Blogging 101: Blogging on a Budget: Make Your Photos Amazing

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Budget Blogging Photos

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 these…

100_0585 100_0380 100_2346good

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!

Cabbage and Bacon PastaAmazing 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


5. Curves


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!!

tips for food bloggers

Check out the previous posts in out Blogging Basics Series

Blogging Basics1


Blogging on a Budget

Budget Blogging


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I have 48 Lovely Comments, I would love to have yours... on Blogging 101: Blogging on a Budget: Make Your Photos Amazing

  1. avatar
    August 13, 2013

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips! As a newer blogger this is so helpful ..I can’t wait to try it out!

  2. 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! :)

    • avatar
      Life With The Crust Cut Off says:
      August 14, 2013

      Thanks Lisa!! Glad I could help :)

    • avatar
      Life With The Crust Cut Off says:
      August 14, 2013

      Thanks Lorraine!!

  3. avatar
    Cathey says:
    August 13, 2013

    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!

    • avatar
      Life With The Crust Cut Off says:
      August 14, 2013

      I do not have a DSLR either and I got accepted so there is hope lol!

  4. avatar
    Virginia says:
    August 13, 2013

    Thanks for the tips. I love using PicMonkey and the upgrade is worth it! Looking forward to your post about graphics.

  5. avatar
    August 14, 2013

    Awesome photo tips for blogging. Thanks for sharing this information. ;o)

  6. avatar
    Marie says:
    August 14, 2013

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. Visiting here from Works for Me Wednesday link party.

  7. avatar
    phyllis says:
    August 14, 2013

    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

  8. avatar
    August 14, 2013

    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.

  9. avatar
    Elise says:
    August 14, 2013

    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…

  10. avatar
    August 15, 2013

    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.

  11. avatar
    Angel says:
    August 15, 2013

    Excellent post.
    Thanks for sharing with us at our Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.
    Angel @

    • avatar
      Life With The Crust Cut Off says:
      August 15, 2013

      It lightens up the picture but in a more natural looking way :) Thanks for stopping by!!

  12. 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!

  13. avatar
    August 15, 2013

    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!

  14. avatar
    August 15, 2013

    Thank you for sharing this post, it was so well written! Hopped over from Restoration Redoux.
    XXOO ~ Wendi

  15. avatar
    Holly says:
    August 15, 2013

    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

  16. avatar
    August 15, 2013

    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.

  17. avatar
    Rondell says:
    August 15, 2013

    Thanks so very much, this helped my a lot. I gave you a shout out on my blog post!

    Thanks again,

  18. avatar
    August 16, 2013

    I have just started figuring this out! This post will speed up the process so much for me. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  19. avatar
    Bethany says:
    August 16, 2013

    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 :)

  20. avatar
    August 16, 2013

    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!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Dawn’s and Amber’s Blog Strut Party

  21. avatar
    Sharon says:
    August 16, 2013

    Thanks for posting such a helpful tutorial. I have pinned it.
    Sharon – Visiting from Friday Flash Blog

  22. avatar
    Kelly says:
    August 16, 2013

    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

  23. avatar
    Crystal says:
    August 16, 2013

    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! :)

  24. avatar
    August 16, 2013

    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.

  25. avatar
    August 17, 2013

    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.

  26. avatar
    Kim says:
    August 17, 2013

    I love PicMonkey! My photos have gotten so much better since I started using it. Awesome tips!

  27. avatar
    August 18, 2013

    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!

  28. avatar
    Heather says:
    August 18, 2013

    Great tips!Thanks for sharing at Project Inspired!! Pinned to our group pinboard for some extra luv! Heather

  29. avatar
    Sarah says:
    August 20, 2013

    Great tips!! Thank you so much for sharing & linking up at Thank You Honey’s Whatever Wednesday Party!!

  30. avatar
    August 21, 2013

    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.

    • avatar
      Life With The Crust Cut Off says:
      August 22, 2013

      Yay!!! I’m so glad I could help! Picmonkey is amazing lol!

  31. avatar
    September 3, 2013

    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.

  32. avatar
    Deonna says:
    September 9, 2013

    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

  33. avatar
    May 25, 2014

    This has been such a help!

    Thank you for posting this informative content for new bloggers like myself. :)

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