How Many Photographs Should We Share In One Blog Post?

As a keen reader of photography blogs – and of course a photographer and blogger myself – I’m curious about how many photographs per post is the optimum.

Some share just one photo per post.

With a very short post that can be purely the photograph with no text, or the photograph plus a few paragraphs of text, I find this approach can be very powerful.

I love the author’s commitment – “This is the single photograph I have chosen for the post, nothing else would do, and now here it is standing up proud”.

I think it encourages those of us reading to give that single photograph more commitment too, to perhaps linger a little longer, and search a little deeper, than we may do if there are two or three other images in the post.

But, for me, there comes a length of post where a single shot is not enough.

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Reading perhaps ten paragraphs on a predominantly photography themed blog, seems too much. I like the break that a picture brings to the text, and the opportunity to see a little more of the blogger/photographer’s work.

So for a longer post of say 700-1000 words or more, maybe three photographs is a good amount.

(Some would say this is too much text for any blog post, and the longest post should be 600 words, but that’s a topic for another day!)

I think what’s far worse than a single photo then hundreds of words of text, is the opposite end of the spectrum, ie too many photographs.

If even the greatest of photographers shared say 20 images in one post, most of us I would suggest start to switch off and become increasingly immune to the impact of any single image by the end of it.

Put another way, the blog starts to feel like Instagram or Pinterest (or any other picture heavy social media site, you pick your poison) where one ends up swiping mindlessly, the fingers still working long after the eyes and mind have disengaged from any meaningful kind of connection with and appreciation of the work.

What is worse still, and again I speak for myself, is too many photographs, plus too many of them being weak and/or mundane photographs.

I don’t think anyone needs to see the entire dump of your latest photowalk in one go without any thought to editing and choosing the very best to share with your audience.

This is doing yourself a disservice, by heavily diluting – or even completely drowning – your best few photographs in an ocean of mediocrity.

And it’s doing your audience a disservice by asking them to do your editing for you and wade through a dozen or more shots to find perhaps one or two that are of genuine interest.

So that’s where I stand.

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As is usual for much of what I think, I believe here that less is more. One image is the most powerful, but two or three still works well if they’re amongst your best work, and serve also to punctuate a large amount of text.

How about you? How many photographs do you usually share in a new blog post? How many do you like to see per post in the photography blogs you read most?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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19 thoughts on “How Many Photographs Should We Share In One Blog Post?”

  1. For me it depends on the post type. Obviously my single frame posts get one big photo, and if there’s anything I’ve learned that photo needs either to be really good, or have a really good story to tell about it. For camera review posts I find 5-9 photos to be about right — and sometimes I deliberately show ones that aren’t great because they show some important characteristic of the camera. For photo walk posts it’s about the same 5-9, but they all need to be at least decent photographs.

    9 photographs is pushing it. More than that is right out. (Now watch, someone will find a post I made with 10 or 11 in it.)

    1. Ha ha, I’m not about to go and count photos on your posts to catch you out Jim!

      I think when you’re giving a kind of guided tour of a place, rather than saying “here are some new photos I’ve made that I’m delighted with and count them amongst my very best work”, then yes a few more shots works well.

      You do quite a few of these kind of posts to walk us around your neighbourhood as it were, and it makes sense to have documentary type photographs, and a few more of them.

      With camera reviews, yes most people like to see two or three shots of the actual camera if they’re not familiar with it, plus some photos taken with the camera.

      I think those posts where you get a picture of the camera from every angle are overkill, as are posts that seem all too common on photo blogs where people say “I shot a roll of film in the camera and here it is” then we get 36 shots dumped all together in one place in the post, and 34 of them aren’t worth looking at, to be brutally honest.

      I’d rather see those one or two photographs that make me say “wow, that camera is capable of shots like THIS? I want one!”.

      Christos Theofilogiannakos on Flickr is fantastic at this, and the reason I bought probably about half of the hundreds of film camera I did – because he had the same one and made something amazing with it!

