Photo Blogging 101, Part 1

Spring is in the air. With the weather warming up, now is a great time to get started on a photo blog. Creating a photo blog is a wonderful introduction to blogging on WordPress.com or an opportunity to refresh your current site. Ready to get started? You can sign up for a new blog right over here.

Getting started

Photo blogs, sometimes called phlogs, use pictures instead of words. While many photo bloggers choose a type of photo that they want to focus on, such as portraits, others use their photo blog to document their life’s events. Photo blogs come in a variety of styles, including those that focus on vacation photos or even snapshots of friends. With images, we can capture moments in our life in a way that sometimes words cannot.

When starting a photo blog, you’ll want to choose a theme with a wider content area to help to showcase your photos at full size. Similarly, choosing a theme that is minimalistic helps to reduce any noise that may detract from the focus on your photography. Popular photo blogging themes on WordPress.com include Nishita, Duotone, and Modularity Lite. Looking for some inspiration? Be sure to check out the photo blogs below or more of our recommended photo blogging sites for examples of photo-friendly layouts.

The Unknown Project, a WordPress.com photo blog using Anthem.

Tracey Capone Photography, a WordPress.com photo blog using Twenty Eleven.

Tomorrow Never Knows, a WordPress.com photo blog using Comet.

Want to add photo flair to your site without starting a whole new blog? Adding a photo blogging category to an existing blog is a great way to revamp your site. In fact, you may consider doing “Friday Phlogs” or a similar weekly special to help incorporate these tips consistently into your current site.

Tools of the Trade

What do you need to get started? Nothing but a camera and an internet connection. Photo blogging with a smart phone is growing increasingly simple, particularly with the Quick Photo button in the WordPress for iOS and Android apps where you can point, shoot, and publish. If you’re already a pro at the WordPress apps, you may be interested in taking a look at Camera+ and Flickr, which allow you to automatically share your photos to your WordPress.com blog.

On the left, QuickPhoto in WordPress for Android and on the right, QuickPhoto in WordPress for iOS.

If you choose to use a more traditional camera, there are few tips to keep in mind when uploading your photos to ensure they represent the full quality of your original picture.

  • Don’t resize your photos after uploading them to WordPress.com. Instead, leave your images at full size so we can see your work in all of it’s glory. WordPress.com will automatically generate the appropriate dimensions for you.
  • Make edits to your photos before uploading them.
  • Save your photos as JPEGs. JPEGs are the best format for photos online. You can also use PNG if you’re looking to add a transparent image to your site.

Welcome to our series on photo blogging! Stay tuned for more tips and tricks over the next few weeks.


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Erica

102 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. dorseyml

    what about adding and uploading videos… do u have any tips about that?

    Like

  2. itsmeshaniam.

    Reblogged this on pinkjhoysjem.

    Like

  3. Vaneeesa Blaylock

    Awesome Erica, TY!

    I do hope you’re not phlogging a dead horse though! :P

    (sowii, I know)

    Like

  4. Matt George

    Like you mentioned, WP’s theme Nishita works well on my site for photos. I also like how the photos can be smaller for tag searches as well as archives. It’s an all around awesome theme!

    Like

  5. John Todaro

    what is the widest content area available at WP?

    Like

  6. 7theaven

    I too run a PhotoBlog. More of a magazine look, but core is PhotoBlogging

    Like

  7. Piglet in Portugal

    Great idea! But what has happened to the weekly photo challenge that so many of us enjoyed?

    Like

  8. heyesphoto

    If you have a high megapixel camera its definitely worth resizing your photos before you upload them. It’ll be quicker, use less storage space and be a lot more convenient for people viewing your images. Resizing to 1024 pixels (or less) on the long edge works for me on my photo blog and the images still look great.

    Like

  9. bccmee

    Very nice examples and directions! Much of this information can also apply to graphics blogs. :D

    Like

  10. James Brown Photography

    WordPress.com is one of the best sites for sharing photos. It has helped me in sharing my nature and outdoor photography.

    Like

  11. Rob

    Thank you. Really inspiring.

    Like

  12. Emily

    Thank you for featuring my blog! :)

    Like

  13. Anna

    These are gorgeous examples! Very inspiring.

    Like

  14. SETIADY AGUNG

    Nice…..

    Like

  15. Duckprints Gallery

    Cool…didn’t know there was a photography contest option on WordPress. Shall have to check it out.

    Like

  16. ismailimail

    One of these days, please write a 101 article on How to effectively promote the blog for subscription, i.e, what are various ways people are reading blogs, how can they subscribe based on their platform of choice, what can bloggers do to reach the audience from the audience perspective, etc. Not talking about how any blogger can increase the audience, instead, how one can provide awareness of various subscription methods.

    We know RSS has not picked up steam, email has been dying for long time, we are increasingly mobile, WordPress has its own Reader. But what does the data say, how are people accessing blogs in recent times? Are more of us using email or chat messengers? You must have some behind-the-scenes clues, you just need to keep up with the trend and bring the awareness to the bloggers so they get the audience perspective.

    Like

  17. Stephan

    nice blog!

