Hope you have all had a wonderful week.. and also enjoyed your Bank Holiday.. how does it seem so long ago already?!
I wanted to do a post that would hopefully help A LOT of you lovely guys out there… Recently I have been having SO many compliments on my blog photos (you are a lovely bunch.. I could just squeeze you all!)… so I thought what better thing to babble on about than photography!
Quick little disclaimer too.. I am by NO means a professional.. I just take photos for my little blog and for fun too.. and everything that I have learnt has been through experience and knowledge picked up here and there from other bloggers! I have been blogging for around 8 months.. and I can honestly say that I think my photos have improved massively! SO.. without further ado… lets get on with it… woo!
Decide on what background you want. This is completely personal and up to you – whether you want a bright, colourful background, a white, marble background (the standard blogger background – and my personal fave!).. the choice is completely yours! Now this is where DIY shops come in handy… remember when your parents were re-decorating the living room and they took home about 20 different wallpapers to see what went well together? WELL… you can do exactly the same (tehehe).. so pop into B&M or B&Q and take a few “samples”.. just don’t go too crazy (ha!). Another thing that can work amazingly is a plain canvas! I also want to incorporate different textures into my background.. i.e. faux fur or blankets.. I have seen quite a few people do this and it looks GORGEOUS and really adds something to their images!
Girls.. FIND YOUR BLOGGING SPOT. Whether that is a corner in your bedroom, the hallway.. the bathroom.. find a location that works for you! Now.. I mean a location where there is plenty of natural light, lots of room for you to move around, and NO CLUTTER! I like to use the space in the spare living room, right next to the window! It is also worth keeping a box/basket where you can keep items you regularly use in photos (such as props.. MORE on these later!). I am honestly DREAMING of the day I have my own office/blogging/vlogging room… but for now.. my living room will do!
Should I be honest with you girlys? The camera I use is a Samsung 16MP HD digital camera that Saj (the hubby) got me whilst we were at Uni (5 years ago). Yep. I would LOVE to invest in an Olympus Pen (THE perfect blogging camera).. but when you have a mortgage to save up for… it is (unfortunately) not the first thing on my shopping list (boo!!). I WILL GET ONE SOON! Hint… it is my birthday in July.. just saying. ANYWAYS.. the whole point of that little babble was to reassure you that any camera you have is FINE. Whether you have a Canon (dreamy), or are using your iPhone… your photos will still be FAB!
Now… for me … I had to include editing in this Basics list guys. Trust me.. it makes a MASSIVE difference into how eye catching/professional your photos look. Don’t be scared.. you do not have to do any fancy editing whatsoever! Just stick the brightness/highlight/contrast up a little bit.. and if you have bright colours… a teeny increase on the saturation never hurts. I use Pic Monkey for editing my blog photos.. it is SO easy to use.. and it is free! It is also pretty foolproof too.. so you should definitely check it out!
So lovelies.. that is my advice on the basics of blog photos! These should hopefully help if you are just trying to up your blog photo game.. and are some good starting points!
NOW.. if you have mastered the basics (which I am sure you will… there really isn’t much to it.. hehe)… you can move onto the ADVANCED points. OK… they are not really advanced.. it is just things that take that little bit more effort.. and I feel are essential if you really want to up your blog photo game.
Ohhh .. nothing better than a good old flat lay image. Yes they take that little bit more time, yes they cause you to have a sore back, yes you look like an absolute BOOB when you are taking them.. but THEY MAKE A DAMN GOOD PHOTO! I only really started taking flat lays a few months into blogging.. now every photo of mine has to be one hehe! I thought I would share some of the tips/tricks I have picked up along the way!
One word. Chair. Enough said.
Props are literally your best friend when it comes to flat lays. I like to think of my flat lays as telling a little bit of a story (weird I know, haha!).. but I find that this helps me so much! See one of my favourite flat lays below:
This was from my Teen Make Up Post.. and I used props that I associated with being young (the old generation iPod, baby lips lip balm, a very retro looking mascara).. and I loved how this image turned out!
