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!
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