Especially pictures that inspire me.
I did a post on this back in November (so long ago, I know :) and I decided to update it with new info and ideas.
Part of my decision to revamp the old post was my mom who really wanted me to help her add pictures to her blog post. (it's about her arthritis and I'm sitting there thinking 'I don't know how to convey this, I don't know what to do, what am I supposed to do?!?!')
Anyways, I've found more sites that I love and ways to incorporate pictures into your own blog posts (if you blog, if not you can still read the post and realize that I'm going to be loading up on pictures :)
I highly suggest reading the 6th question. It's really awesome and I put so much hard work and effort into writing that!!! Okay, that's a lie but I'd love it if you read it because I found it entertaining. And someone somewhere once said 'If you the author cries, your readers will cry. If you laugh, they laugh.' Or something like that. I can't even remember who said it and Google isn't finding it. If I ever figure it out, y'all will be the first to know. :)
I'll be re-answering questions that I had answered in the old post and some new questions.
Q. Where do you get your pictures from?
A. Lots of different websites. If I do a Google search (I rarely do this, honestly.), they come from various websites that Google loads. Same goes for Pinterest. I could write a whole book on that website. It's really inspiring and I really like it. I find that I'm constantly pinning whenever I'm poking around websites looking for images. Other websites I really like are deviantart, delicious, and tumblr. If you ever take a look at the links I post at the end of my posts, you'll see that I tend to frequent we<3it. This has hundreds of thousands od way inspiring images. I could easily browse this site all day long. Though it's kinda difficult to weed through all of the irrelevant images, it's really inspiring.
Q. What are your favorite type of pictures?
A. I love vintage. I always have and probably always will. If you ever take a look at my manipulations, you'll notice that a lot of them are dark and kind of scary looking. :) But I love vintage, washed out, pale shaded pictures. I don't know why; it's like I'm one extreme or another. So yes, I'm a huge vintage fan. :)
Q. Why do you include so many pictures in your posts?
A. Because I love pictures, duh! :) I really do though, and I always am inspired by them so I love to add loads of pictures to my posts. Lately, I've been so busy that I post quickly and don't add a ton of images but I used to add so many. I'm trying to get back into adding lots of pictures, so this is kind of my turn around post. :) A lot of times, I'll be on websites and find a picture I love then I'm inspired to write about the feeling or what it reminds me of. Then I'll find images that also convey that feeling or memory and then pack up my post with pictures.
Q. How do you pick pictures for your posts?
A. Well, like I said before, I'm inspired by and image and then I'll write about what it reminds me of. If I do come up with a blog idea all on my own (-gasp-) then I'll have to go searching for images. I do this by thinking of the emotion it makes me feel and sometimes what the picture displays. Take for example my Confessions of a Funny Girl Part 1 about how I'm a Gleek. I needed a picture for the post. I immediatly ran to we<3it and tried to search for an image. If I remember correctly, it only came up with four pictures. One of which was this awesome, vintage colored, picture of a stop sign reading 'Don't Stop Believing', Perfect!
Sometimes I'm not that lucky and I have to make do. But sometimes I find a picture that's totally irrelevant but yet, when I searched for a keyword and it popped up, it actually made sense to me and I put it in there. Example, Cinderella, a post I wrote about the Steven Curtis Chapman song. The picture is entirely irrelevant, but when I searched for 'Cinderella' on we<3it, that picture came up. It was totally not applicable, but for some reason, I liked it and stuck it in there.
Q. I've looked everywhere for a picture and I can't find anything that works for my topic. What am I supposed to do??
A. Calm down there! :) Seriously, if finding pictures isn't fun, then take a deep breath. Images are supposed to be inspiring and moving, not stressful. And who likes stressful picture finding and blogging? That just sounds like school to me. If you can't find pictures for your blog, you might be looking for something too specific. Take for example, my post Immature. I searched Google for 'sticking tongue out'. Yeah, that came up with maybe two bad, obviously shot with a cell phone pictures that I was like 'yeah that's stupid'. So I went on we<3it and searched for 'sticking out tongue'. It came up with two pictures. I got real lucky.
