In the past 6 months I’ve seen tremendous growth in my blog’s traffic, social following, affiliate commissions and I’ve received more opportunities to collaborate with really amazing brands. That’s what we all want, right?
So what sparked this upswing? Better imagery.
If I’ve learned anything from growing a blog, it’s that great photography can make a huge, huge difference. I didn’t change the type of content I was creating or the frequency of posting — I simply learned how to take better pictures and how edit them.
We’ll take a quick walk down memory lane to see how my images have changed over the past two years…
above: when I first started
Fashion and lifestyle blogs are very image driven and posts with better images get shared more, and posts that get shared more, get more traffic. So at this point, I think I can say without a doubt that mastering the manual setting on my camera and learning how to edit images in Lightroom have been the biggest assets in growing my blog.
This next thing you might not want to hear, but you really need to invest in a DSLR if you don’t have one already. I wish I could tell you a point and shoot camera would work just fine, but I would be lying. They simply don’t have as powerful technology as a DSLR and will never be able to give you same results.
I know that DSLRs are expensive, but again, let’s think of your blog as a business. You can’t grow a successful business without the right tools. The best news is that the prices of DSLR cameras continue to become more and more affordable. Looking back it’s crazy to think how much we spent on that first Canon Rebel!
Shopping for a camera can also be confusing, but if you’re just getting started and don’t have a big budget, I’d recommend the Canon Rebel T3i. It’s a great entry level camera and will last you a really long time. I also always tell people to buy the body only. A lot of them offer a ‘kit lens’ and usually the quality of those lenses aren’t that great. Instead, buy the 50mm f/1.8 lens. It’s under $130 and will give you that really pretty depth of field (background is faded out) and bokeh. I’ll tell you that lens was one of my best investments ever!
If you can afford a better camera, go for it! I’ve since graduated to the Canon 60D and a 50mm f/1.4 lens and can see a difference in my images, but I’ll also tell you that buying the fanciest camera will do you no good unless you learn how to properly use it.
There’s lots of online classes and free tutorials to get you started. Learning the basics of photography like composition and lighting will help you develop a better eye for photography, while learning how to use your manual settings will give you full control over every image you take. Once you master those, you’re well on your way to becoming an amazing photographer.
If you’re shooting outfit posts, the reality is that it’s tough to shoot photos for yourself, not to mention awkward, so team up with a blogging friend who’s also dedicated themselves to becoming a better photographer and shoot each other’s pictures. That’s what I do! It’s a fun way to stay creative and help each other learn new tricks.
Lastly, get Adobe Lightroom. Learning how to take great images will be a huge help, but knowing how to properly edit in Lightroom will take them to an even more professional level. If you already have Lightroom, I suggest you check out this tutorial on making images pop!
There’s always the option of hiring a photographer, but I know that’s not in the budget for everybody. And let’s be real, photography is really fun! It’s one of my favorite parts about having a blog and I love that it’s a hobby that I can continuously improve on.
If you have any photography questions, leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer!