Blogging 101: Blogging on a Budget: Make Your Photos Amazing
Hello!! We are back for more blogging basics!!! Dana and I are sharing what we have learned with you guys in our Blogging 101 series.
We are continuing our Blogging on a Budget segments and this week I will show you to make your photos fabulous on the cheap! No fancy cameras or expensive programs here but still great photos. Now of course having a great camera and good programs will produce superior photos, but that does not mean you cannot have gorgeous photos with the camera you already own and a little program called PicMonkey, every bloggers friend.
Now PicMonkey is free but for I think $4.99 a month you get the upgrade which I have because it is only $5 a month and I like the extras.
You can use PicMonkey for your blog photos but I also use it for a lot of my blog graphics which I will show you next week.
Now on to the photos.
When I first started blogging I thought I could snap a picture of my food and it would just look awesome, you know FoodGawker awesome. Sadly that kind of thinking led to photos like this
and this awful use of flash!!
then I figured a little food styling was all I needed…..wrong!
So I decided to actually look at good pictures of food on Pinterest and FoodGawker and try to figure out what I was doing wrong. Now I will never be an amazing photographer…ain’t nobody got time for that, at least I don’t. And right now I do not want to drop $600+ on a fancy camera but I finally did get into my own food photography groove and you will too.
Look at good pictures of food and pick out what they did differently than your pictures. If you are getting ready to take a photo of your new cookies take a few minutes to peruse Pinterest and see how other pictures of cookies are styled.
The most important thing you need for amazing photos, is absolutely free… you need sunlight. Now I do not go as far as using light bouncing boards and mirrors and all that, I just find a sunny spot by a window, set up my food and snap away and they come out a million times better than when I would take pictures by lamplight or by using flash.
Much better photos now!
Now after you get your pictures taken that’s when all the fun happens. Editing is my favorite part!!!
Here is a picture I took when I first started blogging….
and here is the updated picture that was accepted by FoodGawker and Tastespotting!
Amazing what a little sunlight and editing will do!
Here are the steps I usually take when editing a photo, though each photo will differ a little.
1. Crop Photo.
2. Exposure-Auto Adjust.
3. Colors-Auto Adjust-then manual adjust a little.
4. Sharpen-Unsharp Mask-Radius around 3.00-Strength 50-Clarify 3
6. Boost-do not be scared of boost, in a small amount it really makes your photos pop.
7. Go back to exposure and add a little contrast touch up, just a tiny bit.
8. Final Crop and done!!!!
So much better than that first photo I took! And look how easy it was!!
Now if you want to add a title to your photo that is a cinch to do in PicMonkey too.
Here is a photo of my Kit Kat Cookie and a few different titles you can do in PicMonkey.
So here is my photo and I left a good space for the title.
I can take that and add just a title. I click on the color bar (the one that is red in the photo) and my mouse will turn into a eye dropper which I used to click on the red in the blanket in the photo and now my text can be that shade red.
Or you can choose the Tag tab and choose a banner.
Then put your text over that.
Experiment with different tags!
And there ya go how to make gorgeous blog photos on a budget!!
Now another tip for you when you are editing your photos is to make at least one the width of 600 and a longer length that way it will show up larger on Pinterest!
Want more Blogging on a Budget info? Check out Dana’s post Blogging on a Budget: Tips for Food Bloggers you can get a ton of info there!!
Check out the previous posts in out Blogging Basics Series
Thanks so much for sharing these tips! As a newer blogger this is so helpful ..I can’t wait to try it out!
Wow….I had no idea you could do that much in picmonkey! I use it all the time, but never figured out how to get the exact color that I wanted! Such awesome tips Parrish, thank you so much! :)
Thanks Lisa!! Glad I could help :)
This is awesome Parrish! Learned new things about Picmonkey! :) Pinning this
Picmonkey is an amazing site.
Definitely some great tips, thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the great tips! I’m struggling with photos and was thinking I was doomed without a DSLR. Now I have hope! Nothing can stop me from foodgawker anymore!
I do not have a DSLR either and I got accepted so there is hope lol!
Thanks for the tips. I love using PicMonkey and the upgrade is worth it! Looking forward to your post about graphics.
Awesome photo tips for blogging. Thanks for sharing this information. ;o)
Great tips! Thanks for sharing. Visiting here from Works for Me Wednesday link party.
I loved all the blogging tips with the editing, I looked back at some of mine before I started editing…wow what a difference, thanks for sharing these fun tips…Phyllis
I love these blogging tips. Thank you so much. I just started my own blog and I’m still figuring it out so these are super helpful.
