photography tips for bloggers

Photography tips for bloggers.

It’s been a while since we’ve talked photography here on the blog. Today I’ll be sharing ten photography tips with you guys and I hope you’ll find them helpful. As always, please remember that I don’t consider myself an expert and only speak from my own experience. 

morning ritualsShooting near a window.

1. Get near a window.

This is a big one, especially on a dark, gloomy day. As I’ve told you numerous times, one of the best things that you can do to improve your photography, is to use natural light. This, however, means that the quality of your images will depend on the weather, which can be a little unpredictable, especially this time of the year. On those days when it’s really dark, I recommend that you either take your photos outside, or place your subjects on a window sill when taking your photos. If using a DSLR, you can also try bringing up your aperture (lowering your f stop) and bringing up your ISO to get a brighter image. Keep in mind that the size of the aperture has impact on the depth of field: large f stop will bring both your subject and the background into focus, while the smaller f stop (bigger aperture) will create a blurry background.

photography tips for beauty bloggersLarge aperture: f/1.8

f 5.8

Small aperture: f/5.8

taking photos on a gloomy dayTaken on a window sill.

2. Invest in soft boxes.

If getting near a window doesn’t work for you, or if you’re unable to take your photos during the day, I’d recommend that you invest in a set of soft boxes. These are similar to the ones that I use and are truly a heaven-sent during winter when the days are much shorter and using natural light is limited. I used them both for photography and for filming videos and they work great. I think that they’re pretty affordable, when compared to the prices of ring lights which can be quite high.

soft boxes for product photographyThis is my usual set up when using soft boxes. I place one on each side and place my products on the white Ikea table top (the one I talked about in this post).

Here are some images taken using my set of soft boxes:

hourglass powder palette review

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams

weekly favorites

Essie muchi muchi swatch and review

3. Use a reflector.

This is something that I talked about in the How to take brighter photos for your blog post.  I have this 5 in 1 Portable/Collapsible Reflector and Diffuser. I use this pretty much every single day, every time I take my photos. The side which I use the most is white, which helps to bounce the light; the gold one warms up the picture, the silver will brighten it,  black will block unwanted light and the translucent side will diffuse the light. This is definitely a must for me.

white reflector photographyUsing a white reflector.

beauty blogging tips

Piphotography reflectorUsing silver side of the reflector to brighten the image; before and after.

4. Shoot from above.

When I struggle with my composition, can’t get the picture to look the way I want it to, I always end up shooting from above. Taking flatlay style photos isn’t always easy though, especially for a beauty blogger. There are tons of subjects like lipsticks, eyeliners, mascaras, etc. that have tendency to “roll off” the surface. I sometimes like to use tape to secure them in place on my surface when taking my photos. Even lighting is definitely very important when it comes to shooting from above; you want to make sure that the light is evenly distributed in the photo and that there aren’t a lot of shadows. Getting near a window and using a white reflector will help achieve just that.

beauty and lifestyle blog

infused ice cubes

strawberry ricotta

beauty and lifestyle blog

5. Avoid direct sunlight.

While shooting in direct light isn’t uncommon and can create gorgeous images, I always try to avoid direct sunlight, especially when it comes to product photography. It creates too many shadows and the images are generally too bright. I like to shoot early in the morning when the light is just perfect, and most of the time I avoid taking my photos late in the afternoon. As I already mentioned in one of my previous photography posts, the best time to take your photos is usually an hour and a half after the sunrise and an hour and a half around sunset.

These two photos were taken in direct sunlight:

taking photos in direct sunlightThis doesn’t work.

Body by Victoria Secret original

This works.

6. Go manual.

If you’re still using automatic settings on your DSLR, try going manual. I know from my own experience that it can be very frustrating and discouraging at first, but practice makes perfect and can make a huge difference in the way your images look. If you want to learn more about manual DSLR settings, check out this post.

7. Adjust white balance.

Adjusting white balance is another thing that can make an enormous difference in your photos. Adjusting the white balance accordingly with your lighting situation will get the colors on your image to show up as accurately as possible. There are seven, preset white balance settings on camera: Auto– pretty much self-explanatory, this is where the camera makes a best guess each time you take a shot; Tungsten– this is often used when taking photos indoors in bulb lighting, this will cool the colors in your photos (so that they don’t come out yellow, which happens due to the yellow-toned lighting in your home); Fluorescent– this is generally used when using artificial, fluorescent lighting, as it takes out the cool, blue tones in your images and adds some warmth to them; Daylight– this mode is for shooting outdoors during normal, daylight lighting, not all cameras have this setting; Cloudy– this is for shooting on a cloudy day and warms up the subject a bit; Flash– when using flash, photos make look a bit harsh, this preset white balance setting will help to take the edge off that brightness; and  lastly there’s Shade– when shooting in a shaded location, your images may look cool and blue-toned, using this setting will add pink tones to warm up the image. Most of the time, especially when shooting in natural light, I use Auto White balance and find that it works just fine. When using ring light, soft boxes or any other artificial lighting you may find that you need to adjust your white balance settings accordingly. You can also use custom white balance settings instead of the preset ones as well, just follow your camera’s manual (it’s pretty easy, all you need to do is take a picture of a white piece of paper in particular lighting setting where you’re shooting, just remember that this changes, and one custom setting will not work in every situation).

