine at the dollar store and Walmart….ok…TJ Max is the queen of display dishes. I have all different colors of plates and have tried them all. Here are some hints if you use colored plates for recipe photos.
—Color reflects off your food etc. There is no way around this. If you use a green plate (which I have), your food will reflect green…..You know the story of Green Eggs and Ham, right? Not so good.
—If you do use color in your serving piece, make sure that the food you are putting on the plate is the opposite color on the color chart. This will then make your food pop. If you are crafting, it will also enhance a craft.
Opposite colors: red and green; blue and orange; purple and yellow
—Your color may be a grayed down version of one of the colors mentioned. Generally, at least in oil painting, the opposite color is also used to gray down a color. So determine which opposite to use based on that. Check out this old post of mine for further explanation: Opposite Colors Attract
7. Don’t just center your food/craft with equal amount of background all around it. Take a look at a good oil painting sometime. The focal point is never in the center (if it is good). That is on purpose. Purposely photograph yours off center. Ok….I haven’t always done this either…..let’s get real. But when I do, it is more likely to be noticed.
8. Add interesting text to your photos. I use Picnik.com but it is going away….again…thanks to Google. My daughter really taught me this. It helps to sass up a ho hum photo…..and mine sometimes need help. Plus, it makes the photo leap off the page.
9. When needed, add borders and/or rounded corners. Not always….because sometimes it might make it too busy.
10. Buy a great camera and get a good close-up. I am working on it. I started with what I could afford and each time I upgrade, I go a little better. I have yet to buy an SLR but it is next. Now I need to leap to $700-$900 and that isn’t possible yet. I have settled on a Lumix (around $250) with a 10x zoom and a decent pixel (can’t remember). This is not really in my control, so I have to use all the other things to soup them up.
11. Enlarge it so we can see it without clicking on it….please. Ok….11 things to help with your photos.