This is so so important, yet I see so many blogs with dark photos. This is important for your Instagram photos too! Brighter photos always attract me more as I can see photos clearly, the image looks fresh and clean. The best is of course natural daylight, nothing beats photographing your products next to a window that lets in a lot of light. Always take photos away from the light not into the light, i.e. camera should be facing in the direction of light instead of against the light direction so the light is on the product and not being blocked by the product.
As we’re in Spring/Summer, daylight is not much of an issue. However when winter rolls in, it becomes almost impossible to catch that all important daylight. My one advice, please don’t use flash for blog photography! As soon as I see a photo with flash reflection, I’m out of there like a shot! My solution to this, is an IKEA uplighter (£6ish) and a natural cool daylight bulb (£6ish from John Lewis) and voila! The uplighter shade works similarly to a soft light box by softening the light and the cool daylight is blue-ish rather than the normal warm yellow bulbs. It will give you the brightness you need without the harsh flash effect. This works amazingly well and gives you flexibility to take photos with limited daylight!
You can also alter the brightness of your image when editing your blog photos. But don’t go overboard as too light pictures will wash out your product and that’s not what you want. I will be posting soon about some free and user-friendly software that will help you to edit your photos to perfection, keep an eye out for that!
Surprisingly I see a lot of out of focus photos around the blogosphere, even with people who clearly own a DSLR. I tend to stick with auto-focus as it is one less thing to worry about. Always make sure that your product is in focus. You want it to be clear that this is the product you’re talking about. If you take photos with your smart phone, click on the product on your photo screen to lock focus. This will give you a more clear and focussed photo. With your main product in focus, take a few photos at slightly different angles to see what works best. This will give you options for when you come to edit your photos and decide you don’t like the look of one! It’ll take less and less time with practice to get it right sooner.
It’s no longer enough to take photo of a product. Also, if you’re reading a blog, it can seem a little tiresome to scroll pages and pages of just product photos. I’ve recently really gotten into photo props for blog photography. My usual haunts are TK Maxx, Primark and Poundland. The homeware, kitchen and DIY departments are gold for props!
TK Maxx always has unique pieces – plates, vases, boxes etc in their home/kitchen department that you can incorporate into your image. Primark is great for jewellery pieces, inexpensive candles, cushions; and Poundland is a gem as you can find random awesome things in there almost every other week. For example, you know how everyone has the marble effect backgrounds on their images nowadays? Well, I spotted some self-adhesive shelf liners with the marble print pattern in Poundland! You could easily stick them to a large piece of cardboard and have yourself a marble effect background and all for a £1!!
Whatever props you use, make sure they complement the main product you’re photographing. Don’t clutter the image with too many props, and always opt for quite a plain-ish and bright background to make sure your product really stands out!
What are your blog photography essentials? Share in the comments below or tweet me @aspiring_london!