Do you have great content? Are your looks bomb? Are you a business owner trying not able to afford professional advertisement? Are you struggling to get people to see your posts and get traffic to your blog or site? Well, let me help! Hi, I’m Caribbean Cowgirl *in my infomercial voice. If you are in need of dire help getting your blog (or site) off the ground this may very well serve as some great insight. As we are living in an age of ‘seeing is believing’, visuals are more important than ever. Many times, they are more important than content.
Think of your images as ‘bait’. You need to ‘hook’ your audience to the idea, lifestyle, or product you are selling. As great of a talker or story teller you may be you can’t catch a fish my telling stories, you have to show them something that they are interested in (i.e. worms..ewww gross).When you got to Burger King and order a Whopper, you know it’s not gonna look like it does on the commercial. Would you even go to any food establishment if their food look like it was actually prepared versus food in their ads? More than likely not. The same goes for you and your blog or business when it comes to visually appeal.
I always get asked ‘what camera do you use?’. My husband is my photographer .He is not a photographer by trade so it’s not like a ‘lucked up’. My man invested in me, okaaayy?! *snaps finger He studied cameras in our price range and slowly learned ,studied tutorials independently, and progressed in his photography and editing skills. The camera he uses the Sony a6000.It’s a mirror-less camera which makes it a lot lighter in comparison to a mirrored camera. Most other bloggers I know use a Nikon or Cannon, if that helps. In comparison to most professional cameras, this camera is a good buy (still only being considered a point-and-shoot) with the body only being about $300.It starts to get pricey with the really good lenses. He bought his camera when it was just released two years ago so the prices are probably a bit better now. These are the three my husband uses:
Short lens- see/buy here
Long lens - see/buy here
Zeiss lens (fave lens)- see/buy here
Dull colors, bad lighting, poorly fitting and wrinkled clothes, and unattractive angles can lead to your demise. Don’t think the lack of a professional photographer or expensive Photoshop tools is what will do you in. If you know how to pose and do simple photo edits you are well on you way to visual ‘baiting’. Here are a few tips I use to ensure high quality appeal:
If the focus of your look is vibrant colors, make sure you re-add the saturation back to the photo. Many times direct sunlight, can take that away from your photo giving the appearance of a washed-out look. That is less appealing. Stay tuned I will be sharing simple free apps that can be used to re-saturate and edit photos. It can also help to have a color scheme that meshes well against your backdrop (if possible).
My look today was nautical based so I used that as my color story (red, blue, green, yellow).My scarf accentuated my look by color blocking the same colors.I prefer gold accessories so I wore gold cross earrings (Nasty Gal) and gold rim blue mirrored sunglasses.To camouflage my baby bump, I chose this bright asymmetrical top from Zara (sold out), paired with blue flirty shorts (Forever 21, old).To compliment my red lipstick I chose my red Zara strappy sandals ($50) and my green crossbody for a pop of color.The red brick background gave my look a lot of warmth and helped to emphasize the colors more.
Outfit detail pics- Its always good to throw a visual in that actual shows off the look and emphasizes the details.
Make sure there are no chipped toe/nail polish, shoe scuff marks, visible harsh body blemishes (or scabs; not including birthmarks or tattoos).The only reason I say this because visually it can be distracting from what you are actually wanting your audience to see;not because your arms, legs, or face is “beat and banged up” lol.
Shapewear and under garments -for close-fitting and somewhat tight clothes (i.e body cons and knits) your under garments can make or break your look. Make sure bra is properly fitting to avoid those ‘backfat betty’ bra marks and also make sure its not a loud color especially under thin or light color fabrics. Invest in a good strapless or learn how to tape those puppies up if you are wearing a low cut or strapless number. A body wear shaper (like a spanx) is great in helping to keep that midsection looking smooth and to give a curve appeal. Pantylines are a…just ‘no’ sis. Get that thong and quit playing! Remember, you are selling an image of yourself or business, not just wearing clothes. Looking ‘unkempt’ as they would say, means selling yourself short.
When shooting, avoid shadowy places (unless you have photography equipment to thwart that like a great flash,reflective equipment or photoshopping/lightrrom tools).Partial light and part shadowy pictures don’t do justice for the look and your overall aesthetic. Steady ,natural light is recommended. Personally I avoid direct sunlight when the sun is very high unless I can find a full shaded area, or alley. It makes for better editing and you are not squinting and struggling to control your face.If you have to shoot in direct light try sunglasses! Overcast is a dream! (Remember :Shade not shadowy)
See the difference below
Face pictures –knowing the best angles of your face is a start. Stand in the mirror and practice smiling and smizing .Because face pictures are taken up close, you will want to make sure your make up is applied properly and evenly. Blemishes are much more noticeable up-close. Of course our faces aren’t perfect, but if you are selling the idea of a beauty product you want to make sure you would look at the picture yourself and want to buy the product. A light smoothing tool is typically used due to the magnification of the image. You don’t have to be photogenic to be photogenic these days, if that makes sense. If you are struggling in the makeup area, head over to Youtube for great makeup tips for any level of expertise, and remember practice makes perfect.
-If you are a self-proclaimed selfie queen, they actually sell a device to help maximize the lighting on your selfie. Imagine a ring light the YouTube gurus use for their makeup tutorials made for your phone. That is exactly what it is. Everyone know adequate lighting is essential for the perfect selfie and for $10 .Shop here.
Having a professional photographer will help, but of course you have to know your budget.If you are doing things yourself there are many mobile apps that can assist in getting the perfect edits, or at least ones that can get you and your visuals noticed.I have an Android* (blah) and here are some of the top ones and some of the features (most of these are free by the way) :
Black and white with color emphasis:
-Color Pop Effects:black and white editor
-Color Splash Photo Effects
-Color Splash Effect
*check your Apple App store to see if they have these available for your Iphone.I’m pretty sure VSCO is available, but unsure of the rest.The newer Iphones already have such a great camera and built in features (yall Iphone users think yall better than me, huh? Lol) so you might not as many apps.
-PhotoGrid-Photo Editing (smoothing, blemishes, resizes, minimal photoshop, picture grids, slideshows,)
-Blender Camera: Photo Blender-seamlessly blends 2 or more photos together
-Font Studio-can add words to photos
-Rhonna Art-create graphics for advertisements.App comes with multitude of templates and fonts.
Instagram also has a great tools as well! My personal fave is the LUX filter. It pretty much adds a bit of saturation, highlights, and contours your photo all in one. Check out this before and after: The effects are much more significant in the app since you are viewing on a smaller screen.
I hope these tips were helpful! I tried to think of as many as I can that I use or that I have come across. I get asked these questions so many times I figured why not share the wealth and make a post about it! Thanks for reading and if you have any other tips feel free to share in the comment section.
#slayingfortwo 15 weeks bloated with baby lol.
That's Just Me!
I love fashion, the outdoors, and things on sale.