Blog Photography 101♥

Hiya lovelies!♥

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!

The Basics♥

Background

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!

Location

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!

Camera

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!

Editing

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!

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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.

Advanced♥

Flat Lays

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:

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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!

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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!

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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!

Lighting

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?!

 Props

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!)

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DONE!

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!

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General Tips♥

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!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

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What Blogging Has Taught Me♥

Hiya lovelies!!♥

HOW ARE YOU ALL ON THIS LOVELY SUNDAY MORNING! I say lovely.. the sun is out.. BUT THERE IS ICE EVERYWHERE! We are in April.. this should not be happening, ha! ANYWAY…. aside from my update on the weather.. I hope you have had an absolutely amazing week… what have you been up to? I had my first full week at work in what seems like ages.. and surprisingly it passed very quick (woop!).

So… I was having a little think of what I could blog about.. and it dawned on me that I have been blogging for around 7 months.. and I have learnt quite a fair amount (if I do say so myself, hehe) about the blogging world.. and thought it would be fun to share all of these! Now darlings.. bear in mind this is a light-hearted post (as is everything on my blog)… so grab a cuppa, and be prepared to find out what I have learnt from blogging!

Diaries/Notepads will become your most favourite/used thing EVER♥

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Because they make amazing blog props, they are your LIFE when it comes to planning posts/jotting down ideas… etc. ALSO.. there is nothing more satisfying than writing (with coloured pens) in your notebook, and ticking off things. BEST FEELING EVER.. I feel SO liberated when I can tick off a post I have just put up! WOO!

The hours between 6-9pm are dedicated to Twitter chats♥

Now of course.. I am sure not ALL bloggers take part in Twitter chats.. but I try to take part in AT LEAST ONE a day. They are honestly one of the BEST ways to catch up with fellow bloggers and just ramble on about different topics! So… for at least an hour a day.. I am glued to my phone.. typing away… just make sure you have it on silent because your notifications WILL GO CRAZY.. and all you will hear from people around you is “TURN THAT BLOODY PHONE OFF”. Ha.

Flat lays give you the worst back ache EVER♥

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BUT THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. I am a massive lover of a good old flat lay… I have recently tried REALLY hard to make my photos look as GOOD as I can.. and in the few months I have been doing this.. I heave learnt the pain that comes with getting that perfect image. Picture this guys… me in my PJ’s.. no makeup on.. hair an absolute mess.. standing on my wooden dining chair in front of the massive mirror (I do get a few stares by the way ha)… snapping away! Now.. I like to take all my photos on one day (today is actually my photo taking day).. so obviously all this bending down gives you SUCH a back ache hehe! Oh.. the things we do for a good blog photo (sigh).

Weekends/Evenings become blog orientated♥

Now the good thing for so many of us bloggers is that blogging is our little escape from the craziness/business of our daily lives.. so I LOVE to spend a few hours every weekend/evening especially for blogging. So much of my life revolves around blogging (haha.. COME ON.. fellow bloggers I KNOW you are with me on this).. almost every single beauty/fashion item HAS to featured on my blog. When I discover something AMAZING, spot a good deal or use something that bloggers have been RAVING about.. IT HAS TO BE SHARED WITH YOU ALL. That is just the way it is when you become part of the blogging world.

SO much more happens behind the photo♥

This is what you see:

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This is what I see

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Say hello to Cookie!

There is ALWAYS someone to talk to♥

I have learnt that whatever time it is… if I need an opinion on a product, some fashion tips, a recommendation OR just someone to have a giggle with… I just tweet. YOU GUYS NEVER LET ME DOWN. I am completely obsessed with Twitter, and the majority of bloggers are too.. so a CRAZY amount of time is spent on our phones!! This also means that there is always SOMEONE up to talk to.. yay!

The blogging community is SO supportive!♥

Now… I was welcomed into the blogging world SO WELL by everyone… it is honestly such an amazing community to be part of. Bloggers are always willing to help you out… and because we have SO much in common with each other.. it is SO easy to get along with everyone! I recently started a YT channel.. and the support I have had from bloggers has been absolutely INSANE!!

