Sweet Blogging for Girls ~ The Most Powerful Thing To Do To Improve Your Blog Photos

Fri 13th, May, 2011

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Welcome to the latest instalment of Beach Cottage Sweet Blogging for Girls…the blog tips that won’t send you to sleep.

So you wanna know the most powerful thing you can do to improve your blog photos??  Come right in.




The other day I was writing a post for the Beach Cottage Sweet Blogging E-Course (coming soon! …and find more Sweet Blogging How to Blog posts here) on photography, not that I am an expert by far and I wrote that the best thing is to get out there and take photos of everything…your dog, your shoes, your neighbour’s flowers, the park, the ocean, your car….



I got to thinking about how I have found a great new thing in my life since picking up a camera for this blog and I have written about it many times before…how behind the lens of a camera a whole new world has opened up to me…





But as I wrote I realised that yeah I love the blossoming that has happened to me and I love taking photos…just love…








…but I was in a little bit of a photography comfort zone



…you see, I loved taking pics of the ocean, the sea, the sand…




and down by the shore




I LOVE taking photos of old buildings and cute little vintagey shops…I adore taking photos of signage…and I just love setting up things in my home to shoot…

But I realised when writing my advice down that I was not doing much else…I wasn’t opening my eyes to other stuff…I was in a nice place with my camera thank you very much…I know how to do ocean and vintage and white things and buildings…





but I wasn’t doing much else…




and I continually strive to learn in my life…



So I decided to this last month, take my own advice, taking photos not for this blog and not just of the ocean and buildings which are my faves




but opening up my photgraphic eye to more…




forcing myself right out of my comfort zone




…looking up, looking down




and taking it all in.


Boy I thought I saw a lot before…




but doing this changes it all…suddenly I began to see the beauty that is all around us at every turn




…this month, as here in Australia we see Autumn closing…it seems to be abundant.





So, this, BCer’s is my gig,

the place I hang out ,

this is Autumn on the beaches…

through the eyes of my camera…




this little journey with my camera has taught me a heap and I didn’t need my camera manual ;-)…my goal was to improve my photos, learn more about light and really just click



…and if you are stuck with photos on your blog, I reckon you should do the same…start taking photos of everything, everyday in your life and sit back and watch yourself improve…

take it from me….

this is THE most powerful thing you can do to improve your blog photos…



the key?

is to photograph it all…




go there


to the ultra-clicking zone




…it’s really, really

really good

you will see things you walk past every single day in a whole new light…





and more, though in my opinion that is to be quite frank good enough, if you push yourself into taking lots of photos, you will naturally learn about all the things that makes a good image


I can’t tell you really how to set up a shot and for sure I just point it, click and hope for the best most of the time…I am still very much learning here…



but I tell you what I have learnt so much more about composition and light and depth of field in the last few weeks…





simple things have taken on new meaning for me…




You do not have to have a fancy camera to do this either…I started on this blog with an old Canon Powershot…like 5 megapixels and I have only recently been using my new camera..




I learnt the basics with that Powershot…I think that did me lots of favours in photography…I couldn’t rely on fancy lenses or this and that I just had to work with what I had and really look through the lens…and work with the limits of the camera to get what I wanted…

…and this camera is not that fancy compared to what other people use…





and it’s funny the cheapo kit lens that came with it continues to be my favourite…

So get out there with your camera, with your phone, and snap away…






I guarantee you it’s the best therapy going…well apart from vintage treasure hunting & painting things white ;-)




see ya around kiddos

love from the beaches

p.s. BC Saturday Clubbers your Mission is below…& you don’t have to leave the house for this one!



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48 Responses to “Sweet Blogging for Girls ~ The Most Powerful Thing To Do To Improve Your Blog Photos”

  1. Suzanne says:

    Sarah wow beautiful photos!! My question is how do you take such a clear photo and make the background blurry it really has me confused…I can take great photos (though not in your calibre) but I really want to take a photo with a blurry background!! Is it a focus thing??

  2. Eileen says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I love photos, and yours are always such a joy. I just use a point and shoot sony but it has it’s bonuses. Such as fitting in my pocket nicely. Someday I will probably get a much nicer digital SLR but for now money is needed elsewhere. I had a great Minolta SLR 35 mm years ago with a zoom and macro lense but that’s a relic now, everything being digital. It was a real challenge to work that piece with f stops, appeture settings and manual focusing. I do like the simplicity ad ease of my little pocket camera for now and it has a different set of challenges for me though… I have to sneak up on things like birds and such because of not having a great zoom. I really agree with your idea of taking pictures of everything, but my kids think I’m a bit nutty.

    • sarah says:

      mine too…!

      thanks for the photo love

      I have a point and shoot in my pocket a lot too

  3. Well said Sarah! I picked up my friend’s camera about a month back (and I still haven’t given it back!) It’s amazing how, through the lense of a camera, the most simplest of things (often unnoticed) come to life when you look back at them. I have a new found appreciation for leaves, rocks, ants, sand, cracks in the pavement..you name it!

