I’m a bit of an anomaly in that I started a YouTube channel before a blog. I had been doing YouTube for almost three years before I decided to write a blog as well. But that meant I had already purchased a nice camera and had learned to use it before I ever needed to take blog pictures with it. I still have that beautiful Canon T3 (It might be time to upgrade!!) and I love learning new camera tricks. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite beginner tips to help you take better blog photos!
This is one of my biggest tips for getting better photos. Natural light is definitely the best light, and you should rarely use your flash. If you’re taking photos indoors, move the object near a window so that there’s plenty of natural light. If you’re outdoors, make sure you stick to morning or evenings when the sun isn’t as strong, or go into the shade. Harsh direct sunlight can be overpowering. When I first started my blog, it was winter and I was in college, so I went to classes and work all day so that by the time I got home, it was pitch black out. I invested in these lights, and more recently a ring light, and it’s definitely helped. I still recommend natural light whenever possible, though.
Edit Your Photos
It’s rare to take a perfect picture that needs no editing. Editing your photos on your computer or phone can really change everything. I’m not saying you need to invest in an expensive and time-consuming product like Photoshop (although you can!), but even using free or inexpensive editing tools will make a difference in your photos. For apps, I highly recommend VSCO and FaceTune. VSCO has awesome filters, and FaceTune has some awesome features. I typically use FaceTune to lighten my photos, add brighter whites to areas where things are already white and edit any pesky zits. Be careful with FaceTune, though, because if you over-edit your skin tone or eyes, it will be very obvious to anyone who sees the photos.
Flatlays are ‘In’
Flatlays are hugely popular and appealing to many eyes. They make perfect blog photos for blog posts that don’t need product photos, and they make great hero images. You can take a flatlay with literally anything lying around your house but I’ve written up a list of 25 different things you can find or buy for flatlay photos. Get it here:
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Play around with different props, backgrounds, and posing. Some easy and cheap backgrounds are colored or white poster board, a wooden table, a wooden cutting board, a fuzzy rug or even your deck outside! The possibilities are endless.
Use a Tripod
A tripod is almost always going to help you get a better shot when you’re shooting products or landscapes. With portrait photography, this can not always prove true. But, it’s a good idea to invest in a good tripod that can be transported to various locations around your house or town.
When you’re out shopping and you spot something that would make for a cute photo or matches your blog’s branding, buy it. I have an entire drawer dedicated to different, random items that match my branding that I can easily slip into a photo to make it cohesive. I’m not saying buy expensive items, I’m talking little things like pens, paper clips, notebooks, calendars etc
Another way to ‘stock up’ is on photos. If you’re already getting your camera and all it’s accessories out to take photos for a specific blog post, snap some other ones of random items around your home while you’re at it. If you’re heading out for an outfit of the day picture, take pictures from all angles so you can reuse them on social media. Even if you aren’t carrying your camera, if you spot something pretty – a pretty sunset, an interesting scene – take a picture of it. Even if it never gets used, it’s better to have an excess of photos for options for your blog or social media. It’ll also give you other options for days you just do not want to take photos.
Plan Out Your Shoots
This is especially important for any shoots that involve outfit changes or location changes, but even for a simple product shoot this is important. Sit down and write out what you want the photos to look like and what props and accessories you’ll need. If the photos involve outfit changes, outline what the outfits need and determine the order to take the photos in that involve the least amount of changing in the car. Lastly, if the photos involve going somewhere outside your house, decide where to take pictures ahead of time, and what poses you want to focus on. Speaking of shooting locations, when you’re out driving around one day, look around! You may find a bright wall or mural that would be a fun location or a beautiful park that would be perfect.
Thanks for reading!