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

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and these…

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and this awful use of flash!!

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then I figured a little food styling was all I needed…..wrong!

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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!

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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.

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2. Exposure-Auto Adjust.

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3. Colors-Auto Adjust-then manual adjust a little.

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4.  Sharpen-Unsharp Mask-Radius around 3.00-Strength 50-Clarify 3

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5. Curves

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6. Boost-do not be scared of boost, in a small amount it really makes your photos pop.

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7. Go back to exposure and add a little contrast touch up, just a tiny bit.

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8. Final Crop and done!!!!

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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.

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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.

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Or you can choose the Tag tab and choose a banner.

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Then put your text over that.

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Experiment with different tags!

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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

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Blogging on a Budget

Budget Blogging

 

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48 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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!
    Beth

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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 :)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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! :)

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

    Lori
    Who Needs A Cape?
    Not Your Average Super Moms!

  13. 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.
    xoxo

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