A lot of people think that blogging is simple. I mean all you need is a website and the time to write a few paragraphs right? If only that were true! To keep a blog running smoothly most of us have to take on numerous roles, many we might never have tried before such as photography and web design. Of course, we can outsource quite a few of these roles but for most start-up blogs the cost of doing so is far too high. In the end, most of us become DIY master’s and Jacks of all trades – we figure it out as we go. Learning these skills can be a lot of fun but it can also be very time consuming – so here are a few useful blogging tools that will make your life a little bit simpler!
Useful Blogging Tools For Taking Better Photos!
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Useful Blogging Tools for Photography
A lot of people come into the blogging world thinking that as long as they write great posts that’s all that matters. Writing great posts is important but people tend to be visual creatures and you shouldn’t neglect the eye-catching ability of a great photo either! Taking great photos is especially important when it comes to promoting yourself on social media – platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are based almost entirely on your pictures!
A high-end camera might be every blogger’s dream (I know its one of mine) but they can cost quite a bit and come with a fairly high learning curve. Thankfully most of us have access to a pretty great camera right in our back pockets! Most cell phones nowadays come equipped with cameras that are more than capable of taking the photos a blogger needs. We can help them out however and simplify the amount of time it takes to edit these photos later on with a few simple tools.
A ring light is a great tool for bloggers. Using a ring light allows you to take photos with great lighting no matter where you are! Ring lights are designed to provide uniform light that comes directly from the camera’s perspective and is great for highlighting the details in your photos which makes it a very useful blogging tool to have.
There are quite a few options when it comes to ring lights and a few things you should keep in mind when choosing the model you want.
- Size – Choose a ring light that suits your needs – if you plan on moving it around a lot then you might need a smaller more mobile light. If you plan on setting up a studio type location and doing all your photoshoots in one spot then mobility is less of an issue. It’s also important to keep in mind what you plan on taking your photos with. Ideally, you should take your photos from the center of the ring light – so a phone or traditional camera will require a smaller ‘ring’ of light then a tablet will.
- Power – While searching for ring lights you might run into a couple of terms you might not be familiar with. CRI means color rending index and lumens are a measure of visible light. A higher CRI will mean your colors will be represented more accurately in the photo. This is especially important for bloggers who require high color accuracies such as artists and make-up/beauty bloggers. The higher the lumen rating the ‘brighter’ your light will appear. If you plan on shooting photos in multiple locations where conditions will change a lot you might look for a ring light with a dimmer so that you can adjust it as necessary.
- Versatility – While some bloggers spend a great deal of time photography products or set-ups from the same angles, others take photos ll over the place! Not only do some of us require a mobile ring light that is easy to move around but also a ring light where we can change the angle on a whim. If you see yourself trying to take a lot of flat lays one day but photographing a shelf, painting, or pet the net day you might want to look into a ring light with a gooseneck.
Tripod with Remote
While some of us are really lucky and have a lot of readily available photography assistants (read husbands or children) some of us find that we are taking photos by ourselves the vast majority of the time. This can make taking outfit, DIY and instructional shots very difficult. It’s challenging to be both in the photo and taking the photo at the same time!
Have you ever tried to get a decent shot yourself running with your dog on a timer with your phone balanced on a tree branch? No? I have! And let me tell you it was the height of frustration! My tripod with a Bluetooth remote has quickly become one of the most useful blogging tools I own.
When looking for a tripod and remote just make sure that you get one that fits your phone, camera, or tablet! It won’t do you any good if your phone is incapable of connecting to your remote or won’t fit on the tripod!
If all else fails, even a basic selfie stick can make your life a lot easier!
If you are taking photos of smaller craft projects or products then a background set-up can be very beneficial. Many bloggers who take flat lay images, either for their posts or Instagram like to use a standard background so that all their photos match.
While you can certainly invest in a larger pull down professional background I have found that a visit to the dollar store for a couple of pieces of foam board or poster board works just fine. If you want more texture then take a look at some material stores and buy a few yards you can drape over your boards.
You might also consider making a DIY Light box.
Google Photos (Or Other Online Storage)
Taking photos with your phone is great and some people manage to write posts, edit their photos, and post from a mobile platform. However, if you’re like me then you probably prefer to do some of these tasks from a computer. Having an easy platform to upload photos and move them from your phone to your computer is a real time saver. I highly suggest Goole Photos as it links to nearly all devices and syncs easily. You can even set it up to synch only when Wi-Fi is available if you’re worried about using up your mobile data. However, other online storage systems like Drop-Box will also work!
Besides…you will take a LOT of photos as a blogger. It’s not unheard of for me to take over 100 photos of one item in the hunt for that one perfect photo! Having a place to store them and sort through them without using up all the memory on your phone is great!
Using These Tools Saves You Time!
While investing in these tools might seem daunting to a new blogger they will save you a lot of time in the long run! You might have thought that writing your articles would be the most time-consuming part of your blogging journey but in the end, its all the little tasks that really eat up your day.
If you can take bright, well-lit photos right from the start then you won’t have to spend extra time enhancing them for your posts later and creating pin images, social images, and adding them to your posts will become a breeze. It might only shave a few minutes off your post creation process but it really adds up over time. And, if you’re like me just saving yourself from the aggravation of having to load and adjust every photo in a photo editing program is well worth it!
Great tips. I went so long without using a ring light when I took photos and granted the photos turned out well, but once I got a ring light it was clear how much better they were with that light. It’s well worth the investment. I’m looking at upgrading my phone soon, which is the main camera I use for taking my pictures, so I know the quality will increase even more when I get that.
Great tips ! I definitely invested in a tripod and ring light , my Instagram and blogging have improved so much since then
It’s really crazy how much those two tools can help out!
These are really great tips! I don’t take a lot of my own photos because I find that I am not great at it! Background are something I struggle with as I never really know what to use. These tips are helpful – I love the one about using a ring light. I think it’ll bring out a lot of my flaws though!!! Thanks for sharing
Em | http://www.loveemblog.com
I went to the fabric section of my local department store and bought a big of shaggy white fur-like material for my flat lays, I have also just used white foam board from the dollar store and many people I have spoken too say they like to use the marble patterned stick on paper that you can get to line shelves with as a background!