    Like

  18. Sathya

    Erica, Thanks for this series.
    Can I use this opportunity to request for more themes with wider / flexible width. Yes Nishita is amazing by can’t have a side bar. There are just very few themes like “Under the Influence” (I currently use) that allows for a wider width when having a side bar too.

    Like

  19. Susana R. Vilamor

    I like it! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  20. Mike Hardisty

    Generally I resize all of my images to 1024 pixels on the longest side and save them at around about 100kb. I also do a little write-up about my photographs to let viewers know my thoughts…

    Like

  21. DEFINED: Therapeutic Massage

    This is a very interesting concept and I will try to utilize it, I’m just not sure if I could use it well with the massage demographic!? Any suggestions here?

    Like

  22. MJ

    Very cool, I always considered starting a photoblog, but I don’t think I have the right sort of camera to do any real photography justice. :) Very nice tips though.

    Like

  23. Tracey

    Great post Erica! Thank you very much for including my blog as an example :)

    Like

  24. elliebloo

    Love it! Thanks

    Like

  25. Michael Wignall

    Thanks for the great info, just kicked off my blog a few weeks ago, so this is quite timely. Looking forward to the upcoming posts!

    Like

  26. Bjørn Ottosen

    Hi all.

    There is much talk about photo blogs now. I have created two blogs. One is called: http://bjorn.ottosen.wordpress.com

    For the time being, any text in Norwegian, but it’s possible I translate also into English later.

    The second blog, called: http://bergenairportflesland.wordpress.com

    There is also some pages in English. too.

    -Bjorn

    Like

  27. candacemills

    Reblogged this on Godz1fan’s Weblog and commented:
    I am thinking about photoblogging

    Like

  28. LLevon soluções em T.I

    Great post…

    Like

  29. yuejn

    As someone blogging through photo essays, this post was helpful; thank you!

    Like

  30. F3WSINC

    Great article. Great eye.

    Like

  31. beebeesworld

    informative article!

    Like

  32. Joy

    Thank you, Erica!

    Like

  33. 360hcopa

    I almost forgot the app feature “Quick Photo” instead I make the Photo and then use the sharing-mode from android.

    Like

  34. Chorwin

    Look like photo blogging start to get attention from wordpress.com team. i prefer to resize my image before uploading, to reduce the space consumption, and to ensure faster viewing speed for visitors.

    Like

  35. diianiiziita

    Reblogged this on diianiiziita.

    Like

  36. whitt88

    Someone came up with an excellent idea; thanks for the start.

    Like

  37. ihsantaufik

    nice, but I dont have a good camera to take a picture. I just take a picture from hand phone. thank for information

    Like

  38. emmalmoore

    I’m a rookie at blogging. I can hardly get a written blog together and posted correctly. Lately I’ve been thinking about what I could do to spice my blog up. I did try to add pictures to my blogs. I got them on there but couldn’t manipulate them well. I will give this some consideration. Thanks for great information

    Like

  39. Organized Living Essentials

    Thank you for the tips! My blog has kind of morphed into a photo/text blog so I appreciate the advice. I love the tip about not resizing the images. I have to agree, the larger images do create more of a visual impact.

    Like

  40. fredi08

    great idea. :)

    Like

  41. undefinedliving

    Reblogged this on Undefinedliving's Blog.

    Like

  42. My Camera, My Friend

    I used to resize, but I found it works just as well not to.

    Like

  43. guen

    Awwww, this is very helpful to new bloggers like me. Thank you! Looking forward for the coming tutorials. :)

    Like

  44. goldenglobe99

    Reblogged this on goldenglobe99.

    Like

  45. bestadivacargo

    thanks for your pic.

    Like

  46. ರವಿ

    Erica, Good to see promoting phlogs! Btw, I use ‘Triton Lite’ theme for my phlog- http://theraise.wordpress.com/
    Great theme. Might be u missed this theme to mention in your post.

    Like

  47. zoren28

    Nice pictures! I like to do that in my blog, so my visitors could look around and enjoy the site. its cool!

    Like

  48. SeeWithoutSeeing

    Thank you for the tips. Seems like the universe is aligning. I recently started to blog and thinking of using a camera to integrate with my writing. Looking forward to the next.

    Like

  49. craftcrazygran

    Great blog, thank you so much!

    Like

  50. Annie

    Guess it’s time to make some changes on my photoblog! :)

    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more posts about tips on photo blogging!

    Like

  51. gardenmadness

    LOVE it!!!
    Just started a phlog – random pictures from my daily life…
    I’m using the Forever theme – think it’s kindda cool.

    Like

  52. The Hook

    This was actually helpful. Thanks!

    Like

  53. Spoon Feast

    I wish WordPress would develop a very easy way to watermark photos.

    Like

  54. pinkgypsygirl

    I have to say thank you for this understanding and idea. Photos can capture so many words we sometimes just can’t get out. I would love to add this aspect to my new blog I have just started. I am sort of a rookie at this whole thing, but mostly just not being able to know how to attract people. Hope to learn more from ideas you list.

