Whether you are wondering, how to take good photos for your blog? Or how do beginners take pictures? Maybe you are simply looking for blog photography tips for your DIY site or wanting to start up levelling the images you use on blog posts This article is jam packed full of useful tips and advice that you can start implementing right now in your blog business. Whatever kind of blog you have, fashion, beauty, music, food, travel, photography, lifestyle, all of these blog niches require awesome photography.
If you are utilising social media in your blog business then you know how powerful and vital great photography and images are in helping you get noticed by your ideal blog reader.
This article will help! I have split it into several sections to help you narrow down where you might need improvement in your own blog photography and to make it easier for you to find what you need.
The first section is focused around preparation.
The most amazing images are well planned out! Not only is the actual composition of the image planned in advance, a lot of thought is required around; the location of your blog photo shoot, what you are going to include in your photo shoot and the style you are looking for.
How to prepare for getting better blog photos - Tips and Tricks
1. Set aside time to plan:
Schedule down some time well before your planned shoot to go through and make a list of exactly
What you want from the shoot - I.e how many images you want and which items / products / looks are most important
What shots are a priority - i.e lifestyle laid back laughing candid photography of you? Or flat lays of products you have to review
Where will work best for your shoot / When
2. Choose a reliable photographer / make sure your blog photography skills are up to scratch!
Great Photography advice is very accessible to a lot of people. Here are a few of my fav articles to help you get to grips with the basics of lighting and composition.
If you are looking to hire a professional for your blog photo shoot then here are some simple tips you can follow…
3. Batch shoot
Time is money. The best shoots are the most thought out intentional ones with clearly set out goals. By putting effort and thought into your planning you can organise what products / looks are going to make you the most £££ and then prioritise which need shooting during your blog shoot.
4. Pick Locations in advance
From your prep time you know WHERE and when you want to shoot get more specific and produce a list of locations or maybe backdrops that are a priority, if you haven’t been to a location then go scope it out - if you are working with an awesome photographer who specialises in working for bloggers they will already have a list of killer locations and areas to suit your requirements.
5. Think about the context of your blog photo shoot
What is your shoot for? Do you need images for social media content or are you looking for clear product shots to include in blog review posts?
6. How to style your blog photo shoot
Think about the style of your images, are you looking for bright and airy looking sunshine filled shots or are you after something with more depth and richness?
Is there a seasonal occasion coming up? Are you allowing yourself enough time to shoot for any seasons important to your area of expertise?
7. How to set and choose the perfect background for your photo shoot
Have you got the materials you need for your backgrounds? If you are shooting flat-lays and product shots do you have the different backgrounds you want? If not you need to organise getting them. IF you are working with a blog specialist photographer then they will already have that sorted for you.
If you are wanting images of people rather than products, have you considered the backdrops at the locations you are shooting at? This can really affect the overall styling of your shot so have a think about this beforehand.
8. Where to shoot for your blog photos?
We have covered thinking about location in your prep time but also think about lighting and how busy an area is! If it’s the height of the day then maybe a hugely populated area might not be the best use of your time as people constantly walking through your shots will majorly slow you down.
Similarly if you are looking for soft beautiful pictures, shooting in the middle of the day is going to have limitations even if you are shooting with a pro. Having to bring in additional lights to help calm the harsh effects of midday sun means more set up and take down time meaning you can't shoot quite as many shots as you can if you think about which location is going to work best for which time of day. Again if you are working with a professional photographer who works with influencers then they will have this all figured out for you.
Photography Equipment and Kit tips for blog photography:
One of the most emailed questions I have is; what is in your kit bag?
What photography equipment do you use for blog photography?
So here is some info to help you figure out what is most important to you when you are taking photos for your blog.
9. Your Camera
I’m going to say something controversial right now...
Blogging is not about having a professional photographer follow you around 24/7 - it’s not practical there are going to be times when you NEED to grab a shot for yourself or share a too good to miss photo op on your insta stories.
Now the camera you choose for this impromptu blog photography really doesn’t make the biggest difference to your images.
You can use a smartphone camera and if you compose and light well plus through on a gorgeous edit you can pull it off really well.
A professional photographer has professional level equipment which costs multiple thousands and that yes makes a big difference to the quality of each photograph, especially if you are having photos printed or published, but as a blogger it really doesn’t make sense for you to outlay that investment yourself when a cheaper easier to carry and maintain camera will give you the results you are looking for.
Here are some considerations around your camera that will help you take better ad/hoc photos for your blog:
If you are using a smartphone, get to grips with the different modes you can shoot on. Have a practice and find your favourite modes to grab a selfie or your go to for shooting products.
