Biz Ladies: Three Ways to Brand Your Blog With Images

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Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from photographer Jeffrey Opp. In keeping with Max’s wonderful Photo 101 series, this week Jeffrey is offering some tangible advice for branding your blog with your photos. From the styling to the related content, he shares three ways for making the most out of your photography. Thank you, Jeffrey, for sharing your insight with us today! –Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump…

As a photographer, I’m biased toward pictures, but imagery can be the most powerful way to brand your blog.  If done correctly, the right images can create a cohesive site that draws readers in and keeps them coming back for more.  Plus, you’re more likely to be pinned on Pinterest and be recognized across platforms.  Images have their own language and learning how to combine them with the written language on your blog will make for a much stronger package.

There are three big ways to brand your blog with images:

#1 Style of images

The simplest way to brand your blog with images is to give them a specific look. If all of your photos have the same unique style, everyone will know they belong to your blog. This can be accomplished a number of different ways. Choosing a consistent color palette is the easiest and most frequently used.  A Beautiful Mess is a perfect example of this because every image on the site, no matter if it’s shot by Elsie or a contributing writer, is shot with high chroma colors.  Other bloggers stylize their images by keeping them rich and saturated, such as House of Brinson, the blog of an amazing food photographer.  Another way, although it’s a bit harder, is to compose your photos in a unique way.  For the Easily Distracted does this by shooting every image on her blog with a vintage camera, usually her Diana, which gives the blog a vintage and grainy feel.  Similar things could be achieved by applying a filter, such as those on Instagram.

The important thing to remember is to make certain that the style you develop goes with the brand and the theme of your blog. You would not want to blog about colorful, hand-dyed fabrics and use photos with low color saturation. Instead, you want to use a vibrant color palette while keeping the images bright and airy to reflect the light and airy nature of the fabric.

#2 Content of the images

What people see in the images on your blog will help perpetuate your brand. Whether you’re sharing photos of landscapes, your house, people, or your product, you want them to carry a cohesive theme so that anyone landing on your blog knows instantly what your blog is about. Make sure the same themes appear throughout the blog. If you blog is about sewing, use images that are related to sewing but think about taking it further. Photograph other people you know while they’re hard at work sewing.  Show off your latest creation in-progress.  Share your thrift store pattern or vintage sewing machine finds.  Madalynne is a wonderful blog all about sewing and the women who do it for a living.

#3 How photos relate to the text

The relationship between your writing and your images can also develop your brand. Ask yourself what role does each image play? Do the images create a mood for the text, illustrate the text, or do they play another role?

Using images to illustrate text is the most common way the two elements relate. This mode aids the reader’s understanding, which is why you will find it in a blog that focuses on how-to articles. Take a peek at House of Brinson again to see how he uses text to further illustrate his photos.

Some bloggers use images to establish the overall mood of their site.  Wedding photography blogs are a great example of this because it’s a compilation and continuation of celebration and happiness.  Every post you get to see someone’s best day and the party that went with it.  You can’t help but feel good while looking at their blog.

Photos can also be used to create a narrative for the text. If you write a travel blog, you want to build on the excitement that comes with travel. To create this narrative you would show photos from the the local people, train ride, and hike before showing images of a destination like Machu Picchu.  You can use narrative to tell the story of your business or the story of your customers and how your product changes their life.

So now that you know the three ways to brand your blog with images, take a peek at your site and think about the overall theme and voice of it.  How can you change your photographs to make a stronger pairing between them to solidify your brand and make you more recognizable?  I’d love to help you out if you want suggestions so put a link to your blog below and I’ll take a look.

Elizabeth

I love this! I’m working on it! But I’d love to make them even more cohesive, while keeping it fun, especially since I can’t take every photo myself. Suggestions would be greatly welcome!

Jessica S.

Jeff…(Can I call you “Jeff”? Switching now to “Jeffrey”, to play it safe.)

Jeffrey,

I’d really appreciate your feedback and any suggestions for improvement. (Keeping in mind that I’m exclusively taking my images with an iPhone 5s. No “still cameras”, for this little lady!)

My web and contact details are embedded in this post; so, please feel free to reach out to me, with your collective thoughts.

Thanks!

Mary

These are great tips – and I completely agree with the description of A Beautiful Mess’ consisten photo style. My blog is about finding joy and gratitude in everyday things. I post photo journals, daily gratitude reflections, book reviews, and some guest writers. Sometimes I feel that I get my photos exactly in tune with my writing, but my latest 10-20ish posts show I have trouble focusing on a consistent style. I’m working on a blog revamp now, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Maggie

Love this! My sister and I have a blog that is definitely still in its infancy/finding its feet, but I think we are getting better and better. These tips help!

