Thursday, May 30, 2019

35 Pictures YOU Can Take for Your Blog or Social Media

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve shared several posts about where to find images for your blog. But one thing I haven’t covered is a list of images you could take with your own camera. I’m always on the lookout for images that I could use to illustrate a post. In my mind, I have a list of things I always need.

Today I’m going to write that list out and share it with you.

Before I start though, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be professional photographer to take your own pictures. You can use a fancy camera, a point and shoot, or even your cell phone. Personally, I use my Nikon point and shoot and my iPhone 6 to take a lot of the images you see on my site.

Things to look for that will build your library of blog images:
1. A Wall. It can be a brick, stone or any kind of wall. But when we’re talking about obstacles in a blog post, this can be a great visual.

A Gate.
2. A Gate. I have pictures of open gates and closed gates. Again, good images if you’re talking about traveling.

3. A Path. I have dozens of path pictures. I have paths in the woods, paved paths, paths that divide, paths that go downhill and paths that go uphill.

4. A Tunnel. This is great if you’re talking about the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s also a good way to illustrate going through tough times.

5. An Obstacle. I have pictures of a trail with a tree blocking the path. I also have pics of detour signs, roadblocks, etc.

6. Traffic Signs. Again, detour signs, Road Closed, Yield, Winding Road, etc.

7. Rain. I love pictures of rainy pavement, raindrops, even puddles. These can evoke emotions and illustrate lots of things, like saving for a rainy day.

8. Mirrors. For some reason, it’s really hard to find stock images of mirrors. I’ve solved that by taking my own. I just stand off to one side and click away.

9. The Horizon. I love taking horizon pictures. These are really good for illustrating posts about the future.

A Cross. And I took this picture at
the Florida Christian Writers Conference
in 2015.
10. The Cross. If I see a cool cross, I usually try to snap a picture of it. And I try to find unusual angles, instead of just straight on.

11. Animal Pictures. I look for the opportunity to snap pictures of my dog and cat illustrating emotions. The one here is of my dog Jake napping. I can use this one to illustrate lazy, relaxing, etc.

12. Light Bulb. Anytime you write about finding an idea or having an idea, a light bulb is a great illustration. It can also be used anytime you refer to illumination.

13. Clouds with Sun Rays. These are great to illustrate faith and God.

14. Ripples in Water. These images are great when we write about the effect of something.

15. The Bible. Again, great for messages of faith. I take pictures of the book close, specific passages, and pages that have notes on them.

Words in the Dictionary.
16. Words in the Dictionary. Some times it’s hard to find just the right picture. Instead, look the word up in the dictionary and snap a picture. You can manipulate the picture in and have a great blog illustration.

17. Computer Keyboard/Keys. Again, good for illustrating posts about writing. You can also take images that focus on a certain key, like Delete, Shift, a Question Mark, etc.

This is my typewriter with a blank sheet of paper in it.
I added Write in Faith using PicMonkey.
18. Typewriter/Typewriter Keys. This is great for us when we write about writing. You can even put a piece of blank paper in the typewriter and use a site like PicMonkey to add words to the paper.

19. Luggage. This is great when we’re talking about taking more than we can handle, carrying baggage, etc.

20. Exit/Do Not Enter Signs. These are great to illustrate posts that warn about something.

21. Doors. I take pics of open doors, partially open doors, closed doors, even locked doors.

Funny Signs/Objects.
22. Funny Signs/Objects. This is one I just took this week while we were on vacation at Universal Studios. I also have one from another amusement park that is a suspended net full of bricks. It has a sign on it that says, “A ton of bricks.”

23. Chain/Lock/Key. I use chain links when I’m talking about links (as in computer links). And locks and keys are always great images.

24. Fog. This is another great image to have in your library. It evokes a lot of emotion and can illustrate uncertainty.

25. Tools. Pictures of tools can be great illustrations. I have quite a few—from a simple hammer and nails—to tools on a workbench.

26. Winding Road. Another great image to illustrate a journey.

A Pen/Paper/Journal.
27. A Pen/Paper/Journal. This is another image that I use a lot more than I thought I would. It's easy to set up and take yourself.

28. A Clock. Any time you're writing about time, a clock is a good way to illustrate that.

29. A Foundation. This is another image that's really useful and hard to find. So if you're near a construction site and can snap a quick pic, do it.

30. Spring/Summer/Winter/Fall. We reference the seasons a lot when we write, so having images available to illustrate that is a big help.

