It could also explain why I can fall into a trance at the sight of clever and beautiful merchandising in shops; and conversely why I’ll run the other way if a retailer has made it very difficult for me to see and enjoy what they have to offer.
So what does this all have to do with blogging?
Well, at the start of this year, I was looking for a simple way to create a montage of images as shopping suggestions in my posts.
I had begun to think that scrolling through image after image when I was showcasing products that would work for a particular styling or beauty suggestion was a bit, well, meh.
I had Photoshop on my old PC laptop but the extent of my working knowledge of it was a bit, well, meh, too.
I also knew I was just weeks away from swapping to MAC and would no longer have Photoshop as an option.
So, I did what my inner geek usually tells me to do in these circumstances: I Googled.
That day in January was the day that my blogging image life changed FOREVER. I discovered Snagit.
In a nutshell, Snagit makes me look good.
It makes me look like I’m actually better at this photo stuff than I really am. I’m not saying that it’s turned me into a graphic designer – far from it. I’m SO amateur, it’s not funny.
But, what it has done has given me a valuable blogging tool that I’ve been able to use to make my blog posts look better.
That’s a good thing, right?
The other really good thing I liked about this software was that it came with a 30-day free trial (available for MAC and Windows). And boy did I make the most of those 30 days, snagitting away like no tomorrow.
After that 30 days. Well, after one day, I was sold and it only cost me a one-off payment of $49.95. Bargain.
(And no this is not a sponsored post, it’s not even an affiliate sales post as they don’t have an affiliate system – if they did I’d be snagging me some of that, for shiz)
Why I love Snagit?
1. I can be working late at night on post that would look best with a montage of images – but I know I’m not going to be able to source them from the PRs at 10pm. Easy peasy. I just “snag” or capture the images I need from their brand’s website. (They are always linked back to the product for sale online and used only for the purposes of promoting that particular brand – which isn’t strictly copyright law but if a company suggested to me I shouldn’t do it, I guess their shoes, bags or lipstick may stop getting a plug on my site …)
2. You can easily re-size your own or contributed single images. So, even if you’re not creating a montage, you can determine the dimensions you need for your blog and do this before inserting into your blog. (If you’re on a PC, I used to use PIXresizer to do this to a whole folder of images; now I’m on MAC, I’ve got the iResize application, which does the same job.)
3. You can easily add text, numbers and symbols to your image. I mostly use this for numbering the products in a montage so I can link back to them in a caption.
4. There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve had to send a pdf or jpg of an entire blog post via email (or printed out). Snagit will automatically scroll through the whole screen so that you don’t just get the “print screen” version of what’s in front of you but the whole post or website you’re trying to capture.
5. I don’t tend to use this function but you can change the effect of the border on your image as well.
How to create a montage?
1. “Snag” or capture the image from the website. Or go to File and Open from the supplied image or your own photo, which is already in a folder on your computer. This is easily done by hovering over the red camera symbol within the Snagit side toolbar that loads when you open the program.
2. Gather all the images in the Snagit application. If they are particularly big, I’ll first re-size them to about 800 pixels wide before manipulating them into a montage.
3. Go to File menu and select New. This brings up a blank image, which you can set the size of (I generally work off a 1200×1200 size to start with).
4. Drag and drop the captured images into the blank image. Moving them to best fit the space and the look you’re after. You can alter the size of the images on the montage to fit. Don’t size up though, as this will pixelate the image and not look so crash hot.
5. Once you’re happy with image placement, go to the Edit menu, click Select All, then Flatten. This will merge the individual images into your new montage image.
6. Now your created image is ready to crop and to add on text or numbers should you wish to. Drag in the desired text box, position and flatten as above.
7. I then re-size the image to 800 pixels for loading into my blog, altering the size once uploaded in the blog to fit the width of my blog space. The reason I don’t reduce the montage to the exact width of my blog is because I like to give my readers the option of clicking on the image and seeing the larger version for greater detail.
That’s it. The support and help via the Snagit website is really useful and I was easily able to navigate my way around both the PC and the MAC versions of this software and get working with it.
Do you use Snagit? Or can you recommend another simple image program that makes your blogging life easier?