This guest post was written by Katie. Find her over at her crafty blog, Lemon Jitters, for lots of inspiration and fun projects!
Hi, leShrimpers! While Lindsay is gallivanting around Europe (me: jealous!), I am here to talk about photo layouts in your blog posts. I think photo layouts are a big piece of creating a consistent and pleasing blog aesthetic. When I look back at my very first blog posts, the photo layouts make me cringe. You can learn a lot from other blogs about what makes a good layout. I am going to share several of my favorite layouts and why I like them. Please remember that these are examples of great design that should serve as inspiration to create your own beautiful photo layouts – not to directly copy anything from the layouts featured here.
This photo layout from Creature Comforts is a great example of clean, minimalist lines. This type of layout lets the images do the talking. Creating a title tab in our images (in this image, “DIY wooden rack”) can tie the photo layout to our blog aesthetic. I also like how this layout has the image credit built right in to the photo. That way, when the image makes it way to Pinterest, it is clear who the original creator is (I should take note of doing this for my own blog!).
Oh Joy! creates some of my favorite layouts. She frequently uses this number layout. The number layout serves several purposes. First of all, it’s incredibly cute. It also creates a visual center for the photo layout. See how this layout has several types of images that do not have a strong, central visual theme? By themselves, the images do not have a lot in common in terms of color palette or shapes. The numbers pull it all together and ‘make it work.’
Donaville, of Discover Paper, is an awesome graphic designer. She is not afraid to go bold with her colors or layouts. This layout achieves a couple of functions. One, labeling each image as ‘Figure 1, 2, etc’ makes it easy for the reader to find the original source linked in your post – the reader just looks for the ‘Figure 1’ link. However, I think the best thing about this layout is the strong branding statement. Consistently using that graph paper background in photo layouts creates a link in the viewer’s mind: graph paper background = Discover Paper blog post. Think about how many blog readers read our blogs in some type of RSS feed/Reader. That means they do not get to experience our blog aesthetic as a whole. If I am scrolling through a 1000+ blog posts in my Reader, what catches my eye? A consistent photo layout. All I can see in my Reader is a layout and some text. So let’s make the layout count!
Hello, one of my favorite layouts. There are a lot of things I like about this layout by Note to Self. Removing the backgrounds from photos (or using images with white backgrounds) really creates a clean palette. A white background is nice because then we can add those nifty number boxes without the image looking cluttered. And I like that this layout is not just square. Because of the white background, the image is full of different lines. Creating posts like these can be a bit more time consuming than a posts with square photos because you have to make the image shapes work together (I’m going to call this ‘visual flow’, k? Pretty sure that is not a real term.). The end result is great, though.
Be still, my heart. This layout from SF Girl By Bay is really pretty. First of all, she chose a color theme for the photos. Fantastic. I also like the slivers of white space in between the photos (I do this in my photo layouts). I think those bits of white let your eyes rest. Other awesomeness in this photo layout: a big title header. I also do this. The reason I think this is a great tool – it creates consistency in your blog features. For instance, I am currently blogging every Monday about my bikerides and I use the same header every time. This creates brand familiarity and the feeling that the reader has something to look forward to every week. Also, let’s not forget how this layout ties the header into the entire layout by using a little emblem with the same background for the numbers. SO CUTE. That also makes our lives easier because we don’t have to find a color for the numbers that will stand out on every image. We create our own background so we can use the same color number every time and put it wherever we want on the photo.
And we can always add bold text on top of our images. This achieves many of the functions we’ve already covered: brand recognition, consistency, ease of creation for the blogger. Donaville from Discover Paper also owns Dearest Nature. This strawberry post (which I wrote!) is one of the many great layouts she uses. See how she writes the title right over the photo? And that other photo is a recent tutorial I did. I am a fan of creating a semi-translucent backgrounds for my title text.
Mrs. Lilien has the most visually stunning posts I have ever seen (not to mention – she rhymes every line of every post!!). She creates magnificent shapes with her photo layouts. Every layout is a work of art. I just grabbed a recent one to show you. I always know a Mrs. Lilien post when I see it – each layout is infused with her distinct, bold style. Her photo layouts ooze personality – a bright personality that is clearly displayed in her text, as well. Mrs. Lilien is a lot about luxuries in life and I think her photo layouts reflect that.
WHEW. I didn’t even cover all of my favorites! There are so many great layouts for inspiration. I hope some of these have your wheels turning. All of these layouts can be created in Photoshop. Pugly Pixel is a great blog that offers pretty layouts you can use in Photoshop.