31. Stairs/Staircase. A great way to illustrate change.

32. A Bridge. Like several others I've mentioned, a picture of a bridge is a great way to illustrate a variety of posts.

33. A Reflection. This isn't necessarily in a mirror, it can be in a window, in water, anywhere. 

34. A Window. Another staple for bloggers, no matter what the focus of your site.

35. Fire/Candle/Fireplace. All excellent for illustrating subjects like ignite, warmth, etc.

Two important tips when you’re taking & using these images: 

First: Always include your contact info on any image you took yourself. I use PicMonkey on the computer or WordSwag on my phone to add the following somewhere on the picture:
Edie Melson Photography

This does a couple of things. It reminds people that someone owns the image and it's not just free to use without permission. It also is free advertising because it directs people back to my site, if the image shows up on social media anywhere. (NOTE: you can see my watermark in the first image on this blog)

Second: Think of composing the picture so there is room to add words to the image to make a meme. (Review: A meme is an image with words on it. The first image for this post is a meme.) Try to keep your background simple. Below are two images, one with room for words, one without room.

NOTE: Here are 2 posts on how to add text to images: 
1. Add Text to Images Using Picmonkey
2. Add Text to Images Using iPiccy

The background in this image isn't busy and there is plenty of room to add text.

This background is busy, and there isn't a blank space to fit the words in easily.
These are just some of the basic images I try to keep in a file of pics for my blog posts. There is literally no end to the list. But this should get you started and help you begin to look at the world around you from a new perspective.

I’d love to know what you’d add to the list. Be sure to leave your comments in the section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. What a great list, Edie! I love to make memes but don't have a backlog of my own photos. Thanks!

    1. Most of these we can now take on our smart phones. Those cameras are great for taking blog pics! Blessings, E

  2. I love this! I'm printing it to keep close by. Thanks for sharing,Edie.

    1. Barbara, I'm glad it was helpful! Blessings, E

  3. How fun! I'll have to be more intentional about taking some of my own photos.

    1. Ralene, sometimes I make it into a game. I give myself a list and a timeframe and see how many pics I can find. Blessings, E

  4. Thanks for the tips. I knew nothing about graphic design and have been learning on the fly.

    1. I didn't know a thing about graphic design when I started either. I'm 100% self-taught! Blessings, E

  5. An OUTSTANDING post, Edie. One of your best / most helpful. Thanks, much.
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

    1. I also like to take pictures of seasonal goodies like burning candles or table certerpiece / decorations for Christmas & Easter, pumpkin stands & scarecrows for November, waterfowl on the lake, leaves from the underside for fall, first flowers of spring, etc. One thing that totally fascinates me is macro photos of moss, lichen, rotting wood, mold etc - the beauty and patterns speak volumes about God's handiwork. Even pictures of fog in bright moonlight can cast a number of moods.
      Jay Wright

    2. Jay, these are wonderful additions! Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

  6. Edie: Thank you for this list. I also am printing it out for future reference. I enjoy your blog so much. You truly help so many of us. Peace and blessings.

    1. I'm so glad I'm able to help! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment, Blessings, E

  7. Wonderful list! You are a great photographer Edie! :-)

  8. Great information, Edie! Do you know if there's a way to put your name or website on a picture you posted to Pinterest AFTER you posted it? I have several I need to add my info to, and I hate to take them all down, redo them, then repost them. Thanks.

    1. Marilyn, no. As far as I know, there's no way to edit a pin inside the photo. You can make sure your contact info (website) is in the info about the pin. Blessings, E

  9. What a great idea! If I take some general photos ahead of time, I won't be scrambling at the last minute. AND I didn't know about those text to images tools. Thanks, Edie.

    1. Pam, it is a fun thing to do. And I've found that while looking at life with blogging in mind, I find more things to blog about. Some pictures inspire posts. LOL! Blessings, E

  10. Thank you for sharing and teaching Edie! Those are great ideas!

  11. I don't have a blog, but I enjoy pairing pictures with poems and other types of writing. Now that I'm learning to paint, I will use your suggestions for possible future paintings, too. Thank you for these suggestions!

  12. Excellent suggestions, Edie! I'm sharing this for my meme-making friends!

  13. Edie, I love all these suggestions. I have files of photos that I call on for use in my blogs, and many are similar to the ones you mention here. But you shared about some I haven't thought of. Thanks for that! I love your specific types of photos and ways we can use them. This is definitely one I'll come back to!

    1. Jeanne, I'm glad I was able to help you think of more! Blessings, E

  14. I've been trying to do this more. This article gives me direction! Thank you!!!

  15. Great info!! I use a lot of images I take with my iPhone, but I never thought about putting the copyright on it! Thank you!!

  16. Edie, this is something I’ve done for years. Thank you for the list, I’m adding a few of them to my, take pics of this, list.