To learn more about Kate, check out the Ramblings from Utopia spotlight.

Kate Reali, owner and creator of Ramblings from Utopia, is a rock-star influencer with over 70 Linqia programs under her belt. Ramblings from Utopia features beautiful photography about everything from DIY projects and eco-friendly ideas to family-friendly travel, kid projects, and recipes.

Kate’s history as a career photographer and photojournalist is evident in her ability to tell a visual story. Read on for her advice on how photography can make the difference in your sponsored programs.

What prompted your interest in photography?

I took photography classes in high school and afterwards traveled cross country and backpacked around Europe, which led to my decision to pursue photography as a career. I went to college for photography and had a 17 year career as a photojournalist for several newspapers.

What inspires the your photos’ storylines?

My photos are inspired by our everyday life, though I draw a lot from previous experiences as a photojournalist and bring spontaneity into my photos.

You often promote sponsored products by featuring how your children use them in everyday life. For example, you’ve taken photos of your kids using Cottonelle FreshCare while roller skating or camping in the backyard. What advice do you have for other influencers aiming to tell beautiful, authentic visual stories?

As a visual storyteller, authenticity is key for me. I like the activities to be fun and non-scripted in order to capture that genuine feeling. I also offer suggestions to my children and get their input because they love being a part of my photography.

We’ve seen you promote Yoplait Go Big with a day beach cleaning and endorse Goldfish with an ACT study session. What advice do you have to others influencers about how to capture a compelling sponsored photo?

I always make sure that what I am promoting is a product we use as a family. Incorporating it into an activity that was already planned adds that element of authenticity that I look for in my product photography.

Your sponsored and non-sponsored posts are equally elaborate. How do you organically weave sponsored content throughout your blog?

My blog started out as a way to connect long distance with family, sharing our daily activities and adventures. It then turned into DIY’s and fun ideas, so it was easy to weaving sponsored posts into the blog. I love the challenge of incorporating product photography in interesting, fun ways.

How many photos do you typically include on your sponsored programs and how does it impact your blog’s performance?

I like to include 8-10 photos per post as more photos typically draw in more traffic. I want my readers to feel an emotion connection my blog through my photos.

Your photos are quirky and colorful! Which programs or apps do you use to edit your photos? Do you have any other editing secrets?

I love color! It really draws the eye into a photo. I try and get the image near perfect in the camera and use Photoshop to make adjustments with the contrast and color saturation. I try and be a purist with my photos so finding the right time of day for the lighting is key for me when capturing my images.

How much do you plan your photos in advance? What helpful tips do you have for the planning process?

I am definitely a planner. It can take days to come up with an idea, but I’m really great at quick impromptu photo shoots. I’ll check online to make sure my idea has never been done because I like originality and thinking outside the box so if the idea seems weird, I’ll go for it!

What are your top 3 tips for telling a visually compelling story?

Since I spent so many years as a photojournalist, I have a set formula I like to use. Always make sure to get these 3 kinds of photos: the scene setter, action(or emotion), and detail photo. As long as you have those three the reader will be able to connect to your story through the photos.

Which has been your favorite Linqia program so far? Why?

My favorite so far has been the Betty Crocker Spreading Cheer program.  it was so much fun watching and capturing my girls baking cookies, especially since it’s been a tradition for years to bake cookies for the local firefighters on Thanksgiving! I loved being able to share that with my readers.