There is so much more to a blog than just an interest in beauty or style or food etc. Photography plays a huge role and whilst I am no expert, I have learned a lot about taking good photos from experience over time on my blog. I have also been lucky to have many comments talking about my photography and I thought it was about time I did a post talking through my tips and everything I’ve learned to improve my blog photos!
Composition is hugely important to consider when taking a photo. It involves the layout and the arrangement within the photo. Two of the main things you need to consider is the focal point and the busyness of the photo. Both of which pretty much go hand in hand. Starting with focal point, for example if you are doing a review of a foundation, you want the photo to capture the foundation as the focal point. If you are using other props or products, you want to ensure they appear more in the background.
This also ties in with how busy the photo is. If you are wanting to focus on one product, you want to keep the composition simple and not have too many props which will just take the eyes off the focus. Again if your composition has numerous products then you don’t want to over-complicate the photo by adding even more props/products to the mix.
The background is also super important as it can also add that busyness feel if you are using a ‘busy’ background. I like to stick to a white background (I use white paper/wood) as a backdrop to create a flat lay image. Using a soft block colour keeps it simple and soft. You can inject a little pattern such as marble or a wood effect but obviously you have to be careful when you start adding props that it isn’t too busy. If I ever add any pattern, it is usually in the form of a scarf, or a tray so doesn’t take up the whole photo and instead adds a little more dimension.
I don’t think I can stress how important lighting is in taking photos. If you live in a place that is fairly bright and light instead of being like me in the miserable and dull UK then damn you are lucky. Natural lighting is so vital in taking photos and has made such a difference to mine. Ditch artificial lighting as it can create a horrible orange yellow cast over the photo and doesn’t really make it bright at all. You want to set up your photo next to good lighting, I always take mine on the floor next to a full length glass door so I get the light shining on it. So I would suggest getting a good window location that lets in a good amount of light in.
The timing is also important in terms of lighting. The best time to take photos is in the morning as it is light without being too bright and obviously in the evening it is too dark. Speaking of brightness, whilst a sunny day always seems like a bonus, if it is too bright then it can be quite difficult to get a good shot as it will usually cast shadows. The best weather for taking photos is when it is fairly cloudy yet with still a bit of light!
Whilst the actual steps of taking a photo are very important, there is also editing. I always edit my photos, however I try to avoid going overboard and ensure my lighting is as good as I can get it. Basically the better the raw image the less editing and the worse the more editing that you will need. I use PicMonkey to edit my photos which is super easy!
To edit, I rely on two main things. The first the size, I always size my images down to fit for my blog and also crop if necessary! The second is exposure which is the main editing I rely on. As you may know, I like bright white and airy images and as natural lighting doesn’t always capture this so well, I like to adjust the brightness/highlights accordingly. I also adjust the contrast/shadows so the products don’t get too washed out. However when adjusting the exposure you do have to be careful not to overexpose your images (I have been guilty many times!) as it can just look pretty contrived and unnatural.
One last thing I also do in editing is adjust the temperature/saturation. I only do this sometimes when my images are quite dark and have a blue cast over them. So by warming the colours up a bit it makes it much brighter and less duller and blue!
So many people say you don’t need expensive equipment and loads of it to take a good photo and that is so true. I actually take all of my photos on my iPhone 6 and it always takes decent photos. Phone cameras have long been developed so are far superior than the ever were. In fact they only seem to be getting better, my old iPhone 4S was responsible for taking a load of my pictures over a year ago and then I moved on to using the 5C model which was much better and then to the 6 which is definitely the best I’ve used. So if you are looking to improve your photography then don’t get too stressed if you don’t own a fancy DSLR camera! I have a digital camera but my phone is actually better so I use that. I actually would love to invest in a camera sometime just because I have became so into photography since my blog! However it is definitely not a must!
If you do use an iPhone for photos, all I would suggest is to firstly ensure your lens is clean! It’s actually crazy the difference it makes if you simply wipe the lens as it makes a photo so much clearer. Obviously your phone is left in your bag, pocket, tables etc. so picks up on bacteria easy so giving it a little clean is definitely recommended! Also, whenever taking a photo I always rely on the focus tool. By simply pressing where you want the focus to be it adapts the lighting to capture it better. Additionally, when hitting to focus if you drag the little sun symbol up it also improves the brightness of the image making editing less the challenge!
So really all you need is a good working camera, aside from that I have a tripod although really I haven’t used it much and don’t see it as necessary unless you take outfit, head shots. As I mentioned before a good backdrop is also important for flat lay images whether it’s a piece of wood, paper, wallpaper/flooring samples. That’s it really, the rest is down to you and your creative mind!
What are your tips for good blog photography?