The Benefits of Taking Your Own Blog Photos

One notable feature of my personal blog is the photography; it is about 90% original. Which is to say, on my blog you’re guaranteed to see photos that I’ve taken and edited myself as opposed to a stock image. Featuring original photography has undoubtedly elevated the aesthetic and appeal of my blog so today I’ll talk through some of the benefits of taking your own blog photos or hiring someone to do it for you.

You jump through fewer hoops. When using other people’s photos, there are hoops you’ll have to leap through before you can right click and save the image. Sometimes, you need express permission from the photographer. In other cases, you just have to make sure you’ve accredited the actual owner of the photo and properly linked back to his/her site in your post. And other times, you’re granted permission to use a photo, but you won’t be allowed to manipulate it in any way (i.e. cropping, adding fonts, etc.). When you take your own blog photos, they belong to you and you don’t have to fret about being sued for copyright infringement.

You have creative control. Have you ever come across a stunning photo that you think will be perfect for a blog post, but then you notice something in the photo that you don’t like? Well, when you’re taking your own photos, you don’t have to worry about that. Taking your own blog photos grants you absolute creative control over the subject matter, lighting, composition, angle width, depth of field, etc. of every photo. You can take as many photos as you need to get it right and you can use editing software to enhance your photos until they’re perfect.

You save time. I cannot tell you the number of hours I used to spend sitting at my laptop sifting through multiple blogs, Tumblrs, and Pinterest boards seeking out photos to use for blog posts. Then, once I found a photo I wanted to use, I would have to spend more time tracking down the source so I could properly link back to them. In hindsight, taking my own blog photos has drastically reduced the number of hours I spend worrying about the visual aspect of my content. I typically spend a day taking photos for my blog posts for the upcoming week and less than half an hour editing them all. This does require that I plan my blog’s content far in advance, but it’s worth it to me.

You give your blog a distinctive look. While I’m not against blogs that feature stock images, I do admit to being more attracted to blogs that use original photography. I believe that I’ve been able to draw in more readers and make my blog stand apart from the millions of other lifestyle blogs by using my own photos. I just think there’s something special about visiting a blog and seeing photos that I haven’t seen anywhere else. It gives the blog a much more personal spirit, I suppose.

What are your thoughts on original photography and stock photography? What type of photography, if any, do you use on your blog? Leave a comment below.


Author: Drea Hall

Drea is a Chicago-based freelance writer and lifestyle blogger at The Drea Daily. She's obsessed with coffee, books and blogs, handbags, and lipstick. When she's not blogging, you can likely catch her tweeting about something on Twitter @DreaEHall.

  • This is a good idea. I love to have pictures on my blog, to me it brings it to life. I also know that all you stated about having your pictures are too. I feel better when I have a photo that I put together. Sometimes I am forced to do the stock images. However, the goal is to have 100% my photos on my blog. I just need the right camera.

  • I didn’t do much research prior to purchasing my DSLR. In retrospect, I should have. I bought the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and thankfully it does everything I need it to do. If you’re tight on money or want to spend time researching my advice is to use your phone. You can take quality photos with your smartphone and edit them using Picmonkey or VSCO Cam.

  • msjkristina

    I have been going back and forth with investing in a DSLR, and I am ready now! I am not sure where to begin!! So many options and brands. Do you have any recommendations or possibly a future post to help Brown Girl Bloggers make this decision a bit easier? Thanks

  • Take your time. It took me about two years before I invested in a DSLR and started taking and using my own photos.

  • Aphrodite Kinks

    I just got into stock images, but try to take my own photos most of the time. It’s hard trying to get photos together but I have been working on it. Trying to navigate my way into more original photos for my blog.

  • LOL, but some free stock images are kinda nice. I just hate seeing the grossly overused stock images – they make me cringe. Thanks for reading + sharing your thoughts, Tee!

  • Two years ago, I rarely used images. (I know, I know.) Last year, I started using free images, and I find that’s exactly what they look like: free stock images. Most recently, I’ve gotten into the habit of using photos that I’ve taken. I prefer my own.

  • Thanks for reading and sharing, Mary! Like TC commented, an even mix of stock photos and original photography is another way to go about it. :)

  • All of this is so true. I have only recently been more intentional about using my own photos. There are free photo websites from which I use their photos for my posts (and I have used my fair share) but I am trying to be more intentional about using my photos and taking my camera whenever I go out. This post was timely. Thanks for sharing, Drea.

  • My advice on how to build + maintain a solid library of original photography is to carry your camera around with you everywhere and take photos of the things and places you find photo-worthy – you never know when those images will come in handy. Thanks for reading.

  • TC’s Views

    Once again, great advice. I love the idea of using my own photos for my blog. I use a mixture of my own and stock images. The biggest obstacle I have, and I hope you can help me and others on this one, how to go about snapping your own images. I mean, for me I collect my story ideas and when I am in the writing mood I write. Once I have the perfect headline, I then search for an image. Of course, as a journalistic rule you can always change the opening image to reflect the headline or vice versa. Sometimes I have the right one in my own photo collection other times I have to head to the stock image library. What’s your advice on how to keep a solid library of our own images?