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.*