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5 Photography Tips to Elevate Your Blog

Photo by Jean-Daniel Francoeur from Pexels

A guest post by Leah Jones

Content is king when it comes to running your own blog. And while the writing and information on your blog are important, there’s more to having a blog than just writing. An article on Inc about visual content highlights how adding images and photos to your text posts is a great way to boost engagement.

While stock photos are always an option, taking your own photos will produce more unique and specific images to accompany your content. Now, we understand that not everyone is a professional photographer. However, this shouldn’t stop you from taking your own photos. To help you out with this, we’ve put together five photography tips to help elevate your blog’s content.

Look Into Buying Some Equipment

Getting the right equipment to match your needs is important to getting quality photos. The latest photography equipment on Adorama shows the extensive range available for photographers of all abilities. Whether you’re working with your mobile phone or have a complete professional camera set-up, there is something for you that will raise your game to the next level. However, no matter what camera you use, you’ll always need a tripod.

Tripods reduce camera movement to help you with stability when taking photographs. This can greatly improve the quality of the photos taken, especially when compared to photos that don’t make use of a tripod.

Proper Lighting is Key

 

We can’t overstate how important proper lighting is when it comes to photography. The quality of the lighting can make or break a photograph. Now, how you address lighting will vary greatly depending on where you’ll be taking your photos.

In a studio setting, you’ll most likely have access to artificial lighting. However, shooting outdoors is an entirely different story. For the most part, you’ll be relying on natural lighting. The key here will be planning. You’ll want to shoot at the perfect time to get the best lighting possible. Digital Trends highlights how shooting during the golden hour, at around sunrise and sunset, tends to produce the best photographs.

Remember the Rule of Thirds

One of the most important elements in photography is composition. If you’re an amateur photographer you may know very little about this. Luckily, there’s a rule that can summarize what you need to know about the basics of composition.

The rule of thirds is one of photography’s most basic guidelines. Make Use Of defines the rule of thirds as the imaginary frame that divides your photo into three horizontal sections and three vertical sections by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. All you have to do is put the subject of your photos where the lines are or where the lines intersect. This shouldn’t be too hard as most smartphones can display these lines on the screen.

Shoot From Different Angles

If you want to change up the way your photos look, simply shooting from a different angle can make a world of difference. Different angles have a different effect on how your photo will look.

Shooting from eye-level, or the normal position people shoot from, gives you the most realistic and straightforward representation of the subject. Shooting from the high position, or by raising the camera above eye-level, lets you capture more of the background.

A Little Editing Can Go a Long Way

The work doesn’t end after you’ve finished taking the photos. Editing plays an important role when it comes to creating high-quality photographs. Photo editing software allows you to manipulate things like brightness, contrast, sharpness, and saturation.

So what software should you use? Well, this depends on your preference. CNet’s varied list of free photo editing software such as Snapseed, Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Express are proof that there is something for everyone no matter the skill level. Play around with these apps to see which one works best for you.

If you’re looking for more tips on improving your blog, check out our piece on the Five Steps to Building Your Platform

Author Leah Jones is a photography enthusiast. She is a visual storyteller that wants to help other creators make the most out of their platforms.

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The Update You Need, not the one You Deserve

The Update You Need, not the one You Deserve

Hello Lovelies,

I apologize for missing last Sunday’s Keto post.

And I don’t.

See, I went on vacation to spend a few quiet days with my sister and her family, social-distance exploring her new home town.

It was the break I needed as my schedule has gotten kinda crazy.

I also know that there were big plans to build this site out a lot more to include cooking, health and wellness, book reviews, book news, marketing information, tech reviews and content, and whatever else struck our fancy. That is still happening. just a lot slower than originally planned.

For Those Who Care

If you had not heard, I am working as an enumerator for the U.S. Census bureau to help complete the 2020 census for our area. I’ve been rocking 30+ hours on that the last several weeks. This is a temporary job that ends the end of September, but it has been a boon for our finances as I am still hunting for a job/ trying to build up a steady client base.

For those who don’t know, I’ve been offering my services as a marketing and business consultant. The pandemic has done a number on the economy and a lot of people are out of work. While I long for a steady job and am applying to everything I am qualified for, I am also putting myself out there to help others even if they can’t hire me full-time, long-term. I even offer a free consult to kick it off, so if you know anyone who needs help, feel free to send them my way!

I’ve also been building out an exciting 30 days to marketing challenge that will launch September 1 and will be a lot of fun, if anyone is interested in joining us.

30 Days Marketing Challenge

And of course, I am still mad-dash searching for work. I fear that part of what is holding me back there may be this site. After all, having to rebuild everything from scratch has wrecked my SEO scores. But I need that content to show my skills. Yet, everything is just sort of half-finished on here. I have a few things in the store, I have completed one of the courses. (Oh, the nightmare of trying to get my content back and then updating it and working within the available systems has been a nightmare and a half, let me tell you!)

Plus, Little Man has started back to school and is participating in two sports which both started “early” practice before their season kicks off fully. So that’s fun.

The Plan Moving Forward

I have some great content coming, I promise. But I need to put some effort into re-adding the older content and especially the courses I developed. Then using my marketing and SEO skills to make this site pop! With my time so limited, those will be taking priority.

At the same time, I need fresh new content to keep you all engaged and coming back so I will aim for two new posts each week.

