Upon starting a blog, it became apparently clear that photos were not just a case of ‘point and shoot’ and more like ‘two hours of taking 104 photos, from numerous different angles, with different lighting, before deciding that the first one will be the winner’.
It’s not something that just comes naturally to me and I know from taking part in Twitter chats and speaking to my friends, that it is something which we struggle with on a daily blogging basis. With themed Instagram accounts illustrating the perfect use of props and editing, I do feel there is more and more pressure to ensure that my photos try and match up to the same standard. Although I should not be comparing myself to other people, I do, probably more often than I should but it’s only because I admire the flawless work of those who seem to have perfected the art of blogging photography.
As a result of this, I have made a conscientious effort to try and pay a little more attention to the quality of my photos. From staging, to backgrounds, lighting, props and the edited finish, I have tried a little harder and I see a difference but my photos are still far from where I want them to be…Anyway here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:
Natural Light is always, ALWAYS BEST. I think I should get this tattooed across my forehead. Despite purchasing a photo tent, which includes lights, a tripod and different coloured backgrounds, the glorious natural light of day always produces the best results. Plus, although we are struggling through winter and the clouds seem to pour every 10 minutes, I’ve found my best images have been produced by setting up my photography station outside in the garden (although I am always on standby to pack everything up and leg it back inside)! This gives my pictures a fantastic natural light, but I have to admit, working 40 hours a week does mean that the only opportunity I have to snap these shots, is on the weekend, so right now I am longing for spring to come and the clocks jump forward.
Backgrounds. This is something that can make or break a photo. I’ve been playing around with white backgrounds lately, and found that ironing a crisp white pillow case provides a fairly good backdrop for my objects. I would love to play around with wo0d and marble effects, too! What’s more, some bloggers I know, have printed images of these materials on really good quality card, to achieve the same results as a wooden table or marble tiles would create – genius hey? 😉
Top Tip – For me, the best use of a white background, is a bathroom. During a blogger chat a few months ago, a lovely girly explained that she had taken some photos actually in the bath. While the light was amazing during the warm September months, I managed to nail the use of natural bathroom light (but clearly the Earth, its axis, the Sun, orbit, space and beyond has no consideration for us bloggers and insists on seasons haha and so the struggle is truly real during the winter months)!
Props – If you’re writing about one product, it’s a great move to have captivating images to compliment your words. For example if you are writing about nail varnish, why not add some nail files, cotton pads or some nail art pens? To add a little sparkle (literally) to my photos, I’ve recently used sequins and little gems from my new favourite shop, Tiger. You can also use ribbons, fabrics, photos, fairy lights, magazines, books, knick knacks and postcards – I LOVE the ones in Paper Chase, in fact anything you like, to help you create your perfect scene.
Staging. Although props obviously play a huge part in staging your photographs, your audience don’t always have to know everything. By this I mean, it’s okay to use blue tac, hair grips or even pipe cleaners to prop your products in position. This is particularly handy for us beauty bloggers who can be found wrestling with a mascara or lipstick which won’t sit still. Also make-up can get everywhere, (I know this only too well using bareMinerals powder on a daily basis), so it doesn’t hurt to give your make-up products a little wipe down, so they look shiny and new ready for the camera.
Don’t Underestimate the iPhone. I am slightly bias on this one because I would never betray my beloved Apple, but I truly believe that the camera quality is outstanding. Sometimes I can achieve much better results when swapping my boyfriend’s DSLR for my iPhone 6, which just goes to show that you don’t need all the fancy equipment, or a swanky camera to snap some shots to be proud of. Don’t believe me? See for yourself and scroll through the Instagram hashtag ‘#iPhonephotography’ for some completely stunning images.
So there you have it, five very important things I’ve learnt about blogging photography, I hope they go a little way in helping/inspiring you, when you are next behind the lens. Do you have any tips? If so, I would absolutely LOVE to hear them! Please leave a comment to share your words of wisdom with other readers too!
What to Read Next: My Blogger Secret Santa
What’s Hot on twentysomethingxo: My Beauty Favourites of 2015