I have recently gotten some messages through social media about what I use for my blog photos. Trust me, no one was more shocked than me that anyone cared what I used. Since, personally, I feel like my blog photography has a taken a few steps up form where I began, I guess it is time to share. To be honest, none of this is revolutionary. If you are like me, and just plain nosey, then keep reading!
Blog photos start with the camera
I started out just using my phone, and it worked great for me for a long time. I was able to take photos that I wanted, they were easy to edit through apps, and I was pleased with the quality. As time progressed, I definitely noticed that my blog photos were not necessarily up to par. One of the biggest complications I face with blogging and social media is the inferiority of amazing photos. While that seems to be a common stress with bloggers, it really does not have to be. Your phone can take some great shots, and the camera on newer smartphones is sometimes even better than an actual camera.
About a year and a half ago, I purchased my first DSLR. I have been using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II for blog photos, as well as social media photos. It definitely came with a learning curve, but is pretty easy to use once you find your ground with it. I highly suggest learning about different lenses before you purchase any camera. They really make all of the difference. If you are starting out, then check out anything you can about focal length! The lens I currently use is a Panasonic Lumix G Lens 25mm. It is incredibly easy to use, takes amazing shots of whatever my subject is, and is a lot cheaper than the typical Olympus lenses. I also have the Olympus M 40mm – 150mm lens which is great for close up shots.
Lighting is crucial to good blog photos
For what seems like years, I seriously struggled with lighting. I could have a perfect flat lay, but the lighting would kill it before it ever made it onto the memory card. My apartment definitely does not have the best lighting, and after I moved to a new apartment, it became even worse. That is when I started looking into umbrella lighting. I found the Upland Photography Umbrella Lighting Kit, and my world changed. It came with everything that I needed to get started, and it was insanely cheap. I am talking skip the Target trip one day, and you can buy this. Immediately, I was completely obsessed with the change in lighting. I even went back and purchased a more reflective umbrella to enhance the brightness. NO REGRETS!
Another thing that really helped was painting a room white in my apartment. While painting is a pain, and sometimes you are just unable to do so, if you can, do it. It has made the lighting almost bounce off of the walls, brightened up the whole space in general, and made it much easier in the editing process. Personally, I just have an obsession with white walls, and think they make a space look cleaner, and I mean….I blog, don’t we all like white walls? Another quick change that you can make is to purchase daylight bulbs. They give off more of a natural light feeling that standard bulbs, and can even be energy saving as well!
The technical stuff…
I honestly don’t use my tripod too often. Having the ability to move around, and get different angles on my subject is important to me. I will sometimes use my tripod for self portraits, or if I am really trying to get an image perfect. I love the Amazon Basics 60 inch Tripod. Not only does it come with a carrying case, it is also incredibly lightweight. Since I do a lot of traveling, this is a really important aspect for me. I actually keep a tripod in my trunk just in case I need one when I am out and about.
One of the best things that I have purchased was a wireless remote for my camera. This is incredible if you are your own photographer, and has really changed the game in terms of shots that I am able to take. I have the Pixel Wireless Digital Remote, and it works perfectly. It is easy to set up, and you can get started in less than a minute, seriously. It also allows you to focus your images before it takes the photo too.
Backgrounds, backgrounds, backgrounds!
This is probably the biggest question I get, and it is the easiest to answer. I mostly use my desk as a background.The desk has a white top, and is where most of my photos are taken. If I am looking for a marble background for some shots, then this is where you could be shocked. I have a huge piece of cardboard that I applied some Marble Contact Paper. That’s it! I have used this on my countertops as well, which is a story for another day. It is waterproof, easy to clean up, and can reflect the light to help out some more with the brightness as well!
Another option for backgrounds is just pretty paper. I went to a local craft store a few months ago, and I just picked out some scrapbooking sheets that I really enjoyed. They can be layered, changed for the season, or just used to add some interest to a photo. They are usually about 30 cents, and can be found literally anywhere. I also used to use a piece of foam board as a white background when I first began. Never be afraid to play around with fabrics and textures too!
Props for blog photos
I could honestly write an entire post about this, and I might just do that one day. For now, I am going to talk about a few props that I use for my photos. The props that you select have direct relation to what your subject is. If you are talking about fitness, you probably aren’t going to put a nail polish in your photo. Most of the props that you use are probably already around your house. Find a color scheme that works for you, and you can find things that work with that. The dollar spot at Target usually has great little stationery that you can build off of. I also find tons of things at TJ Maxx and Homegoods.
Fake plants are one of my favorite props for blog photos. Not only do I just love plants in general, I think they add a clean object of interest to any photo. I also love using books. So many amazing books are coming out with amazing covers, and I am all about that. Utilize your makeup or closet as blog photos as well. Not only can that add texture to your photo, but it also adds interest. My final prop that I love is just confetti or something of the sort. It fills in too much negative space, but does not take away from what you are trying to take a photo of either!
What are your blog photo must haves?
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