5 Ways To Create & Edit Images
I’m usually pretty hesitant to use words like “entrepreneur” or “influencer” when describing my passion for blogging. Maybe I’m a little too modest to label myself with such amazing titles, but nonetheless I don’t usually talk like that. With that being said, let me start this off by saying that when I started my career as a “blogger” I tended to keep everything pretty simple. Not only were my photos snapped and posted with very little additional thought to details on captions and hashtags, my blogs themselves were simply written from the heart, proofread, and published. Although I still write from the heart and practice the same general philosophy’s on placing visuals on my blogs and Instagram accounts, I have continued to challenge myself to explore new tools and expand my repertoire.
One of the biggest challenges I gave myself was to become more visually creative. Although I was very happy with the photos I was including in my early pieces I have to admit that the pieces I read about creating proper pins for your blogs on Pinterest and all of the tidbits about editing tools for your photography got my attention. It doesn’t help that I am pretty hungry to be the best I can be when I set my mind to it. My blogging career is certainly one of those things I’m setting my mind to in a big way. With all of that being kept in mind, I dug deep to improve. If you take some of my earlier work and compare it to today there is clearly a big difference….atleast through my eyes. You may be able to see it when you read my writing, but I hope you REALLY see it when you look at the presentation. It took a lot of hard work, research, and experimentation to get some of these tricks down. At this point, i’m hoping to spread some of that knowledge around and help my fellow bloggers, Instagram enthusiasts, and other like minded visually creative go getters to improve their presentation skills. As far as I know there are five general ways you can help yourself if you feel like your blog needs a visual boost.
1. Create Designs Using Canva
Canva is probably the most important tool I’ve learned to use over the past few months. At this point I can see why so many bloggers and Instagram Influencers like using it. The site is very user friendly and they provide all of the basic tools you would need to create pins, quotes, and other visuals you might want to create. The pictures they provide for you are royalty free so that is also very helpful (please note that some pictures might cost 1 or 2 dollars to use, but a good percentage are free). You can also upload your own images lay text on them or plug them into a variety of different layouts. For such a simple tool Canva has a lot of possibilities. To be honest, I went from simply pinning my featured image and calling it a day to not only uploading my own photos and creating my pins, but am also enjoying the fact that so many people are re-pinning my pins. This is the power of using Canva.
Although I haven’t started using Canva for Instagram, I know some people who do. If you’re a fan of motivational quotes, then this is a great place to get started on creating your own for the social media crowd. Once I do I’m sure there will be a follow up on how to use it for this purpose as well. This also goes for the Canva app. I’ve attempted to use it, but I’m not very comfortable with it just yet. I’d rather get on my Mac and do the work there. Any progress I make on the aforementioned items will have to be followed up on later. Hopefully, at the very least, you’ll be able to see that Canva is a great tool to pick up and quickly learn how to create images that will allow your blog to have a more sleek and professional look to it.
2. Edit Photos Using Mobile Apps
I’ve only started using mobile photo editing apps recently. As a TV Production major my first instinct is to hop on the computer and use all of the amazing tools I learned about in college. Thankfully in my case you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you must remain openminded to new tools and processes in order to keep up with the times. At the core, this is one of the biggest reasons I decided to start blogging in the first place. I want to remain relevant in this fast paced world. So how did I do that? I did it by listening to some of the best Influencers around talk about they use. Chances are you can probably open up the app store, type in photo editing tools, and find a ton of apps to use. However, there are a few that I’ve really grown to love.
Snapseed has become a big obsession for me. I love taking one of my nature photos and more or less turn them into a “painting”. This is the type of affect Snapped will give you. You can either use some of the filters they provide or you can dig in and edit every detail on your own. The latter process is what I always do. The difference between Snapseed and the filters Instagram gives you is options. You can take a picture that might already look amazing and really dress it up to look otherworldly. There is nothing I like more than taking my images and giving them that type of make over. I can go from having a very pretty sunset happening right outside my house to making it look like the sunset happened in the most exotic place in the world. Some might call this fake, but I call it magic.
If you’re into creating quotes then Quotemaker is a great little app to use on the go. Frankly, I feel like this app could be used in much the same way as Snapseed is if you want to, but Quotemaker will give you the option to blur/shade images in order to make placing text on your image much easier. I recently started experimenting with a quotes Instagram account and I must say that this app has really helped me to understand the art of creating quote posts using images. There might be other tools out there that are just as good as this one, but I’m not aware of any at the moment. This one is definitely my favorite mobile app for creating these posts.
3. Edit Photos Using Lightroom & Photoshop
If working from your phone doesn’t suit you, then Photoshop and Lightroom might be the way to go. Initially, Photoshop and Lightroom were the apps I was most focused on using. One thing you do get by paying 10 dollars a month for these apps is more sophisticated tools to use. If I have an object in a photo that is otherwise awesome, I can just use a few of the tools provided and make it disappear. As far as I know, I can’t do that on a mobile app. Basically, the possibilities are endless when you use these two apps together. If you really want to take your work to the next level and you are willing and able to work from your computer, then this is an amazing option. A lot of what I learned about photo editing has come from using these apps. This is what I was taught on in college and I’m pretty sure Film, Photography, and TV Production majors are still learning this way today. If you want that type of quality in your work, then this is the way to go. If you’re looking for a metaphor to compare this to, just think about the difference between shooting with an iPhone camera versus using a professional camera. They are both good tools. There is nothing wrong with using either one of them. However, we all know that one is undoubtedly superior to the other.
4. Take Your Own Photos
This is a no-brainer, but taking your own photos and posting them as is can be a feasible option. At the very least, if you practice some of the techniques I talked about in my previous blog, then you can capture your photo edit with one shot. I started my blogging career this way. There is NOTHING wrong with taking that approach. Especially if you’re just starting out or have a limited budget. Placing images in your blog isn’t everything, but they are good to have. Our society is very visual these days so simply writing a good piece may not result in the kind of attention you’re looking for. I would say having any image (especially one you created yourself) is better than publishing a piece with no pictures at all.
5. Hire Somebody To Do All Of The Above
Believe it or not you can hire people to do all of this work for you. Freelance sites like Upwork are an amazing way to obtain the professional look you are seeking. Personally, I’ve never used an Upwork freelancer, but I spent enough time on the site to know that it’s an awesome option. Until I decided to shift the direction of my career I seriously considered becoming an Upwork freelancer for video editing. Who knows, I may circle back to it someday and give it a try. Putting that aside, what I do know is that there are a lot of talented people out there who are signed up and ready to showcase their work. You will have your pick of freelancers of all skill levels who are looking to help somebody out and build their portfolio. If Upwork doesn’t appeal to you, then do a search for other freelance sites like it. There are plenty of people out there who can help you with visual projects you may not want to take on yourself.
No matter what your skill level is there are plenty of ways to step up your visual game in the world of blogging and social media. Frankly, i’m pretty sure the options I provided are only scraping the surface of what you can do. Hopefully that is the case because I’m eager to learn more ways that I can get better. If you’ve read this far into this piece, then I’m willing to get that you feel the same way I do. The key to blogging and social media today is to take the basic foundation you pick up by reading blogs like this and keep building on the progress you’re making. We live in a world that is literally changing everyday. If you’re serious about building on your success, then you must learn how to stay relevant. However, in order to do that, you have to gain the foundation in order to make that possible. From there, you have a limitless amount of possibilities right at your fingertips!