Blog Photography- Your Questions Answered

blog-photography-tips

My Blog Photography- Your Questions Answered

Happy HumpDay guyssss! Today, once again, we’re going to talk a little about blog photography.

I am going to answer a few questions that I’ve been getting a lot over the last couple of weeks. The truth is, I probably answered some of these at some point, but I could talk photography with you guys for daaaaays.

Ever since I joined Snapchat and started posting little BTS and some sneak peeks here and there, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the process of editing my blog photos, my lighting and other equipment. I always try to answer your questions and help you in any way I can, but I thought I’d write this post, anyway.

Annnnd speaking of Snapchat…. my life can be pretty dull at times…(but it’s also kinda amazing) it evolves around makeup, this blog, my dog and food… but feel free to follow along @Paula13t.

Is it still considered a shameless plug, if it’s done on your own blog? Hmmm… I wonder..

mark-jacobs-primer

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR PHOTOS TO LOOK BRIGHT?

This is hands-down one of the most frequently asked questions I get and I even wrote an entire post about taking bright photos for your blog. Whenever possible, I work with natural light. I setup on the floor next to a glass door and shoot from above. Sometimes I even open the door to let more light in. Because my light is only coming from one source, I use a silver reflector to bounce it off and get rid of any shadows. Using a reflector makes a HUGE difference in the way my photos turn out.

bobbi-brown-beach-oil

Most of the time I also use a 50mm f/1.4 lens, which is amazing for low-light photography; with aperture of f/1.4 this lens lets in eight times more light than a typical kit lens (f/5.6). Having such wide aperture allows you to use faster shutter speed and you won’t have to raise up your ISO too high, which can cause digital noise (meaning, your photos will look grainy if your ISO settings are too high). I used the “nifty-fifty” lens for a very long time, which is a very affordable yet impressive lens. This lens can make a big difference in your photos when switching from a “regular” kit lens.

To learn more about about the exposure triangle, see this post.

blog-photography-set-up

Using a reflector and a natural light source

after

End result

HOW DO I GET RID OF YELLOW/BLUE TINT IN MY PHOTOS?

This has to do with color temperature- when you take photos, your camera measures the color temperature using white balance. Normally, I set my White Balance setting to AWB (Auto White Balance), because usually a camera is excellent at setting correct white balance for given conditions. However, when you’re shooting indoors, you might have a few different light sources coming in. When white balance picks up the color temperature as being too cool- you end up with that blueish tint in your photos; when it picks up the temperature as being too warm, you’ll left with a yellow tint. So, when you take pictures indoors, in your living room or your bedroom while the lights are on, they come out a bit yellow- that’s because your home lights give off that warm color temperature.

When you have multiple light sources (natural light coming through the window and your home lighting), your camera sort of gets mixed signals. Even though our home is a little dark, I always turn off the lights in the room where I take my pictures and only use my natural light source and a reflector. There’s also an easy way to fix your white balance when processing your pictures in Photoshop, you can find a video tutorial right here. Of course, you can also use other editing software for your blog photography and fix your white balance by adjusting the color temperature.

mac-Faux

HOW DO YOU EDIT YOUR PHOTOS?

For my blog photography, I use Photoshop CC2015 and usually edit my photos in Camera Raw. I pretty much follow a very similar process as shown in this tutorial. I try not to do too much editing when processing swatches or makeup products like lipstick or eyeshadows. For all other photos, I usually adjust curves, highlights and shadows. I also sharpen the images and resize them.

Below you can see what a typical before/after looks like for me. With my camera, I could easily take photos that are much brighter to begin with, but because I don’t get a lot of natural light I don’t like using high ISO settings or shoot at very slow shutter speed (which lets in more light). Both can cause your photos to look grainy and blurry and we don’t want that. The reason why I love editing in Camera Raw is that I can adjust my lights, darks, shadows and highlights separately, without changing the exposure on an entire image.

HOW TO EDIT BLOG PHOTOS

WHAT CAMERA/LENS DO YOU USE?

I already talked my blog photography equipment in this post. I use a Canon70D and my two favorite lenses for flatlay and product photography are Canon 40mm f/2.8 and Canon 50mm f/1.4.

WHAT RING LIGHT/SOFT BOXES DO YOU USE?

I always prefer natural light, but whenever I can’t use it (when I don’t have enough time during the day or when it’s dark and gloomy outside), I use my ring light and my soft boxes. The ring light that I use is no longer available, but this one is similar to mine and these are the soft boxes that I use. Both also came in handy when I was doing YouTube videos a while back- they work great with video, too.

