So, recently I was looking for a free stock image to use to go along with a blog post. All of a sudden it dawned on me I could be taking my own photos to use on my blog.
Have you ever considered creating your own stock images for use on your website?
While sites like Death to the Stock Photo and Unsplash offer free beautiful images, you don't have any control over what images you receive. Sites such as Creative Market offer affordable options for bloggers, but you'll have to be dedicated to searching through lots of images to find one that suits your taste.
Since that day, I have dedicated myself to using only my own images on blog posts going forward.
Using your own photos gives you full control over your images while also sharing your vision with readers. So, are you ready to start taking your own photos for your website?
For most instances, you can take post worthy photos on your phone. Unless you already have a fancy camera, there's no need to go out and buy one. I'm a big supporter of use what you have.
Here are some of my top tips.
Tips for Taking Your Own Stock Photos Using Your Phone
- Keep it simple. One thing that separates professional looking photos from a snapshot is the staging. For instance, if you are taking a picture of your desk, remove unnecessary items from the area. The simplicity not only reduces visual clutter, it provides an area for you to later add text if you want.
- Use a shallow depth of field for professional looking images. What is a shallow depth of field, you ask? Take a look at a photo where the primary subject is in focus and the background is blurry. This shallow depth of field elevates your images to looking like they were taken by an expert. On an iPhone, tap then hold down on the screen over the portion of the image you want to be in focus. For other types of phones, do a search online to find out how your phone operates.
- Use Dropbox's Camera Upload tool to sync all your images from your phone so you don't have to keep all your stock images on your phone forever. Once on Dropbox, you can even sort your photos into categories for better organization.
- Using Dropbox will also allow you to access the images from your laptop when you need to add them to blog posts. Additionally, you can get photos from your phone to your laptop using an app such as PhotoSync.
- Take lots of photos when you are away from your desk. Sure, photos of your work area or studio can be very applicable to your posts and give readers a glipse behind the scenes. But remember there are lots of other ways to tie your images to your posts. For example, if you see a beautiful set of marble steps, your next blog posts can be "10 Steps to...." Or, perhaps you find a great sign - what about "3 Signs it is time to....?" You get the idea.
Have you considered taking your own images for your website? If so, I'd love to see your examples - leave a link in the comments. If not, what's holding you back?