Photography for new bloggers – when you don’t need a DSLR camera or lots of money!

This post is a bit of a ‘spur of the moment’ one. After receiving so many lovely comments about how my photography looks lovely and people have asked how I achieve nice looking photos, I thought I would share some points with you.

As it’s super easy, and I just use my iPhone 7 camera and a few props!

As a new blogger, I am constantly looking for inspiring photos and wondering how these bloggers get such amazing shots with the lovely blur effect, and every time their photos just looks so crisp and white.

The likelihood is,  they have invested A LOT of time, money and effort into getting their photos like this, and good on them, they deserve to get a lot of recognition. However, if you are reading this and are like me, I am relatively new on the blogging scene and have to make do with what I have.

So with that in mind, I am NO expert and my photos are nowhere near perfect but I think I have made good use with what I have and haven’t spend hundreds of pounds achieving this!

Here goes a few simple points if you didn’t already know..

Background:

I genuinely used to be so blind to this and think every blogger must have lots of crisp white surfaces / marble tops in their home, and I used to look around mine trying to find white areas like the windowsills etc. but they just didn’t look the same. The thing is, this is because backgrounds are bought specifically for taking photos (which I have now realised). So I just use quite a large plain white foam board, which I picked up from Hobbycraft for like £4 I think. This allows you to place your products on the white space and decorate the photo however you wish!

Below are comparisons from my first blog photo (which wasn’t that long ago, to one I took recently)

 

Props:

You can see there is a massive difference in the photos above, for a number of reasons, but for this point in particular, you can see the picture is far more aesthetically pleasing because of the extras involved. In this one for examples I have included some pretty ribbon (which you can pick up from Hobbycraft) again for about 59p a metre! I’ve also include a copper R letter (from Hobbycraft – I am loving this place obviously), and some flowers in the top right corner. Flowers a such a pretty prop to add and can be so simplistic but just add some colour and ‘prettiness’ to the image. You can use real flowers or can buy fake ones from eBay for example. Other props can include the following, and a lot of them you can find lying around the house:

  • Sequins
  • Make up brushes
  • hair pins
  • notebooks and pens
  • cards
  • lipsticks
  • fairy lights
  • rings
  • lightbox
  • scarves
  • clothing
  • sweets/ biscuits
  • candles

Lighting:

One of the key parts to a nice crisp looking image is how bright and crisp it is. I love looking at really clean shots, I find it really pleasing. Something you probably already know is try and take photos during the day when it is naturally bright. It’s just not the same taking a photo when it’s dark and you have to use a light (unless you are going for that effect).

I plan a lot of my photos on the weekends as that’s the only time I have free when it’s light at the moment. Even when you take a photos in natural light, the likelihood is, the image will still need to be enhance with a bit of editing.

You can of course play around with the options on the phone setting and increase the highlight, brightness and maybe contrast, however I tend to use picmonkey.com which is a free photo editing site. I play around with increasing the highlight, brightness, and contrast, making sure I don’t loose too much definition of the photos

The I slightly increase the saturation, so it brings out the colours, but making sure the background stays as white. The I finish by increasing the sharpness and clarity to around 20%.

The is the before and after of a recent picture, and this was achieved, simply  by playing around with the above settings on picmonkey:

  

It might only be a subtle difference, but I think it makes all the difference. The second picture is so much brighter and crisper than the original on the left!

Angles:

I also think the angles is quite an important one, and quite often you will see photos that are taken from above like a birds eye view which is called a flatlay. I tend to take most of my photos at this angle as you can get some lovely shots and capture a lot of products/objects.

Anyway, I have kept this quite simple as, as I said I am not an expert and I am still keen on learning more, and potentially buying a proper camera which can allow me to create the perfect blur, but I hope this helps some of you who may just be starting out and are wondering how to do things cheaply and easily.

Lots of love

Rebecca xx

20 Comments

  1. Leanne Saunders
    24th April 2017 / 17:54

    I know so many bloggers who do actually use there iPhone which isn’t a problem. Natural lightning and crisp backgrounds are a great starting point though, love your tips

    Leanne | http://www.oohsimplething.blogspot.co.uk

  2. 13th February 2017 / 20:45

    This is an excellent post for new bloggers or anyone that wants to up their photography game! I love the use of props it makes all the difference! You’re pictures look great!

    Shannon // shannonkara.com

    • Rebecca
      13th February 2017 / 22:39

      Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad it’s of some use to some people, I had no idea when I first started, but still learning as we go along 🙂

    • Rebecca
      14th February 2017 / 13:53

      Thank you lovely, I’m glad it’s helpful! yes I agree, I love props as well x

  3. 13th February 2017 / 00:04

    Such a BRILL and interesting post, this is the sort of thing I was looking for when I first started blogging!

    Jack.

    • Rebecca
      13th February 2017 / 18:38

      Thank you, glad you liked it 🙂

  4. 12th February 2017 / 20:59

    such handy tips, I’ve been meaning to pick something up for my backgrounds for so long! definitely need to get something. I only use my iPhone for pictures too, and props which are laying around the house – I don’t really have a lot of spare money especially with the time of year! but this post is great 🙂

    kayla xo

    • Rebecca
      12th February 2017 / 21:40

      Thank you for reading! Yes, backgrounds are great, you can pick some free wallpaper sample from B&Q as well to change it up a bit. Thank you lovely x

  5. 12th February 2017 / 20:51

    I have been looking for a list of props to look for and HERE YOU ARE. This is so useful, I’ve needed so much inspiration! x

    • Rebecca
      12th February 2017 / 21:39

      I’m glad the list of props was useful, there are probably tonnes more but these were a few off the top of my head! x

    • Rebecca
      12th February 2017 / 21:37

      Thank you! Glad this was helpful x

  6. 12th February 2017 / 20:27

    This post is so helpful!!! Great post, your photography and editing is amazing!

    Love, Melissa x
    lovemelissax.blogspot.co.uk

    • Rebecca
      12th February 2017 / 20:30

      Thank you lovely! So nice to hear x

  7. Gabija Barkute
    12th February 2017 / 20:26

    Amazing post- so helpful! I never used props until August last year, and the difference before and after is incredible!

    Gabija | everylittlethingblog.weebly.com

    • Rebecca
      12th February 2017 / 20:29

      Yes definitely, props do make such a difference! Also, I just love picking up new things to include, I get so over excited! x

  8. 12th February 2017 / 20:22

    This post is so helpful! Your photos have really improved!

    • Rebecca
      12th February 2017 / 20:28

      Thank you! I know, and that was only a few months ago! x

  9. 12th February 2017 / 18:08

    I have bookmarked this post! Honestly – this is one of the most helpful posts I have seen to date on this kind of thing 🙂 I always feel disheartened about not having a great camera so I hardly ever post pictures unless it’s a day out or something. This is great – thank you! 🙂 xxx

    • Rebecca
      12th February 2017 / 19:23

      I’m so glad to have have helped! I do too, but honestly you can achieve some really great things without a good camera and lighting equipment, I think it’s all in the creativity of the photo! You can do it, if I can, anyone can xx

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