Never did I think that I’d ever write a blog post about photography. It’s probably the thing I’ve always struggled most with as a blogger. But since January, I’ve been making much more of an effort with my imagery on this space, which a lot of you have noticed, and on Instagram too - I usually upload two to three photos a day on there now and I’ve seen my following greatly increase.
Right now, I use an iPhone 5s to take my Instagram photos and the Panasonic Lumix Bridge Camera to take blog photos. I also use a few of these photos on my Instagram and it really helps to make my feed look a lot more professional and on brand. But usually, my iPhone is great quality.
So I’ve learnt a lot about both blog and social media photography over the past few months and today, I wanted to share some tips with you, in case you’re trying to make more of an effort with your imagery too.
#1 | Take Images in good light
You’d think this is a no brainer, right? But it’s only since using a professional camera that I’ve learn how important this is. It’s key to turn a good photo into a great one. You want to make sure you’re taking your photos in natural light, preferably as near to a window as possible, so your subject is as bright as you can make it.
But it doesn’t just end there. For Instagram and your blog photos, adjusting the brightness on your image will help to make it so much clearer and brighter. Look at the difference in these two photos. The top is the original image and the second is after it’s been edited. Playing around with the contrast, highlights and temperature can all make a huge difference in terms of making your images as bright as possible.
#2 | Make sure you focus
On your phone and your camera, you’ll always get the chance to tap and focus on the subject of your image before you take the photo. You can see straight away how much this improves the image. The trick is to focus on where you want the image to be the sharpest. Not only does it make the photo look a lot more crisp, but it also adjusts the white balance and exposure to make your image appear lighter. You’ll notice it even more when you’re in a dark room - everything instantly lightens up on your screen.
#3 | Edit with care
The secret to amazing photos? Editing. And it’s not about having the most expensive software that’s all-singing all-dancing. It’s about knowing how to use what you’ve got. For me, I use VSCO to edit my Instagram images and Fotor to edit my blog photos from my Macbook Pro. Of course I’d love Photoshop, but right now, I get some amazing results with Fotor so I’m sticking with that.
In VSCO, the F2 filter is my favourite, and I always adjust that and play around with the other editing features to make sure I get the image exactly how I want it. For you, you might have you own favourite filter, but the trick is to play around with the settings to make sure you edit it in your own unique way.
For blog photos, there are some tricks I’ve learnt. For starters, you’ll notice that I now take all my blog images vertically rather than horizontally. This is because I pin all my images to Pinterest and they look so much better. I also prefer styling them this way too.
Next up is something we’ve mentioned before - exposure. Adjusting the brightness and contrast is key to instantly improving your photos. They’re two things right at your fingertips, whether you’re a photography expert or not.
#4 | Take more than one image
I used to just take one snap and that would be it. But the biggest thing I’ve learnt is to always take more than one image. Now, if you scroll through my camera, you’d see that I have a few photos of the same thing, every time I take an image. It’s just so I’ve got enough choice when it comes to picking the right one - and I can delete the others afterwards to free up more space. It might be that you have to move a prop around or take it at a different angle, but the beauty of taking your own photos is that you’ve got the chance to do that.
I love styling photos, but when Tom’s taking them he can see whether something will look better in a different position or from a different angle. It might make the process longer, but it’s definitely worth it for all the positive feedback.
#5 | Keep a running list of ideas and aim for variety
One of the most difficult things about being a blogger is trying to make your images look different. When you’re in the same place with the same props, you’ve got to be really clever when it comes to differentiating how your photos look. But it’s also about the way you take them too. Have a running list of props to use and look back through your blog and Instagram to see when you last used them. And have a running list of different images ideas too. When I see photography that I love online, I make a note of it and think of how I can style it differently to suit my own brand.
Take my Instagram - the last few photos posted on there included my latest blog post, a picture of my bunnies outside, the view from where I stood of Tom taking photos and a flat lay. These are all completely different, so when people visit my feed, they get to see that all my images won’t be the same and they can expect variety. That’s why it’s good to try out different things.
I don’t really believe in keeping the same Instagram theme. If you always shoot monochrome images, who’s to say you can’t add in a bit of colour? It’s all about personal preference, but you want to keep pushing yourself and letting your personality shine through too.
Do you enjoy taking photos for your blog and social media channels? What tips do you have for making them stand out?