Its a common misconception that all bloggers have the best equipment: ring lights, DSLRs and marble table tops. However thats not always the case, especially if you’re new to blogging! Last week i ran a poll on twitter, wondering if it would be helpful to create a post centred around talking photos for your blog when you don’t have a camera. 90% of you said yes so, heres my tips for taking blog photos with your mobile phone.
Theres 4 key things to think about when you’re starting out with blog photography: lighting, background, props and editing.
Lets start off with the most important thing, lighting! Lighting really does make all the difference when taking pictures, even if you have got a dslr if you’re lighting isn’t right the chances are your pictures aren’t going to look right.
Natural lighting is always what you should aim for, the colours appear how they should, the clarity will be at its best and hopefully you’ll be free from overhead shadows. The best place to find natural lighting in your own home is next to the biggest window you can find, however pay attention to the room itself; if the room is at the back of the house its likely to be a dark room and no window can help that. Try and find the brightest room in the house and there you have the best place to take your photos!
Lets compare natural lighting compared to unnatural lighting:
The top image has been taken under over head lights and you can really see the yellow tone unnatural lighting gives a photo; the colours are distorted and any filters you add to the photo in the future won’t appear as they should. The photo below has been taken with a natural light source, the photo is much brighter and the items within the photos are much crisper and true to colour.
Time of the day is hugely important when it comes to lighting, i know its hard to motivate yourself in the morning but the lighting is always best then compared to weird yellow photos taken at 10 pm.
Moving to how background can influence how a photo turns out.
The overwhelming blogger trend at the minute is a marble background but how many of us really have marble table tops laying around?? A lot of bloggers turn to amazon and eBay to get printed vinyl sheets of their favourite backgrounds to make it look like they live an instagram life! I got mine on amazon which you can find here. (special thanks to lauren who gave me the link to this)
Another idea is to go to your local hardware shop like B&Q and take some wall paper samples for your backgrounds or use what you have at home like bathroom tiles or clean white bed sheets.
The photo above shows how important a nice clean background is, although the lighting is okay the colour makes the whole photo look dull and less appealing. Sticking to clean white or cool toned backgrounds improves the whole photo oh, and makes it wayyy more instagrammable.
Props!! Before i start taking my blog photography in the morning its common to find me rummaging around my house looking for random items to put in my pictures. I often choose props which either have a similar colour scheme to what i’m photographing or ones that fit with the theme of the post. Props make photos 100% better and more interesting to look at!
I’m going to show you one photo from a very old blogpost of mine which is a perfect example of a badly taken, badly lit boring picture and compare it with a few of my later ones!
This photo makes me want to curl up into a ball, what was i thinking????? Its a perfect example of how a clean background and good lighting effects a photo, while being really uninteresting with just three products being randomly placed.
Now lets look at much later posts where i’ve used props to make posts more interesting with proper lighting and backgrounds:
Props make all the difference, the photos have much more going on while not being filled completely with products. Some of my favourite props to use are things you can find laying around the house, which is also handy for beginners.
They include: flowers, magazines, candles, cups and jewellery trays.
Finally, editing! Editing can be your best and worst friend, a small amount of tweaking is so helpful when taking photos with a phone to adjust the brightness and add a filter but over editing can ruin a photo.
As this post is about mobile phone photography i’m going to just talk about mobile phone editing; i use the free iPhone app ColourStory to edit all my blog photos but this will be especially useful to those taking photos with their phone.
Have a play around with the features and filters but i’d recommend just adjusting the brightness slightly and adding one filter. My go to filter on colour story is the POP filter, it makes photos appear brighter, cleaner and more vibrant.
Going back to the original photo lets compare the first badly lit, unedited picture with the final outcome of iPhone photography:
Thats it for my 4 tips for taking blog photography on a phone, i think the biggest thing to take from this post is about the lighting it really does make all the difference. Have a look at the colour story app too they have one of the biggest range of filters which don’t make your photos look over or under edited!
Have you ever used a phone to take blog photography? – Maria x