by Madeline Van Tassel | Featured Contributor
Two years ago, I attended my first fashion blogger conference. It was in New York City, and this Virginia girl was [over] prepared with my travel logistics and outfits (um, no pressure). As I sat in a sea of fashionable, talented bloggers, I realized one thing was not like the others.
I wasn’t holding a DSLR camera.
I looked down. My iPhone was glued to one palm while my trusty point-and-shoot camera was secured around my other wrist. I felt very… retro. Which in this group, was not a good thing.
As the shutters furiously fired on the fancy cameras around me, I nudged my embarrassment aside and started snapping with my meager cameras because I knew a secret. Even if my photos weren’t magazine quality, they were mine — and original imagery is what makes blog posts sing.
When Words Are Not Enough
Writing an engaging, original, keyword-rich blog post that your readers are looking for and calling it a wrap is simply not enough. The web page needs to come to life, and the quickest, strongest, and most engaging way to do so is with images.
But not just any image. Original images put your stamp on a piece, just like your original words. Your photos are uniquely you and better than any generic stock photograph or pic from Pinterest (not to mention all the copyright concerns that come from grabbing images from the web). Think of an original image as just another way to share your voice.
Ready to start taking pictures? A few tips to keep in mind:
1) Embrace point-and-shoot cameras. DSLR cameras are wonderful, I cannot argue with that. But they’re also expensive and require learning how to properly use them. If you’re looking to save time and money, a point-and-shoot camera is a nice, easy alternative. And they take great photos! Can you guess which photo below was taken with a DSLR and which one was with a point-and-shoot?
2) Never underestimate the power of a smartphone camera. Our cell phones are jam-packed with megapixels and can often capture a moment better than a point-and-shoot! Slap on an Instagram filter (or PicFx, another favorite app of mine) and you now have an awesome shot that otherwise might have been a little boring. See:
3) Learn a photo editing software to enhance blah images. I spent $89 on Photoshop Elements (best $89 I’ve ever spent!), but there are a ton of free programs out there like Picasa and Pixlr that can make any photographer seem like a professional. Adjust the color and contrast on your images, crop them all to the same width — make them easy on a reader’s eyes!
[All images proudly © Madeline Van Tassel/Style Me Thrifty]
Madeline Van Tassel – Blogging Expert – Alexandria, VA
Madeline Van Tassel is the founder and author of the budget style blog, Style Me Thrifty. After years of politely telling her family and friends how to dress (e.g. “Never, ever wear jeans to a bridal shower!”), she decided to combine her love of fashion, writing, and overall thriftiness by launching Style Me Thrifty in March 2011. In addition to her fashion blog, Madeline has also made a career out of blogging by running the blog of one of the largest nonprofit organizations. With limited hours in the workday, and even less in the evenings, Madeline has mastered the art of blogging smarter, not harder.
When Madeline’s not writing, playing around in WordPress, shopping, or tweeting, she can be found enjoying the newlywed life with her supportive husband and their cat Bandit.