Photo Blogging 101, Part 3
Beyond developing your photo blog and cultivating devoted followers, how can you take your phlog to the next level? Here’s a few extra resources that can help you along the way.
Using categories to divide your photographs by type is a great way to make it easier for visitors to navigate your site, especially as your portfolio of images continues to grow. For example, as you categorize photos as “Travel” or “Black and White,” you can then add those category pages to your site’s navigation bar. If you’re using your photo blog to generate business as a photographer, this means that someone who’s looking for some black and white images can easily take a look at your gallery of black and white photos. This guide explains how to add categories to your post, and you can follow these steps to add those category pages to your site’s menu.
When displaying a series of photos, you’ll see that there are a handful of options for inserting them into your post: slideshow, gallery, and individual images. If you’re adding a large amount of photos to a single post, you may want to consider using the gallery option. Too many photos on the front page can cause a slow load time for visitors. By loading your posts as thumbnails first, visitors get the full effect of the breadth and variety of your photographs at a single glance. If you’re looking for feedback, visitors can comment directly on your photo by clicking on the “Permalink” button in the gallery carousel.
When uploading multiple photos to your post, don’t forget to use our Drag and Drop uploader so that you can upload multiple files at the same time. This will even allow you to drag a group of photos from your computer directly into the upload area.
Become a Curator
When working on a series, curate your content so that you can focus on the quality of your photos, not quantity. This means hand selecting the best photos in your series, rather than posting all of them at once to get as much out there as possible. When choosing images to include in your photo gallery, consider the following:
- The rule of thirds: When cropping your photos, try using the “rule of thirds” for more visually interesting photos. The rule of thirds is a compositional guideline that proposes photographs should be able to be divided into nine equal parts by two horizontal and two vertical lines. The main elements of the picture should fall along or at the intersections of these lines. In the photo to the right, the primary focus of the picture—the two red chairs—are positioned at the lower-right intersection of the grid and the horizon falls along the top vertical line.
- Stay sharp: When choosing a photo to include in your post, you’ll want to prioritize images that are vibrant and clear. A photo that is blurry or faded isn’t as captivating as a sharp, bold image.
- Don’t be afraid to edit: Cropping your photos to maximize the focus or remove conflicting elements from the subject, playing with filters, and tweaking the colors (including white balance) on your photo can help to polish the edges on your favorite shot.
- Be aware of repetition: While you may have a ton of great photos in your series, do try to highlight images that are unique and distinct from each other. Four strong, individual photographs are more visually interesting than 10 slightly different stills.
There are a lot of great options out there for image editing tools. Since we’re big fans of all things open source at WordPress.com and Automattic, you may be interested in GIMP and Seashore, two open source image editing programs. Our very own Sara Rosso has a great tutorial on getting started with GIMP and Bryan Villarin has some excellent tips on creating better photos without expensive equipment.
Don’t forget to check out these other links for more information on photo blogging, licensing, and tools for your work:
- Creative Commons: Licensing information to protect your work.
- WordPress Mobile Apps: Phlog on the go with WordPress apps for your smart phone and tablet.
- WordPress.com Photography page: Find fellow photo bloggers via the WordPress.com Photography topic page.
- Daily Post Photo Challenge: Take the Friday Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.
- Flickr on WordPress.com: Learn how to integrate your Flickr photos into your WordPress.com site.
Now get to snapping!