There are a few things I've learnt over this past year which I find have improved the quality of my photos without adding a lot of extra work *hallelujah*.
This is quite simply the cardinal rule of blogging photography. Find a place inside or out where the lighting is good. For me, it's either the dining room table, opposite 4 ceiling to floor windows or my bedroom with 3 large windows opposite my bed.
Also, when taking photos in natural light you also need to consider the weather conditions. I find that the best conditions for whiter pre-edited photos is when there are bright white clouds oddly enough. Bright blue skies sometimes give off a blue tinge to photos and sunlight can create heavy shadows where you do want them.
When taking photos, they don't need to be taken from above, especially if you're finding your photos are all looking a little similar. If you get down to eye level with your products you'll create more depth and interest to them.
But, if you really want to take a flay lay, then make sure to take it from a reasonable hight. I usually stand on a chair or perch on the lip of my bedstand with the camera directly above the group of products. Also make sure that your body or camera don't create unnecessary shadows. I usually stand to the side or behind my products which hopefully means my shadow won't affect the image.
Backgrounds don't need to cost a fortune there is no need to spend a tidy sum on a real chunk of marble, or redo the kitchen so you can use it as your new background. I'm partial to a bit of a marble background, as every blogger is, but I fake it till I make it with some self adhesive film from Wilko it's only £4 and the length is more than enough to get all my products in shot.
I also like to mix my backgrounds up. I sometimes find that using a pure white background, whether that's my bed sheets or a piece of A2 card can make editing my photos a lot easier in the long run, especially with the right light (see tip No.5). But, I also use my floorboards, bedside table and magazine covers to add a little extra to a background, especially if the packaging for a product is quite plain.
It may be tempting to walk out the flash on a dreary winter night but for me I find that the flash from my camera can wash out my products. It can ansi cast a flashback, especially if you're taking pictures of products in glass. I would suggest investing in a reflector or plain white board to help bounce more light on your arrangement if the weather outside isn't co-operating and you really need to take those shots, tonight!
Even if you have the best lighting and run through your photos in your camera's tiny screen, once they get to your computer and the 'big screen' you'll probably agree improvements can still be made. If I'm on my iPhone i'll use the ColourStory app and if I'm on my iMac I'll use the Fotor Photo Editor both of which have multiple features perfect for editing.
Overall, I tend to do 2 simple editing ticks before I'm satisfied with my images:
- Crop your photo - You don't always need to have 100% of your products in all your images, sometimes cropping out part of the product can create a more interesting image. Or maybe you've mistakenly left something in the corner and you just can't take the image again.
- Brighten, brighten, brighten - For me, brighter is always better but make sure you don't over expose your images, find your balance and play around a bit.
Until next time...