It's been a while since I've thrown some photography tips and tricks together for a blog post, and to be honest it's mostly because I feel there is so much out on the internet there wasn't a lot else to add, but after a few tweets and replies to my post last week, it seems any advice is good advice!
For a few more in-depth and technical tips, I must direct you to some previous posts - How To Achieve Blurry Backgrounds | How To Improve Food Photography | In-Depth Photography Tips for Blogs #1 | In-Depth Photography Tips for Blogs #2 | 7 Tips for Good Photography - these range on everything from manual settings to framing, saving images correctly and lighting lighting lighting so hopefully they help!
My photography style has changed a lot over the years (even glancing back two years on this blog I cringe) and where I'm at now features a lot of bright, clean images, with a bit of texture and personality; personality is always key, it helps identify your work from someone else - even if everyone is going marble flaylays, how you do your marble flatlay will make it stand out against another - perhaps you feature a statement colour alongside it, only shoot in portrait, minimal products or lots of contrasting features, how you inject you into your work makes the difference.
Props are a fab way of taking your images to the next level - as I said, whether you keep a colour theme or use minimal products, props can add life and dynamics easily and effectively. Things like flowers and succulents always look good, but only do it if you find it relevant to the content or your style. If you know you kill plants and hate nature, don't try to fool people - but if you're a convert like me, stick to faux plants. I'm a big fan of the colour blue, so I try to mix up my images with varied blue textures - jazzy napkins, unique coasters, plates and even my Instax show off my personality, what I talk about/am interested, in whilst keeping it consistent with my content.
Simple backdrop ideas: wallpaper, coloured card (overlapping or side by side), cushion covers, chopping board, throw, white-washed wood, minimal patterned paper. Places to buy: craft stores, Paperchase, art galleries, homeware stores (IKEA, Athropologie, Habitat etc)
TIP If flatlays/product shots are your thing, then you probably know the ol'blu tac trick for keeping products in place - simply stop your fave lippy rolling around with a piece of tac and you're good to go. Sometimes though, you're out of blu tac and another great trick I've found is to use hair pins - yes the thing you lose most; they're easy to edit out, discreet, and you can line a few up to keep that hairspray from rolling off the table. I also use lids, water bottles, crystals or any substantial item to keep items lifted up or wedged in place, just find the right size, make sure it stays hidden, and you're good to go!
Lighting comes up time and time again, and as Autumn creeps up, many bloggers freak out about how they are going to make the most of the daylight once the shorter days come in. You have a few options:
• Batch take your photographs now - if you've scheduled until next February then you are a champ, but seriously every little helps.
• Natural light is always the best - I end up photographing in three rooms throughout the day due to where the sun is brightest/neutral ie no excessive yellow/blue tones in images. These can be corrected on a camera's White Balance setting, but the less you have to tweak your equipment the better. Note where the sun travels around your house, which rooms are brightest longest, and what tone of colour do they give off - a warm coloured room will make images warmer, a cool coloured room will be crisp and bright. A common misconception also is that you have to shoot on a cloudless, scorcher of a day; this is in fact the worst time to shoot as you struggle more with light settings, bleaching out and 'looking natural'. Diffuse light with white sheets or a diffuser, or stick to a bright yet cloudy day, as clouds are a natural diffuser for excess exposure!
• Invest in daylight bulbs - these have a clean, blue light similar to the sun at around 11-3pm in Summer plus they're also a great relief for SAD or general lack of light in the cold months.
• Use reflective surfaces - mirrors, reflectors, white board, mirrored trays, these all help bounce light back into photos and cancel out shadows, not only making editing easier but making your photos brighter and lighter all year long without a heavy cost on lights!
A brief re-cap with a few ideas to jog your memory, perfect if you're planning a weekend photo-sesh! I'm planning on some more specific topics i.e. street photography, colour compliments so let me know your thoughts, but this is just enough to get you started right? ;) Happy Snapping!
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.
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