5 Tips For Creating Your Own Photo Library

5 tips of building your own photo library | Pen & Peplum

I recently started building my own photo library for my blog. And I am loving it so much that I just had to share it with you! It saves me a tonne of time and ensures that the majority of images on my blog are my own and have a consistent look about them. Wanna know more? Read on...

When I first started blogging, I knew from the get-go that images would play a huge part in how I wanted my blog to look and feel. I can't help it - I'm a very visual person. I remember spending hours and hours pouring over images online to find ones that would not only fit with the topic of my post, but also the aesthetic of my site. And I always found this to be the task that took the longest.

I eventually decided that the solution would be to try and include more of my own images. The thing is, unless the images were the post and I needed to take them especially, it would take so much longer to go looking for things to photograph, take the photos, decide on them, and edit them for every post.

That's when I began creating my own photo library for my blog… for those times when the focus is on my writing and I just needed a nice image to accompany it. Although building the library took a bit of time at the beginning, it soon began saving me time when I had a library of my own images that I could browse through and choose from whenever I needed.

Here are 5 tips for creating your own photo library:

1. It starts with a list.

The first thing to do is sit down (tea and coffee recommended) and write a quick list of all the things you love. Everything that comes to mind in that sitting. It can be anything from your family to succulents to stationery to sunshine… Once you can't think of anymore, then go back over your list and highlight the items that will suit the look and content of your blog. For instance, you may be a food-lover, but if you never write about food on your blog then it won't make sense to include pics of food. If, however, you write about entertaining or gathering loved ones, then it may work well. If you get stuck, look to instagram for inspiration. Look out for photographs that call to you and write down what you like about them and why. Also, don't forget to check your own account for inspiration. Are there any pics you particularly love that you can include in your library or does there seem to be a certain look or theme that is just so you? 

2. Get snap happy! 

Take lots and lots and LOTS of photos. Whether you use a phone or a camera - just go nuts! If you receive a gorgeous bunch of flowers, take photos of them in different locations of your house, with different backdrops, and styled in different ways. Be sure to capture photos of interesting textures. Perhaps you won't use the image on its own, but it might serve as a gorgeous backdrop to some graphics. Include lifestyle shots of the every day things you do, take photos of your favourite spaces and take photos of your town or city. Keep in mind the list in tip #1 and look out for opportunities to increase the photos you have of items that go well with your blog.

3. Make the most of light

One of the best pieces of advice I've heard when it comes to productivity is: batch tasks. So when you wake up to an absolutely stunning day, make the most of it by taking a whole heap of different photos. Go for a walk and capture your surrounds, style different shoots, take pics of your house while the light is nice, head out for coffee and a visit to the farmer's market to gather lifestyle shots.

4. Step out from behind the camera

In extension to tip #3, on those days when you wake up feeling just wonderful - you know the ones , ladies - take photos of yourself. Yes of yourself. If you're a blogger or a maker, people are interested in you… the person behind the art, the character behind the words. And I can bet that your readers want to see more of your gorgeous face. I know when I'm scrolling through a blog or a feed, I always, always stop when I see a face. Get someone you love and trust to take your picture or get comfortable playing with the self-timer function on your camera. Take photos of yourself in your favourite outfits, take photos of yourself doing your work, and take some head shots. Does being in front of the camera take some getting used to? You bet! Does it feel weird to have a library of photos of yourself? Absolutely! But when you need a head shot for that guest post or a photo of yourself for that more personal post, you'll be glad you have those photos on hand and ready to go. Trust me.

5. Import and organise

Import your photos onto your computer, go through them and get rid of any that are unusable. Organise them by tagging them or filing them under searchable names such as: flowers, autumn, landscape, coffee, and so on. Edit your images - crop, adjust lighting, add filters - and have them ready for use.

So there you have it. 5 tips to creating your own image library so that next time you need an image for a blog post, you'll save a whole lotta time and get to choose from a bunch of gorgeous, original images that fit the look and content of your blog.

Do you have any time-saving tips when it comes to choosing or creating images for your blog? What blogging task do you find takes the longest?

Have a beautiful weekend.

xo Miranti