To show you an example, this is an image shot in Auto White balance in natural light:

auto white balance

This is the same subject shot in the same setting, with different White Balance preset options:

white balance photography

8. Edit.

I always edit my photos and recommend that you do the same (especially if you’re a blogger). Resizing, cropping and adjusting exposure, sharpness, etc. are few things that I always do. I have now moved to Photoshop, but few months a go I wrote a post on how to edit images using PicMonkey, find it right here.

how to use picmonkey for editing blog photos

9. Get creative.

Other than having correct settings, lighting and set up, I think that getting creative with your images is just as important. It’s great to take inspiration from others, but it’s important to add your own touch and style to your photography. I never thought of myself as a “creative” person and was always jealous for those “artsy” friends who could draw, paint or had a cool sense of fashion. It wasn’t until I found my passion for photography and cooking when I realized that I don’t need know how to paint or draw in order to be creative, you can express your creativity through anything you do, including cooking and photography. You can incorporate things like fabrics, blankets, magazines, trinket dishes, etc. into your product photography. Make sure to add your own signature to your images and make them stand out.

photography background ideasUsing a coffee table book as a background.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in BeigeEnd result.

DIY white marble background for photographyDIY White Marble Background.

photography for bloggers

10. Work with what you’ve got.

Don’t we all wish we lived in a huge, bright house with enormous windows and limitless supplies of natural light? A lot of times when I’m having an off day, I get really discouraged. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and when something doesn’t go my way, if my photos aren’t bright or sharp enough, I feel like I shouldn’t post them and want to give up. It’s okay if your pictures don’t have a perfectly white background, it’s okay if you don’t have chic white walls and all your furniture isn’t made out of white marble. Work with what you already have and remember that every failure is a lesson.


If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out other articles in the Photography category.

  • Such a detailed and well thought out post! Thank you for your tips, I am experimenting with my blog photography at the minute and I will definitely take these tips on board :) x

    • Thanks so much Love, glad you found this helpful!

  • I really loved this post i go for all these tips for my photography :) <3 i love your blog btw

  • This post was so helpful, thank you so much!

    • You’re so welcome, thanks for visiting! ;)

  • Lighting is definitely the most important thing. I actually made my own reflector from a big piece of cardboard and then just wrapped it in foil and it bounces the light perfectly so that both sides of the subject(s) are evenly lit :)

    • That’s awesome! I’ve seen a lot of DIY tutorials for that, such a neat idea :)

  • Amazing and helpful post! The only thing I would suggest to be careful with bringing up ISO.


    • Thanks so much Anastasia! I actually already covered the importance of keeping the ISO as low as possible in one of my previous posts :) It also depends on your camera, mine can handle pretty high ISO settings before turning the images grainy.

  • This is an incredible post! Thank you so much for posting it, my photos are something that I have really been struggling with!

    Mikayla :)

    • You’re so welcome Mikayla, I’m so happy you liked this post!

  • Omfg your pictures are so beautiful :'(

    • Aww thanks Lauryn!

  • Your photos are always stunning so this was such a great post!
    Maddy, xo // UNSTITCHEDD

    • Thank you so much Maddy, your photos are always so stunning too.

  • Wow, this was so helpful! It had everything I was looking for. Thank you so much!

    -Charlotte xo ~(

    • You’re welcome Charlotte, thanks for visiting!

  • I just love your posts about photography and your photos always look really incredible! I try to follow most of this tips when I take my photos, sometimes they don’t come out as I wished but I think I’m getting better (slowly haha)! Something I never do is adjusting the white balance but I’ll probably do some experiences with it one of these days! This is great! Xx

    • Aww thanks so much Rita!! <3 <3 Practice makes perfect, trust me! My pictures used to look awful and I didn't think there was any hope for me, but it takes some time :) Play around with your camera and don't stress about it too much :) Best way to learn is through trial and error, see what works for you and what doesn't. Good luck! :)

  • Such great advice, I love shooting from above but I always get shadow problems :( x

    • Try using a white piece of cardboard or a silver reflector that I mention in this post. It will bounce off the light and help get rid of shadows. Also, I think that a complete lack of shadows may look a bit unnatural at times, so don’t worry about that too much :)

  • wow thank you for these wonderful tips! they’re very helpful. I always struggle on taking a good quality picture. I don’t a have a DSLR yet I only used my iPhone for taking pictures to put to my blog. I will definitely apply these tips when I have a DSLR :)

  • I always find posts like this so helpful cause I am not on top of photography game. Your pictures are literally goals

    • Awww hehe thank you!!

