11 Photography Hacks for Bloggers

blog-photography-tips

If you’re a blogger, chances are you know just how time-consuming and frustrating taking photos can be sometimes- especially when the weather or your camera refuse to cooperate.

While, sadly, I won’t be able to teach you how to summon the sun to come out or order the rain to stop pouring, I will share a few hacks with you that will help you create beautiful images for your blog, every single time.

photography-tips-for-bloggersKEEP YOUR PROPS STORED TOGETHER

If you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are you have a whole collection of props. I’m talking candles, little trinket dishes, magazines, fabrics, etc. I am not the type of person who takes pictures in bulk and writes a week’s worth of content in a day- I just can’t work like this and I don’t like it when blogging feels like a chore, something I have to do. This is why I take pictures for my blog pretty much every day and I’ve come to realize that it makes no sense putting all my props away every time I’m done using them. I now keep all of them stored in a box right by our big glass door to the backyard, which is where I take my pictures. This way I always have them handy and don’t waste time looking for them. It also helps me with styling my photos- sometimes I don’t even know what I will write about, but just by looking at my “props box” I already have an idea how to style my images.

how to take good pictures for a beauty blog

Milani baked blushes

THE WHITE IKEA TABLE

Ahh the white IKEA LACK Side Table. I wrote about this little table few years ago and since then it seems to have become every blogger’s favorite. Cool thing about this little table? It comes in a few different colors and it’s super affordable ($9.99). If you like the white marble look you can also buy white marble contact paper and make your own little marble side table.

UNDERSTAND YOUR CAMERA

If you’re using a DSLR and are still not familiar with the Manual mode, it’s time to get to know your camera. It can be intimidating at first, but trust me, once you understand the settings, you’ll be able to to take your images to the next level. To learn more about camera settings, the exposure triangle, check out this post.

how to take nice pictures for a beauty blog
product photography tips

COMPUTER SCREEN AS BACKGROUND

Nowadays I’m all about using a natural light source, but few years a go when I was still in college and didn’t get home until 10.00 pm every day, using daylight was out of the question. That’s when I started getting creative, bought soft boxes and a ring light. I also made use of my desktop and used the screen as a background. You can do the same with smaller screens, even on your laptop- depending on the size of your products/subject.

STYLE YOUR IMAGES

This, of course, will depend on your niche, but if you’re a lifestyle blogger, styling your photos can make them stand out. Add your own touch to styling them and make your images recognizable so that when someone sees it/them, they immediately think of your blog.

THE TAPE TRICK

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, your products just won’t stay in place- this is where a double-sided tape comes in handy. It’ll help to stop your products from rolling away and keep them in place. Sometimes the double sided tape also comes in handy in food photography, too.

white reflector photography

USE A REFLECTOR

This is probably one of my most repeated tips (in addition to using natural lighting) and I’ll say it again: if you’re not already using a reflector, get your hands on one, asap. It will seriously change your blog photography game- especially if you often work with limited light. I use this multi-disk reflector that comes with few different colors: gold to warm up the image; silver to brighten the picture; white to bounce the light into shadows, black to block any unwanted light and translucent to soften light. My most-used color is, without a doubt, the silver since it does a great job at brightening up my images and getting rid of shadows.

TAKE MORE PICTURES THAN YOU NEED

Sometimes there are days when I take 5 shots and know that I already have what I need (that’s when I usually shout “aannnnd that’s a wrap guys, thanks everyone!” that’s when my husband and my dog give me that “umm.. ok… weirdo” look, but hey, I’m used to it by now.) Other days, I can take 200 and still not like how my images come out. This is when I change up my setup a bit, and then try again. No matter how good you think your pictures are coming out, make sure to take more shots than you need. Oftentimes you don’t see those little details until you import your images to your computer- something might be out of focus, etc. This also brings me to my next tip..

DONE TAKING PICTURES? LEAVE YOUR SET-UP AS IS

Until you import your images to your computer to see what they look like, don’t start putting your products away (or whatever else it is that you’re photographing) and cleaning up your set up. If you can, wait until you see what your images look like once imported. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I had a great bunch of pictures until I imported them and noticed that the white-balance is off, or that something is out of focus. This is why I never clean up my “set” until I know that my pictures came out great.

