Alright y’all I’m going to be real with you I don’t particularly love blogging tutorials. They usually are nothing ground breaking and I feel like I wasted 10 minutes of my life by reading them. I always get sucked in on Pinterest with pretty pictures like this
I am no veteran blogger by any means but I am all about efficiency and these are my essentials to make life that much easier.
For Making Collages- Blogstomp
First and foremost get Blogstomp. It was seriously the BEST investment I ever spent for the blog. I was initially turned off by the $50 price tag but I found a coupon code (naturally) and it is the biggest time saver ever. Basically it takes your very large photos and “stomps” them to a much smaller size but it maintains the high quality of them. Therefore your page will load much faster. You can also set your width so all the pictures are the same. Also if you want to watermark all your pics when you “stomp it” it adds the watermark wherever you want it to. I use to use Pic Monkey because it was free but this seriously is so much faster and easier. Plus when you want to make collages it is insanely easy. For example.
Here are my pictures from the recent Fall Outfits I was digging post. They are all very large files because I took it with my DSLR camera. So you open them all and the grab the ones you want to put into a collage. Pick the collages on the right you like the best and you can even mix it up (rearrange how the pictures go into the collage).
Then “stomp it” and voila a beautiful collage, perfect width and maintains the quality with a small size. You can adjust how much of a line thickness you want. I prefer no line but that is preference. I didn’t like what a thick line picmonkey would add, I found it distracting for me.
For Editing and Adding Text – Photoshop
Now I don’t think having photoshop makes or breaks my blog to tell you the truth. However my brother is an AV Engineer and the last time he was down in Florida this is what he put on my computer. Seriously I have no clue what 98% of these are…..but thanks for all the expensive software.
This is how I add all my sweet witty text to my pictures.
Once again I don’t think it’s essential but I have it already so why not use it. I found a great alternative which is free
. It’s called Pixlr
and it’s very similar to photoshop. What I love about it you can actually crop circles…..which in photoshop there is only an ellipse tool which is so fun to try to make perfect round circles for an OCD individual like myself. I would say play around with pixlr and if you really like it and find it useful then upgrade to photoshop when you outgrow the functions within Pixlr.
Also I will tell you sometimes photoshop gets exhausting. When I really want to edit something quickly I upload my pictures on iPhone apps because they have the most perfect built in filters that cut down the editing process. I like Afterlight
and Instagram has fun filters.
Lifehack learned from Helene
. If you are using Instagram but don’t want to upload all your pictures, turn your phone into airplane mode. When you go to “upload” it will fail but save to your camera roll. That way your Instagram
friends don’t need to see every makeup selfie you’ve ever created if you catch my drift…..
If You Want To Take The Pretty Pictures – DSLR Camera
Once again it really is a pain in the butt. However look at the difference between the fancy camera and the iPhone.
The iPhone is soooooo much easier (and a higher likelihood of someone agreeing to take your blog pictures
) but you can’t deny the beautiful pictures the big honking camera takes. What that said you have to get a good lens. This new lens
has made all the difference. I’m not saying go out and buy it right now but it is certainly something you may want to consider if you want to continue to grow your blog. People like visually pretty pictures. If that is not in your cards right now get good at taking iPhone pictures and work with those filters and apps.
If you really want to fancy it up…
I got a tripod
and a light reflector
thing. When I have all the time in the world I use them but usually I don’t have time for that. The light reflector hasn’t made it out of the box yet but I have big plans for it……
A Handsome Assistant
Just kidding but eventually you are going to have to get none selfie pictures. I really want to recruit a photography student from the local college but then you have to like schedule time with them blah blah blah. Any local followers know of any newbie photographers? Having a significant other or friend take your pictures is super helpful and time saving. It took me 20 times to get a picture of my makeup photoshoot (it’s hard to get makeup swatches on your hand right???) vs the two attempts it took Mark to do it.
Here is my key to getting man help. Make sure they are fed (thank you Pamela).
….give them a reference time, (they don’t do well when you spring upon them “right now you need to get up and take pictures of me for the blog”
). Instead “Sunday around 6 when you are done with your fantasy draft and I’ve made you a snack……can we take some blog pictures????
“. So far that has worked……
Last Note – Have Patience
A lot of things I’ve learned about blogging has been through trial and error. I have watched a lot of youtube videos on photoshop and countless of hours shifting through pinterest. When in doubt I ask some of my blogging friends what they do. Being humble and asking for help you will be surprised how awesome this community is when it comes to resources and ideas! Also your blog is always changing and growing. When I look back at my beginning posts I internally cringe but in all fairness I haven’t even hit my first year mark and I’m still learning every day!
Alright there you have it! Do you use any of these things for your blog? What essentials do you use that you can’t live without? I hope you learned something and we can all share some of our secrets of the trades ;-) Hope you’re having a fabulous day!! xoxoxo