Alright friends, I have something a bit different for you today. If you’re not a blogger or someone who publishes photos- this one might not be for you. But if you come back Monday, I have a freebie for you! And then on Wednesday I’ve got a craft. So there’s good stuff coming for non-bloggers, I promise! But for you bloggers and other web publishers… today I’m sharing how I get my photos web ready. From the camera to the blog- this is what I do to process, watermark, and size my photos. It took me a little while to nail down the best process for me, but now I can process photos in a hurry and get them lookin’ good AND have them watermarked, at web size and resolution in no time at all. The best way I found to show you guys is by making a video- so I hope it’s super clear!
I’m taking an online class right now (actually, I’m taking four because I’m a super-nerd) called ‘Grow Your Blog Traffic with Social Media’ (or GYB as the cool kids call it)… it’s the reason I finally got Facebook– are you following me yet? #shamelessplug And Regina (the wicked awesome writer of the e-kit) challenged us to share some of our process with our readers. You can see the rest here. If you know me at all, you know I can’t turn down a good challenge. If you read here regularly, when I announced my Reader Survey results, I promised that I’d start sharing some behind the scenes blogging tidbits because over half of my readers blog or would like to start a blog. So consider this the first!
The one thing that I feel like I really have a handle on for this whole blogging thing is processing my photos. It’s also something I haven’t seen a similar tutorial for. So there are a million ways to process your photos to get them web ready, but this is what I find works best for me.
This tutorial is using Lightroom- which I can’t recommend enough (it will save you so much time- and improve your images!). Before I started this blog (and still occasionally) I took on photography clients. I’ve done a couple weddings, LOTS of newborns, families, engagements, grads etc. When I was photographing, Lightroom was my one big investment (other than my camera) but now- it comes in the Photography Bundle with Adobe Creative Cloud. What that means is that it’s a subscription service. It’s $10 a month and it includes Photoshop and Lightroom. I’m slowly getting better at Photoshop, but Lightroom is my jam. If you are already paying to subscribe to Photoshop- humour me and try Lightroom? My bold claim for this little tutorial is: If you are processing all your photos in Photoshop- you’re wasting a ton of time. Not to insult you- but Lightroom is made to bulk process. It doesn’t have all the same capabilities as Photoshop (not even close) but what it does do is make great images really, really quick. And you can use it to size, watermark, and prepare your images for the web.
Okay… enough of me jabbering. Here’s my video tutorial! You can skip around if you’re familiar with Lightroom, but it walks you through plugging your memory card into the computer to having completely web ready images.
What did you guys think? I have a confession- I recorded this three times because I thought it was too long. Each time I cut it down by about a minute… but there was really nothing that I felt could be cut out without losing value. So that’s why it’s a full 17 minutes. But if you’re serious about getting your process time down and photo quality up (without overloading your server) this is definitely worth your time!
I should also tell you that this tutorial is pretty specific to blog photos… not people portraits. If I’m editing images of people, I do things differently. But I thought I would focus in on the functionality of Lightroom for bloggers- because it’s a whole different game. Another confession- before I started blogging, I thought I was really good at taking photos. And that the hard part for me would be writing. But all the photos that I was ‘good’ at taking were of people. I love capturing the emotion in people’s faces and my friends, a sandwich or a plant pot just doesn’t have that. I’m ashamed to show you this but this is the archive from the first month I blogged… see the photos of the flowers and that fish (I should probably take new photos for that post or take it down) compared to the photos of my friend Audrey? Terrible, right! I just couldn’t figure it out.
I also touch on the free web-based program, Pic Monkey in this tutorial. I use it instead of Photoshop (most of the time) to add text and such to my images. I find that it’s crazy quick and it does exactly what I need to make my graphic images. If you’re not looking for tips on processing your images, just on adding overlays and text, you can skip to the end of the video to see that.
I obviously didn’t cover any of the tips I have for taking clear images, but there is a LOT of tutorials out there for bloggers. I haven’t taken it myself, but Kristi from Making it in the Mountains has had wonderful things to say about Shoot Fly Shoot (a paid course) and I trust her. As for free photography tips for bloggers? This is a great post (specific to food photography, but it relates to any small DIY) and This is a great one from the wonderful Design Sponge on shooting interiors. As for Lightroom (because you know I love it now), I totally recommend Jared Platt’s Lightroom Workflow course from Creative Live (especially if you can catch the free replay) even though it’s geared for wedding photographers it totally changed the way I manage my photos (hello efficiency!).
More Posts from other bloggers on this challenge:
Get More Blog Traffic with You Tube – Kelita Kellman
How to Save Time Managing Your Blog – From the Poolside
I’d love to hear if you have any questions! Hopefully you can answer them… if you have any suggestions or questions that would be a great fit for next month’s ‘Behind The Scenes’ Blogging post- please, let me know! I’m no expert but I’m certainly willing to share what I do know!