  • I love taking pictures & I always try to improve my results. I absolutely love your advice, I’ll try to follow your tips (:
    Nati xx

  • Lisa

    I love taking photos and I have to admit, I’m not the best one. I will definetly be keeping your tips in mind next time I photograph!

  • Amazing post, perfect tips, dear. ;-)
    Lovely greets Nessa

  • These are really useful tips!! Thanks for sharing


  • Fantastic post Paula – so detailed and easy to follow. Your pictures are so swoonworthy and I love every single one of them! :) x

    Brenda BusyBee

    • Aww thanks so much Brenda! I don’t think they’re perfect at all, but they’re definitely much better than they were 2 years a go ;) ;)

  • Ah I know you hear this a lot from me Paula but honestly so very, very, very proud of you and your beautiful photography! Each post just gets more gorgeously creative, innovative and artistic and I’m so in awe of both your vision and imagination when it comes to shooting. You have such a skill that’s so natural, impressive and out of this world. I mean, whoa, you are an expert for sure! Way too modest love, just another reason why I love you so much ;) :D

    Another thing that’s so remarkable is that you’re so talented and on-point with all sectors of photography; be it a deliciously divine recipe, a babin’ beauty post, an enchanting OOTD, a gorgeous home feature, a stunning skincare regime or of course, a professional photography post like this! The list is endless but you get my point hehe. The soft light boxes sound ever so worthwhile, love your results with them, just as I do with the white reflector. The stunning white vibes to your shots are always so enchanting, and you are so truly talented with making shots creative and adding your own unique touches to them. And the DIY marble backdrop is so crush-worthy! Seriously, can’t think of any other as innovative, talented or inspiring as you! Makes me so happy to see a post like this, not to mention proud and inspired! :D

    Love you! <3 <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

  • Such a great post! Thank you!
    Liv x

    • You’re welcome, thanks so much for visiting ;)

  • Very useful Post, thank you for your tipps!


    • You’re very welcome! ;)

  • Oh man I love your tips! I am still trying to save/debate what camera to get to up my photo shooting game, especially since I know almost nothing about cameras and manual shooting. These are super helpful for even cellphone/point and shoot cameras. Thanks for sharing! The pictures as examples help a bunch to =)


    • Thank you Kirstie! So happy you enjoyed this post, yay! ;)

  • Wow, thanks so much for this post – going to book mark for futrure ref :)

  • valentina

    Hi Paula,

    I’d really like these photography posts tips, please don’t stop writing about it. I’m pretty lazy on reading photography books (buy the way could you please suggest me some of them you used to learn about photography tecnique??) so I’m appreciated your easy tips following with you pics as example. Thank you so much for your effort on writing these for all of us.


  • There is hope for me yet! Can’t believe the improvement in your photography within the two years. I hope I can apply your tips to my blog.

  • Megan Biggin

    What a wonderful post, incredibly helpful! Thank you for sharing. I might have to look at getting something to reflect light for my pictures. X

    Megan |

  • Lisa Kristin

    This is the best photography-advice-post I’ve read! Definitely a lot of great points to keep in mind. I tend to get easily discouraged; I’m such a perfectionist that I always beat myself up for not having the perfect Pinterest-y backgrounds. I’ll definitely have to be easier on myself! :D

    Lisa x

  • I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing your photography tips. I struggle with photography and this gives me hope.

  • Your photos are superb and definitely make me want to get all experimental. x

    Sara Ali |

  • Best photography tips, very helpful. I love taking photos from above, glad to see I am already doing something right. :)

  • Amanda Gouthro

    I love these tips and hope to use them in the future for my blog! Thanks for posting!

  • I totally agree that investing in soft boxes are a major plus! Soft boxes provide such great soft lighting on subjects.


  • Flora Henn

    I’m so glad I’ve found your post on Pinterest, I think it is really helpful! I’m currently working on launching my new blog and your posts have taught me so many things I can use in the future. Thank you for sharing your tips! :)

  • Helen Taylor

    your blog post has given me loads of tips and ideas. I struggle with my photography mainly down to lack of planning and inspiration at times. I will definitely take on board the advice you have given. Thank you so much for sharing! Brilliant post!

  • The softbox tip was super helpful! I’ve really been looking for the perfect set! This was such a helpful post xox