The web is teeming with beautiful photo blogs — it's not uncommon to find yourself scrolling for hours on Tumblr. But for photo bloggers, it can be hard to get your work to stand out or build an audience. Whether it's a DIY, fashion, bucket list or travel blog, excellent photos and a sharp interface are crucial if you want your blog to become a bookmarked destination.
Last week, we rounded up some stunning photo blogs. Now we've ask a few bloggers and photogs to sound off on tricks of the trade, what aspiring photo bloggers should know, and what makes a good photo.
Do you have a photo blog? What's your secret sauce? Tell us know in the comments below and be sure to link to your site.
What Makes for a Good Picture?A photo from Bolivia by Tom Robinson Photography
"Something that evokes an emotion."- Jamie Beck, From Me to You
"What makes for a good picture is really pretty simple: Keep your subject interesting, your technique sound and good pictures will follow. Great pictures however are a little more elusive and complex. For me, what makes a great picture is mood and surprise. I think great pictures teach people something new: about a person they thought they knew, a trend they thought they hated, a political movement they were once ambivalent about. Great photos do more than inspire, they can create real, tangible change. It's the hardest, most rewarding thing in the world when you can capture an idea in a photograph."- James Nord, jamesnord.com
"The most important thing is light. Photography is all about capturing light and beautiful photos are usually taken when the light is just right. Second to that I'd say composition is really important. As a photographer you should be very aware of what to leave in and out of the frame."- Tom Robinson, Tom Robinson Photography
"For outfit posts or pictures of humans, the best time of day is what is called the"golden Hour,"which is the last hour or two of sunlight in the day. You can pose with the sun slightly behind or to one side of you to make you"glow,"which flatters every skin tone. For outfit shots, have the photographer bend their knees a bit so that the camera lens focuses on the center of the body, which won't make the head look too large. Conversely if they bend down too far, your feet will look huge and your head tiny! Lastly, think about composition. Every photographer's best friend is the rule of thirds. This applies less to outfit photos, but for landscapes, products, food etc. Divide your viewfinder into thirds (or ninths) and focus the main part of the image along the crosshairs that divide your thirds. Most cameras already have this feature, as it makes all photography more visually pleasing (and less generic!) to the eye."- Stefanie Schoen, The Style Safari
"There are, of course, some technical aspects of good photos — good lighting, proper exposure, correct framing, etc., But good photos are the ones that are interesting, that go beyond the technical excellence of the photographer. Great photos make us stop in awe, make us forget for a second who we are and just connect with them, dissolve in the moment captured."- Oleg Gutsol, 500px
"I don't know if I do it on purpose or not, but color tends to play a big role in my photography. I think it can help make a photo really strong, so I'd encourage budding photographers to think about that."- Tom Robinson, Tom Robinson Photography
What Aspiring Shutterbugs Should Keep in MindA From Me to You cinemagraph created by Jamie Beck
"One of the most important things I learned after several seasons is to not be too analytical. The more you question whether a subject is photo-worthy, your moment will be lost, and you'll be kicking yourself for not taking the photo. That's kind of how I developed my style of photography, and I just click away. You're not going to stand out if you replicate what others are doing. You have to organically find your way, and that's how you challenge yourself and train your eye. Following your gut instinct is very important as well. Blogging will not bring you fame. Do it because you truly love to express yourself and use it as an outlet. Your voice will be genuinely heard if you dedicate passion into your blog."- Tommy Ton, Jak and Jil
"Taking good photos takes dedication. On some of the trips, we had to get up at 4 a.m. to be on location at sunrise, and we did this for a couple of weeks. It's exhausting, but so rewarding once you go back and go through the photos."- Oleg Gutsol, 500pxA photo by Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil
"Shoot what you love. Shoot what you most want to shoot that way you'll be hired later to do what you love. For blogging, do it as much as you possibly can and know that it will be the hardest work you will ever do. Know how to edit so that you understand all the possibilities available to you so that you can explore your own vision. Taking the image is the first step, editing is a very important second."- Jamie Beck, From Me to YouSEE ALSO: Which DSLR Camera Is Right for You?
"I fully believe that if you want to have a successful blog with powerful pictures, you need to invest in a DSLR camera and one or two great lenses. Yes, an iPhone camera is good, but it will never get you the lighting and depth of focus that you really need to be successful. I use a Nikon D5100. Nikon's produce slightly sharper images than Canons, which means you can see pores and wrinkles in portraits. But, if you're blogging about food, travel or anything else, you may want a Nikon. For outfit photos and close up shots of food and products, all the big bloggers use 50mm or 30mm fixed lenses to give the depth of focus that makes everything look that much better!"- Stefanie Schoen, The Style Safari
"Try pairing unusual things — like Alaia sandals and a can of Spam."- Leandra Medine, The Man Repeller
A Few Tricks of the TradeA photo by James Nord
"I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos, which is absolutely brilliant — can't recommend it enough. Remember though that it's easy to go overboard with the editing — the photo should still look natural. It's also really important to be extremely critical of your own work. It's much better to only post a few great photos, rather than a lot of average photos. Even if the great photos are in there, the lesser shots will drag them down. When designing your site, you should also make sure your images appear quite large, so they have good impact on the page. If you're using thumbnails, don't make them too small."- Tom Robinson, Tom Robinson Photography
"I have used iPhoto to edit my photos, but I find that nothing truly competes with having Photoshop. However, lots of bloggers use Photoshop Elements, which is significantly cheaper, or Flickr or Picasa to edit their photos. When you're editing photos, you must make your images smaller. Otherwise your photos will take a very long time to upload to your blog, and an even longer time for your readers to load the page."- Stefanie Schoen, The Style Safari
"When it comes to blogging, consistency, good photos and the ability to tell interesting stories is key, so describe your photos and help your readers understand what the story behind the photograph is. Get good at photo editing, and know the software and techniques. Constantly improve your skill as a photographer. In general, the more photos you take, the better you become."- Oleg Gutsol, 500px
"My tips to anyone looking to try and curate their own little room of the Internet are simple: Brand your work. Create something original and unique so that no matter where people see your work be it a picture, poem, piece of prose or painting they will know it's yours. Do that and then just keep at it, great content will eventually get noticed. The Internet is more egalitarian than we give it credit for."- James Nord, jamesnord.com
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, AleksandarNakic