I’ve only very recently got ‘back into’ blogging. When I first started, it was very much therapy for me. I was at home with two children under three and some days I felt a bit like I was drowning. More on ‘blogging as therapy’ in an upcoming post.
But, as a result, my blog photos were literally just snaps of my children on the park or asleep or on the beach. They weren’t taken with photography in mind. They weren’t even taken with blogging in mind. They were just me documenting my life with my babies. A lot of the time, I only included them in a post to make it more inviting and interesting. I definitely didn’t consider how the photos would ‘sell’ a post before someone had even clicked on a link. In truth, when I first started blogging, I wasn’t really thinking about the reader – I was thinking more about me. It was a cathartic process and it really, really helped.
Now, however, I’ve returned to blogging with a new focus. I want it to reflect my whole lifestyle. I am not just a mum but so many other things – things I share with others (like days out and yoga) and things which are very much my own (my poetry). So I’m taking it more seriously and I want my posts to reflect that.
One of the things I really wanted to focus on was my photos. I stalk a lot of people’s Instagram accounts for great photo ideas and make a note of the type of photos which draw me to blog posts. And from this, I am constantly developing and refining my photography. So here are my top tips if, like me, you are starting to focus on your blog imagery (and they don’t involve rushing out and spending loads of money!):
You don’t need a fancy camera, but it will need to be decent enough that the quality isn’t compromised. I just use my iPhone6 for the most part but I do have a Canon camera for any professional looking shots I might need to take (for my ambassadorship etc). However, all the photos in this post were taken on an iPhone6 and then enhanced in various ways (more on this later!)
Or a lamp. Light is your friend! You want as much light as possible but preferably without shadows. The brighter you can make your image, the more it will stand out.
I’m a huge fan of flat-lay photography for my posts now – they look clean, crisp and fresh – and I am always drawn to these sorts of images. I tend to use plain white for my backgrounds or a nice grey brick-wall effect. Bloggers look like they have amazing natural wood surfaces or brick walls or photography equipment which provides a flawless white background. Maybe they do. But I have an Ikea Lack table in the kids bedroom (which has amazing natural light), a white sideboard in my living room (which gives me more space!) and an offcut of grey brick wallpaper. From this, I can make some fab images!
By placing my camera on the wallpaper and scattering some tiny lenses, I managed to get the shot at the top of the blog post.
Pick any blog post you are writing and I guarantee you can find three things around your house which relate to it. You might not think so at first but you will find some. I always try and use a bit of a colour scheme with my photos too. I love using flowers and tend to use these as a colour guide, fitting other props in around them. Play around with the placement of your props and you will find an arrangement that you love!
Flowers as Frames
I accidentally discovered this trick when some of my flowers were wilting and some of the leaves and petals had started to fall. I gathered them up and created a frame from them and now I have a pre-photographed frame which I can add a title to in order to create a pretty image for a blog post. Obviously only do this when your flowers are past their best. Don’t go ripping the heads off the fresh roses your other half brings home for you.
Enhance with an App
Obviously if you’re using a phone then it probably has it’s own built-in filters. I always apply the ‘Chrome’ filter on my iPhone as it automatically makes the image bright. Of course, you can then alter the brightness, contrast, shadow etc and that’s even before you start loading it onto Instagram or anything! One of the best apps I have found is Phonto. It allows you to apply filters and add text. But my favourite thing it does is that it lets you place a background on the text which you can keep opaque or make gradually more transparent. It means you can create images which are not only lovely photos, but which also act as a title for your blog post. Like this:
Words as Imagery
I heart my light box! It turns out it’s a fantastic addition to flat lay photos for blog posts! You can literally alter the text, turn on the box, add any props around it and it’s done! Would definitely recommend investing in something like this.
So there we are! My photos are in no way perfect. I’m sure they would be much better if I always used the ‘proper camera’. But sometimes, I am snapping a few pictures whilst the two year old naps and I also want to desperately drink a warm cup of tea in that time too. So these tricks help me reach a middle ground – photos that still look reasonably good, whilst not being too high maintenance to finalise!
Any extra tips let me know – I’m always looking to grow!