Photography can be a bit overwhelming, especially for new bloggers. There’s a lot of technical aspects and new terms to learn when you start out with DSLRs, or even just photography in general. It can be really easy to make even the most subtle blog photography mistakes.

As each new blogger starts to navigate the world of blog photography, there are a few common mistakes that I often see. Now, let me keep it real: I love it when I see bloggers making these photog mistakes. Why? Because it means that they’re a super ambitious person looking to make their blog look awesome. And I admire that so much! It’s so important to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Especially something like blog photography.

Doing your own blog photography is a super valuable addition to any blog, no matter the niche. I talked in detail about all the reasons you should try your own blog photography in design in my post from last week. And trust me, I am so passionate about people trying out these new creative things for themselves, these mistakes actually hardly annoy me. But, I can’t say that for everyone else in the blogging world. For a seasoned photography pro, these mistakes are a dead giveaway that the person shooting is new to photography.

So today, I’m going to tell you exactly what three common mistakes give away a newbie photographer, and how to fix them so you can start shooting like a pro.

The Top 3 Blog Photography Mistakes

By the way, before we jump into it, I wanted to let you know that this weekend I’m hosting a free live workshop, all about blog photography and how to go from beginner to pro in four simple steps. It’s going to be super fun and actionable, and I know that you’re gonna leave this webinar ready to rock the blog photog world. Sign up now!

blog photography mistakes

Alright, now that you’re all signed up, let’s jump into it!

Mistake #1: Forgetting about lighting

Lighting, as I have always said in every post/webinar/workshop about blog photography ever, is the most important aspect of a great photo. If you don’t start with great lighting, you’ll never have a great photo.

Lighting determines just about everything about a photo. Lighting is what makes the difference between something that is bright and dark (of course) but also between something that is blurry or clear, or grainy of sharp, or pretty much every other dimension of a photo, this is determined by lighting.

Makes senses considering all a photo is really is a capture of light reflected into a sensor.

And here’s the thing about lighting, Photoshop can’t save you later on this one.

If you try to adjust the brightness in Photoshop later, it’s just not going to work out. Here’s why: Especially when it comes to trying to adjust a photo to make it brighter than it originally was, it will end up looking blown out and blurry. This is because the photo never received the information about what is in the dark park of the photo. The light bouncing off that object never reached the sensor. So, Photoshop can’t just guess and fill in what was supposed to be there (content aware fill is awesome, but it’s not magic). So, you’ll just end up with slightly greyish patches where it used to be black. That’s the best Photoshop can do when you try to drastically lighten a dark photo.

So, how do we solve this beginner photographer mistake?

Well, first of all, when you’re taking pictures you need to be uber conscious of the lighting. There’s no way around this: you just need to be constantly reevaluating the lighting in your environment and adjusting your settings to make the most of them. In my workshop on Saturday, I’m going to talk all about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and how to use them to your advantage to take the best pictures possible.

Also, in terms of blog photos, fashion photos, beauty photos – pretty much everything other than artsy pics of the night sky – err on the side of too bright. It’s much  easier to adjust a photo in Photoshop (or other editing services that are similar) to be darker. Because, like I explained above, the information is already there. When you start thinking about light as information for a photo, it helps to make your lighting settings ideal.

Light is information for a photo. When you're shooting, it's the brighter the better. Click To Tweet

Mistake #2 Randomly placing items instead of staging

Another common blunder of an newbie blog photographer is not being conscious of staging the subjects in their photo. It can be really easy to snap a quick picture of your breakfast, or the book that you’re reading on the train, or whatever – but that’s rarely going to end up looking good.

Even in the most mundane of circumstances, you can take steps to make the regular world around look just a little bit more Instagram. So instead of snapping a quick pic for your blog, here are a few tips of ways that you can make your photo look a big more magically put together.

1. Follow the rule of thirds

Anyone who’s ever taken a photography class will know that the rule of thirds is the basic foundation of taking a photo with good composition. Basically, the rule instructs you to imagine a grid around your photo, and to place the most important parts of the subject on the intersections of those lines. Here’s a visual example of what I’m talking about, straight out of my Blog Photography on a Budget e-mail course. (Sign up now, it’s free!)

thirds03     thirds01      thirs02

As you can see, the lines intersect as some important points on the photo.

2. Don’t centre things (usually)

Another good tip, which goes hand in hand with the rule of thirds, is to avoid making the subject the exact centre of the photo. Like you can see in my outfit photo above, and in my photo by Lake Louise, I’m not at the exact centre of the photo either time. This gives the photo more interest that simple symmetry.

3. Consider colour

Especially if you’re a beauty or fashion (but honestly, even food) blogger, this is a really important consideration. Photos just look so much better if there is a uniform colour scheme. It looks like it’s been planned, and everything works well together. It just adds to the aesthetic and professionalism a lot. Plus, this is an easy way to add to your blog’s branding!

Mistake #3: Not editing their photos

Editing your photos before you upload them to your blog is an absolute must if you want to work towards a professional brand image, wrapped in with your photography.

Now, I know this step might seem a little intimidating at first, because Photoshop can seen scary and it’s all so much work, and blah blah blah.

But seriously, don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be intimidating or any of that. In fact, Photoshop can be pretty straight forward. I’m going to be going over the basics of adjusting the colour balance, lighting and more of photos in my free workshop on Saturday. If you’re ready to up the game of your blog photography, then this workshop is a must-see.

But before I see you at the webinar, I’ll leave you with two main editing tips that are must-do before uploading your photos to your blog.

  1. Crop

You’re going to want to crop, or adjust the sizing before your pic sees the light of day. This will give you a chance to reevaluate and perfect the composition of your photo.

  1. Rename

For SEO purposes, it’s important to re-name your photos with relevant titles to your blog post. Also, if someone ever clicks, “open in new tab,” or something, then the URL they see will include the file title, and you want to avoid embarrassment there. Overall, it’s a good idea to name your photos appropriately before uploading.

So those are the top three blog photography mistakes that I see blogger making regularly, and how to fix them. For even more info and training about how to take amazing photos for your blog, then you need to sign up for this FREE workshop about how to go from beginner to blog photo pro in four simple steps.

blog photography mistakes

See you there! And if you’re coming along, why not share about it on Pinterest:

Learn the four simple steps to go from beginner to blog photography pro! Are you making these three obvious blog photography mistakes? Find out now, read the post & then sign up for the FREE workshop!

  • Hi Katie!
    Do you maybe have a podcast / download of the webinar you did on Beginner To Blog Photo Pro?
    I missed the webinar in February but would still love to see what you discussed xx

    • Hey Marné ! The replay of the webinar isn’t available at the moment – but I am planning on doing another live version of it sometime in April! If you don’t want to miss out on the next one, you can just sign up for the webinar mentioned in this post and you’ll be sure to get an email about the next one coming up 🙂