For lifestyle bloggers (food, fashion, travel, DIY, beauty, etc.), the images within your posts play the most important role in growing your blog. These photographs are used on social media to attract readers to your site, and they create users’ first impressions upon arriving at your website.
Unfortunately, most bloggers approach images as just finding something pretty. They do not look at their blog images as representations of their brand identity. The images tend to be all over the place regarding style, tone, and perspective. They lack consistency, and as a result, the images do not convey a strong brand identity to the reader.
All of this can be easily avoided with image standards. Photo standards specify the type of images you use for your blog. With image standards, you will have a consistent, visual branding identity that is both Pinterest-friendly and reader friendly.
It’s not that hard to set your standards. I recommend that you first create a moodboard of blog images that you like and would like to replicate. Ideally, you want to use your images, so that you can replicate the quality you’ve already achieved.
Layout + Size
Do you have posts from when you first started blogging that are cropped narrow? We’ve all have been there. With your blog photographs, it is best to set a consistent ratio for images. Most of my clients use a 2:3 ratio (width-height). This ratio does not require them to crop their photograph from the camera settings. If they use a horizontal image, they use the same ratio, just reversed – 3:2.
Most people don’t notice the consistency in image sizes, but they like how the sizing/spacing works on individual blogs. Most of the time this is due to the blog using consistent image ratios.
When you have a consistent image ratio that you use for your blog posts, especially for featured images, it enhances your design. These images frame your content and add a professional quality to your site design. Here are a few examples:
- The Fashionista’s Diary: Lauren blogs daily outfit inspiration. When designing her site, one of the goals was that her posts functioned as a daily style inspiration resource. You can see how her consistent image size (and perspective) helps readers scan and analyze the breadth of her posts.
- Omnivore’s Cookbook: For Maggie’s blog design, we used images in several different ways. To get variety out of her layout design, we had to make sure her featured images followed a consistent image ratio.
Perspective + Composition
Photography perspective refers to the positions and sizes of objects in the photograph. There are several different perspectives – linear, rectilinear, vanishing point, height, etc. When choosing a perspective for your images, you want to be consistent. Most bloggers do a great job of using 1-2 perspectives on their Instagram accounts, but it becomes a different story with their blogs! Focus on one perspective, become an expert in creating images along those lines, then expand. I’m not saying that you can’t explore other perspectives, but I’m encouraging you first to find one that showcases your content the best.
Composition refers to how the photograph is how all those elements in the photo work together. Composing an image means arranging elements in a way that suits the core idea or goal best. Previous clients with beautiful photography style and composition include the following: Lows to Luxe, Andie Mitchell, Style Charade, and Omnivore’s Cookbook.
Where Images Standards Apply
Your photo standards should apply to all of your brand images – blog posts, social media graphics, email marketing, and website pages. These graphics play such a vital role in your brand success. Keep it simple, then evolve it. Start small, then grow it.
Personally, image standards are something that I’m always working on with my brand. I tend to experiment with different things on the blog, but I’ve recently tried to simplify it more, especially with my templates and on Instagram!
Want more Blog Design tutorials? Check out these posts!
Interested in working together? I’d love to hear about your project!