We say again and again that using original photos in your online articles does wonderful things for your Hubs by adding credibility, a personal touch, additional information, and visual appeal. But what if you’re not a good photographer? Don’t worry- there are some very simple things you can do to make your photos- be they taken with a nice DSLR or your simple cell phone- look good.

This week’s online writing insider (Quick Photo Tips) is positively packed with simple pointers on augmenting your existing photos and building up a strong collection of stock images. Our advice covers:

  • Using photos in recipes & photographing food
  • What to use as the first photo (in a series of instructional photos)
  • Lighting and framing
  • Building up stock photos of your own
  • Using your own images in abstract pieces
  • Using doodles and sketches in your work
  • Including photos of yourself
  • Making a point of photographing everyday activities
  • Using apps to augment smartphone photos

We hope you find these pointers to be helpful. Just remember, you don’t have to be perfect, and the more you practice, the better you’ll become!

What other tips might you like to get? Let us know by sending questions, suggestions, feedback, and requests in an email to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

Posted by:HubPages Admin

14 replies on “Tips on Using Your Own Photos

  1. I guess I should check the blog out more often! I just posted a question asking what makes a good photograph and then spotted this! Will play when I am home from work!

  2. I have always used my own images with my online articles. Only on few occasions, I had to use burrowed pictures. I have done two photography hubs Basic Photography Tips for Hubbers and How to make best use of cell phone camera. I’m going to listen to this podcast and see if I can incorporate your inputs in my hubs.

  3. This was very useful, and I enjoyed the tips. I have been taking my own photographs since I’ve been here because I don’t know how to pull photographs from the free sites. I know that sounds tragic, but I am never without my writer’s journal or my camera. It helps to have a spouse, family and friends who are willing to sit back and wait to eat while you are taking photographs of the food in a restaurant. Or anyone who is supportive enough to put up with your need to take photographs of everything that interests you when you travel. I am now building a portfolio of different photographs that I can use to illustrate my Hubs. Anything goes. Not every day is meant for taking photographs, so you can save yourself a lot of running around if you already know what you have. I tried drawing myself, but I have more meat to my cartoons than Mark Ewbie’s stick people. I take a photograph of the drawing and include it in my Hub.

  4. You guys really are funny. It occurred to me while I was listening to your podcast, that exactly what you are suggesting people do, add their own photos to hubs to lend credibility/authenticity to them, is exactly what you did by presenting this information in a podcast with your personalities shining through. It was a very authentic podcast and obviously from people who know what they’re talking about, not a robotic, hired voice. The more and more I see stock photos, the more and more unreal and robotic they seem.

    One of my goals this year has been to do my best to always use my own photos in hubs, and plenty of them. However, I love the idea of compiling our own stock of photos to use. I am definitely going to do that, as well as replace photos in hubs where I have not used my own.

    Thanks for all the great tips and inspiration.

  5. I am going to echo Vinaya Ghimire above, I do not use anything but my own images, photographs and art works but sometimes there is no choice because some things just don’t exist anymore. Like people who died 5 or 600 years ago, so what do I do then?

    1. As you point out, Gareth, one can’t always use one’s own images, and sometimes it makes most sense to go with a Creative Commons or Public Domain image, but even if something can no longer be photographed, one can draw a sketch, offer a photograph of a modern equivalent, offer a photograph of something related, etc. 🙂

  6. Thanks for this information, I must admit I do forget to take pictures. It’s not until later I think that would have made a good hub if only! I had taken some pictures.
    Like Ariene I will be taking more pictures just incase I can use them later.

  7. Being the school holidays I have been out and about the last few weeks. I know nothing about photography. I just took some pictures with my Nokia cell phone. I was a bit disappointed as the sky was overcast all day and most of the pictures look a bit gloomy. On reflection though they do look more original and not manipulated. Look out for next weeks pics I think you will be surprised. I am going to a sixteenth century hall..

  8. What’s up, Simone! This alert really inspires me to take more photos every day.

    That’s what I’ve been doing in most of my hubs.

    It also serves as my reminder as to what I’ve been doing online through my articles on HubPages.

    Thanks for making it easy for us to incorporate our own photos in our published hubs.

  9. I also use my own photos as often as possible. When I don’t have what I need, I do a photo search online and make sure to credit whosever photo I end up with, including a link to their website.

    For newbies: The two best times to take photos for good lighting are mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Those are also the two best times to take a 10 or 15 minute break from work. So . . . go for a walk every day and take your camera with you. Give yourself a little “assignment” each day and you’ll be surprised with what you can come up with.

    I liked the photo bars one of our hubbers was creating. She posted directions for making them, so one day I took my camera out and shot a bunch of photos that could be duplicated and put side by side and still look good. Not only did I get some great ones, but the percentage of high quality photos in that batch also went up.

  10. I totally agree. I’d actually LOVE to have my own photos for a lot of things….but I also hope to never see a grizzly bear or a jaguar in my cow pasture back yard!

    LOL! (no srsly!)

    Sort of blows the last time I got to go to a zoo that it was ….random, totally un planned, and nobody even had a decent cell phone camera.

    I did buy a decent digital camera recently though, and hope to get around to using it for some creative hubbing about the stuff here around the house.

  11. I’ve written several how-to photography tutorials covering various aspects from composition to lighting issues.
    I find few things more distracting than fuzzy, grainy, dark or otherwise poor-quality photos.
    Unfortunately, most of the photos I see originating from cell phones fall into that category. A good or at least acceptable, clear photo requires an actual camera.

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