You can never have enough fake flowers/props♥

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Any cute, flowery, funky looking prop is essential… and I have got a right lovely little collection going on at the moment. I have learnt that no photo is complete without some sort of prop.. whether that is fake flowers, confetti, cute little bunnies… yep I have a little box of blog props going on! My aim for the next few weeks is to DIY a few shoe boxes to create a cute box!! Would you guys like a post on this?

Blogger Emails/Mail is the most exciting thing EVER♥

Enough said. I cannot even tell you the excitement you get when a company you love emails you/responds to you. AND DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED WHEN YOU RECEIVE BLOGGER MAIL! (I love this phrase by the way hehe).

Blogging is the best decision I ever made♥

Hands down. BEST DECISION EVER. I enjoy it so much.. I have “met” so many lovely people.. worked with some of my most FAVE brands.. and love coming home after a hard day at work and just settling down with my blog. My favourite things to do is think up different blog ideas, catching up on other blogs and spend time typing away!

So lovelies.. these are just a few things that spring to mind when I think about how my life has changed since blogging. I honestly cannot believe it has been almost 7 months since I started my blog… it really has been the best decision I have ever made! It even gave me the confidence to start a YT channel.. something that I have wanted to do for the longest time! It is SO weird to think that at one point these things meant NOTHING to me haha! 

ANYWAYS LOVES.. I hope you enjoyed reading this post.. make sure to let me know what things YOU have learnt since blogging. Have you been blogging for months, or years? SO… Lets see what the next 7 months brings us ey?!

Have a lovely Sunday darlings.. and make sure to check out my new YouTube video (that went live yesterday!).. I also cannot even believe the response that has had.. I had over 100 subscribers in less than 2 weeks! Eeeeeek!! That is thanks to all the support you amazing bunch give me.. I really do love you all *gives you all the biggest hug ever*.

Thank you SO much for reading lovelies.. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already! I will see you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin // YouTube ♥♥

 

Blog Achievements & Goals for 2016♥

Hey my angels!♥

Can I just start my saying my last post was my 50th one!! Eeeeeek! I CANNOT believe that I have posted THAT much since October (when I started blogging!). Funnily enough this post is actually about what I have achieved with my blog too! Lets first have a quick catch up, ey? I have a cuppa with me, and I’m in my PJ’s (as usual)… and cannot wait to blog guys!

So… hope you all had a FAB Christmas (HOW does it seem SO long ago?!).. and are getting ready for the new year! I am now off work for 4 days too.. so will have plenty of time to get myself organized for 2016! I will also be popping into town tomorrow to buy myself my 2016 planner/diary .. if you read my latest post HERE, you will know this is essential for having a great start to the year!

Anyway loves .. let’s get on with this post! Now… I have seen SO many bloggers do these, and I honestly think it is SUCH a good idea.. I am a huge believer than any achievement should be celebrated, no matter how big or small it is. I have only been blogging for around 4 months, but I am already SO proud of what my little baby has achieved (YES .. I call my blog my baby .. and I know a lot of you do too ha!). Now.. I am not one to be focused ONLY on numbers .. but I have been SO SHOCKED by the views/followers on my blog/social media recently! It really does make you feel quite proud and motivates you to make your blog better!!

So.. a quick overview of what I have achieved so far!♥

Blog / Blog Lovin’♥

Now … I cannot believe how many followers I have when I combine my blog & Blog Lovin’ since I started … I have over 300 followers (eeekk!!). I know this may not seem like many to some people .. BUT I AM SO PROUD! I never even thought I would reach over 100 by the end of the year! I just can’t believe there are over 300 of you who took the time out to follow me and read my ramblings! Lots of love to you all!!

Link to my Blog Lovin’♥

Social Media♥

My followers on Twitter are definitely the biggest shock to me because I did not think I would have even reached half the followers I have by the end of the year! But guys … I have over 850 followers! That is crazy!! I love Twitter SO much because it gives you instant access to interact with so many bloggers, as well as promoting your blog and interacting with brands! I also get the most traffic from Twitter too .. I don’t think I ever go longer than a few hours without checking my Twitter! I also LOVE Instagram .. and have almost 500 followers on there (eeeek!).. I think my biggest achievement on Instagram was having an OOTD of mine being featured on a popular hijabi fashion page … I felt so privileged hehe!