Wow, your pictures are amazing! Photos are a huge weak point for me. I have learned a few basic camera settings – even on my cheap little camera that I think havehelped, composition is my bane though lol., I like to think that I’m slowly getting better…
Awesome tips! I’m a huge picmonkey user for making images, but typically use Picasa for my editing. Good to know there’s another source out there that lends great results.
Thanks for sharing with us at our Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.
Angel @ sewcraftyangel.blogspot.com
These are some great tips! Thank you so much for sharing them. Can you explain what “curve” does? I’m familiar with the other features, but not that one. I’m visiting from The 36th Avenue link party.
Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life
It lightens up the picture but in a more natural looking way :) Thanks for stopping by!!
These are great tips! And perfect timing – I said just the other night to my husband that I really needed to figure out how to up my game with the pictures on my blog! Haha! Can’t wait to check out the rest of the posts in your series as well!
Thanks for linking up at the Mommy Brain Mixer!
I am so glad you’ve shared this! I love PicMonkey but I am totally new to it and never played with most of these options! THANK YOU!
Thank you for sharing this post, it was so well written! Hopped over from Restoration Redoux.
XXOO ~ Wendi
These are some of the best photo ideas ever. I’ve been looking for a new camera – mine is OLD. But great ideas until then and even after then. Thanks so much! Hugs, Holly @ coconutheadsurvivalguide
I love picmonkey. There are so many ways to spiff up photos. Thanks for these tips. I’ll be experimenting over the weekend. Photos are so important in the life of blogging. Found you via The Blog Strut. Will follow on Bloglovin’ and look forward to other tips and tricks.
Thanks so very much, this helped my a lot. I gave you a shout out on my blog post!
I have just started figuring this out! This post will speed up the process so much for me. Thanks so much for sharing this!
I forgot. I am so pinning this!!
Awesome tips! Especially the editing, that will come in handy. (and I have a fancy-pants camera :S) I have had several photos accepted onto Craftgawker, but have yet to get one on Foodgawker, great job :)
G’day and thanks for sharing the hints and tips too! I use the free version of Picasa and love what it does simply to enhance photos too!
Viewed as part of Dawn’s and Amber’s Blog Strut Party
Thanks for posting such a helpful tutorial. I have pinned it.
Sharon – Visiting from Friday Flash Blog
I love pic monkey. I think I need to suck it up and pay the $5 a month, though. It isn’t a lot but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. Thanks for the tips! #LOBS
Thanks for the photo tips! And now you’ve got me thinking about Kit Kat Cookies again! :) Stop by my Friday’s Five Features and link up this post (and others)! http://diy-vintage-chic.blogspot.com/2013/08/fridays-five-features-no-4.html
You make this look so easy! I’ve been using an online photo editor for the longest time – but I’ve obviously been using the wrong one. Thank you for this post. I’ve bookmarked for next time. And thanks for linking up at #LOBS! :)
I’m so glad you shared this at the Blog Strut! I’ve been playing with contrast and brightening, but I need to try your tips to take it to the next level.
Awesome tips! It’s amazing how important natural lighting is for taking good pictures. I am definitely going to practice your tip to look at pinterest and how others have styled their pictures before doing your own photoshoot. I am pinning this! Thanks for the share.
I love PicMonkey! My photos have gotten so much better since I started using it. Awesome tips!
Excellent post, I absolutely adored your Creamsicle Cake Pic (and LOVE that plate)! Good job! Found your link on Twinkling Trees :)
We’re hosting our SUPER SUNDAY Link Party, stop over and link this SUPER post!
Who Needs A Cape?
Not Your Average Super Moms!
Great tips!Thanks for sharing at Project Inspired!! Pinned to our group pinboard for some extra luv! Heather
Thanks for linking up my Friday Flash Blog on The Jenny Evolution. I’m back from vacation in central Colorado and ready for a great party this week. See you there!
Great tips!! Thank you so much for sharing & linking up at Thank You Honey’s Whatever Wednesday Party!!
Great tips I’ll have to start using. Thanks for sharing on my Friday Flash Blog.
Okay… this is amazing. YOU are amazing. I hadn’t heard of PicMonkey and I went there – was befuddled at first but then quickly fell madly and passionately in love with the simian site.
I can not thank you enough for these tips. I look like a photo pro (when clearly I’m not).
Wishing you a lovely day.
Yay!!! I’m so glad I could help! Picmonkey is amazing lol!
This is such a helpful post! I’ve always wondered how to get into Food Gawker and knowing that it can be done without a fancy camera is really encouraging.
Sunlight does make all the difference…I use pic monkey too but I need to become a member because there is so much more you can do
This has been such a help!
Thank you for posting this informative content for new bloggers like myself. :)