USE NATURAL LIGHT

If you read my Photography posts often, then you’re probably sick of me saying this over and over again, but hey, I’ll say it again: make use of natural light! Find the brightest spot in your home, avoid direct sunlight and if it works, try taking your pictures in the same spot. It’ll save you frustration when looking for good lighting, every time you need to set up. Need some tips on how to take bright images during gloomy weather? See this post.

Mango coconut smoothie recipe

Using black cardboard as backdrop.

CARDBOARDS/FOAM-BOARDS AS BACKGROUND (AND MORE)

One of the easiest ways of changing up your images is utilizing a different background and white and colored cardboards are great for that. They’re affordable, store easily which means that you can use as many as you want. I also can’t life without my huge white foam-board. I use it in addition to my reflector- it bounces off light and helps get rid of shadows.

Taking pictures for your blog can definitely be time consuming, but if you come up with a good setup and shoot in the same spot every day, it will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Do you have any photography hacks of your own?

  • Klaudia.

    Incredibly helpful post, thanks so much for sharing! I love all of the tips you wrote and now I’ve bookmarked that ikea table, I can’t believe how affordable it is yet I’ve never thought of it! xo

    Klaudia // klaudiam96.blogspot.com

  • missgetaway

    Oh thank you so much for sharing these tipps! Especially in winter I find it extremely hard to take good pictures. Will definitely keep your tips in mind and duh, get myself a reflector!

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

  • Fantastic tips! I need to get my hands on a reflector – shadows bug me so much!

    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

  • The white Ikea table is a staple for my blog photography! So useful for creating a crisp white background. I used to use bristol board, white cardboard, white canvasses and nothing does it quite like the Lack table!

    Vanesa | http://www.thebeautyanecdote.com/

  • I just recently purchased a reflector and you’re right it does wonders for blog photos!

  • I never leave my set up the way it is before importing, that’s definitely a trick I could’ve used when I had a total nightmare with my images the other day! x

    Jodie // Jodie Loue

  • Very helpful tips! I will shop at Ikea for the table 🙂

  • The computer screen is a neat idea! I never heard of that one!

  • Nameless Gap

    I also have a box full of props! It really makes it a lot easier to find them every time o want to take a picture!
    Paula | http://www.namelessgap.blogspot.com

  • I need to get a basket for my blogging props and keep it all together as every time I do my photos I go around the house looking for them and more often then not forget about some I meant to use. I’m like you, take my pictures almost every day, the most I can do is to take photos for 2-3 posts, no more or I loose my motivation and inspiration.

    Yet another very helpful post, Paula! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  • That little table is such a good idea. I need something like that in my life!

    Rachel | http://www.currentlyrachel.com

  • I love mt lack tables and I need to use them more in photos! These are great tips. Natural sunlight is so key, I cannot wait until the time change! Have a great weekend!

  • This was so help thank you! I definitely need to remember to keep my props together, I’m constantly losing them!
    Aisling | Aislings beauty bytes

  • Thank you for your constant tips that are all so applicable! Literally all of these are great. Photography can definitely get frustrating, but I find that I just have to stay persistent and determined to get the right shot.

    Cass
    http://www.lifewithcass.com

  • Olivia Alesha

    This was literally so helpful I cannot thank you enough! I am always struggling trying to get that ‘perfect’ photo for a post and these hacks are definitely going to help me in the future!
    – Olivia Xx
    http://www.oliviaxalesha.com

  • I have been using the tape trick for so long! I used to take photos on the balcony of my apartment complex and I would be so scared that they would blow away! Great tips. Thanks!

    glamlifeliving.com
    Hannah
    Glam Life Living

  • Thank youuuu! I need to step up my photos and this is so helpful!

  • I really liked all the ideas especially the one about the computer screen as background. Great post and I really liked your set up. I need to buy that Ikea table.

