Hello there internet friends! Yes, let’s acknowledge the obvious – this is another post about blogging photography tips. I’m always in two minds about writing posts like this; blogging about blogging is all a bit too meta for my liking, I think. However, I was recently looking back at some old posts (I have a lot of time on my hands, okay) and was actually flabbergasted at the state of the photos I used to put up on here. It was literally as if I had never held a camera before. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into improving my blog photos lately, and posts such as this have really helped me along. So, although I know that my images are still nowhere near as good as I would like them to be, I thought I would share some of the best blogging photography tips that I’ve learned along the way in case any of you are struggling too. For most people, this will probably all be super basic stuff, but if it helps anyone else stop taking photos like that one above, then I will have succeeded at something in life.
Play With the Composition
How your items are positioned in a photo can have a big effect on the overall image quality. These days, when it comes to product shots, like a lot of bloggers I prefer a ‘flat lay’ style. This is when you shoot from above, with the products laid out flat. This allows the products to really pop out of the image more as they’re not hidden behind other things.
Something I only learned recently, which is a tad embarrassing as it’s probably in some ‘photography for dummies’ book, is the rule of thirds. This is where you imagine your image divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. The rule is that the subject or most interesting things in the shot should be placed where the lines intersect. A lot of cameras will have this grid setting as an option when you’re shooting, so it can help you when arranging your products. You can learn more about the rule of thirds here.
Get Creative With Your Background and Props
For so long I would just photograph products on whatever surface was around. Wood table, purple carpet, turquoise bed sheet – they all got a look in, I did not discriminate at all. Eventually I realised these weren’t creating the best look, and so tried to take all photos on my white desk to give a clear, crisp background. This worked a lot better, and I still use this simple background when I feel that the products are a bit busy. However, I also invested in a couple of different backgrounds to add some interest to the photos, such as my marble background, which is some sticky-back plastic mounted on a piece of cardboard (you can buy similar from Amazon), and my most recent brick-effect wallpaper sample (which I got from eBay). I say invested – these literally cost a couple of quid each, and so they’re well worth picking up.
Props are another thing that I also only recently brought into my blog photos. Flowers, trays, magazines, makeup bags and brushes are all popular options and are all usually things you have around the house.
Find Your Editing Style
The chances are that however great your layout and props are, your image probably still isn’t going to look perfect in its raw format. I think most bloggers edit their pictures at least a little, and finding a programme you’re comfortable using and a consistent style you’re happy with can really help. I personally use Pic Monkey, which is just an online editing tool. As a standard I will also re-size my image, increase the brightness and increase the clarity. Sometimes I may also play with the contrast, shadows or sharpness if I think it needs it, and I also might crop if my composition didn’t look quite right. When it comes to filming, I think you can really tell the difference between a good camera and a not-so-good camera (and FYI whenever I get into Youtubing, I will have my eye on one of the Panasonic 4K cameras); but for photos, editing can really bring lower quality images to life and make them look far better than they are.
Having a consistent look to your photos will not only make each individual post better, but it also makes your entire blog look more cohesive and ‘on brand’ if you like. It also helps your Instagram account look much better if you share blog photos on there (but that could be a post for another day)(or not, who the hell knows).
Those are my main blogging photography tips, but I would love to know more! Add yours in the comments below.