Blogging: Photography – setting the scene

Laurablogging10 Comments

I am doing a presentation for WordPress Perth on hobby blogging… There are SO many aspects to blogging it is hard to know where to start and I do feel a bit like Jen on the IT Crowd when Moss and Roy lend her the internet, but I have learnt a bit over the years.

One of the things I’ve struggled with most as a blogger is photography and for me, photos are the make-or-break element of craft blogging. A text-heavy post without photos loses my attention FAST. But how do you take a good photo for your blog?

Terrain

 

I am absolutely not going to try to tell you how to use a camera (Katy at The Littlest Thistle has done a great series on photography which is definitely worth checking out). I have a DSLR which has improved my photos no end, but I’m a photo dunce. However there are some things I think make a good photo and, just like quilting, there are some ‘design’ aspects I lean towards.

Background

I love using a rough texture behind my photos – be it natural or man-made. My house has some very ugly brick pavers, concrete and bricks but also some nice limestone and raw stone happening. All of these have turned out to be great backgrounds for photos, especially for my smaller projects.

The ugly 70s pavers add a nice textural background.

ginanametag2

The BBQ raw stone table…

Good Fortune Ipad case

Limestone and rocks with a bit of natural foliage.

Neeve's Dinosaur Designs

My house bricks and the concrete I’ve never got round to painting makes a surprisingly good backdrop.peakhourv2b

In context

I very  rarely do a ‘person holding up a quilt’ shot. I take a few on the washing line because that’s the easiest place for me to get a full shot, but they rarely turn out well. But I do like quilts on bed shots, especially if there is a feature giving a glimpse into the person’s life or something else of interest. Is it voyeurism or is it a preference to connect with a person, not just a quilt? Those are the photos I like so those are the photos I try to take. There’s more happening in this photo than ‘quilt on bed’.  Even if I did have to get into the cupboard to take it.Terrain

In process and in detail

I like to see how people have done things, and I confess, I like to know other people aren’t perfect in their process. The finished product of this earpod purse looks lovely – it didn’t look so neat mid-project. And I have that tape on my sewing machine as a guide.

earbudcircle  The Sweet 16 looks different to normal machines, so that is a curiosity point. It has much better light for taking ‘here’s how I’m going’ photos.fronts16

Personal touch

I mentioned the personal touch before. Your written ‘voice’ as a blogger is important and helps people to connect to you, but your photos also reveal bits of your life. A craft blog is a craft blog and not a family/holiday/recipe blog, so strike a balance. Reveal a  little bit of your life here and there, predominantly as a backdrop or a feature to your main photos. Yes a holiday snap and a photo of your child now and then is fine! But that’s not why people follow you, so strike a balance.

I know a lot of my followers are outside Australia. Blue skies in winter is unheard of to many in the world so this gives a little away (hello Canadian friends! Mid winter here!).

Tulaautumbag2

Here are my little neighbours who are now back in Japan playing on my Plum Crazy quilt.

yumeiplumcrazy

Quirky

I love humour and making people laugh. Sometimes I go for quirky, weird or funny photos just because that’s who I am and what I like…

earbudtree

 

Fortunately, I have two little clowns on standby who frequently help me out with this…ParkLane Bag

MondrianMelMissedabitI hope that has been helpful! It has helped me clarify my thoughts about how I choose to take my photos. Stay tuned for a bit more about my post-production process!

10 Comments on “Blogging: Photography – setting the scene”

  1. Great post, Laura! I do many of the same things. I’d add make your photos big in your posts because many people are looking at them from mobile devices. We’re just finishing a heat wave here. XO!

  2. Thank you for this post. It makes me think about what I like in a post. As you say, if a post is very text heavy (especially when doing a tutorial), it is hard to stay focused on the point being made.

  3. I enjoyed your post as well. I use our concrete too plus a lot of fields shots, lol. I have a bad light in the bedroom 🙂

  4. Your photos always look great. I find photos a real challenge – especially when it’s dull and dark inside and raining or blowing a gale outside, which can be most of the year here!

  5. Thanks for the tips. I struggle with getting good photos. And I struggle with coming up with different ways to display quilts.

  6. Hi Laura

    I wasn’t able to attend your presentation for WordPress Perth on hobby blogging yesterday because I’m sick so I’m very grateful that you published a post to share your photo tips! Photos are an aspect that I struggle with and many of the hobby type blogs I’m interested in starting benefit from good use of photos.

    I also noticed you included a link to a Youtube video in your Slideshare. Is that video still available?

    We host two blogs on Edublogs for different Quilting Guilds ( http://aqcguild.edublogs.org/ and http://quiltguildnwa.edublogs.org/ ).

    Sue
    @suewaters

  7. Pingback: More ear buds! - Quokka Quilts

  8. Great post Laura! I find getting photos right for my blog a real challenge. I do like to use garden shots, but your tips on textures for background are helpful! I’ll try harder! Always like seeing your assistants!

  9. This is a great post with lots of good information. I too struggle with taking good photos, mostly because the lighting is terrible. I will have to try to photograph stuff in front of texture. I hadn’t thought about texture like that before. I have been trying to use vignettes instead of just a shot of the item. Your projects and images in the “personal touch” section are awesome!

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