I get a lot of questions about blog photography, so I figured it’s time to do a post on it. In this post, I will be talking about the simple things I do to take my photos from drab to fab. If you’ve been reading this blog since 2015 when we started this journey, you might have noticed that my photos have drastically improved. I used to take really awful photos before I started doing things differently, and I wanted to share some of those tips today.
1. Get a good background / back drop
For this, I use a variety of adhesive wraps. Adhesive vinyl wraps are a special kind of paper-like fabric with a sticky base on one side and a variety of finishes on the other side. I don’t really know how to explain it, but anyway, I have one in marble, one in plain white and one in textured cream. So I use them interchangeably depending on what I am photographing. I’m partial to the marble though.
These are available from Amazon.
If you live in Nigeria, and you can’t easily access these adhesive wraps, I suggest using plain white cardboard paper as your background. There’s just something about a plain white background that makes a photograph look extra chic, so when in doubt, go with white .
For swatches , I use a white mini rug. I feel like using any other colour will alter the way the camera picks up the colours of whatever I’m trying to swatch, so I always use a white background when doing swatches. You can probably get a white mini rug wherever rugs are sold, or you can preorder it here. But please note that preorders take time.
2. Always take your photos in an area that is brightly lit with natural light
If you pay close attention you’ll probably notice a little glare in my photos. This is because I always take my photos near a light source ie a large window.
I usually stick the adhesive wraps on flat boards or cardboard, so I can carry them about to wherever lighting is best.
I feel like I take the best photos near a window, where the light is bright, but not direct. Photos taken in artificial light like bulbs are not as good as those taken in natural light. Photos taken in low light eg late evening are not so great either. Both sets of photos tend to have a lot of “noise”, and don’t look as sharp/crisp as photos taken in natural light.
Of course, if you have a ring light, you can disregard everything I just said and use your ring light.
PS: I don’t like to take photos of swatches in direct sunlight because it alters the way the camera picks up the colours.
3. Use props make your photos more interesting.
Props are little things you include in your photo to keep it from being boring. A good prop will add “texture” to your photo without drawing attention away from the main subject of the picture. You can use literally anything as a prop. If I’m talking about eyeshadow primer, I could put an eyeshadow palette in the background as a prop.
If I’m taking photos of a foundation brush, I could use my favourite foundation as a prop, and so on, you get the idea… More often than not, I tend to use flowers because they’re pretty, and not distracting . I tend to blur out my props so that the focus of the viewer stays on the product I’m photographing.
4. Editing is key .
A good camera, good lighting and a good background will give you a good photo, but a great editing app will give you a great photo.
In the photo below I used my favourite editing app, Pixlr, to take this photo from meh to yay!
In just a few simple steps, I was able to blur out the prop and brighten the photo without making it look washed out.
Good background and lighting gives your photo good bones, but editing it properly takes the photo to the next level.
One question I get is a lot is about my camera; I use the Nikon D3200.
Another one is about how I edit my photos. I do 80% of my editing on my phone, with Pixlr for product shots, and my phone’s own photo editing app for photos of my face.
That’s all I can think of right now, but ask me any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.
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