If you're looking for a picture on let's say, 'fluffy white dogs' (I'm random, okay?) and you want it to look vintage-y and washed out. If you search for 'fluffy white dog vintage washed out', you're going to come up with a whooping big ol' fat 0 on Google. Don't believe me? Google it. :) Go over to we<3it and you come up with another huge fat 0.
Don't despair! Search for 'white dog vintage' on Google. You literally find one good picture. I was going to find the link to it and guess what? Someone wrote a blog post with tons of pictures of their white, somewhat fluffy, dog. Search for 'white dog washed out' on Google and there really aren't any good pictures. But you have one!
Want more? The Meghan answer to that would be: 'Yes!!!!!' Hope on over to we<3it and search for 'white dog vintage' and 'white dog washed out'. You find one picture. It's actually cute. :)
If you're like me and you want more pictures, broaden the search to fluffy dogs or even just fluffy white. That will result in more and try dropping the vintage and washed out keywords and just chose the pictures that have the color schemes and themes you want.
Q. How am I supposed to put pictures in my post without being accused of stealing and get chased down by the FBI? They'll put me in federal prison and I won't ever be a famous blogger like my dream. I don't even know if they let you have internet in prison. What will I do with out my blog?! How will I live? And I'll be stuck in a cell with some scary person who did way more than just use a picture on their blog without permission and I won't get to blog about it!!
A. Sorry about that...I was getting bored. :) But honestly, I am no expert in this. Seriously, I'm not. Anything I write in this answer should be double checked with an attorney or lawyer or something. But I always just link to the pictures down below (they've always been there, go look.) at the bottom of my posts. I've never had anyone tell me to take them down. Now I will admit that I haven't actually sent the photographers/artists emails personally asking them if I can use them. I don't really know of any bloggers who do. But as far as I know, if you link to the original authors, you're cool. But that's just what I think, and we all know that when I was little I thought smarties actually made you smarter. :)
Q. Is there such a thing as too many pictures? How many pictures are too many?
A. Okay, so we all know my answer to that. I'm serious, I have no limit. I could literally post thousands of pictures in my posts if I could. But I think people would hate me if I did that and give up 1/4 way through my post. I figured that you might want an actually not picture obsessed person's answer so I googled it. :)
There really isn't a set number of pictures that's too many. But keep a few things in mind. More pictures means a longer loading time. I know some people who read my blog are on computers that will take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to load. And adding billions of pictures makes it even slower. So it's best to keep the images fewer. Or if you're like me and you absolutely love pictures, try using smaller sizes.
Pictures are great visualizers. In a lot of my posts, I make lists. One of those is If you don't smile who will? where I list different ways to make people smile, complete with pictures. With posts like this, I like to keep a general number in mind. I tend to stick with about 2-4 pictures per item on the list. Sometimes I blow this, big time. But that's only on rare occasions. Other times, I just can't help myself and I go crazy. Don't believe me? Go look at Optimism. I'm pretty sure I had over 20 pictures in that post. But at the same time, it made people, including myself, smile. Sometimes, you can break rules. Or like they say in Pirates of the Caribbean 'They're more like guidelines anyways'.
Q. Should I use pictures from websites or my own?
A. I use both. Most of the time, though, I use pictures from websites. This is simply because I have no time to take pictures. I think using your own pictures adds a personal touch to the post and it helps your readers to connect better with you. I've done a few posts where I had entirely my pictures. Both You Make Me Smile and Changes have entirely my pictures.
Q. What are picture layouts? Where do I get them from? How do I use them?
A. It's a three part question! :O
Answer to part one: Picture layouts are creative ways for you to display your pictures in set layouts that you can edit in Photoshop. I get mine from puglypixel. She gives some instructions on how to use them here and here. Once you figure them out, they're a piece of cake to use. I'm working on making my own and when I get them finished I might just throw them up here for y'all to use.
Puglypixel also has some other freebies up there to help spice up the layouts which include bow tie textures, ric rac, arrow label shapes, arrow and ribbon shapes, and lots more. I'm kind of obsessed with them and I find them really fun.
Those are all the questions I can think up to ask myself. :) It's fun and entertaining trying to ask yourself questions. I actually might be doing it more often. But if you have any questions about pictures for blog posts or pictures in general, I'd love to answer them.
Thanks for reading that whole thing and I'll be posting again tomorrow (hopefully, don't kill me if I don't).