Are you a mom with a camera who likes to take pictures of her kids?
Do you feel like it’s important to document your family’s life?
Have you ever held back from posting ALL of your vacation photos to social media because you felt like it was a terrible faux pas?
Do you feel like your images need a home other than your hard drive so that they can be shared and enjoyed?
Have you ever started a blog only to let it die?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, then what I’m about to say is for you!
I’ve been keeping a personal blog for eight years. It began two years after my sweetheart and I were married.
Not long after, we were expecting our first baby and I found myself gravitating towards learning how to use a camera. Before I knew it, my habit for writing and my passion for photography merged onto the perfect platform for me: a blog!
Words cannot express how grateful I am to have countless memories recorded, all bringing back a rush of feelings and taking me to those special (and sometimes not-so-special) moments in time.
I am now a mom to three little boys and have a part time photography business. Life is busy, but I’ve figured out a few tips and tricks along the way to keep blogging (aka our family’s memories) from feeling like an overwhelming chore.
It really is a doable task! And can be an enjoyable one, too.
Tips for writing your blog:
If a picture speaks a thousand words, how much does a picture accompanied by a paragraph speak?
How often do you want to post on your blog?
Does three or four times a week seem daunting? How about posting just once a week instead? Don’t feel discouraged if you get behind.
There’s a wonderful button that lets you schedule your posts. That means you can set a date and a time to publish that post in the future OR you can back date it to the correct time the action actually took place. I openly admit to back dating posts often, especially when it takes me a month or more to edit sixty vacation pictures!
Take the pressure off yourself. Make blogging work for you and your schedule. This is your life, after all.
Jot down notes throughout the day.
Record anything that is meaningful to you inside your phone’s notes or memo app. It can be a fleeting thought, something funny your child said, or the best and worst things that happened to you that day.
Our phones always seem to be within reach, utilize it. When it’s time to sit down at the computer and you’re suddenly staring at a blank white space to fill, you already have some ideas with which to start.
For the love of bullet points.
When writing a blog post, don’t underestimate the power of bullet points. Think of using titles like, ‘Our Top Three Weekend Highlights’.
Then simply write three paragraphs of 3-5 sentences each. Voila. A blog post practically writes itself.
Use repeated titles to make a series.
A friend I know uses ‘Quarterly Quotes’ to write down the funny things her boys have said over the last few months. As for me, I have several series that have come and gone and sometimes get resurrected. Right now I do monthly updates for my baby and purge all my extra photos under the label, ‘Snapshots of Life Lately’.
You don’t have to write a novel.
Sometimes a single photo (or three or five) with a few words attached is more than enough, just like Instagram.
Remember, this is your life you’re recording! Not every detail needs to be documented, just the ones that are meaningful to you and that you want to share.
Tips for your blog photos:
Manage all your photos.
I manage and edit all of my photos with Lightroom CC. When I’m ready to post pictures to my blog, I simply export them using the following settings:
- First, I press ctrl and then click on all of my landscape pictures in Lightroom.
- Then I head up to File-Export. I export all of my blog pictures to a monthly folder that I use specifically for uploading to the web.
- I rename the pictures ‘BLOG’ followed by whatever it was that we were doing. For example, ‘BLOG Raspberry Picking’.
- Then I resize to fit along the long edge at 650 pixels across at a resolution of 100 pixels per inch. The reason I resize my pictures to 650 pixels across is because that is exactly how wide the main area of my blog is. Your blog might be more narrow or more wide.
- I sharpen for the screen and press export.
- Then I begin again and click on all of my portrait photos that I want for the blog. The only change that I make during export is to fit along the short edge 650 pixels across. You’ll find out exactly why in the next step!
By the way, the above export settings can be made into a one click preset!
Upload your pictures to your blog.
I use the Blogger platform since that’s what I started with and it suits my needs just fine.
- I start by uploading all of the pictures I just exported at once.
- Then, in the upload window, the order in which I click on the photos is the order in which they will load into my post. Easy!
- Then I click on each picture and choose ‘original size’. (WordPress has a nifty little button on the right side of the upload window that lets you choose the size of your pictures before posting them into the body of your blog post.) I’ve found that using the original size for my photos not only makes them big, but keeps them nice and crisp and beautiful, instead of getting compressed and slightly fuzzy.
Print your blog.
Lastly, you’ve put a lot of time and heart into your blog, be sure to print it! If you Google ‘blog to book’, many options will pop up.
I’ve personally used blog2print over the years since it is so quick and easy. I print my blog yearly and now have a nice little stack of volumes sitting on my living room shelf. It’s like the ultimate scrapbook!
Happy blogging, friends!