    Chaste &
    Beautiful

  • I need to get more props still but just got a big white board (that needs cut in half) and some sticky back marble paper and omg why didn’t I do it sooner! Need to get to IKEA for that table too!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

    • I love the IKEA table, especially since it’s so affordable! I use it pretty much every single time I take my blog photos.

  • OMG this was post was super helpful! I’m checking out all your recommendations for the lights and reflectors!

    xx, A Little Dose of Makeup

  • This is probably the best post i have read in a long time. So may tips and tricks thanyou for sharing them with us xx

    Zoe Mountford x

  • Lauren B

    Great tips, I’ve just bookmarked this page to come back to when I take my photos!

    http://laurenslittleblogs.blogspot.co.uk/

  • These are seriously great tips! I’m going to save this post so that I can revisit it again. One of the best posts I’ve read in a while.

    Jemima x
    anotherrantingreader.blogspot.co.uk

  • Computer screen!! Seriously brilliant!

  • Claire Cavanagh

    Your photos always look stunning so I’ll definitely be using these tips! Checking out the reflectors right now.

    Claire | Stylingo.co.uk xx

  • I have the Ikea table its perfect! I am also forever taping or blue tacking products to keep them in place!
    Emmy | Emmys Beauty Cave | Bloglovin

  • You always give the best advices! And I think the most important one is understanding your camera. The other day I was playing with mine and I discovered a lot of cool things I didn’t know and now I can take better pictures!

    http://www.blossomikebana.com

  • Fab tips, thank you so much for sharing! I’ve recently bought myself a reflector but will definitely be trying a few more of your ideas 🙂

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  • Jacqueline Sin

    These are really great tips! 🙂 I have never thought of using a computer screen as a background before but it totally works! Such a great late-night student hack! xx

    Jacqueline | Sail Away to Neverland ♡

  • Great tips! I always try to use natural light as it makes my pictures look much brighter! I always make the mistake of putting everything away before importing my pictures and then I find out they are out of focus or that I don’t like them, so annoying! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Estefania

    Great tips, I loved the computer screen as background, definitely gonna use it, thanks for the ideas

    http://estefaniareviews.blogspot.mx

  • These are so helpful! Can’t wait to use these tips!

    http://llindatt.blogspot.com/

  • The Gossip Darling

    Super helpful! I’m going to Ikea tomorrow to pick up the table!! Thank you so much for this!!!!

    Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

    • The Gossip Darling

      I just bought my IKEA table! $7.99!! So excited to build this baby and put it to use! Thanks for the tip!

  • Great tips especially keeping products out, what looks good on my camera’s small screen sometimes doesnt translate and its such a shame!

    Abigail Alice x

  • The Sunday Mode

    I’ve started using reflectors over the past month or so and it makes such a huge difference. We used to use reflectors all the time back when I was in university but for some reason when I started blogging I just completely forgot about them!

    http://www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

  • I can only take photos at the weekends since I don’t have any lights (which I should get) it gets really frustrating when it is gloomy weather. I don’t have any reflectors either, sometimes I use aluminium foil to reflect the light which kinda does the trick 🙂 Another great and useful post, Paula!

    Ela BellaWorld

  • I’ve never thought about using my laptop as a background! Great idea!
    Cloe X http://clxelouise.blogspot.com

  • Sophie Sierra

    Adore these hacks so very much Paula! As always such relevant tips and tricks for easy yet gorgeous photography with stunning results 😉 I love the sound of a reflector, really need to invest in one! I agree so much with taking more photographs than you need; sometimes on shoots we come back with about 800 ootd ones but at least that gives plenty of choice haha 😀

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    • Thanks so much Soph! Oh OOTD’s are the worst for me when it comes to taking pictures haha we always take over 500 out of which I only like a handful haha 🙂

  • amber

    I’ll be definitely using my computer screen as a background x

    amberakaunu.blogspot.co.uk

  • I love all these tips, I’m trying to improve my photography and I think that I need a light reflector for my pictures.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • What brilliant hacks! Love the one about using your computer screen, very clever! Do you recommend a patterned one or a blank one?