Guess what? The fun isn’t over! I created a simple layout for you to try out in Photoshop.
These layouts are awesome!! I don’t have Photoshop, but I might give it a try. Then I just need to figure out how to use that with WordPress.
These are great examples. I want to incorporate my pictures into my blog but Im not sure exactly how to make it look nice. <3 Bee
I’m so glad they’ve helped you, Bee. You’ve done a great job of incorporating book covers so far!
Loved this list! Thank you!!
Thank you for creating the sample layout! I will enjoy trying it out. Loved this post 🙂
Thanks for sharing this.
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Thanks for sharing this.
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A great insight into blogger pictures.
I always had such a problem with pics. Either side by side or one above the other.Not very design friendly. Cracking ideas on collages.
I think i’ll give that a try.
I don’t have photoshop. Is there something free that I may be able to use to make layouts with my blog photos?
I love photoshop & working with layouts. Thanks for the post x
I started my blog a few months ago and have just started to evolve it into a more professional look. Your posts are all so very helpful! I absolutely adore your blog. Thank you so much for starting this and helping all of us newbies!
Thanks for the template!
Fab post! Also found via pinterest. I so needed this as I look to revamp my blog. Thank you xo
Great post; I found it on Pinterest! There’s nothing I love more than a great layout! I just love images and graphic design! The layouts you included are beautiful (very visually appealing) :o) Hope you’re having a wonderful Friday :o)
Such an inspiring and helpful post – thanks for sharing, those are some fab layouts! I’m also a big fan of the layouts on Pugly Pixel and Design Love Fest.
Wow I am so glad I found you via Pinterest! Great info!!
Came over by way of Pinterest…love this post. Any tips on how to create the number layouts like “Oh Joy!” uses? Thanks!
Thanks so much for this post and for the download. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for 🙂
Thanks for the tips this is a great article. When people say photoshop does photoshop elements cover the job or does it need to be the big photoshop program
Claire, for many things, Photoshop Elements will work fine, like for most photo layout endeavors. For some of the more intricate or fine-tuned things, Photoshop has a greater range of capabilities.
Thank you! I tried the free trial of photoshop elements oh why didn’t I try it sooner!
Thank you so much for the free template! Really great and helpful – perfect for teaching myself how to create my own templates some day!
How do you deal with copyright of a product photo that you do not own? Do you contact the website or the seller before using it? How do you obtain the permission?
For product photos, I just make sure to credit the photo back to the original source with a link.
Thank you! This post was much needed. I have zero experience in photoshop but would love to improve the layout of my blog posts. What a great resource you are. – Iona @ Pretty Pickles
What a great post! Now I just need tutorials for all of these, so I can see how they went from individual photos to layouts. 😉
Hopped over from Pinterest…this is just fab info. I’ve been trying to do a better job with photo presentation, so I appreciate this and will use it as a reference.
I liked these ideas, thanks for posting! I have this linked to my photo editing post for bloggers too today!
I am an old fashion and this is a big help to me because I want to change my style.Thank you so much for posting.
Thanks for the fun tips!
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thanks for the post my dear !
really good information thank youuu <3
Hey Jasanna! See my comment above. You could try GIMP.
I love these! Is there a way to do some of them if you don’t have the mainstream programs like Photoshop and Illustrator?
Oh this is amaazing and exactly what I’m always looking for. any time I try to be not so boring and even put two side by side it drives me nuts just aligning them & I inevitably end up in powerpoint & then pasting into photoshop to crop haha so in short, thank you times a jillion katie! these are all so cute & I love seeing a pic of you in here.
Hey Stephanie, thanks for the comment/question! I use Photoshop for layouts. I used to use GIMP, which is a free equivalent to Photoshop. However, there is a pretty steep learning curve with GIMP. But if you have no desire to learn a program like that, Polyvore is a good website to look into (although your image selection will be a bit limited).
Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies (please, notice the new url for my blog), under the Page 2 post on May. 26, 2012. Thanks again.
As a new blogger, this is so inspiring and incredibly helpful! What programs do you recommend for designing layouts along these lines (i.e, removing backgrounds from items a la Note to Self and creating a grid without guesstimating in PowerPoint)? Thanks for the tips!
Very nice tutorial on how to do the layouts. I’ve just now starting to pay attention to the pictures on my blog ( other than having clean pics. I’m bookmarking your article. And oh! The layouts you shared – piece of heaven – my reading list just got fatter.