It been a while
…since my last photography tips post (you can see my first one here), but
since I was nominated for Best Blog Photography & Layout in the New Generation Beauty Influencer Awards, I
feel like it’s given me a little
push to be more creative and learn more about technique and what works for me
and my blog!
I never really considered my photography my strong suit until my
nomination (I’d love your vote by
the way – click here to send one my way!)
but I think that’s more down to my own self-doubt than anything else. But ever
since I realised my blog photography was being noticed and appreciated this way,
I’ve found a new love
for it and now feel like I’m working really hard to improve my skills and technique as much
as possible – and I’m loving it!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a camera n00b, and I only know the very basics of compositions
etc., but I feel like the more I’m self-teaching, the more I want to know more! It’s been so great to
have a new wave of passion hit me! I feel so inspired by everything!
So, in light of all this, I wanted to update my
list of blog photography tips for you all, and let you know the ways and means
I have improved my photography so far!
No.1 – Beware of reflective surfaces!
This first one is an issue that us beauty bloggers know all too
well – reflective, mirrored or generally shiny surfaces of products are the bane
of our lives! There are a few things I make sure to do to make sure they don’t become a massive nuisance,
and that is to
- Wear cheap white cotton gloves when styling the shot and
moving things around during to avoid annoying smudges!
- Always check the angle of reflective surfaces, and try to
angle away if they’re reflecting my ugly mug into the shot!
- Open products that have reflective lids, if redirecting the
reflection doesn’t work well.
- Use a white sheet of card to interrupt any awkward
reflections, if redirecting and opening the product hasn’t worked.
No.2 – Balancing compositions, or purposely unbalancing!
There’s nothing worse than putting away your flaylay bits ‘n’bobs, and sitting down
to edit photos, only to realise they’re almost perfect apart from blank spaces in the shots, or when
the set up just look sloppy and confusing to the eye. I’ve been trying to
spend time consciously considering the full space of a shot by either making
sure it’s all filled, corner
to corner, with balance of colour and business, or leaving purposely massive
blank areas in the shot, as a bit of a statement. It sounds so knit-picky, but
I promise this is something that can make all the difference to your shots!
No.3 – Trying to get a near perfect shot, and not relying on
This change came from me noticing that my shots were considerably
losing quality the more I was editing and it was driving me bonkers! I try and
set the camera, light, angles and composition as close to perfect as I can when
shooting, which means there is a lot less editing involved later. For example,
I will never use an editing tool (brightness etc.) more than 10 points either
way on Instagram. If it’s not good enough by 10 points, then I won’t post it – it’s just not worth being
less than proud of everything I post! The result – much more control over your
final image and a lot less editing time!
No.4 – Thinking outside the box when it comes to props & backdrops,
and banishing the marble contact paper forever!
This one comes entirely from a want to experiment and stand out
from other samey props other folks might use. Yeah, a marble background is
pretty, but it’s not going to stand
out from the crowd! How about you try some neon paper, or a wood background?
Switch it up a bit!
No.5 – Less flaylays, more stand ups!
Honestly? I just get bored of everything being so samey, and
samey-ness is the quickest way for me to become uninspired and unmotivated to
take photos! Standing up products allows you to play with depth of field and
levels a lot more, which always leads to more interesting shots! I can’t say I’ll ever give up
flaylays, because they’re staple, and I love them! But making things more exciting for
you and your following is always a step forward!
No.6 – Rule of Thirds
This is a VERY basic photography rule, but one that I didn’t really have a clue
about despite the obviousness of its name! It’s all about using vertical and horizontal shots to frame you
foreground, mid-ground and background subjects. One third busy, two thirds
empty space is my fave at the moment!
No.7 – Framing shots & taking shots in portrait
Not only does this look better on most blogs (as the photo will be
displayed larger – it’s width fits the post width more comfortably) but it also makes
the image more Instagram-friendly when you come to crop it down to square!
No.8 – No more artificial light
Maybe I won’t have this luxury if I’m ever lucky enough to make a living from blogging as I’ll have a lot more
photos to take, but recently I have been waiting for the perfect natural light
before shooting anything. I strictly do not use artificial light at the moment.
I just think it’s so obvious and
unflattering for most shots. I love playing with natural light shadows, but
trying to do this with artificial light is absolutely vile! #dramaqueen
No.9 – Taking time & being patient
This kinda leads perfectly from the last point, in that not only
do I need to be patient in waiting for the right light, but I need to be
patient with myself and allow myself the time to get super creative and try a
million different compositions and styling. The more shots the better! This
also means knowing when it’s time to put the lens cap on, have a cuppa, and come back later
when you’re feeling more into
No.10 – Trying not to post anything that isn’t my absolute best…
Let’s face it, whether we admit it or not, we all get that ‘blogger guilt’ when we haven’t posted on Instagram in
a while, or when there’s a new popular release that we should really post about sooner
rather than later… but as I’ve found, putting pressure like this on yourself is the quickest
way to sloppy, uninspired work! I’ve made a promise to myself that if I do a blog post shoot and I don’t REALLY love at least
4 of the photographs I took, then the whole lot is going in the delete button.
It sounds extreme but it’s honestly led me to setting a higher standard for myself and
forced me to allow myself the time to perfect, rather than send out a post that
I want to shove down the timeline as quickly as possible!
So that’s it for my latest tips to improve your blog photography – I hope
you found even a little bit useful! Let me know what you think, and if you’ve got any additional
tips I should be trying to improve even more!