Having eye-catching photos that match your brand is a must if you have a blog or website and social media accounts. While stock photos are great, I love when creatives use their own photography. It gives their platforms a sense of realness and makes me feel more connected to them.
When I really started getting into blogging, I focused mainly on outfit posts. Since I don’t have a tripod, my boyfriend took all my photos of me for my blog and I started experimenting with taking photos for social media (mainly Instagram). Between the two of us, we’ve figured out some awesome photography tips for beginners!
I recently invested in a DSLR camera and am looking into taking a few lessons to get the hang of everything. But most of the photos on my blog and Instagram have been snapped with our iPhones. I know the DSLR camera is going to make a big difference and I can’t wait to learn all about it, but it’s also possible to take amazing photos with your phone, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t own a more heavy duty camera.
Whether you’re using your phone or camera, there are certain photography tips to keep in mind when you’re starting out. These are the tips I’ve learned over the past few years and they’ve made a huge difference in my photos from when I began my blogging journey.
1) LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
I can’t press this enough. Lighting WILL make or break your photos. Different photos require different lighting, but it’s always best to use natural light. If you’re taking photos inside, make sure to take them in the daytime with the light shining through your window. Using natural lighting always makes your photos look 1000 times better than if you use indoor lighting.
When you’re taking photos of yourself outside, it’s best not to take them when the sun is directly overhead. You’ll end up squinting and the colours may not be as rich as you’d like. If it’s the only time you can take them, try going up against a wall for shade and minimal shadows.
I find the best time to take photos outside is early morning before the sun comes all the way up or around dinner time. This way the sun isn’t shining too brightly, yet there is still enough natural light to make your photos look amazing!
2) REARRANGE THINGS
Food photos, coffee table shots, and of course flat lays, always look best when you shoot them from above. But don’t be afraid to rearrange things for the perfect shot! Sometimes moving even one thing will make a huge difference and get you the photo you want. If you’re out for a meal with friends, bring the plates and drinks closer together (it always looks better). Hopefully they don’t mind waiting a minute or two ;).
3) TAKE MULTIPLE SHOTS
The photos we see on peoples’ blogs and Instagrams are VERY rarely the only photo they took. Take lots of photos! Play around with angles and lighting. If you’re taking outfit pictures, try different poses, look in different directions, play with your clothes. If you’re taking food photos, zoom in, zoom out, stand on chairs, have fun with it! Changing your camera angle can make the world of a difference, so always try shooting from different angles.
I always have tons of photos to choose from and this way I can post my favourites!
Related Post: Instagram Photography Tips for Beginners
Editing your photos is a great way to get them exactly how you want, especially if the lighting wasn’t right or if the photo didn’t turn out as sharp as you wanted it. However, make sure you don’t over edit! When I’ve looked back on my photos, I realized how over-contrasted some of them are.
I usually stick to brightening them and enriching the colours with an app or in iPhoto. The app Pic Tap Go also has an editing tool that allows you to make things more crisp, which I love for food and nature photos!
Related Post: How to Take the Perfect Top Down Photo for Instagram
5) CHOOSE A NICE BACKGROUND
The background of your photos is a really important thing to think about. When I’m taking outfit photos, I will usually plan out where I want to go to take them before shooting. I usually stick to a brick or grey wall as I like the look of a plain background where your outfit can stand out.
However, I also love the look of a cool coffee shop, the beach, vineyards, colourful buildings, the mountains, etc. A nice background can really make your photo pop, so it’s worth putting some thought into it!
6) STAY STEADY AND FOCUSED
This may seem obvious, but I thought I should point it out. Sometimes I’ll take a photo quickly because the only two people in the café are me and the person behind the counter and I feel nervous LOL. But guess what? The photo is never good. It’s crooked or out of focus, or both. Take your time and take a steady photo. It will turn out so much better, even if it means a little bit of embarrassment. I’ve come to realize that most places are used to people taking photos for Instagram anyways!
7) ADD LIFE TO YOUR PHOTOS
As a lifestyle blogger, it’s always nice to add a bit of life to your photos. What does that mean exactly? Add in an aspect that makes the photo feel un-staged (even if they are). This could mean a photo of someone riding a bike in front of a coffee shop, or a photo of your friend’s hand reaching for something on the table like in the photo below. These things give a sense of realness to your photos that will make it more likely for people to connect with them.
I hope these tips helped you as you begin your photography journey, and I’ll make sure to be back with more once I start figuring everything else out with my DLSR camera! Do you guys have anymore tips for photography? Make sure to sound off in the comments below! And if you loved this post, make sure to share it on Pinterest!