The same principle applies if you choose to use a stand alone camera. Make yourself comfortable with using it. Get to grips with the modes and settings so you can quickly grab a shot if you need it.
It makes sense to spend a little time understanding the fundamentals of photography, shutter speed, ISO and aperture so that you can tweak these if necessary especially if you are putting on little at home shoots of products / flat lays and using them on your blog posts.
10. Props and accessories
From your prep you will have thought about what props you want for your shoot so make sure you have all of these to hand and together ready for your shoot. If you are shooting with a photographer, collect items together that you want to use in specific images so that you can grab them quickly and easily.
Shooting clothing and fashion type looks? A great way to get better blog photographs when you are shooting for a fashion or lifestyle blog is to pre style and organise your outfits. A simple trick is to put each outfit complete with accessories, handbags shoes jewellery etc on hangers so you can quickly grab the next look.
One last thought around props and accessories is to consider HOW you are going to most efficiently swap between items. Same principle applies for clothing, how are you going to most efficiently and effectively swap between outfits so you don’t have to spend half the shoot changing.
11. Backdrops and backgrounds
Much like outfits and props, swapping and changing up backgrounds can take time so really clearly plan this out in your prep time.
Be aware of the colours and textures of the backgrounds and backdrops you are choosing and make sure you consider the best lighting and styling for the specific backdrop you are using. I.e if you are photographing onto a really shiny backdrop this is going to create a glare so think about how best to angle and light the backdrop to stop the glare interfering with the composition of your blog photograph.
12. Additional lights
If you are working with a pro they will have this covered although it is important for you to think about how you want your lighting to look on every image you use for your blog posts or even photos your using on your instagram feed. I am a huge fan of available light but sometimes you do have to supplement this artificially. If you are having a little mini shoot at home for your instagram stories then think about whether you need any additional lights to create a softer feel to your image.
The selfie craze is huge! There is no denying it, AND your readers love it too! They love to see a posed selfie of you hanging out somewhere awesome. Here is something I know, for every great selfie you actually post online, there are 100-200 rejects sitting in your camera roll! In this section, I am going to help you get to grips with how to take a better selfie and in general better photographs of YOU, so you can free up your phone's photo storage memory and quit all the worry and overwhelm grabbing that crucial shot is causing!
How to take better blog photos of yourself and products.
13. Taking photographs of yourself:
This is one of the most questions I am asked. How do I take better photographs of myself for Instagram?
Well the answer is - Practice!
Photography is about lighting, composition and POSING! If you are taking photographs of yourself then you need to get really super refined in the posing department as it makes 90% of the difference to your shot.
If you have been working with an amazing photographer who is an expert in posing then I am sure you will have picked up a thing or two from your shoots.
If you haven't yet worked with a professional or you are working with photographers who aren't great at leading and posing you then you really are missing out on a crucial element to a great photo.
My top tips here are:
Remember - whatever is closest to the camera is most prominent in the photo - if you want to minimise your hip area then kick out your hip away from the camera - if you want to emphasise your gorgeous face then slightly bring your face closer to the camera.
Create your own go to pose - work it out by practicing your posing in the mirror. what do you like the look of best? How do you look most approachable relaxed and natural? Then work on repeating that pose over and over until it becomes your go to positioning.
Great photos are posed in a way which the viewer has no idea that pose has taken time to create - they are natural and engaging.
14. Interesting images for your social media
If we think back to your prep time and what the reason for the photoshoot for your blog is, it probably falls into one of these categories;
Images for social media content
Photos for blog posts
This means you are competing to stop the scrolling behaviour of your readers and followers so my best advice for getting better blog photos here is to think outside of the box!
Flat lay photography is very popular on social media, but the flowers and cups of coffee really are very overdone and easily accessible on stock image websites!
Think about making any flat lay images you might create or commission created for you much more in line with you uniquely. Think about including personalised items and shooting from different angles. I love flat lay photos as an opportunity to give a glimpse into your behind the scenes life, so maybe a photo of your work area or styling process and including your hands, legs, feet, or even shooting from directly above your head makes the shot much more personal and your readers will really enjoy connecting with you in this way.
Things to consider for your blog photography shoot
15. Timing for your photo shoot
If you are shooting on location or outdoors, time of day is going to make a big difference to the feel of the images you end up with. During your preparation you chose locations and specific backgrounds you wanted to shoot at some prioritise these during your shoot making sure you can actively get to each spot without wasting half your shoot back tracking on yourself.
16. Get Organised
Make sure everything is easily to hand and simple to put together.
