#SITSpics First Monthly Photo Challenge!

By Jul 7, 2011September 21st, 201336 Comments

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You’ll hear this piece of advice time and time again:

Your blog will do better with images.

You’ll hear it seventy-five different ways shouted from the rooftops because it’s true. Humans are visual creatures. We love pretty, shiny things. In fact, we love them so much that we’re completely transfixed by them.

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Did your eyes maybe linger over that photo a little longer than necessary? I mean, it doesn’t even have anything to do with the article…

Not only images, but good images are practically a requirement of successful blogs now. If you don’t fancy yourself as a photographer, you can always find amazing free images to license, however your audience will probably connect more with personal pictures.

Photographers develop over a lifetime, but photography is easy to learn.

Photography is so accessible today that chances are you have a camera right in your pocket in the form of a cellphone. The technology is so advanced that even cheap digital cameras can produce great photos.

A lot of people are intimidated by photography because they compare photos from the masters with their own and feel there must be some huge technical and artistic gap they could never close.

It isn’t true though!

Photography is a lot like the game Othello: “a minute to learn, a lifetime to master.”

My mind grasped the basics of photography within a couple days of serious studying. Each new photography technique (long exposures, panning or sunflares, for example) takes a couple hours of reading, if that.

The hard part is in the practicing, but I guarantee if you consciously practice taking pictures, you will become a better photographer!

Introducing the #SITSpics Monthly Photo Challenge!

Here at SITS, we’re all about helping you become a better blogger and social networker.

Photos are an inevitable part of that!

So we’re starting a new monthly photo challenge. Here’s a taste of what you can expect:

  • Learn photography basics with quick, easy to apply lessons.
  • Apply your photography skills to your blog articles or social media presence.
  • Build your social networking prowess!

If you want to learn more, watch the 90 second introductory video!

Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through all the steps as we dive into this first challenge, but if you want to read how #SITSpics will work or ask any questions about the photo challenge, please visit my site’s #SITSpics article.

July’s Photo Challenge!

This month’s simple photography lesson is wrapped up in under four minutes! Check it out for this month’s photo challenge and tips.

Tips for photographing children and pets.

Your photo challenge this month is to take pictures of children and/or pets.

If pictures of babies and bunnies don’t exactly mesh with your blog you can still apply most of these photo tips in other situations!

Remember, the video above will contain more information and examples of these suggestions! You can also click on the links below to skip directly to that point in the video.

  1. Pay attention to your background! Sometimes it may enhance your shot, other times it will distract from it.
  2. Wait until they’re still! Don’t try to force kids or pets to sit still for a picture. Wait until THEY choose not to run around like a loon.
  3. Focus on what they’re doing. You don’t actually need their face or much of their body in the shot. Capture them through what they do!
  4. Get down on their level! A scene won’t look the same from way up in the clouds.

I’d also like to encourage you to write your own articles with tips for the theme to share with your fellow SITStas this month!

Add your submission to the linky

Participate all month long!

Don’t forget to get in your submissions by July 25 and come back then to vote!

All month long you can chat about the challenge using the Twitter hashtag: #SITSpics. I’ll also be compiling a weekly #SITSpics Paper.li which will feature any links, pictures or videos tweeted using #SITSpics!

For fun, you can add any pictures you have fitting this month’s theme to our #SITSpics Photo Challenge Flickr Group.

Also, if you’re itching for more photographic inspiration, sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter with extra photography tips, exercises and inspiration!


Plug and play this entire photo challenge!

Feel free to plug and play any of the following into your own blog articles to encourage your readers to participate! Select and copy all the text inside the box and paste it into your site.


Introductory Video (90 seconds) or grab the code from YouTube

Photo Challenge Video: Children & Pets (3 minutes 47 seconds) or grab the code from YouTube

Button Code

Linky Code

Click here to grab the linky code!

Have fun! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


  • web page says:

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  • Rachelle says:

    This is a great new challenge. My blog is full of photos… I’m a bit obsessed.

  • Sarah says:

    Our Dog Daisy and our cats India and Zoe will be “Thrilled” to hear about this challenge…..

  • I’d have to strongly disagree that learning photography is easy. It’s that mentality that has produced an inundation of overnight wannabe professionals who turn out bad snapshots and try to charge $100 a session (or worse, $35 a session). I’ve been working at my craft for 2.5 years and none of it has been easy nor is it easy to any professional I know, including my husband. I strongly encourage learning how to compose and expose a stellar shot but even a point and shoot has its limitations and it’s simply not fair to suggest you can easily capture great photos with one.

    Sorry, I know I’m being a bit blunt but there is a crop of bad wannabes on Craigslist that irk me to no end. I’m all about challenging oneself and enjoying the craft, the hobby but I get a bit frustrated when I read about how easy it allegedly is to learn it.

