How to Tell a Story with Photography

The world is a visual place, and blogs are the perfect example of visual storytelling. The words we write are very important to express our thoughts and ideas, but great images have a big impact on our story, too.  It goes back to when we were kids, and we could just look at the pretty pictures in children’s books while someone read to us. The images helped carry us along as the words told the story.

There are thousands of blogs out there with wonderful, inspiring photography that takes you into the writer’s world and along for the ride. And there are thousands out there that fall flat, leaving the reader behind.

So, what can you do to make your blog visually appealing, ensuring your readers are enjoying the journey with you?

Mary Hone Photography

Ask any photographer, and they will tell you the best camera is the one you have with you.

Good photography doesn’t have to be about the latest, greatest, most expensive equipment. Most smart phones these days have a pretty decent camera in them. Some are notably better than others, and if you are looking for a new phone and the camera is important to you, I suggest you do some research. I have owned some version of the Samsung Galaxy phone for the last several years and have been more than impressed with the quality of photos. Point-and-shoot cameras are also reasonable and take good photos. But no matter if you are carrying a cell phone or a DSLR, the most important thing is to learn your camera. Even simple point-and-shoots have settings that can be adjusted to accommodate different environments. Taking your camera out of Auto mode, if that as an option on yours, is the best thing you can do to improve your photography. Experiment with different settings and different lighting. Learn your camera and what it can do. This is especially important if you are using a DSLR. Take a ton of photos and simply delete what doesn’t work. Shoot the exact same thing, but with different settings to see what changes are made. What setting made that photo really great instead of just OK?

Mary Hone's photography advice

The environment you are shooting in has a huge impact on the image.

Obviously when we catch our pet in a spur of the moment cuteness, we have to take the shot and hope it’s good. But if you can set up your photos with your pet, or most especially with product you are reviewing, then some extra effort can be so valuable. Natural light is always the best, but outdoor shots aren’t always possible. Sunlight filtered through a window is the next best option. Can you set up next to a sliding door or on a table pushed near a large window? If sunlight is not happening for you, then try a bright lamp. The worst thing for a photo is the camera’s flash. Nothing washes out and ruins a good photo quicker than using the flash. This is where learning the settings on your camera comes in handy. Most cameras compensate for low light by adjusting ISO and shutter speed. Experimenting in low-light conditions will help you learn what works and what doesn’t with your camera.


Be creative with the composition of your photo.

Can you take that shot of your pet maybe just off center? Think of the rule of thirds. And what do you see behind your subject? Background clutter will detract from what you are trying to shoot, so get as clean of a background as possible.

Mary Hone active shot

Finally, post processing and editing are important, too. Find a program you like, and learn it. (Editor’s note: It doesn’t have to be a huge, bells-and-whistles program. Here at BlogPaws, we use

Editing a photo

Most importantly, have fun and make it fun for your pet too. (We all know that treats go a long way, especially during a photo shoot!)

Mary Hone lives and travels full time in an RV with her hubby and their two dogs, Roxy and Torrey. She has been blogging and telling her story at Tales from the Back Road since January 2011. Her photography can be seen at Mary Hone Photography.

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