17. How to create each image for your blog
Think about the composition of your images, are you being interesting are the items you are photographing interesting in real life? If they are boring in real life the camera will make them any less!
What angles are you shooting from? Are you being the same as every other image on instagram or are you being creative and exciting?
18. Lighting for your blog photography
As I said before I am a HUGE fan of available light. Use what you have! If you have a gorgeous big window for your mini home shoot then utilise this! If you are looking to grab a really beautiful selfie then again utilise the soft natural light coming in from a window. Lighting is very important to shooting a great image - if you put time and effort into your subject your styling and your composition and then neglect the lighting you're going to be very disappointed with the results.
If you are drooling over gorgeous instagram feeds of influencers chances are very well and intentionally lit - no one is going to interact with a dull, hard to understand and badly lit image.
It just won’t stop the scroll.
19. Using white to bounce
A little tip if you have an area that is quite dull, simply utilise a white object, a sheet or some white paper to act as a bounce on the other side of you or whatever it is you a photographing for your main light source.
20. Using black to fill and give richness
Similarly if you have too much light utilise a black object, sheet or paper card etc to absorb the light and create more definition and richness to your image.
21. Being prepared
If you are wanting to shoot a tonne of images in a small space of time then as I have reiterated throughout this article preparation is key!!
For example, maybe you're shooting a flatlay and using real flowers that have just been in a vase - they might be wet and so might your backdrop! Be prepared!!
Prepare your outfits, your props your accessories as this will save you time and mean you have everything you need to hand for beautiful blog images.
22. Set the stage. Pay attention to everything in your photos. ...
The devil is in the details so they say.
Here’s a story to help you understand how much of an epic fail it can be if you aren’t thinking of the details for your shoot!
An influencer I now work with regularly used to shoot with lots of different photographers as she travels a lot. I can always remember when she first got in touch with me, I have quite an in depth consultation process where I establish exactly what you want and need for your blog business right now. She told me she had come to me specifically for my in depth process, she was fed up of working with photographers who weren't taking so much time to help their clients get prepared for the shoots and she had had a nightmare experience recently.
She had booked a shoot in the UK,, now she is used to shooting in warm countries and so she was very disappointed by the look of her tan while she had been in the UK. so she decided to go get a spray tan which she rarely had to do because she was always in warmer climates. She had told the photographer she was doing this before she did it.
Now had this been me, my advice would have been absolutely NOT to go and get that spray tan before your shoot because a) you haven't had that one before you don’t know how you will react to it b) sooooo many things can turn out unexpectedly with spray tans and c) spray tan gone wrong is an editor's worst nightmare!!
Unfortunately she had the spray tan and every one of these things happened. The images were awful and the photographer she had worked with wasn’t an experienced editor which only made the situation worse.
If the photographer had advised my client of the risks and problems associated with the spray tan and advised instead to use a really great makeup artist to help compensate for the warmth she felt she was missing, then this situation could have been completely avoided and the client would not have ended up with unusable images.
(FYI I do not shoot without having the most amazing makeup artists on hand at all times)
This is the power of attention to detail in all areas!
23. Camera Angles & Getting THE shot
What angles are the most priority for your images? Are you needing clear cut straight on images or looking for a more candid photography feel?
I know it’s difficult to get every single shot perfect, exceptional quality and creativity every single time. Piles of items that you have committed to review mounting up in your living room. The key here is to be organised and prepared around the exact shot you are looking for.
Headshots, lifestyle shots, candid photography catching you head back and laughing, maybe you are looking for lifestyle product shots with images of items in use or you need to grab some very clear classic product shots - make sure you prioritise exactly what you need per item, per look etc and then you will have the best photographs for your blog every time because they will be the most relevant useful ones you wanted and needed.
24. Editing: How to edit your blog photos so you end up with amazing images!
The editing process is really important in getting better photos for your blog.
Find an editing process that you love and then stick to it like glue!
Consistency is the key here.
By sticking to a consistent editing process you can make your images super recognisable so that your readers and followers know instantly they belong to your and your blog brand.
Try different editing apps to see which you love the most.
Some of my favourite for editing Instagram photos on a smart phone are
25 - My final tip for getting the very best blog photos is to make sure they are optimised for the web!
Photos can really play havoc with the speed of your blog site.
To ensure you don’t slow down your blog make sure you optimise your photographs for web.
To can really simply resize your images in lots of photo apps or if you are working with a photographer make sure you communicate clearly at the beginning how you expect to receive your images, ask for a web file and a high resolution file if that is what you require and don’t have time to be resizing them yourself.
I’d love to know where you are in your blog photography journey right now? Have you been thinking about getting more serious about your blog photos? Let me know in the comments…