    Now, since I have two rambunctious felines I’ll see what I can come up with. This could certainly be a lot of fun. =)

    • I think learning how it works is easy. Mastering it is hard.

      you can capture great photos on a point and shoot. I’ve seen some AMAZING ones on the iPhone. For example:
      A ClichΓ©

      Practicing photography will help even a novice to improve. I don’t like the mentality that only certain people with certain cameras can take good pictures.

      • Believe me, I don’t care for that “Only certain cameras can take good pictures” mentality either. What I am trying to get at is how some people do pick up A camera and consider themselves overnight pros. A DSLR (sometimes a damn good film SLR) is standard for business these days yet you have people going out with advanced point and shoots trying to shoot something for a client they have no business shooting.

        • I agree that’s no good, but it’s not the type of easy im trying to get across. I learned HOW to shoot manually in a day. I feel most can learn the basic concepts of photography and how to use their camera easily. Only LOTS of practice will result in notably better pictures.

          For the purpose of documenting a family’s life or playing around with photography, a point and shoot can take astonishing pictures.

          I think we mostly agree; I’m not trying to convince anyone here they should or can pick up their iPhone and start charging for pictures or sessions. To be honest, pro photographer attitudes that amateurs can’t take good pictures really irritate me, though I know it’s not what you’re getting at. I’m all about encouraging everyone with a camera to pick it up and shoot, knowing that if they contemplate the shot, they have an opportunity to create something special.

    • Also, I completely agree with you that some people have professional aspirations without skill behind it. (I’d never turn pro) But… I don’t think that should deter anyone from knowing that they can take better pictures and striving for that. πŸ™‚

  • SaucyB says:

    I’m so excited to participate in this. The need and desire to include photos on my blog has definitely helped me become a better photographer. But I’m definitely a novice in every sense of the word.

    Pet photography plays a big role on my blog because I do a meme called “Make Me Laugh Monday” in which I post a funny photo of my cat and invite readers to suggest captions. The funniest blogger gets their button featured in my sidebar. You can check out the most recent one here:

    I look forward to doing a post on this link up later this week, but was so excited to participate, I linked to a favorite photo in my photobucket account. I think this photo – Rex the Wonder Cat – definitely shows how the tip about getting on your pet’s level can really enhance a pic.

  • Michelle says:

    I love taking pictures of my cat πŸ™‚ This is a really cool idea!

  • Life As Wife says:

    Haha that is ALL I take picture of…

  • Tara says:

    So very excited about this challenge! Looking forward to all your tips!

  • Adrienne says:

    @ Lynda – Great video (don’t stress over perfection – highly overrated!)
    Already uploaded my submission (hopefully done correctly) as I have 2 cats who are daily targets of my photography obsession. Thanks for all the tips!

  • Turtle says:

    Very cool tips – and very much needed since I just got a new puppy and am having a hilarious time trying to capture her on camera.

    • SaucyB says:

      omg, your puppy is precious. Almost as adorable my entry, Rex the Wonder Cat. haha Seriously though, your pup is too cute for words. πŸ™‚

  • trininista says:

    Yep. I have EXACTLY the same issues as Lindsay so I am out of this one. Have fun, ladies.

  • Jenny says:

    ohhh so awesome πŸ˜€ I’m totally joining in on this one πŸ™‚ You’re so awesome Lynda~

  • Angelia Sims says:

    Yay! I can’t wait, my favorite thing to photograph. πŸ™‚ Just don’t ask me to pick between the two. Ha!

  • This sounds like great fun and one challenge a month sounds like something I can keep up with! Looking forward to seeing everyone else’s submissions too.

  • Lindsay says:

    This is a great challenge! Unfortunately, I don’t have any kids or pets, and I am currently in a foreign country where I don’t have any friends with kids or pets either, so I will have to skip this months challenge. I just wanted to say though that the first photography course on SITS has improved my photography skills immensely and the tips in the challenges is only going to add to that. Thanks SITS for always being so awesome and helpful!

    • I’m sorry to hear that Lindsay! I’ll make sure next month’s challenge is something everyone will have access to! The tips can definitely be applied in other situations though, especially the first one. Hope to see you back next month! πŸ™‚

  • Love this! I have learned so much since beginning to blog about taking photos and I’m always looking to learn more. I squeezed out every last bit I could from my over five year old P&S and finally upgraded to a DSLR (I’ve shot with several film SLRs, but it’s been awhile and it’s like starting all over). I know the way I’ll learn best is to just get in there and work with it. Thanks for bringing #SITSpics to us! :>

    Quick question…if/when we blog this, is the linky code so that the full linky that will appear here, will also show up on our blogs as well? Just want to make sure I understand it, before I try to use it! Thanks!

  • Modern Gypsy says:

    Ooh! I don’t need any encouragement whatsoever to shoot pics of my cat! πŸ˜‰ She must feel like she’s hounded by the paparazzi already. lol! But now, instead of quantity, I shall focus on quality.

    Here’s hoping the SITS site opens at home too (I’m accessing it from work now, shh…) so I can see the videos!