Making a photo post GREAT

Three weeks ago, I gave a couple tips on making photo posts—and then I turned the mic over to you for your input on making photo posts GREAT. Here’s some of the collective wisdom of MamaBlogga readers!:

from the original post, seconded by readers in the comments:

Resize your pictures before uploading them
Figure out how wide your post column is and in a photo editor, resize the image to fit. It looks a lot better than making your browser resize them. And if you make your pictures too wide (post them exactly as they come off your camera, for example), they can break your blog or your readers’ feed readers. We’re probably not going to scroll side-to-side to see pictures of your kids. Sorry.

(Exceptions: if you upload photos to Flickr or Photobucket and they make some good looking, smaller versions, or if you use Blogger. They resize them to look good pretty consistently.)

Reader MamaBugs concurred:

Resizing is vastly important! So is arranging the photos neatly so they don’t seem like they just thrown in the post.

Use pictures in “regular” posts
This is a principle I know (but usually don’t apply) from my professional blogging (i.e. not MamaBlogga), and yet I hadn’t really thought about applying it in the “momblogosphere.” Several readers pointed out the advantages to this method:

My favorite posts are those with photos. I have over 150 blogs in my reader and if there are no photos, I often will just skim the text to see if it catches my eye.

Deb, Mom of 3 girls:

I like seeing posts with pictures – I definitely prefer those to ones with just one long paragraph of text. For my own posts, I usually try to either add in funny captions or stick to one topic or event in each post to help with the onslaught of photos…

And warillever gives some great examples:

. . . I can recommend one mommy blog that uses pictures extremely well — Notes from the Trenches. Chris makes liberal use of pictures both as an accent to her textual posts and as the meat of other posts. Even her photo posts, however, include humorous captions that capture the essence of the action.

Look at her Easter (I Hope You Dance) or American Idol (Geeks Gone Wild) for evidence.

Incorporate pictures into your posts
This dovetails with both of the above points and comments. Don’t just throw some pictures into your posts and hope they’ll fit; resize them so that they’ll fit where you want them and arrange them nicely.

Typical conventions for using images in posts are “smaller” pictures (ones that don’t take up most of your horizontal post space) aligned to the right or left with relevant text wrapping around them and larger images breaking up the text, usually centered, and sometimes with captions underneath them.

And, of course, key in incorporating your images with your posts is making them relevant to one another. Some topics (like our kids 😉 ) would seem incomplete without some sort of photo reference. This doesn’t mean you have to write a post describing exactly what’s going on in the photo; you can use your imagination (and humorous captions) to make even a tenuous connection.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been making an effort to do better with this; see my post from last week Crazy talk for an example of all these conventions.

If I may say so, I’m particularly proud of that post because it gave me an opportunity to incorporate cute pictures and talk about some of the cute things Hayden’s been doing lately. I’m reluctant to post about both of these topics sometimes because I don’t know if most of my readers are really interested in Hayden’s little (mis)adventures. However, I thought (and I hope you agreed!) that the format of the post, and the pictures, helped to make the post more enjoyable all ’round.

Any more photo post advice?

Note that I still have two coupons for free professional photo montages—see the giveaway post for details, and leave a comment there to enter.

More tips from Works-for-me Wednesday

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3 thoughts on “Making a photo post GREAT

  1. Hey Jordan!
    Have to tell you that the original post has caused me to rethink how I approach the use of photos as well. I’ve been trying some different things too. These articles and the comments have helped a bunch. Thanks so much!

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