Maddie

Wow! This was a shocker. Thank you for the shout out. To say that I spend too much of my extracurricular time on my blog would be an understatement. But you know what? I wouldn’t want to spend my time any other way. I love what I do. Keep up the good work ladies.

Kasey Michelle

Great suggestions! Thank you for tying this all into to blog branding, it’s an interesting topic. I’m very picky when it comes to choosing the images for my blog and sometimes I won’t post anything if the images don’t work. I still think I struggle with branding my blog through visuals and am trying to improve that. Mostly I focus on the content of my writing. I would love any feedback! :)

Deva

These are fabulous tips. I’m still working on rounding out my photographic style to carry it over from my general photography to illustrative in my blog. I love A Beautiful Mess for their photos!

William Brinson

Thanks so much Jeffrey for including us in your post. I do have a secret weapon, my wife Susan, (the other half of House of Brinson) has a design background. But I will say it serves two purposes to have type on your image. One is informational and the other is a kind of copyright. Win win!!

Gilit @ Shoes Off Please

Photography is possibly the hardest part of blogging for me! I really enjoy it, but even though I read tips (on D*S obviously)I still feel like I’m floundering a bit every time I take a photo. Recently I’ve been wondering about the cohesion of my photo “brand”… If you have the time, I would love (slash be terrified) if you could take a look at the photos on my blog and let loose on the suggestions/critique.
Great article, thanks!

Nina Joy

Thank you for these insights. My current pics and theme are temporary until I have designed a new look and feel. I try to do this by my(newbie)self, with a lot of help from people like you!

Tiffany

This is exactly what I’ve been struggling with recently, so thank you so much for this article!

I would love some feedback and advice on my little blog (embedded) on how I can make it better and more cohesive. Many thanks!

Sarah | The Sugar Hit

I’d love some advice on how to improve by photo branding. I try to utilize a graphic style to match my layout and design, but any additional tips would be much appreciated!

Blaise

I would LOVE any critiques you have for me. As a new blogger (and still somewhat new photographer) I’m still trying to find my style. I know beautiful photography and have experience shooting and editing, but I have a lot of trouble settling on one style and sticking to it. Help!!

Sarah LoCascio

I think the bit about keeping a cohesive feel to photos and photo style is the BEST, yet most challenging tip. I find it difficult to offer new and different material but keep the photo style consistent.
If you’d be willing to take a look at my site and let me know if I’m totally failing at this it would be awesome!!
Thanks for the great advice

Emma

Thank you for all the helpful tips!
I’m working with my blog and I would be very very happy if you looked at it!
Thanks for all your inspiration you share.

Rhianne

Thank you so much for featuring my blog – This is a great post! I work really hard on my photos and I think that definitely shows on my blog.

Kat Randall

I would love your feedback. my partner and I have been working on branding our local antique store website! It’s so hard to keep in consistent with varying tutorials and posts

Flora.

Thank you for the suggestions and examples.
I’ll make sure to take a look at the ones I don’t know yet, all seem very appealing.
Reading this post, I feel like I already seek these goals intuitively, but it is great to make them consious. It would be awesome to hear your oppinion about my photos.
I blog at whatisinfortoday.blogspot.com
Many thanks!
Flora.

Explorista

I find it a tad ironic there’s only one picture in this blogpost, HA! But it IS a great post, and definitely something I think about a lot when selecting posts for my blog (which launches on tuesday). I’m lucky in a way that it’s not online yet and I get to think a lot about what I want my pictures to be like before I post anything :)

thefolia

Thank you for the simply yet poignant advice–now I have three more things to think about when I create a post. To be honest, the photos come second with me. I am always thinking about the text and then I supplement my words with some visuals that I have taken or that the content of the blog inspire me to style and shoot. Rarely do I have time to shoot with my camera and fit the text around the photos. I can’t wait to implement your suggestions and make the photos my primary focus or at least think about making them more memorable to the visitor!

John Smith

I agree with your points as now a day blogging is not only about written content it is all about provide information to our reader in any best way we can and by analyzing the growth of social media we can easily figure out that picture and video are also a great way to provide good information, we should include these form of medium in our blog too to interact with our reader in a better way.
Thank for the advice on, how to use image for our blog and which type of image we should use in our blog to make our blog more interactive and appealing to our reader.

sophia

Thanks for the good advice! I blog about my work as a florist, but I also love to cook and bake- I often end up blogging about food as well…not sure if I should limit it to one or the other! I also usually take film photographs for fun/personal work, but digital of my floral work…not sure if I should stick to only one on my blog…Would love any feedback! thanks so much!

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