Use one item as a “base” item. Then add other items that associate with that! For example.. use a glass of water (very basic I know)… then add some pretty drinking straws, some fake flowers.. maybe a funky little tray.. AND YOU ARE DONE! It really is all about getting creative and letting your personality shine in your photos!
Confetti makes all the difference. Especially if you have a plain white background.. confetti just makes the image look extra special and eye catching. Trust me.. grab some confetti and go wild. Just keep the hoover close by.. you will make a mess, ha!
Don’t go overboard. For me.. there is nothing worse than my flat lay looking too crowded. I like to be able to see the background too.. and I know when I have added way too much to my photos! Just experiment and see what looks right!
For over 7 months of my blogging life.. I stuck to natural light/editing… and I was happy. HOWEVER.. once I started YouTube.. I realized lighting was that LITTLE bit more of an essential. I have included it in this Advanced section because I happily took all my photos without them… and you can too. However.. if you are able to invest in some.. I would say do it. They make taking blog photos so much easier… you do not have to worry about shadows, everything just looks more “crisp”, and you can take your photos at more or less any time and not worry about natural light as much! I use soft box lighting.. and I picked them up for £30 on eBay.. not bad at all ey?!
Anything makes a good prop. Beauty products, fake flowers, little bunnies, lipsticks… trust me.. have a Blog Prop Box with ANYTHING you find around the house and use it in your photos! It makes them so much more fun to look at! As mentioned before.. try not to add too many in one photo! A perfect example would be:
- Your favorite beauty items
- Some fake flowers
- Small glass hearts
- Some seasonal items (bunnies for Spring time!)
Lastly.. BE CREATIVE! Your blog and the photos you take are all about showing you and your personality. Get as creative as you want! If you want.. you can even make each of your images have a specific colour theme/beauty theme.. anything goes!
Take plenty of photos
Trust me.. the last thing you want is to take maybe 5″good” photos, put all your set up away, upload your photos.. and realize you hate every single one. Oh yes.. it happened to yours truly. AND it was a nightmare! Take as many photos from one angle, then move to another, and ANOTHER. This just means you have plenty to pick from!| I usually have around 80 photos to pick from.. and only end up using 8-9 ha!
Avoid the flash
The flash is evil. It makes your photos look washed out and weird. I have NEVER had any luck when using the flash.. so I recommend avoiding it! Stick to your natural light/soft box lighting… it looks SO much nicer!
Try not to over-edit
You want your pictures to look bright, crisp and clear. You do not want a blue/orange toned photo, or an image that is WAY to bright to look at! As I mentioned previously, a little bit of an increase in the contrast/brightness/highlight is all you need.
Designate a blog photo taking day
This will make your blogging experience so much easier! Set up your little photography studio (ahem .. in that little corner of your bedroom).. and take 2-3 posts worth of blog photos on one go! This means that everything you need is in one place.. and you are not running back and forth searching for your items to photograph! It also helps when you are writing.. as your photos will always jog your memory of what you are talking about!
Some Quick Instagram Tips!!
I thought I would add in some SPEEDY tips for Instagram photos!
- Take these at the same time you take your blog photos! It makes complete sense right.. you have everything set up.. why not? I like to take my weekly set of Instagram pics so they are all set to go up!
- For convenience.. take them on your phone camera! This means they are easy to access and quicker to edit too! I use PS Express to edit my Instagram photos.. and I use the same editing style for these too!
So loves.. that is my advice for blog photography! I personally think photos are SO important.. and are one of the main things that drive people to your blog! EVERYONE loves seeing lovely, bright images… so I really hope you are able to pick up on some of these things to help you!
I hope this post was informative.. I would love to know any tips you have, as I am always willing to learn more! Remember to just have fun and be as creative as possible! Thank you SO much for reading darlings.. and I cannot wait to see you in my next one!