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Sunday, 1 March 2015

All Things Blogging | Blog Photography - Part 1

So today’s post is one I’m quite excited for and have been planning for a few months. In Blogmas, December 2014, I put up a post about myblogging tips and tricks, and it got some lovely feedback. Therefore, for the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about writing up some more of my blogging advice. I know I’m only a newbie really, but I love reading other peoples posts similar to this and I thought it would be an interesting project to begin. So this post celebrates the beginning of a new series of all-things-blogging. Today, I wanted to begin with my personal favourite part when creating content- blog photography. Carry on reading, and scrolling, for tips on taking photos, composition, lighting and backgrounds and then part 2 of my photography post will be on Wednesday and will include camera and editing information!

I love blogging photography and it is something I feel I regularly speak about. For me, photography makes me want to click on a post and keeps in intrigued when reading. It makes my blog, and other blogs, seem more professional and I think can be the decide whether to comment, share or just click off the page- therefore, it is very important. In my tips and tricks post, I linked a few pages that inspired and helped improve my blog photography, and now I’ve decided to make my own so I hope you enjoy it.


It may not be a factor that occurs to you when you go to take photos, or something that you don’t consider once your ideas start flowing, but lighting has a massive role when taking a wonderful photo. Here, I have shown a variety of different examples to help you see the role lighting has.

1.       Darkness
To take this dark version, I took a photo where the lighting is behind, in a window. It is an example of bad lighting because the label is unclear and the product appears uninviting.

2.       Bad Lighting
I wasn’t sure what to name this version, but I took it with my bedroom light on. This is a major no go because this kind of artificial light just ruins any photo. The orange filter that is cast over it would, and I think you’ll agree, turn you off the advice I’d have to say instantly.

3.       Flash
Now, depending on the kind of camera you have and some other factors, using the flash in a photo can make or break it. Personally the flash effect is not one that I choose but with work it can be done. I don’t like using flash because I find the forced highlights are too bright and the shadow too dark and obvious.

4.       Natural Light
So I decided to call this photo natural/ good light because this is the lighting I choose to take photos and I think it has an excellent outcome. Sunlight is a cheap way of sourcing good lighting but works a treat. I do live in the UK, so sometimes strong sun and regular sun is hard to find, but once I’ve found that sunny moment I whip out the camera and start taking shots. Although the example photo is a little dark over the label (which can be sorted out in the editing stage anyway), I think the overall effect flatters the product and lets the reader see it clearly.


So this part is my advice for creating a good composition in a grouped photo. It’s much easier when you only have one product, so I always find when there’s ten products I want to take in one photo, I panic! However there’s really no need- as long as you stay away from some typical mistakes.

1.       Cluttered
Okay, so when you want to take a group shot of products, having overview-kind-of photo can be really effective. I will talk about this more at point three, but having a photo like this means you must consider how you arrange the items. The reader want to see a clear, aesthetically pleasing photo- not a cluttered, unorganised mess. Therefore, I like to play around with a few different composition, as not to create a look such as the one in this example photo. I stick to the rules of having either none or only a few overlapping products, as to not confuse the reader, including space around each item, as this is more inviting to look at, and spreading out items, as I find it leaves the photo looking better.

2.       Busy
So this point is a bit similar to point one, but less controlled around a birds-eye-view angle. Sometimes it is nice to have a photo of just a cropped section of a product composition, but this photo is just too busy. Having all the items lying down gives the photo no height, and lots of the clear labels are just not visible.

3.       Birds-eye-view photos
Some bloggers, such as Anna from Viviana Does Makeup (blogger and Youtuber) create some gorgeous bev images and I’ve always wanted to create my own. I don’t think the quality’s quite there yet, but I find I am improving. As you can see, I’ve stuck to the rules on point one, and I think the photo is appealing for the eyes.

4.       Nicely organised
So this is an example of a lot of the group photos I take, where I have a straight on camera angle. I like to play around and have fun when creating arrangements, remembering that every product is different, with a different shape and a different size. I like to use depth and height to give the reader something to look at, leaving less items placed flat to muddle up space.

My next tip is one that it took me a while to cotton on it, but blue tack is the trick to a good photo and composition. Blue tack keeps products in place, meaning annoying shapes such as circle and tubes can be handled easily. Also, group compositions stay in place, and no products end up forgotten because they’ve rolled off the table and onto the floor!


I think the background in your photo gives you a chance to be creative and produce an image that is inspired by you and your blog style. There’s so much choice when it comes to photo backgrounds, but these are some I find most effective.

1.       Plain
A lot of minimalist bloggers like to use plain, white backgrounds when photography products and although they’re not always my cup of tea, I appreciate their effect. I normally like to mix it up and use this cushion as a plain background because the bit of texture adds a little something whilst the photo still seems plain.

2.       Room backgrounds
So, most of the time I use areas of my room in the background of photos. I just think that my room expresses my and when it is blurred and out of focus, it gives an interesting appearance. For example, in the version photo I used my small patterned stationary drawers behind the product, which I think makes it seem softer and perfect for my blog. I personally love using my bookshelf as a backdrop because I think the combination of colours and word on the book spines looks really cute! You could also think outside of the box and photograph a bath and body product in the bathroom, as this room reiterates the theme of the item.
I would also like to say that I know no one has a constantly tidy room, but the trick of using your room as a background is just tidy a small section… worry about the rest later!

3.       Patterned
Now, I love myself a little patter as the background of a photo. I use a variety of different sources for patterned backgrounds, including notebooks, book covers and items that I have floating around my room- such as this Joules paper bag with a pretty floral pattern on it. Not only does pattern add colour to a photo, but I also think it makes the item look more interesting.

4.       Magazines
Again, using magazine as a background in photos is a technique I see a lot of bloggers use. I’ve have used the background myself in the past, and it does give an image a blog-y and more modern feel. I normally like to include either lots of text and bright colours or a page themed around makeup/ the product I’m taking a photo of. However I would say be careful as many magazine backgrounds can come across as busy!

5.       Themed
The next type of background is using a themed background. I have done this a few times in the past, and some posts are more appropriate than others, but using a themed post background can make your images look really fascinating. Examples of a themed background, include using autumn leaving in an autumn makeup look post (as I did here), and in the example where I have added some spring themed items. I feel some of my themed backgrounds are stronger than others, but I always like to make a bit of fun when creating them so I say give it a go!

And so that’s Part 1 of my bogging photography advice done! I hope you can see that I put quite a bit of work into this post, so feedback would be really helpful and remember there’s more coming on Wednesday- so stay tuned! If you’ve enjoyed reading my tips and ideas and have any blogging questions leave them on my Q&A page or comment down below- you never know I could do a whole post around it. I hope you’ve all had an amazing 1st day of March so far,

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  1. i really enjoyed reading this :) thanks for the tips, cant wait for wednesday