Link to my Twitter & Instagram

Instagram

Getting To Know Other Bloggers♥

I am not sure if this is really an achievement- but more something that blogging as helped me with.. and that is interacting with SO many AMAZING girls who all have the same interests as me. I have met some of the nicest, kindest, funniest most genuine girls online ever … I literally feel like I know you so well! You are ALL my blogging babies .. and my journey through blogging would not be the same without you all! I also LOVE taking part in Twitter chats because it is such a good way to get to know other bloggers!

Working With Brands♥

When I started blogging, I didn’t think I would have been given the opportunity to work with brands as quickly as I did .. but OH MY when I got that first email from a company .. I WAS SO EXCITED! Of course.. I would never just say “yes” to any company .. I know you probably read this all the time .. but I would never feature anything on my blog that was not relevant or that I didn’t love! I would just not waste my time (hehe!). I (personally) think working with brands is such an excellent opportunity for bloggers … but it is so important to not lose touch with your readers and ONLY focus on free gifts!

I had the opportunity to work alongside Coconut Lane (my post HERE with more information) and LYDC London (posts also HERE & HERE). Both these brands are absolutely FAB … and the ladies I spoke to were the nicest people EVER .. I literally got on SO well with them (AND keep in touch with them too!).

Developing a Relationship With My Readers♥

I think interacting with your readers is the most important thing in blogging .. and I LOVE commenting back and giving/receiving advice from my readers! I notice you little babes who always comment on my blog and I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT TO COMMENT.. I have SO much love for you!♥

Phew!! I definitely think that is a lot to achieve in four months .. can you guys now see why I am so excited for the next year? I am SO happy that I started blogging .. literally one of THE best decisions I have ever made! So lovelies .. should we see a few of my goals that I have for 2016?

♥Goals♥

Attend Blogger Meet Ups/Events – This is probably one of the biggest goals I have … after developing some fantastic relationships with bloggers, I would LOVE to go to a meet up! I already LOVE interacting with you girlies through social media .. so IMAGINE IF WE GOT TO MEET?!

Improve Photography – For now, I am using my little Samsung camera.. but I want to buy a better camera for my blog photos… I think it will make SUCH a huge difference. I told myself that I would only invest in a new camera if I was serious about blogging (which I am haha!).. I just have to figure out which one I want!

More Beauty/Lifestyle Posts – My blog originally focused quite a lot on fashion … but I definitely want to have more beauty/lifestyle posts! This does not mean I won’t be putting up fashion posts .. they are still one of my FAVES to put up/take photos for!

Work With More Brands – I would LOVE to be given the opportunity to work with more brands… Simply because I love networking with other bloggers and companies! It is such a FAB way to introduce my lovely readers, family & friends to products/companies they may not have heard of!

Improve My Blog Layout/Brand – I am SO BAD at anything technical with my blog .. but I definitely want to learn the basics and improve my blog’s layout and design .. I really want to make it SO much more creative and personal! I will be making plenty of notes in my blogging notebook too .. so watch this space lovelies 😛

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So loves … that is a quick overview of what I want to achieve with my blog in the new year .. of course there are SO MANY MORE opportunities I could be given (hopefully ha!) .. So this is a brief overview of the goals I have .. but you never know what could happen angels!! Also, you may notice I do not have any specific numbers… simply because I honestly do not know what to put!! I have no idea how my blog will grow .. all I know is that I am going to be putting SO MUCH effort to making it the best it can possibly be .. and I really hope you join me on my journey!

Sooo much love for you all! I want to take this opportunity to thank you all SO MUCH for following and supporting me… You are all ANGELS and your comments/support mean the absolute world to me! Hopefully I will see you in the new year? Should we see where my blog goes in 2016? Eeeeek .. SO EXCITED FOR THE FUTURE (as you can probably tell ha!!)

LOTS OF LOVE SWEETIE PIES!!!

Saira xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin ♥