How To Become a Photography Pro

Thursday, 9 November 2017



Since starting my blog back in January of this year, photography has been the biggest learning curve for me. Now, I don't think that I'm a photography pro by any means but before I started blogging, I'd never picked up a DSLR camera and now I not only own one, but also can take a half decent picture on one. Today, I will be sharing my tips with you so you can better improve your photos!


This monstrosity is a photo I took in January on my first ever blog post, which was an Illamasqua haul. As you can see, the background of this photo is pretty dirty. This was taken on a windowsill in my mum's house that the cat often liked to sit on, so no wonder it was a bit ugly. So that's my first tip. Get a clean, bright background. In my photos these days I use a board that I bought from Hobbycraft which was literally about £3. I do have to replace it because it's only foam, so it does wear and tear (and gets lipstick on it quite a lot) but for the price, it works for me so well. If you want something a bit jazzier than plain white (which I am thinking of doing to improve my Christmas content) then you can find loads of patterned contact paper on eBay and Amazon. My favourite flat-lay queens are Gemma of 'Gemma Louise' and Rachael of 'Pale Girl Rambling' and they both use fantastic textures in the background of their stunning photos. Whether you go for plain or patterned, it doesn't matter. So long as it's clean!

Another tip that may seem really obvious to some but really helped improve my photography is using natural light, which is something that new-to-blogging Chloe managed to actually do by taking those photos on a windowsill. Natural light really is the key to making your photos stand out. I take my photos on our bed which sits under a huge window and it is the lightest spot in our house because it's south-facing. However, now the nights are drawing in and finding natural lighting is a bit harder to do, I'm considering investing in a soft-box light. This is in no way a necessity but if you work late and get home when it's dark or live in a cave with no natural lighting then perhaps investing in a soft box is a good idea for you. This one on Amazon is only £26.99, so quite a cheap option.


Another thing that can lift your photography to the next level is props. You don't need to go out and specially buy props for your photography, it can be stuff you've just got lying around the house. For example, I use lots of make-up items and brushes as props in my photos quite often. For example, in the above photo you can see I used a little Nars blush and a lipstick to add a bit of dimension to the photo. I also love using fresh and fake flowers in my photos, which you will know if you read my blog and follow me on Instagram. I mostly use fake flowers because an obvious perk of those is that they don't die. I get all of my fake flowers from Homesense or Hobbycraft and they're only about £2-3 a time, which is really good value when you can style them in so many ways. I also really like using magazines, my laptop, scarves and jewellery in my photos to create dimension and texture, which is so important when taking flat-lays.

Another very important aspect to having beautiful, eye-catching blog photography is the editing. You don't need fancy, expensive photo-editing software to achieve light, bright photos. I just use use the app Colour Story which you can download on the app store for free and use the editing tools on there. Everyone raves about VSCO but I personally couldn't get on with that at all so I chose to try something new and find that Colour Story is so user friendly. I have a post on how I edit my blog photos that you can check out for more in-depth tips, although I have changed the way I edit them ever-so-slightly since then!


Something else which I believe to be a photography hack is trying out different angles. Quite often, I really hate how my photos look from above but swap the angle around and completely love them. If you're feeling like a photo is lacking something, just switch the angle and you might completely fall in love with it. When I do a photo session, I have over 100 shots from all different angles when I'm finally done. Sometimes I choose from above, other times I choose from the side, or from behind. It's really up to you what your preference is. My pro top for getting great flay-lays from above is standing on a chair above your set up. 

Many people believe that in order to take really nice blog photos, you have to have a DSLR camera or the Best CSC Camera. I just don't think this is the case. While I do have a DSLR and do take all my blog photos using it (I have a Sony A350), I believe the way you style and edit your photos is far more important. Plus, iPhones now have such incredible cameras that you really don't need a DSLR. For example, Holly of The Kitty Luxe only uses her iPhone to take blog pictures and her photos are far more beautiful than mine and I own and use a DSLR. While a DSLR does give you the option of different lenses, macro settings etc, I definitely wouldn't invest in one until you've mastered styling your photos, as a fancy camera won't automatically make your photos beautiful. 

As I said, I'm by no means a photography pro but I think my photos have come along a lot since I first started blogging, which was 10 months ago now and I just wanted to show you how much progress can be made in that time! If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Twitter!


*This post has been sponsored by Panasonic but all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

45 comments

  1. I have only recently got a DSLR camera (literally last night) and Im so excited to start playing around and hopefully improve the quality of my photos. The windowsill comment with the cat made me absolutely howl, I love it!! I think backgrounds are so important and I really do love when bloggers have a particular look to their photos it makes them stand out so much more for me! Great post!

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

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    1. How exciting! My photography massively improved when I got one because I made more of an effort with styling my photos! I still desperately want a macro lens!

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  2. Your photos are amazing! I genuinely suck at photography and just use my iPhone for my blog photos. I've been reading up on tips and your post is incredibly helpful! I live in a cave (well student accommodation that doesn't get to see the sun) so I think I might need to invest in a lightbox! Great post!

    Sian x
    www.theenglisheverygirl.com

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    1. Thank you so much! My student accomdation was so hard to take photos in and I’m so glad I’ve moved out because I have the perfect photo spot in our new flat!