Let me know what you would prefer for the two posts:

  1. Weekly Keto Update
  2. Cooking/ recipes
  3. Book stuff
  4. Marketing
  5. Tech
  6. updates on how I’m doing
  7. Health and beauty
  8. poetry
  9. writing samples
  10. An Angell’s Life of Adventure- discussion about vacations I’ve had, want, am planning? New projects I’m playing with such as 3D printing, DIY projects, motivational content, creative projects not just tied to writing.

Let me know your preferences in the comments.

Until next time,

Keep reading!

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An Angell’s Life of House Buying Adventures

Homebuying adventures

Hello lovelies

For those who follow me on Facebook, you may have seen over the last few years our conversations about purchasing a home. This has been a 4-year long journey that we honestly didn’t anticipate considering for another 14 months.

The Beginning

For three years, we have been primarily focused on catching up our credit scores, paying off medical debt and student loans, and creating good credit with credit cards. We used Credit Karma to track our progress and find tips to continue improving. It certainly has been a lot of work and there were many times when we thought we would never be able to buy a home. Sometimes life just doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. That was certainly the case for us.

But the last year, we have had some great opportunities that allowed us to really crack down and focusing on our goals. Last year, because of my six month contract we were able to pay off almost all of our medical debt ($6,000 to go), and catch up on our student loans. We each got a credit card and have been using it for our regular purchases and paying them off as soon as we get paid, bringing our credit up from somewhere in the low 500s  to 660 and 655.

We knew that if I could get another job, buying in the next 14 months was a distinct possibility.

Covid-19 Wrenches

Covid killed the job market, and the job I thought for sure I was going to get froze their hiring along with most companies. We were not going to be daunted though. I have been focusing my extra energy into bringing back the blog, my courses, and books. I’ve also offered marketing consultation to those who are using their extra time to pursue their passions. (If that is you, I am offering a free 30-minute consult, feel free to sign up.)

To keep ourselves motivated, and give ourselves a virtual vacation during lockdown, we spent a lot of time surfing Zillow for “date night” dreaming of the houses that we could buy in the very near future. We also use this to remind ourselves and motivate ourselves to put as much aside as possible. Sometimes saving is hard!

As we know we want to buy fairly close to us so Little Man can stay at his high school, we would take walks through the neighborhoods of some of the top houses we saw on Zillow. Work out while social distancing, win/win/win! We would stand outside these homes and envy the added space. We rented small to save more money. It was fine when we were working outside the home, doing sports, and mostly just eating and sleeping here. But with all three of us needing workspaces, it has gotten very small. 

One Step Closer

As things began to open up throughout the state, one of the houses that we were keeping an eye on because it seemed like our dream home came back on the market. We’ve been stalking this home (and others with a similar design plan) for a couple of years now. This one had been on the market since January and then sold in March. We were so surprised to see it back on the market! We knew we just had to go and take a look. Donning our masks and gloves, we met up with a realtor. 

We knew there was no way. It’s a half-million dollar home. (Which sounds like a lot of home, but in our area is actually middle-class home. Crazy, right?) Our fantasy home, with space we needed to meet all our dreams.  (Ok, mine. James has some crazy wild fantasies. He regularly looks at multi-million dollar homes and lets that feed his fantasies!)  We simply needed to look. 

As we were wrapping up the tour the realtor turned to “the talk” 

The Talk

We told her that we were still working on our downpayment. We’d been using great calculators like this real estate calculator, and while we knew that ideally, we should have 20% down, 3-5% would be enough but we didn’t even have that much for this home. (That is still $15-25K!) 

She said that loan rates had never been lower, because of Covid-19 and if we could take advantage of that, it would be awesome. Utah has some great programs for first-time homeowners and we could get in with 0 down if our credit was good enough. She had some great finance guys who could help us. Well, we were just shy of the 0 down (680 credit score) and while he suggested that we could look at a loan through the government, it wouldn’t have been enough to get us into what we wanted and definitely was not as good a program for us. He referred us to another lender who had some great 0 down programs to consider. This was through Mountain America Credit Union

Closer than We Could Hope

We were really impressed with this guy. He said that we were so close to our 0 down goal credit rating and could easily get there in 3-6 months. He answered all of our questions about how the loans work and if we would be able to still get one if we had some down payment to help offset costs.

We are on track, y’all. Our big focuses to get us into our dream home are to find me more income (Covid-19 has made that difficult, but slowly the job market is opening back up.) bring in a bit more income from the blog/ courses/ books, and get our credit scores up just a smidge more and work on that downpayment. James’ income has been just enough to cover his student loans and paying on the medical debt but is not quite enough to cover my student loans as well. My income will be what determines how soon we can get our home. 

Staying Positive

We are staying positive and working hard to make it happen. 

And after spending my birthday weekend checking out some other open houses, we know better what we’re willing to let go of, and what we know we need in our forever home. As we’re so much closer to this, I will be doing more posts about our process, progress, and probably some DIY once we move because we’re pretty handy people and don’t mind a bit of a fixer-upper as long as it has the space for us to make it what we want. 

Yet, every chance I get we walk by that dream home and I get a little jump in my heart seeing the sign and hoping it doesn’t sell before we can get things in place!

Do you have questions about home buying or building your credit? Do you have input into things we should consider as we take on this new adventure? Share in the comments below! 

Until next time, 

Keep building!