It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Tips for Better Blogging” post, hasn’t it? Well, the blogging life can get away from you sometimes, and things don’t always work out the way you hoped 😉 Anyway, let’s get down to business, shall we? Today I’m going to be talking about the actual structure of a post in regards to images.
Often times when I am shooting for a blog post, I think of three things: 1) is this photo social media friendly; 2) will this work as a banner photo (the first photo you see before the post break), a main photo or is it more of an accent image; and 3) how does this represent the subject matter. Though that sounds like a bunch of photography/social media prattle, it is actually very fundamental for quality post matter. If you are an image heavy blog like we are, it’s important that your images look good, and that they are there for a reason. There are pretty much 2 types of photos that you should include in your post: Main/Banner Photos, and Accent Photos.
Main/banner photos are the images that begin your post, and give the reader the overall picture of the subject matter. Now this is not to say that main/banner photos stop at the top of the post, and that’s it. Rather, they should flow throughout the post along with the accent photos (explained below) illustrating to the reader the subject which the copy (text) is explaining.
Typically (especially for fashion photography) the most social-media friendly photos are the main/banner photos, because they are more understandable to the viewer. Now this “rule” has a lot of give-and-take, because accent photos can be pretty shnazy and, upon occasion, more socially prone than main/banner photos. It depends upon the user’s taste and the quality of the photograph.
In a gist, main/banner photos are the ones that are representing the content of the post in full, and may be the most social media friendly. These points are key to keep in mind when shooting/selecting photos for a post.
I think accent photos can be just as engaging and important as main/banner photos. If you think about these two types of images in regards to a plate of food, the main/banner photos are the steak (the main part of the meal), while the accent photos are the rolls, veggies, and other condiments. A steak wouldn’t be so interesting if you didn’t have another item of food to compliment it, now would it? Accent photos are the images that illustrate further what the main/banner photos can’t. For instance, let’s say you’re shooting an outfit. You’ve taken lots of great full shots, but what about that cute bangle or head scarf the model is wearing? Accent photos capture the details that main/banner photos can’t.
It can be very easy to go over-the-top on the amount of detail shots you include in a post. I always like to keep the amount of accent photos complementary to the amount of main/banner photos. Balance and simplicity are key concepts to keep in mind here.
Remember, no photo-shoot, let alone post, is ever perfect. If you get more accent photos than main/banner photos, then that is just fine. Nobody’s keeping track here 😉 Just keep these few tips I’ve provided in mind when choosing which photos to add to a blog post; and make sure your post is pleasant for the reader. My personal rule is: keep the photos down to a minimum, but keep it interesting. Too many photos can take up a lot of loading time (we’ll talk about that in a future post), and also be overwhelming to the viewer. Make those few images you do include deliciously eye-catching and satisfying to the reader.
Please understand that the point of view I am coming from is pretty amateur, and only what I have learned through my own personal experiences with blogging and studying graphic design. I am by no means an expert, but I do believe I have beneficial tips to share.
I hope you all were able to follow along my technical ramblings, and that you are able to take away something from this post. Tell me, do you have any guidelines that you go by when choosing photos for a blog post?
A quick, totally off-topic question before I let you all go (haha, I feel like I’m giving a lecture when I say that ;): Would you all be interested in a freebie monthly desktop wallpaper for your computer/mobile device? If so, what would you prefer it to be of (photography, illustration…)? Let us know in the comments!