In a perfect world, you had a huge photo library that has every image you'd ever want to use, right at your fingertips.
But we don't live in a perfect world and those well-stocked photo libraries? They are super expensive. Not to mention that some days, you just can't get outside to shoot photos for your blog post. It's a classic blogging problem but we've got a few tips on how you can choose images for your blog:
Ask Why and What:
Before doing anything, ask yourself:
What am I trying to say in my post? What would my reader like to see? What kind of image would best visualize my thoughts?
Audience, intent and subject matter are just some of the things you must take into consideration when trying to find a photograph for your blog. You don't want to turn off your readers by using a photo that simply doesn't resonate with them. All it takes is one image that just doesn't fit and there goes your reader, clicking away from your site.
Identify a theme:
Finding photos for your outfit posts are easy enough, as you can take your camera and shoot them yourself. But what about the more abstract posts? For instance, holiday shopping, fashion trends, product reviews, gift guides, and party recaps require a variety of images that may not work with your outfit-photo style. For the more inspirational/life-focused posts, it's best to think broad and abstract. You don't need to find a photo that literally models your blog post. Instead, think about the post's overall theme. Look at colors and see if a specific color matches the thoughts and ideas within a post. Also, what about the post's emotions? Is the post happy? Sad? Angry? Every post has an emotion or feeling and your image can help connect the two together. Another image idea could be nature and landscapes. Beaches, forests, mountains, cities all have very distinct feelings associated with them. Excitement could be shown in a vibrant city. Peace could be represented in a quiet beach. Stillness could be reflected in a snowy mountain landscape. Remember, themes lie in everything, including nature, so think outside of the box.
Another example: if you are writing about fashion trends or seasonal wear, use graphic design visuals like wallpaper or illustrations to showcase your point. Stock photography resources like iStockPhoto and Shutterstock offer a variety of graphic design patterns and illustrations that you can use. A simple search for “graphic design” in a stock photography platform will result in countless options that might fit your post. And guess what? Your reader will enjoy the variety in photo usage too.
Bottom line: use visuals that showcase your blog post's overall subject and idea, not just its literal translation.
It takes a little time to get the hang of finding images for your blog but ultimately, it's about finding a photo that connects the editorial dots in your post. To be a perfect fit, the photo should embody the very spirit of your post.
Be warned: these accounts can be expensive. Shutterstock and iStockphoto are services we have used on IFB but they aren't the cheapest. However, stock photography is cheaper than hiring your own photographer who will charge you per post. Also, iStockphoto lets you purchase photos individually, which is smart for the blogger who doesn't use stock photography that much.
Photo via Shutterstock