  4. Alice says:

    “…suddenly I began to see the beauty that is all around us at every turn”. This has rung so true for me. I look like a mad woman taking photos of everything in my garden especially and of every where I go. I now carry the camera with me all the time. I am hoping to get my self a digital SLR at the end of the year (will wait and see).. Spent a few days at a friends farm and couldn’t stop taking photos of the surroundings from massive spiders, to lotus flowers growing on his dam, to mangled dead trees that miraculously continue to stand strong… I have to admit I love taking pictures of the sand and ocean. I think it has to do with the colours and the lighting you get at by the sea shore. I have learnt so much about lighting and how important it is. Currently my brothers great dane puppy is my main subject.. Have had some great shots.

    I love the photo of the full moon and the wave crashing against the rock face… I can just hear the roar and crash… Beautifully captured Sarah…

    • sarah says:

      Alice I would love to come to the farm too! I can imagine the abundance of beauty to snap at…we are hoping to go on a cold weekend away soon…sport depending…camera coming!


    • sarah says:

      Alice I would love to come to the farm too! I can imagine the abundance of beauty to snap at…we are hoping to go on a cold weekend away soon…sport depending…camera coming!


  5. WOW!!! Stunning photos as usual Sarah….the one with the leaf under the line “this is THE most powerful thing you can do to improve your blog photos…” is drop dead gorgeous!!!
    Next time I am in town lets meet and take pictures? I’ll bring my extra lenses and you can try them out!
    E-Course??????? bring it on!!!

    • sarah says:

      sue…hmmm I think I prefer it when we eat cake…that huge cake we ate before remember

      but a girl offering me a lens…I don’t normally get offers like that! heck I don’t normally get interesting offers full stop ;-)

  6. Hotel Guide says:

    Great photos Sarah!!!!!!You’re leaving me breathless with those nature captivating pictures, hope to see
    some pictures about Hotels too.

  7. Robynne says:

    Sarah, I’m a bit of a ‘hit n miss’ girl…I tend to snap away and then see what comes out…learning from my mistakes…I’ve only been blogging since last October and one of the best things about it is my new found love of photography. I’m tossing around about doing a photography course.. for the fun of it and perhaps to have have someone challenge me…give me homework…tell me to try out a certain shot. And you’re right about it opening up my eyes to everything around me..not that they were shut…being here in England is a constant adventure and I appreciate all the different things and experiences but I’m seeing the finer detail…on a flower…through a barbed wire fence…on the headstones in the church grounds…I’m definitely seeing things with different eyes! Love your shots…that Aussie light is fantastic! Robx

    • sarah says:

      me too!

      I love that I have gotten photography from blogging…to be honest I don’t think I would still be here if it weren’t for that

    • sarah says:

      Robynne, I have tossed around doing a photography course too..but I dunno I kinda think it would ruin it…I kinda like just learning as I go..but then again I reckon it would be worth it’s weight in gold!

      oh I know too well how many wonderful things there are to photograph in England…and I think the colours and light are fab too…horses for courses

      thanks for commenting

  8. Hi Sarah…

    I so love these posts…

    I too have fallen even more in love with photography since discovering blogging…

    I have the same camera as yours…I don’t leave home without it….you never know!
    I have had so many moments where I wished I’d thrown the camera in- I have learnt the frustrating way!

    I also tend to agree with your comment above to Rob…I almost think a photography course would take away that *learning as you go* curve…
    I don’t know if I’ve asked you before- but have you heard of the *ten on ten* project?
    It’s 10 photos over 10 hours of your day on the 10th of the month….
    It’s the most *accountable* I can be in terms of taking photos for a reason…but it is a lovely way to spend the day & record time with the family…or without them ;)

    To me it’s a little like your Saturday club- kinda smelling the roses stuff through photography.

    Thanks for the inspiration….again!

    Melissa x

  9. Shirley @ simplydivine! says:

    Hi Sarah

    Yours was one of the first blogs I started following a few months ago…. and I have been captivated! I have been so encouraged by what you do, so thank you so much for sharing. I have a long way to go in terms of mastering technology is a wonderful thing, but it has really opened up my world. I have learnt so much from you and other generous ladies in blog-land. I have a little Canon PowerShot, which will now become my constant companion. I completely agree that there is so much beauty around us in the everyday, and that all we need to do is to really start to “see”. Thank you for been such an inspiration! Blessingsxxxx

    • sarah says:

      hey shirley thank *you for your lovely comment…I appreciate the time it takes to leave a comment :-) x

  10. Heaven says:

    OMGosh Sarah but you are an amazing photographer! Love them all! It’s so cool to see that you have so mant beautiful flowers blossoming in autumn! Love your blog, I visit everyday.


  11. catherine says:

    your photos, in my opinion, makes your blog! of course the fact that you photograph your stuff and i love your stuff, has something to do with it, too. anyway, whatever it is you do, i enjoy it. i dont blog myself but its an interesting and inspiring read and look. your advice goes for life as well as blogging…was that intentional?