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  3. I definitely need to buy some fake flowers and maybe some day I want to invest in a soft box light too! Great post!

    Sarahhilkemeijer.wordpress.com

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  4. I loved this! I'm trying to make my photos look a lot more snazzy and interesting! So props are something I'm definitely going to look into..your pictures look lush! πŸŒΊπŸ“Έ

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  5. Love this post, so many helpful tips included in it. I have to admit that despite owning a DSLR camera, I always use my photos for my photos as it’s so much more convenient! So bad!
    Mel
    http://littlemissmelanie.com

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  6. This is so useful! I've been dreading the oncoming winter months because I can never manage to get nice photos however hard I try thanks to the gloomy days but I'l definitely be buying some fake flowers to brighten them up a little!

    Loved this post! Thankyou :)

    Eloise x
    http://www.eloisewrites.co.uk/

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    1. Winter is the worst for bloggers! Flowers make everything brighter! πŸ’•

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  7. Excellent tips & advice! I'm not really photography-savvy so these little tips will definitely come in handy! I tend to shy away from photography because I'm rubbish at it but I think I'll start playing around with props and such just to get more confident with it!

    Thank you for this post!!! Will definitely refer back to this in future!!

    Charlene McElhinney
    www.charlenemcelhinney.co.uk

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    1. You should!! You saw my early photography, it was completely pants!! Anyone can learn to take a good photo! Xx

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  8. great post,very helpful.

    https://styleandtellblog.wordpress.com/

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  9. Loved reading this, Snapseed is a really great free app for editing photos too I've also written a post on how to use it :) x

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    1. I use ColourStory and that works for me ☺️

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  10. Brilliant tips here! I definitely agree on the background - I get my white card from the range and it’s around £2 but works well! Natural daylight is also so important for clear, crisp shots. I’m really enjoying improving my photos! x

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    1. Me too! Always room for improvement I say! X

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  11. I always love your photos they are so fabulous and pleasing to look at! I don't use a lot of the same techniques as bloggers do but I quite like having my own style and I think it suits the theme of my blog :) I do want to start getting some fabric to get different backgrounds though! Also I love VSCO it changed my life haha! Will have a play around with colour story too now!
    Alice Xx
    www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

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    1. Aw thank you Alice! I love your photos - they’re different but lovely!

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  12. Your photos have definitely improved so much, Chlo, they're absolutely beautiful now! I definitely need to invest in a soft-box light, especially as the nights are much darker! xx

    www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Chlo! I’m so struggling with the light at the moment πŸ™ƒ

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  13. These are definitely some great tips! Having a soft box light or two can be so helpful when it gets dark although not a necessity x

    Kayleigh Zara ��www.kayleighzaraa.com


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  14. I love trying out different angles when having a photography sesh, it can make such a difference!

    Gemma Louise

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  15. Also thanks for the mention you babe!!

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  16. All of these tips are great! I used soft box lighting for the first time at the beginning of the week for a couple of blog photos, as it's always dark when I get home from work, and I loved the way the lighting in the photos turned out - I'm definitely going to be doing that more often, I think I even prefer it to natural light to be honest because there are no shadows xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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    1. So good to hear a positive experience! I defo want to get one now! Xx

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  17. My first blog photos, well for the first couple of years, are so embarrassing! x

    www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

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  18. Fab tips here! It looks like you've come a long way! My first blog photos are so embarrassing as well, but I keep them up as a reminder of my progression! 100% agree with the natural light point, it definitely looks the best! Fab post xx

    emily x ❤ | emilyloula.com

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  19. Wow, your photography has improved so much and is really beautiful. You've mastered it really well. I definitely need to take on tips and improve mine too! I have to take all of my photos at night though because of working during the day all week so I have a little studio set up with two soft boxes. It's so fun I love taking photos! xxx

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    1. You’re making me want to get a soft box sooo badly!! I love your photos so much & thank you for your kind words x

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  20. I always find photography tip posts so interesting as everyone seems to have a unique method of taking and editing your photos! I love your images because they're always a slightly different take on the standard flatlay with lots of different angles! I also agree that you needn't spend loads on props to up your photography game, I tend to use bits and bobs I've already got lying around the house as well haha! Holly from The Kitty Luxe and Rachael from Pale Girl Rambling are two of my favourite people for photography inspo as well!

    Abbey πŸŽ„ http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk/

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  21. I loves reading this and definitely think multiple angles and shots are key. I absolutely love adding texture to the background and really think it makes photos. I have one light box which I tend to use when the lights starting to go and it's really amazing at counteracting. Xx

    Kristy | www.thevioletblonde.com

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  22. I've been trying to make more effort with my photography now too! I hate when I forget to take photos early because as you said natural light is the best! Still working on improving and learning all the tricks my olympus pen has to offer! x

    G

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  23. Your photograph has improved so much wow! I hate the fact we have so little daylight now, it's making it a pain to take decent photos haha x

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  24. I love reading photography tips like this! I think photography improves as your skills progress :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

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  25. I just use my phone but my biggest problem is coming up with the props and backgrounds, I lack creativity and motivation. These are some really good tips, will have to read this again for reference! xox
    www.emmalanglands.co.uk

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  26. I need that soft box, it’s so difficult to take photos now that it’s darker x

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