    Lots of Love, Lottie | Lifestyle blog to make you smile 🙂

    • I’ve used both and they work great, it depends on your setting (sometimes if you use soft boxes or a ring light it can reflect in the screen) I’d try both and see which one works better 😉

  • Such great tips and beautiful photos! I often find myself frustrated when my photos don’t turn out as I envision. Your advice will definitely come in handy! Thank you!

  • These are so helpful! Thanks you 🙂 xx Lita
    http://www.litademiah.com

  • Those blushes look amazing. A lovely post, thank you for sharing! 🙂
    – Ambar x
    http://www.herlittleloves.blogspot.com

  • Those are really helpful tips, thanks for sharing Paula! ☺
    Nati xx
    http://www.simplyartdicted.com

  • Sarah Laird

    I’ve had my camera over two years now and I still get angry if the automatic setting won’t pick up what I want it to. Should really get to grips with the manual! Fab tips, I’ll definitely be investing in some tape! x

    Viva Epernay

  • I love these tips especially using the computer screen as background. Never thought about that.

    Thanks for sharing,
    http://www.fabulousandbeauty.com

  • Using the computer screen as background is a genius idea, I have to try that! Thank you for always posting such useful content!
    http://carolinapage.eu

  • I rarely use props and usually I just go for a crisp white background. But I do love the computer screen tip, thanks!

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    These tips are so incredibly useful, darling! I never thought of using the computer screen as a background, but I will definietly have to try it – it seems like such a fab idea! <3 Hope you're well. 🙂

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com

  • Jecky Lebid

    I will definitely memorize the tape trick and using the desktop background! Honestly a cool post, directly had to follow you via facebook and Insta!

    XX from Germany
    Jecky
    Want Get Repeat

  • I really needed this post. Im just starting out so any tips/hacks are really appreciated! Thank you xo

    Marie
    http://www.mariestateofmind.com

  • As always thanks for the photography tips Paula! I always love reading these 🙂

    Nereyda│ This Girl Is Obsessed

  • These are amazing tips. One of the biggest things that I seem to struggle with is good photography. The quality of my pictures are good, but I always seem to struggle to find decorative items to add into the pictures. Thanks so much for sharing, x!

    Becky, xx // http://undertheseabeauty.blogspot.ca/

  • Monica S

    This is so incredibly helpful. Thank you for this post! Monica x

    http://theliterarylady.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I always had trouble with rolling products until I saw Vivianna Does Makeup do a youtube video where she used blue-tack to hold them in place and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head! Now I have it everywhere and it makes such a difference. I use a lot of different backgrounds for blog photos and wrote a post about it – http://lenatalksbeauty.com/backgrounds-blog-photos/

  • Loving all the tips!!! I find myself getting so frustrated with my Nikon I just got that my pictures never look super bright and inviting, so better believe ill be practicing this week!

  • Ira

    Hello! I am a rookie blogger, and I just discovered your blog and I can’t stop reading through all your tips. Those are such a good read and I have discovered so much for myself. I tried to take photos inside (I used to take photos of people reporting style in airports or concerts) but I don’t have any knowledge or experience of taking photos of things, especially inside of my room. I live in Russia, so during winter it is almost impossible to find a good daylight spot unless weekend mornings and even then it is quite dull. Your lighting and equipment tips are such a revelation for me! I can’t wait till I get foam boards and a bg stickers for them. In autumn I’ll definitely should budget in for soft boxes. I can’t find enough words to thank you! I see so much room for self development now, all thanks to your posts! Thank you for inspiration!

    http://privetmoscow.wordpress.com

    • Thank you so much Ira, that’s great! I’m so happy that you found this helpful!! You are so welcome!! 🙂

  • Great tips! I’m totally buying a reflector!

  • amazing tips!! especially the laptop screen as backround, genius! gotta try it (:

    Life in Pastel

  • Carolina

    Great tips! This one with “computer as a background” I’ll probably try.

    Carrie x
    Carolina Ilieva

  • I have been reading all of your posts and rally find them so helpful! As a new blogger these tips are all so useful and I appreciate your posts like this. Thank you!!

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