For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in photography. I was always the child that would hog the family camera and run around the house taking ‘artistic’ shots of wonky curtain rails and potpourri bowls and thinking they were amazing. As I got older, I began to sway more towards the selfie camera than a digital, and I’ll always remember adamantly complaining to my Art teacher that my terrible Samsung Galaxy phone camera took much better photos than his bulky DSLR with too many buttons to understand. But when I started blogging, I began to get a much clearer understanding of what photography actually meant – I learnt what the buttons did, what Shutter Speed was, how to position that perfectly flay-lay.Blogging completely transformed my opinion on photography and even sparked an interest that actually helped me in finding a professional internship last summer and led me to my current part time job!
So in this blog post, I thought I’d do a little walk through of some of my favourite blog photos, and share a few of my favourite tips for shooting professionally!Currently my blog photos are taken with a combination of two cameras – my old reliable Olympus Pen E-Pl7, and my new photography toy, a Fujifilm X10 Compact, and whilst both have different highlights and qualities, both have the ability to make my blog photos absolutely beautiful – if you know what buttons to push.
- One of the first things I do when setting up a shoot is decide on a ‘theme’. Whether what I’m going to be shooting is going to be an instant festive shot, a modern marble gloss photo or a soft, cosy coffee frame. This then helps me to decide on the background or base. A really handy tip I picked up fairly early on in my first year of blogging was that the background of your photographs can almost decide the theme for you so they really do make a difference. Whenever I’m shooting product photography, I’ll grab my portable whiteboard and pin down a wide sheet of wallpaper onto it or a soft bed sheet, and use this as my base. You can pick up different wallpaper cuttings from any homeware store, and whilst it’s usually best to ask permission first, they’re usually more than happy to let you take as many as you need!
- Lighting is another really important factor in getting those perfect frames, so always aim to take your photos in natural morning-midday lighting. Sunsets make for pretty photos yet, but yellow lighting can cheapen even the prettiest of product packaging. To avoid harsh shadows, try to take your photos from above – to save on micro editing later on.
- Layout. Finding that perfect layout is something I still struggle with to this day. I can never seem to get it right! But unless your product is simply too busy to be crowded, a few little blog props can help set off your item just right, and make for a much more attractive photograph. Blog props can be found in anything – jewellery, plants, food, make up, flowers, a frothy cup of coffee etc… So long as the colours compliment each other and you try to avoid simply photographing a pile of unidentifiable objects, it might just work!
- Angles. The perfect flat-lay is something we all aspire to achieve, and is honestly more simple than we tend to make it. Standing on a chair, bed or stool and making sure that every product is in shot but doesn’t touch the edge of the frame is really all that’s involved at this stage. If you can fit in your steaming hot coffee, berry lipstick case, 5 silver rings and beautifully frosted mini cupcake, you’re pretty much there.
- You. Don’t be put off from including yourself in your photographs. Whether it’s a dainty finger clasp, a curl of hair, a cutely painted toenail or a yoga-worthy pair of lotus legs, having the blogger herself in a photograph can really bring it to life and give a little credibility to your usage of the product.
My photography is a project I hope to improve, adapt and work into the rest of my life – whether it’s grabbing that perfect holiday selfie, or taking my camera with me to the highest peak of adventure.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog post, and it’s inspired you to take some beautiful photos with the props at your disposal!
Have a great evening!