There’s no doubting the fact that photography now plays a massive part in blogging. Nearly five years ago I started this site with only a basic understanding of t’internet and a smartphone camera; for quite some time photos weren’t nearly as important as the text that accompanied them. However, as the bloggersphere expanded and evolved, the focus definitely shifted towards glossy magazine-style images that could only be shot with an uber expensive camera. Although I’m no photography whizz, looking back at my early attempts makes me cringe; it’s amazing how a little time and perspective makes something previously thought acceptable look like utter tosh. I’ve really tried to work on my imagery over the past year and it’s definitely paid off, giving my words more life and showcasing products in a much better light. There are only five things I rely on to get my images looking as good as possible – and you’ll be happy to know they don’t cost the earth.
1. A Decent Camera
By ‘decent’ I don’t mean ‘must cost you at least five hundred British pounds’ but in fact a camera that has the ability to focus and that you can use with ease. I have three different cameras for varying uses (Nikon for photography, Canon for filming and Olympus Pen for on-the-go) that all offer different qualities to my photos. However, any of the three would suffice for taking decent images – the important thing is that you set up your shots well and get creative with angles! I’m always changing my style and trying something new, but the most important thing is that all three of my cameras provide me with clear and bright shots.
2. LED Light Strip
Although the intended use of these handy light strips is more relevant to tents than to cameras (it’s a £6.49 camping light,) they’re really handy at providing bright and ‘natural’ light when it’s dull and dark. I have two that I place on either side of my subject to light the entire area and ensure my images are as bright as possible. It’s best to have a play around and find out which angles work for you, but these super cheap lights make taking fab images a doddle – just be sure to never shine the light directly onto your products or it may look over-exposed.
3. White Tack
A beauty bloggers best friend, White Tack allows you to secure those pesky lipglosses or eyeliners in place so you can take an awesome photo. I’m forever attaching a little to the underside of products to ensure I don’t find myself running around after products that have rolled away; a little tack gives the control you need to position products in creative ways without giving the game away.
4. Polishing Cloth
Especially when working with makeup that can become dusty or smudged, a polishing cloth is your best friend. You can pick these up in Poundland and they wipe away even the most stubborn of smudge or fleck of makeup, minimising the need for editing or cropping once your images are downloaded. I use these to polish mirrors within compacts, shine up products I’ve used before photographing and to buff the surface on which I’m placing stuff. They’re super handy!
5. White Card
There’s no need to spend a small fortune on a mini photography studio when a few pieces of white card will do the job just as well. (I’ve also used cheap white blankets from Primark for a bit of texture.) I picked mine up from WHSmith for about a pound each and they provide a crisp, plain background to ensure the product stands out as much as possible. I much prefer a plain white background to floral or ditsy prints, as it keeps the image looking fresh and the focus on the product – however, coloured card works just as well.
Do you have any unique tools or special techniques that help you get a great shot?
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