I absolutely love taking photos, last summer I managed to fill a whole album with 200 photos (I may have gone a bit ott but I just couldn’t stop). One of the big reasons I love blogging is that I’m able to share my thoughts and photos with you all. I am in no way shape or form the best photographer out there but I think it’s fun to read about different people’s tips and styles. I think photos are so important in blog posts because they help break up the text and engage the reader so they don’t get put off by a bunch of text. Everyone has their own style and that’s what makes photography amazing, it’s your opportunity to capture moments and share your visions with other people. Don’t feel like you have to change anything about how you take photos just because someone tells you otherwise, as long as your happy then thats all that matters but hopefully I can be of some help in your photos for your blog or instagram… Okay I’ll stop rambling on, let’s get straight into it.
For the majority of the photos on my blog I use my Canon 700D. I absolutely adore it and would 100% recommend getting a DSLR if you really love photography and want to take your blogs photos to the next level. However you don’t need a fancy camera to take amazing photos. I had wanted a DSLR for about 3 years and I’d done so much research before I actually bought one so I knew that I was spending my money on. It’s a big investment and if you don’t have heaps of money to spend then you can for sure use your phone’s camera or a smaller point and shoot camera and still get really lovely photos. If you are going to use your phones camera definitely use the back camera when taking photos as the quality is much better than the inside camera.
There is a quality difference between the two but I think that’s expected when the price of a DSLR is pretty much the same if not more than an iPhone. There are also a lot more options on a DSLR of how the photo will be taken which I love because I can adjust it perfectly to fit the conditions. If you are happy with your phone’s camera and like how your photos are now then don’t feel like you need to rush out and spend all your money on a camera but I haven’t regretted spending the money on mine once.
As you can see in the photos above there is an obvious difference between the quality and the overall look of the two images (the two images were taken in the exact same conditions). The colours are shown better on the DSLRs image and it is a lot clearer and brighter. I do prefer the look of photos I take on my camera but I have taken very lovely photos on my phone also. It all depends on your personal preference and financial situation.
I personally prefer to use photos I take myself on my blog although I have used stock photos in the past. Sometimes I’ll be writing a post at 11pm and want to get it up but don’t have any photos that I’ve taken that will go with it so I’ll use a stock photo. When I write WIshlist posts I dont own the products so I dont have the option of taking the photos myself (just make sure the images you use are clear and of simiar size so it flows nicely). I think it’s fine every now and then to use a stock photo if you’re in a tight spot and can’t get a photo but I definitely prefer using my own photos and reading other bloggers posts where they’ve taken their own photos as its more personal and it shows they put more effort in.
When it comes to product reviews, favourites etc. I much prefer when people take their own photos as it shows that they’ve actually been using the product and loving it. It creates an overall more genuine and more credible feel to their post and blog as a whole. Also stock photos can look a bit messy on your post as they aren’t usually very big files so they go fuzzy and pixellated once resized. Taking your own photos can be daunting to some but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects to consider while taking a photo as if the lighting is bad it can completely ruin a photo no matter that camera you’re using. Natural light is perfect for photos as it keeps the colours true to life and keeps the image clear but sometimes natural light isn’t available so then what do you do? I’d recommend not just switching on your bedside lamp and snapping the photo as it can give a yellow dull light which doesn’t make for a very nice photo. If you can’t use natural light then I’d suggest buying a daylight bulb and putting it into your lamp which will more accuratley replicate natural light or there’s the option of studio lights. Studio lights are amazing for taking photos if you don’t have access to natural light but they are often very expensive. I have two umbrella lights but I only own them because my dad bought them when he was doing photography for a company and he no longer needed them. They are in no way necessary but are very helpful if you often find yourself wanting to take blog photos at night or live where the sun isnt very reliable. You can buy daylight bulbs in most supermarkets and hardware stores for a very cheap price or if you want to step it up a notch Amazon sells varying styles of studio lights to meet everyone’s needs.
I would suggest to stay away from using your cameras flash as it often does more harm than good, I find it washes out the colour and produces more glare which can ruin the photo. However it does depend on what you’re taking a photo of and where you are, as to if you should use the flash or not.
ALWAYS face the product/subject away from the light source. If you’re going for the look of the product being dark and having a light background then by all means go for it but for most photos it doesn’t look too fab. I’ve seen alot of blogs where they’ve taken photos of products towards the light and I just want to reach through the screen and flip it around, this little (& very easy) change can make your photos look 10x more professional and put-together.
A photo being out of focus is annoying not only for you as the person taking the photos but also as the reader. It’s something so simple but still easy to get wrong. All you have to do is set your camera to auto focus and then most of the time it’ll do all the hard work for you, still make sure it’s focused because even auto focus gets it wrong sometimes. I suggest taking a few photos of the same thing so that if one of them is out of focus you have more chances of having one in focus. It’s often harder to get your camera to focus clearly on objsect up close so take your time moving in and out until you get it in focus or try switiching to macro mode which should help.
Snapping the Photo
Ahh here’s the more daunting part.. actually taking the photo. Don’t freak out I’ve got you. Taking the photo is where you’ve got to tap into the creative side of your brain, it’s all about how you set up where your going to take the photo and how you actually take the photo (angle, form etc).
The first thing to think about is your background. Is it messy? Can you clearly see what product is the focus? If the background is too messy it can get distracting and the product you want the focus to be on can get lost. Sometimes I like my photos to have a more cluttered look as it can make the image more interesting but for the most part a clean background helps the product you’re talking about stand out and gives a more professional look for the photo as a whole. (This step can be completely different depending on the look you’re going for). Also be careful of the colours in the background as you don’t want your product to blend into the background too much and get lost.
Next is the overall form/composition of the photo. When I’m taking a photo of a product I like to get quite close to it so that there isn’t too much empty space in the photo. The composition of a photo varies depending on what you are taking a photo of, if your taking a photo of the beach for example you probably want to get quite a bit of the beach in the photo so you’d consider your composition, you’d change your composition of the photo if you wanted to get a close up of a shell on the sand. Just play around for a bit until you take a photo and you like how it looks.
Finally the angle, there’s no real trick for this just have some fun with it, take a few photos and then you can decide later what ones you actually want to use in your post. When in doubt keep it simple, you dont have to do anything extravagant just make the product clear and then play around once you’re more comfortable.
Photography is all about having fun and sharing your visions with everyone else in the blogging world. Have fun with it and don’t stress, all you need is a camera and something to take a photo of. I really hope that my little tips helped you in some way. I’m planning two more photography style posts which I’ll be writing in the future, one on Flat lays and another on how I edit my images. (Side note: none of the images in this post were edited apart from adding the text). Thank you all so much for reading, you all are seriously so amazing and each and every one of you brightens my day ♡
Love Sophie xx