    Like

  55. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Well this is all very inspired – and practical – but what about a post on VIDEO blogging? I have a blog which is ENTIRELY a video diary of day upon day of me giving up alcohol. The shakes, the ups, the downs. http://www.VodkaWasMyMuse.com.

    I love the photography I see out there in wordpress; it’s beautify, ALWAYS. I love , just love, the variety of blogs out here. :)

    Like

  56. hallucinatingmartyr

    Totally awesome :)

    Like

  57. Lauren

    Good to know!

    Like

  58. MorningHymn

    I am enjoying my “Dusk To Dawn” theme; it suits me. But the Nishita theme is one I will keep in mind if I ever decide I want a change. Thank you for this info.

    Like

  59. erika may randolph

    Thanks for the suggestion to make a ‘category’ for the photos.

    also, I noticed that using the email posting option allows the photo to be seen without having to click on the title, as compared with the wordpress app for android

    Like

  60. Sarah

    I love Photoblogs! I too run a photoblog :) I tried to update as much as I can and I do agree that a simple watermark tool would be a great tool for a photo blogger like me :)

    Like

  61. Deli Lanoux, Ed.D.

    As always, terrific ideas by and for creative minds!

    Like

  62. craftcrazygran

    Thank you I have a new look now,

    Like

  63. Author, G. D. Grace

    Creativity will always have a large space in my mental and my heart…

    Like

  64. rconnor1967

    Thanks my girls love the pic’s.

    Like

  65. Chana

    I’ve always wanted to get into photography, I’m creative but not very tech savvy.. working the camera, and figuring out the best resolution ect.

    These tips n apps will be helpful. I just joined the weekly photo challenge, eager to get started!

    Like

  66. karenlawrencephotography

    Reblogged this on karenlawrencephotography.

    Like

  67. hwilliam

    I’ve been using the Andrea Theme for the past month or so and really like it.

    Like

  68. dthkokawknyaw

    Reblogged this on dthkokawknyaw.

    Like

  69. Your Fashion Accessory

    Wow I like this idea…thank you Erica..I love pictures so I will be getting me Cannon prepared! xoxoxo

    Like

  70. audreyaracely

    Beuty pic :)

    Like

  71. aolsson

    Many thanks for this post, have been thinking of setting up a Photo blog for a while and thanks to your post it finally happend :)

    Like

  72. craftcrazygran

    Good tips, thanks very much!

    Like

  73. أنوار الولاية

    Thanks

    Like

  74. Vanja Vojvodic

    well written and extremely helpful. Thank you :)

    Like

  75. lesleykingsley

    Is there a way to upload a photo from the iPhone app but not publish until later. I find it is the quickest way to upload a photo, but then I like to type my post on my laptop. When I do this, my photo automatically publishes and then I have to “edit” to add the text. Seems there should be an easier way.

    Like

    • Erica V.

      When writing a new post on the iPhone app, you won’t see a “Save Draft” button. However, if you click on the cancel button, you will see an option to either delete the post or save it as a draft :)

      Like

  76. COCOPAILLETTE

    J’y connais rien a la photo mais je trouves vos photos extra
    C’est bien de créer et de donner des idées en mem temps!!!
    Bon week end Amicalement

    Cocopaillette

    Like

  77. kanysh

    I as well find that Triton Lite works really well for photoblogging, I use it for my travel blog

    Like

  78. egamelianti

    Thanks… :)

    Like

  79. Shikha

    Thanks for inspiring me to create a photoblog.

    Like

  80. phioxee

    i recommended WP to a friend who’s just done with his 2-week photography class.

    Like

  81. simonrphotography

    Great ideas! I’ve implemented some of them already

    Like

  82. Yan Lerval Photography - VietnamPhoto

    Nice and very useful post

    Like

  83. iflicks

    Reblogged this on iflicks and commented:
    Good read

    Like

  84. Joel Emmanuel

    I hope you guys could also put an option of using flickr stream on a blog. It will be much easier to make a portfolio that way. Thanks so much!

    Like

  85. Ron

    Erica, you have inspired me to start another blog (I now have Humorous Interludes going). I’ve been taking photos all over the world for many years. I’m not a professional, but a lot of my shots are decent. Many of them were taken with film (remember that media?). I’ve been converting my old color slides to digital files. I’m also on the hunt for a new digital camera. I will now move on to part 2 of Photo Blogging. Thanks!

    Like

  86. didiita

    Love the helpful blog layouts you suggested!! Thank you!!

    Like

  87. rigmover

    Love the idea of my photo’s being larger but don’t want to lose my sidebar. Great post thanks.

    Like

  88. Nick

    I made my first photoblog type post directly from my Android using the app and thought it was super easy. I’d like to add some larger gallery type posts soon so was very encouraged by the detail you have gone into. Perhaps you could shed some light on posting multiple photos?

    Like

  89. Kerstenbeck Photographic Art

    Hi

    i really enjoyed reading your PhotoBlogging 101 Parts 1 and 2 – thanks so much for sharing your insights!

    regards, Erik

    Like

  90. zoteziko

    Waaauuu! cool info Erica am new but i’ve liked photoblogging i’ll try it

    Like

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