Photos really improve readership of your blog. They catch the eye and express the inner meaning of your message, or describe the mood. Plus you can pin them on Pinterest and attach a link to the post for even more exposure. Delicious photos are even more likely to have the desired effect.
What’s a delicious photo? It’s an intentionally selected image that’s beautiful or breathtaking or surprising, one that goes perfectly with your post. Here are some tips for images that really speak to your readers.
Obtain your images from an online photo service.
My favorite services are Fotolia, Dreamstime and GraphicStock, but there are many more for varying degrees of expense. I tend to get delicious photos from Fotolia, quirky or fantastical photos from Dreamstime, and icons/graphics from GraphicStock. I know people who just grab photos from Google, but chances are pretty good those infringe on copyright. Be safe by using a service. Many of them (all of the ones mentioned here) provide free images on a daily basis. If you visit the sites each day, you’ll soon have a great collection. Be sure to read the license, though, to make sure how they can be legally used.
Choose images with rich color contrasts.
Many photos taken with a smartphone are fine for sharing around with friends, but can often seem flat or washed out. The photo I chose for this post has a range of color depth, from the bright sunburst to the rich blue sky to the shadows around the buildings and in the water.
Choose images with strong composition and texture.
Composition is how the things seen in the photo are arranged. (Here’s a good introductory article on composition, if you’re not familiar with the subject.) A good photographer arranges her or his shot to tell a particular story, rather than just haphazardly snapping the picture. Notice how the focus in the photo above is the tall skyscraper? It contrasts with the horizontal view of the water and rocks in the foreground. Texture is a way to add visual interest to a photo, and you can see a good example of that in the smooth but disjointed rocks and the glassy smooth water.
Compelling or unexpected or fun.
Pick out a photo you feel strongly about, one you’re excited to share with your readers. When I saw the above photo on Fotolia, I was struck by the strong graphic nature and the contrasts of nature and man-made features, and thought it lived up to the word “delicious.”
Connect to a theme.
If you’re stuck for an idea for a photo, try entering a word in the photo site’s search related to the theme of your post.
I hope these tips are helpful to you!
4 indie-published books
3 degrees (MCert, Web Design & Development, University of Denver; MLS, University of Alabama; BA, Art, University of Alabama in Huntsville)
17+ years professional experience in university web design and editing