In our visually-driven world, creating great written content is no longer just about the text itself. In order to truly leave a lasting impression on a reader, words and visual elements need to work together in perfect harmony.
As an indispensable storytelling tool, imagery can play many different roles in blog posts and content pages. It can be used to create an atmosphere, evoke emotion, give context, or visually explain how something works. And it can also break up longer content and complete the overall aesthetic of a brand publication.
According to internet marketing expert Jeff Bullas, articles with images attract a staggering 94% more views than those without. And posts with an image or visual every 75-100 words are known to garner twice as many social shares.
The good news is, you don’t need to be a professional photographer or editor to create next-level blog imagery. With a few deceptively simple editing tools, you can add a wow factor to any photo — even one taken on a smartphone or from an online stock library.
Read on for four simple editing tips that will help make the most of your brand’s visual language and engage your audience on an aesthetic level:
It’s never been easier to make your photos pop. Explore a brand new suite of image editing tools right inside the Setka Editor interface.
Crop + Resize
Expert Tip: “Consider the piece of content at hand as a visual whole, instead of separate elements, ” says Tracy Leeds, Senior Photo Producer at A& E Networks. “Photos should provide context and an environment for the story to live — and each image you choose should draw people in, prompting a click.”
You may have found a great image to accompany your content, but perhaps there’s an element that detracts from its overall quality or just isn’t on-brand. Take an image of a stunning photo of a beach, for instance, but one with too much distracting background or a composition that doesn’t fit what you’re looking for.
With tools like Setka Editor, it’s possible to crop and resize right within the content editing interface — so design decisions line up with the story at hand. This also allows you to keep all your image sizes consistent for a more polished look, or experiment with different dimensions for a quirkier vibe.
Rotate + Flip
Expert Tip: When it comes to photojournalism, Jennifer Newman — Senior Photo Editor at Heart Digital Media — says: “I wouldn’t let any of my people flip an image, because it’s against editorial standards and changes the context of the shot.”
It can be frustrating uploading an image to your CMS, only to realize it’s upside down. Setka Editor’s new Rotate and Flip feature allows users to quickly and easily make these kinds of changes without leaving the interface. You can also use the Flip feature to orient your images correctly — for example, if you have an arrow you want pointing left, not right.
The Flip tool can also be used to add some creative flair to your blog posts. When it comes to editing creative stock photography, the sky’s the limit — and there are plenty of reasons for these simple edits. When overlaying text onto a photograph, for instance, set alignments could necessitate a flip.
Expert Tip: “Different lighting creates various moods, depending on visual identity and brand personality, ” says Leeds. “If you’re a big publisher with multiple brands covering politics, for instance, how do you differentiate? Something like how hard the flash is can abstract an image and make it more dramatic and opinion-based, and it can also be a good way to set a certain tone that’s relevant to the context of the content at hand.”
Adjusting the brightness of your imagery is a simple visual technique that can instantly transform the mood of your overall design. Lighter images tend to have a more relaxed energy, while dark images elicit a grittier, moodier feel. Changing the brightness of an image can also work to fit an existing design aesthetic of any brand or website. Say your blog design is bright and vibrant, but you have an image on hand that happens to be on the darker side. Brightening it would give it an instant lift and make it fit more seamlessly into that overall design.
Expert Tip: “Tinting gives images a specific look and cues an emotional response. It can also make photos look the same, so it makes sense for branding, ” says Newman. “If you have 10 different people submitting headshots, for example, it’s a way to string those images together with a narrative thread.”
While brightness relates to how light or dark your image is, tint refers to the hue. Think about how the different filters on Instagram can give your image a completely different feel, just by adding a wash of color.
“Having the tint tool right within Setka Editor is very user-friendly, especially for non-designers like writers, editors, and content marketers who are working with images.” – Tracy Leeds, Senior Photo Producer at A&E Networks
Similarly, Setka Editor’s tint feature is a great way to add some variation to often-seen images or make images look more on-brand. It allows users to effortlessly change image tints with the click of a button, adding a sepia tone for a vintage feel, perhaps, or various colors for a modern, playful, or branded look. You could even use the same image in a few different tints to create a fun collage aesthetic.