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Get Creative: Use Your Own Images For Your Blog

Emperor Gum Moth

The legal issues with images online can be very confusing.  Even though Chris wrote a post recently going into more depth about the legal issues surrounding images online and how not to get in trouble you may have just decided to give up on using images online.  But if that’s the case you’re going to miss out on all the benefits from using images online. 

What if I told you there was another way.  Something that means you’ll never have to worry about the legal issues surrounding photos, have completely unique and gorgeous images, show more of your personality to your readers AND get to let your creative side out more.

Well there is.

Have you considered getting creative and using your own unique images for your blog?

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It’s really not as difficult as you may think…you see I am not a professional photographer or artist, yet most of the images I use on my blog are my own images.

Blogging is still a relatively new platform for writers.  As bloggers we know the thrill that it enables, as we can transition from a draft to a published post oh so quickly!  However blog posts are also a form of self-publishing, and therefore we all are forced to consider the aesthetic appeal of our posts…without necessarily being graphic designers or artists.

Just to be clear, I am NOT asserting that your blog should not be well designed, professional looking, attractive, or lesser quality than your work.  What I would like to do, is prompt some creative thinking and perhaps offer you some tips to assist you in making your own chic and unique images.

Here are some of my tried ideas that I hope will stir some creativity within you!

Get Snappy Happy:

Think you’re not a photographer…sorry I’m not buying it…I’ve seen so many selfies on the net that I know you are more than able to take a good pic!  In all honesty I only use my phone (iPhone 5, previously I used an iPhone 4) for my photography…that’s it, and I am VERY happy with the images it takes.  I always have my phone on me, and when I am out and about if I see a good image/scene I’ll seize the opportunity. For example on a recent holiday I snapped some wildlife and scenery that I have been able to use for my blog.  Here’s one of the images from our holiday:

Bridge at Deni

 

Be purposeful and set aside some photography time/sessions:

There are so many possible subjects you could photograph.  Need inspiration go online and check out some images, then get busy.  Why not head to the local park, or spend time taking photos around your own home?  When I have gone to the park with my children, I have snapped some great images; for example I once had my son pose in some fixed positions and I photographed his shadow on the footpath; one time in a park full of flowers (not caring what people driving by thought) I laid down on my stomach in a few different spots and got some great images.  Here’s one I’ve used to promote my blog:

new background pic google

 

Think about your genre of writing:

For example, is your blog primarily on parenting or the Christian faith?  Do you have a primary genre?  Well then look for opportunities to get images that relate to your blog ahead of needing them!  I simply have an ‘art images’ folder in My Pictures on my PC and this is where I have my reservoir of possible handy images.  With my reserve of photos I am not overburdened, because if every time I wrote, I needed to spend time taking photos, it would possibly become too much.  Why not ask your local church if you can take some pictures?  Here’s one I took in my church and used for my blog:

I choose Christ

 

Be Thrifty:

It really doesn’t cost a fortune to create your own unique images!  For example I added the text on my previous two featured images using Microsoft ‘paint’!  Yes, paint!  You can even use Google+ to add text to your photos…here’s an example of one I created from an old scanned photo of me.  On Google+ you simply upload your photo to share, then select the ‘add text’ option (which is a ‘T’ in a box) and type…Simple as.  Google even spaces the text automatically for you, how easy is that?

Minnie

 

Get Creative:

Need a specific image in a hurry that you don’t have a good photograph for?  Well this has happened to me AND you don’t necessarily need to be an artist to ‘create’ your very own image from scratch.  It really doesn’t take long once you are familiar with your program of choice.  Here’s one that I created and it actually ended up being on the cover of my recent Kindle book:

All you need is love

 

Don’t be overwhelmed:

Finally don’t stress, because that will hinder your creativity!  I have found drawing to be a wonderful creative outlet, and when I have finished drawing something, I simply prop it up, and photograph it with my phone.  Yep…simple as!  Not all my drawings are perfect…but I don’t really mind, as my blog design is sort of shabby chic / handmade / arty.  One more thing…Sometimes I have not included an image because I have included a You Tube video clip instead!  At the end of the day I stop and think whether or not my blog page is aesthetically appealing to me…and when I think YES, then I am happy! This is one of my hand drawn images:

Beauty from Ashes Cross Cover

So to conclude, chic and unique royalty-free images are not so hard to obtain, if you’re willing to spend a little time creating your own.

I hope that some of these tips may inspire you to just have-a-go.  Set some time aside to photograph or draw and see what you come up with, you may just surprise yourself.  You don’t necessarily need to be an expert to obtain great results, and like me, you may find yourself with a new therapeutic hobby.

Have you ever used one of your own pictures on your blog?  What were the results?

About Melanie Baker

Melanie Baker is an Australia Christian woman, and mother of 3 sons. Melanie is active in local ministries, and also studies ministry/theology via distance education. Melanie has a varied work background ranging from Dance teacher to Carer. Being a creative person Melanie feels most comfortable in the arts; loving to express herself and talk about Jesus' love!

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2 Replies

  1. Thanks for encouraging us. As an extension of your post, some of my blogging friends use photos from their Christian friends. A source I often see used and credited is http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephbarber/.

    1. That’s a great tip, I’d love to get a collection of christian photographers and designers who give away their photos for free/referencing. It would be an amazing resource to have.

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