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Sourcing your own photos for articles, blogs and websites

Updated on October 8, 2012

It’s always better if you can use your own photos for your articles, blogs or websites etc because it will help to keep your page unique. The last thing readers want to see is the same photos used over and over again on the internet.

You don’t necessarily need to be a photographer to take your own decent photos. Keeping your camera handy at all times and your imagination open should be enough.

What would make an interesting picture?

Take your camera with you and have a wonder around your local area, the town, the parks and even the local cemetery. For everything you look at, ask yourself if it would make an interesting picture.

  • Would that stone wall make an interesting background image?
  • Would that dog wondering around on its own demonstrate loneliness, a mans best friend or a good quality of life?
  • Would those public toilets demonstrate hygiene, could they be used to capture your make-up on the side from a mirrored view or could they give the impression that you are stood in a swanky hotel? (Avoid this one if it’s busy)
  • Would that tree represent beauty by day and give off a haunted feeling by night?

Most of us wonder around with a blind eye to the things that are around us. The tree just looks like the same old tree, the pathway is the same old pathway; it’s nothing new to us but could look quite different if thought about in another way.

I've seen dozens of canvas with trees like these.
I've seen dozens of canvas with trees like these. | Source

Take notice of images you have seen elsewhere

Ever notice how effective a canvas or painting looks?

Ask yourself what is so special about it and think about whether there is anything similar like it in your area that you could take a picture of.

Don’t be scared of the camera

Don’t just assume that you can’t take a good photo, have a really good mess around with your camera. If the image doesn’t look so great then try it in black and white, try it with a flash and without a flash and whatever else you have available on your camera.

When you have spotted something you want to take a picture of, always try to make sure that it is your main focus so centre it in the lens as much as possible.

Stand with your back against the sun to avoid a glare in your pictures. If you’re taking a picture of a small item then consider putting a sheet of paper or card behind it so that you get a plain background if you don’t like the one that is available.

Very effective!
Very effective! | Source

Hand the camera to the kids

You could make it an adventure for the whole family, if you’re not too concerned about the camera taking a few knocks then consider giving it to the kids and telling them to take some photos of things they like or point things out to you.

You’d be surprised at what things they will find that you might not usually give a second thought to.

This photo on the right was taken by my daughter. I love the way the flower is blurred but everything else in the background is in focus, plus you can also see nature at its beauty with the city line behind it.

I had no idea who this guy was but what a star!!!
I had no idea who this guy was but what a star!!! | Source

Be bold and ask

This might not be every ones cup of tea but a big smile and a bit of front will go a long way. If you have seen something that would be perfect for an image then consider asking the owner for their permission to photograph it.

Maybe it’s a picture of their dog walking along the beach or a flower arrangement in their garden. Be polite and approach people with consideration.

My parents always taught me: ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’.

Pretend you’re a photographer

Ok, so I don’t mean make up some dodgy business cards that claim you and your camera are gifted but imagine you are one, put yourself in their shoes and think what pictures you would want to show off to the world. Plus you never know; one of those photos might just spark off an amazing idea for your next piece of writing!


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    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 4 years ago from London

      Hi RTalloni, thank you. It's great fun being a bit daring with the camera! I would like to take photography up also.x

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      These tips for being courageous with the camera as well as smart are quite helpful. I've been using my own photos, but I am planning to become more and more familiar with photography.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi lord de cross,

      We certainly do, there is many times I can walk down the same path and notice nothing but then when I really open my eyes there is so much more to it.

      Thank you for commenting and having a read.x

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Excellent tips. Sometimes we take for granted that nature and the simplest things around. Thanks!


    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi Writerly Yours, Thanks very much for taking the time to have a read and leave a comment.

      It's great to hear you are making the most of technology and your phone is always at the ready. Sounds like a good way of catching on the spot moments.


    • Writerly Yours profile image

      Writerly Yours 5 years ago

      Awesome hub!

      I really loved your hub for the simple fact that I use my phone all the time to take interesting pictures that I can use for my hubs and make them unique! So, great advice and idea.

      I use my editing capabilities and uploading features on my phone a lot lately to use on my hub pages!


      voted up!

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi kashmir56, Thank you. Hope you had a good Christmas and all the best for the New Year!.xxx

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Victoria, just dropping by to wish you my dear friend a wonderful Christmas !

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi ubanichijioke,

      Thanks for having a read, I like the sound of an awakened imagination :) Happy snapping!!! x

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      You ve opened my imagination to a wonderful thought. Great piece!

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi nikashi_designs,

      Thanks for having a read. Glad you liked it and found it useful. Good tips about simplifying the shot, its better not to have a lot of clutter going on in the background as people sometimes lose what they are supposed to be looking at.


    • profile image

      nikashi_designs 6 years ago

      Greetings V. Stephens, You hit this perfectly, simple and good advice. In particular I like the idea of letting the kids involved with the picture taking. They have a very different view of the world. We can learn from them. Rule of photography, what is your subject? Simplify the shot. Thanks again.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi Simone Smith,

      thank you very much for stopping by having a read and taking the time to comment, it's much appreciated. Glad you have found it useful to

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Yay! I am SUCH a big advocate for using one's own photos in posts and articles. You've served up some fabulous tips! Thanks, Victoria Stephens!!

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Thanks kashmir56,

      It's quite enjoyable snapping away with the camera. Best

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Victoria, great tips and advice, it is always better when you can use your own photos.

      Useful and vote up !!!

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi Learn Things Web,

      I had been throwing a few ideas around in my mind about what I could do with all the pictures. I hadn't considered your suggestion yet so thanks for that. Brilliant idea I might add. Thanks very much for the tip and your valuable input to the article.


    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 6 years ago from California

      I started carrying a camera with me everywhere and I'm building up quite a collection. You can submit your photos to websites like Flickr. You can make them free for all uses with attribution. You could require anyone who wants to use your pictures to acknowledge you as the source by linking to your blog, website or your hubpages profile. Who knows? You might get some more web traffic.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi Thougtforce,

      Nice to hear from you! It can be tricky getting people in the photos, some people prefer it if they are unrecognisable so they are happy to let you have a behind view or side view.

      If you do capture the front view of someone in the picture you could always use some photo editing software to blur the face. If they are distant enough in the picture then they would become unrecognisable and the blurred effect would go quite unnoticed.

      Asking is also a great way. Some people would love to star in someone’s articles and are more than happy to let you take a picture. You could offer to credit them with their name along side the photo used

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi Denise Handlon, thank you for your comment and vote. Glad you enjoyed the

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Great tips Victoria! I try to use my own photos more and more, and as you say, it isn't so hard to take fairly good photos. The only thing that is missing in many photos is people, since I don't want to just use people in my surrounding. Strangely enough I have never thought of asking strangers. Thanks for the tip! Voted up.


    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub-voted up