This series hasn't appeared on my blog for a while now and the first instalment seemed to go down really well (You can catch up here.) This months topic is 'Photography Advice' as it's probably my favourite thing to discuss on the blog. I have enrolled five amazing bloggers with photography to die for to give you a little bit of a photography heads up.
J I L L - A L I T T L E S O A P B O X
"When it comes to blog photography, I always try to remember these 3 things: lighting, lighting, lighting. It's a cliché but natural light really is your best friend, and no matter how well you've composed a photo, it ain't gonna look good unless it's well lit. My house is old with small windows, so I compensate for the shoddy lighting by using a bright white paper background placed on the floor to reflect what little light I get. I also like to let the subject do a lot of the talking for me (I'm lazy like that). If I'm photographing a beauty product I want readers to be able to see it easily, so I like to place it on a plain, fuss-free background. I'm a big, big fan of the flat lay (a shot taken from directly above) because you can see products quickly, clearly and - hopefully - in focus!"
E M M A - E M M A G R I F F Y
"I seem to talk about photography non-stop! Wether it’s blog posts (see here), with friends or on social media photography is pretty much my daily life. There isn’t a day were I don’t use a camera, this may be with an iPhone or my SLR, either way I’m always snapping away. There is SO many areas of photography to cover but I wanted to mention a short but sweet paragraph on what what I feel it takes to take a good photo. So! No matter what camera you have I would say the most important thing to do is have fun, what ever you do enjoy photography and find pleasure in taking photos! Secondly, no matter what stage you're at (a novice or a pro) you will find that you are constantly learning with photography, don’t expect to be David Bailey over night; quality takes time and patience. Thirdly, as I’ve said a gazzilion times before know your camera inside out, read and re-read reviews, tips and manuals; I can’t stress this enough, I often see people only using iPhones for their photographs and they produce some really outstanding photography, they have their camera angles, composition, colour scheme and theme down. So snap away and remember HAVE FUN!"
J A Y - W I T H I N J A Y S L I F E
"When Sinead asked me to take part in her post I was so encouraged. I love taking my blog pictures so I was so excited to take part in her post! A major tip I have is to always shoot your photos in natural light! I always try and take my photos in front of my window between the morning and mid day to get as much light as possible. To help with the lighting I use a large piece of white foam board in the place of a reflector. This reflects the light from the window on the the subject to brighten up the photo. I find that brighter and clearer photos are more attractive on a blog. Photos definitely aren't as interesting without props! Whether it's a scarf or a plate or even some fake flowers, adding some props brings more life to the pictures and makes them more appealing. Lastly one of the most important tips I have about taking blog photos is making them personal. The photography on your blog should be a personal thing! Something that represents you and your blog. Be you, don't try and be someone else."
C A R O L I N E - B U R K A T R O N
Photography is by far my favourite part of blogging. There’s something so satisfying about taking a good picture that I find addictive! I’m no professional but over time I’ve learnt what works best for me, I hope these tips help you too.Lighting is key. I always plan my days of shooting around the weather forecast (sad but true!) Work out what time you get the best light indoors and schedule your to-do list around it, I take all my photographs between 9am-1pm so if I have a lot to shoot I’ll get up early and have my DIY’S or interior features all set up before 9am. I also have my desk next to a window so I can shoot products on it with as much natural light as possible. If you’re shooting outdoors I find mid morning or late afternoon is the best time to head out so you avoid being washed out from the bright midday sun.
Get a good lens. I don’t believe you need a seriously expensive camera to get good pictures, switching from using the basic lens you get with most DSLR’S to a 30 or 50mm lens makes a huge difference to your images. If you’re on a budget try searching for used cameras on eBay or Amazon. You can even rent cameras and lens kits to find out what works for you before you buy. Shoot on manual. This is a little daunting but trust me your images will be brighter and better than ever if you take the plunge from the auto settings, mastering what ISO, shutter speed and aperture to pick just takes a little time and practise. There are oodles of helpful blog posts with advice for shooting on manual, if in doubt get on google and I guarantee you’ll find the answer.
Nail the flat lay. Whether it’s for blog posts or instagram a good flat lay of products or clothes makes for an interesting image. Get on pinterest and see what layouts and compositions you like and use them as a guideline for styling your own photography. Half the fun of photography for me is the styling, I often take a hundred pictures per post even though I’ll only use 4-5! I’m always moving the composition and adding in props so I have lots of options to select from. Get to grips with editing. I’ve only just switched to using photoshop so I’m spending quite a lot of time watching youtube tutorials on how to master the software! Before photoshop I used pic monkey- it’s a great piece of free online software and easy peasy to use. Always edit photographs, even a quick tweak to the brightness can make a huge difference to how they look online. I also recommend compressing or resizing your images to the width of your blog posts so they don’t take forever to load when someones opens your website.
L I L Y - P I N T S I Z E D B E A U T Y
The first thing I notice about a blog is its layout and photography, so for me, I always strive to make my photographs better with each post. If you’re looking to improve your photography then learning about your camera and its settings is a good place to start. You’ll be surprised how much your photographs will improve once you know how to edit and control brightness, contrast and angles. Next up and probably the most important – Turn off flash and go au naturel. It may take you a few different set ups to get the natural lighting right, but when you do, you’ll be amazed by the results. When it comes to blog photography just have fun, play around with backgrounds and don’t be afraid to be different.
Hope you liked the advice and do check out the bloggers who kindly took the time out of their busy schedule to get involved in the series. Also let me know in the comments if there are any future topics you would like to see discussed.
What is your photography advice?