I’ve learned a lot over the past three + years of blogging. How many photos are “too many,” what dimensions work best, the subtle nuances that can determine whether a blog post is a success or failure. It can be complicated to explain WHY things work the way they do, but I’ll try my best!
One of the factors that can determine your mortality rate (how many people make it to the end before closing out of your page) for a blog post is HOW you’ve paired and formatted your images. Too many images and people will exit the page, but too few images may leave your viewer unfulfilled. I don’t think there’s necessarily a right or wrong way to do things, but I will share what works for me both when it comes to my own blog, and what I’ve observed in viewing others’ blog posts.
1) Use BlogStomp. I wrote about this program a while back, but I’ll say it again: if you don’t already have this program and you blog on a somewhat regular basis, GO BUY BLOGSTOMP. Just do it- you’ll save yourself loads of time!
2) Mix up the order of verticals, horizontals, and paired images. You want to give your audience a variety in format, so instead of ordering photos “solo horizontal, solo horizontal, solo horizontal, solo horizontal, solo vertical,” try to mix it up. I don’t have a particular formula, I just try not to do more than two of any particular format in a row.
3) Be careful of pairing too-similar images together in a diptych (two images side-by-side). I know it’s tempting, you love BOTH iterations of that one portrait, but by pairing both together, you’re actually halving the impact of each image by splitting your viewers attention between the two. Instead, choose the BEST photo and allow it to stand alone. Or pair one image with a detail photo, perhaps of the bouquet or something, and then allow the strong portrait to stand alone.
THIS is how I used to pair images- I liked both and couldn’t decide, and ended up diving your attention between the two of them.
THIS is how I ended up blogging the image within the context of Billy & Jenny’s post, as a standalone portrait. Much more pleasing to the eye!
It also could have gone well with a detail shot like this. The images are different enough that it no longer feels like both are competing for your attention- they’re complementary, rather than competitive. See what I mean?
4) Save the BEST images for your blog post. Your audience doesn’t need to see every. single. portrait from an engagement session or wedding- you want to show the BEST of the best. By including less-dynamic photos, you’re taking away from the truly stellar images that deserve the spotlight.
I still struggle with this, but trust me: a blog post with 150+ images is going to lose a lot of viewers before you get to the end of the post, vs. a post with 75ish well-paired images. Given the short attention span of internet users these days, we want to make the absolute most of the time they’re going to spend on your blog post. Too many images and they’ll get bored, and will navigate away from your site.
5) Consider taking off that watermark. I know, you’re worried about people stealing your images. But with the ability to screenshot + the prevalence of PhotoShop, if someone wants to steal your work, a watermark isn’t going to stop them. That watermark is distracting and is taking attention away from your photography. Don’t believe me? Just look at one of my old blog posts. Tell me that watermark isn’t distracting compared to this post from a few weeks ago.
I hope this was helpful! And I’d love to hear any advice y’all might have, too!