  12. Heaven says:

    Sarah I’ve been meaning to ask, where did you find the slip covers that you have on your couch? They’re gorgous. Did ytou make them? buy them? They make your couch look so comfy.


  13. glenda b says:

    Sarah, I love those shots of the crashing waves. Reminds me of when we were in Ireland and catching shots from the Irish sea crashing against the craggy coastline.
    I needed this reminder about the joy of just taking pictures for the fun of it and to learn from my shots. I did that when I got my camera but over the past winter here in Oklahoma I have left the camera in the drawer. Thanks for the beautiful pics and the gentle nudge to get going again!! :-)

  14. Katherine says:

    Gorgeous photos I felt as if I was with you. Thank you. Hugs.
    P.S. I have your lovely blog on my cottages page at Katherines Corner :-)

  15. Angela says:

    Absolutely Lovely Pictures and great post!

  16. You’re so right about really seeing and feeling things when you look through a camera lens. And isn’t it great that we can share this with others?

    Lovely, lovely photographs and words.

    Thanks from afar,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  17. Mark says:

    Great shots! The kit lens is a great all around lens, but my photos (and especialy videos) took on new life when I started playing with the 50mm lens.


  18. A long time ago, a year roughly, you tweeted that you were sick of bloggers who used images often seen on the internet instead of taking their own pics. I tweeted back defending us who did that, I can’t take good pics like you can….you were kind and nice and said, oh, alright then….fast forward one year and here I am taking all my pictures and loving it so much better. My blog has grown leaps and bounds because of that I think. I still find myself frustrated with lack of knowledge and experience when i am trying to capture something I can’t get right. so its nice to check back in…thanks for leaving a comment on my blog the other day too. I loved seeing this post about pic taking. Great advice. Click away people….it does get better.

  19. Alaura says:

    Your photos are amazing,, I will take your advice and start clicking…… have a great weekend,


  20. michelle says:

    gorgeous photos but please MORE about the blogging course…have been waiting, hoping and finger crossing you would do one. when will it be?!? Put my name down thank you x

  21. I recently started to make UNPLUGGED Posts! really love to shoot just random things around the house!

  22. Casey says:

    Great advice! I know I could follow it more and shoot more candids of my kids.

  23. Hi Sarah-

    Love seeing all your photos you take about your life and style. I bought a high end Canon point and shoot back in December. I need to learn a lot about photography and this little camera is teaching me plenty. I do take it everywhere I go and even my husband asks me – Do you have your camera? when we leave the house. As he knows how much I am enjoying taking photos.

    I look forward to the day that I can buy a DSLR as I do see the difference in a really good photo compared to a just ok one.

    I am enjoying this series Sweet Blogging for Girls and look forward to more.
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend.
    My best- Diane

  24. Susan says:

    we have the same camera….. :)

    you gotta try that 50mm fixed lens….. LOVE … the crisp feature and blurry backgrounds are perfection…. I use mine for portrait shots especially of my children.

    great pics Sarah….. xx

  25. Kelly @ Craft Until Your Art's Content. says:

    I have always loved taking photos. I have been as you said in my comfort zone. I received a late christmas/early birthday present SLR camera in Feb. I have wanted one for a while. It has opened up a whole new perspective for me. I am now taking photos and seeing things I have never seen before.

    Thanks for your post


  26. Your photos are just stunning. I think your advice is spot on. I think the best photographers can make something special of a mundane subject – I love that challenge. Off to read more in your series… XOL

  27. Jules says:

    Fabulous pics …. and, I am really looking forward to your e-blogging course !! Some tutorials / tips etc on big blogs are just so technical and dull, but I think yours is going to be straightforward and fun …. can’t wait :-)

  28. Brenda Kula says:

    This is so, so true, Sarah. I just came in from taking lots of photos in my yard. I’ve been in an introspective mood because a year ago this week, a pet was taken from my yard. We think by a hawk. I am very much a nature and garden person. I take my sadness and stand or sit outside and take photos of anything and everything. It is balm for my soul.

  29. Sherrie says:

    Your photography is beautiful! I am still learning but definitely the key is “taking it all in”.

  30. Chas says:

    I love this post! It is true that once you begin taking photos everywhere you turn is beauty. It really makes you appreciate your surroundings. I will be driving down the road see something and have to stop to take a photo.

  31. Ruth says:

    Thank you for this great post. I am always a little intimidated by all the amazing photos I see on other blogs. I do not have a fancy camera. I currently use a Canon Powershot with 9 megapixels. I need to get out and take pictures of everything.


  32. Ragamuffin Girl says:

    Beautiful photos!!! I love taking photos of the beach too and I end up taking it from the same angles all the time. Your post really made me think about looking at the ocean in a different perspective. Now it feels like I’m wasting the beautiful beaches in the Philippines by not exploring it as much as I should! Super thanks for this post!! I’ll be looking forward to more of your lovely photos :)


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