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/deafburglar/

  2. >> I’m not about to go and count photos on your posts ..
    I did. One has 12 😉

    I agree with Jim that it depends on the post type. Since I don’t have a serious/professional blog, I like to keep it under 7, prefer 3 to 5. But when I have a photo that I really love, I would post that photo all by itself. 😉

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Helen. Yes as I said I think when a blogger has decided to post just one of the pair photographs, it shows a commitment and belief in that image that we then take in ourselves to an extent as the viewer.

  3. Ha, my blog is exactly the kind you don’t like and I am fine with that. I still think you are awesome. Ultimately I came to the conclusion my blog is for me and nobody else. I see it as a visual diary and reminder of a camera, a place, a day out with friends. I am happy other people read it, but that was not the initial aim. I often sell or give away the cameras and I rarely look back at the files. So the blog is a quick way for me to remind myself, an inventory. But as I have said on some posts, even I am getting bored with this kind of activity and I want to learn a few cameras really well. I will have to think about my online future soon.

    1. Peggy, thanks for your thoughts. I wasn’t out to criticise anyone in particular, just saying what my opinion was, which is just one person’s view of course.

      I do completely agree that our blogs are our own personal spaces and we can do what we like with them, absolutely.

      We can’t just do things to try to pander to others and to try to attract more viewers, if the blog we’re trying to get them to view isn’t one we’re very happy with ourselves!

      That said, I think there are things we can do to make a blog more welcoming and more conducive to easy reading/viewing, which I’ve talked more about in an upcoming post.

  4. Interesting issue. I think the internet is an interactive medium so I try to have posts that don’t require a long time to read them. However I’m putting images together for a longer post on a cathedral and I’m wrestling with the number of images to illustrate it. I may end up using WordPress’ galleries.

    1. I think we all end up writing posts of different lengths, and this surely must appeal to a wider range of readers than if they were all very short or very long.

      I think I might have used the WordPress galleries once or twice to show two photographs directly next to each other that I wante to compare. But generally I like each photo to have plenty of space around it.

      And I don’t really like blogs where you click on one image and it opens a kind of gallery on top of the main page and you have to click in and out to read the text or view the images at a decent size. Just too much clicking and faffing about, it spoils the whole flow, which I was talking about in a post recently.

  5. Great timing for a subject Dan. Yesterday I started to read a guest post on 35mmc regarding the photographers use of a nifty fifty – I thought I was reading a book not a blog! Tons of photos and countless lines of text. I gave up a quarter of the way down and started to scroll to the end. Think I’ve now got tendonites in my wrist! 3 to12 photos is about right to keep the reader interested if it’s a photo walk blog ( for me anyway). I enjoy JIms, Peggy’s, Yours and Hamishes post the most because no one overdoes it.

    1. I confess I used to read every post on 35mmc. That was when Hamish wrote every post, and even if they were long they, for me, interest and worth reading. Since he began having so many guest posts I lost interest as the quality of writing and photographs plummeted. It is a real shame as it was, in my view, one of the best photography blogs, especiall ph as it was mostly about compact cameras too, which I love.

  6. I think I normally include around 6 images in a post. I like to break up the text a bit, and only pick my favourite images. When I look at other people’s blogs, I also prefer 6-10 images to look at, and not reams and reams of text, otherwise I get super bored and give up half way through!

    1. I still often write too much I think. But sometimes I think a topic either gets broken down and each part is worth expanding, then it ends up long overall, or I just feel the subject is worth delving into, which you can’t really do in a couple of hundred words.

  7. A very interesting post and as someone that’s just starting to dip their toes in the pool that is blogging, something to keep in mind. BTW – I’ve been reading your blog off and on for a good few years now, and have always been impressed with the quality of your work.

        1. Stuart, it’s just a guide, and some tips people might find helpful. We each have to find our own way with our blogs, and stay true to what we want them to be. Which can evolve over time, as I’ve found.

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