Did I miss anything? Let me know if you have any other questions you’d like me to answer!

blog-photography-tips

  • This is such a helpful post!! I just started a blog and have been really struggling with the photography thank you so much for posting this!! <3

    Amelia | http://amelia-g.blogspot.com.au/

  • Samileen

    Excellent post Paula. I need to learn to use photoshop. Definitely checking that tutorial out.

    Sam || Beautydetour

  • LuxBubs

    So informative and very helpful!! Thank you for sharing your experiences and tips – I’m a rookie when it comes to photography. Have a great evening

  • Great tips! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Nicole | In The Life of NM

  • Rae Webb

    No you didn’t miss anything. Going to try this for my other blog photos. Thanks.

    http://www.diaryofajetsether.com

  • Thanks for making this so easy to understand. I don’t know anything about photography and I just use my compact camera to take pictures for my blog and hope for the best.

  • Amen to the wonders of natural light – ain’t nothing better!

    Katie xx ¦ La Coco Noire

  • Trang Do

    Amazing tips!! Great post dear!

    Hugs,
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Lovely tips as always Paula – I love reading your blogging help posts the most! :)
    – Ambar x
    http://www.herlittleloves.co.uk

  • Is someone is not PS savyy, there are plenty of free Actions online – install them, click one button and viola your photo is edited ;)

  • I don’t know what I would do without PS, especially in winter! I never took raw photos before, next time I will be giving it a try, I hope I don’t mess it up :)

    Ela BellaWorld

    • You can also edit JPEG with camera raw on PS. Just go to file>open (or open as if you have a pc)> click on the image you want to edit and chose camera raw from the format menu and click open.

  • Your photos are always beautiful so I’ll definitely be trying some of these tips out! I have a silver light reflector but I find it so awkward to use…I must give it another go! x

    http://www.abeautyromance.com
    http://www.abeautyromance.com

    • It takes a while to get a hang of it, that’s true. It’s nice when you can have someone help you out, but most of the time I just rest it on my feet or against a small chair so my hands are free.

  • The power of editing is amazing! The before and after photos are a great example of that, from a nice to a gorgeous! :) x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  • Tiffany Tales

    Thank you for the tips! Your images are gorgeous and it’s crazy how editing properly makes such a difference x

    Tiffany Tales – A British Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • Your photos looks so amazing! was really helpful seeing the before and after, really loved this!

    http://ellacatherine1.blogspot.co.uk

  • Great tips! I’m still trying to figure out where to place the reflector for the best results? Any tips? Xx!

    JennyLovesBeauty♥

    • Just follow the light, I usually put mine across from my light source like shown on the picture above. The best way to figure it out is to just place it in different spots and look how the shadows chance on your image and where it works best.

  • The Sunday Mode

    Oh wow I’m definitely going to start editing my images in Camera Raw, is that just a downloadable program? I’m guessing it’s not free either because I feel like all the best programs aren’t.

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

    • That’s an option in Photo Shop. I don’t know about Australia but I have a monthly subscription and pay around $10 a month for PS.

  • I’ve read a few different posts about blog photography lately as it’s something I struggle with, but this was easily the most helpful. I currently only use my iPhone 6S Plus but am thinking about buying a decent camera. Thank you so much for the tips x

    Rhi | http://www.rinkydinkyrhi.com

  • Great tips! I’m definitely hoping to invest in some new lenses soon so thank you for the recommendations :) I use Photoshop to edit my photos, I think it works wonders for brightening up an image!

    Toni x
    http://www.clarkecouture.co.uk

  • Thank you for this post!! Your tips are really easy to follow – as I’m not very good at taking pictures for my blog! x

    Victoria | http://victoriaahelenn.blogspot.co.uk

  • I have been dying to read a good post on taking photos, I am terrible and need improvement haha! Thanks for a great post!! Tash x

    natashatodd.blogspot.co.uk

  • I always admire your photos & feel inspired, they are just so well shot and beautifully edited. Thank you for sharing so many great tips and letting us see what it’s like behind the scenes x

    Beauty with charm

  • Thank You for the great tips! I am now interested in the silver reflector ^_^

    Laila from Townhouse Palette

  • Susan

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I so needed this info.

    http://a-woman-of-a-certain-age.com/

  • Great tips, your photos are lovely!

    Makeup Monster

  • Sounds like you really know your stuff, thanks for sharing! Blog photography is a real art form, huh :-)

  • Oh wow thank you for making such an easily understood, well laid out and informative post, I’m definitely saving this one for future reference :) I’ve been saving up for a 50mm f/1.4 lens but as I’m still a student the saving is taking a little while but you’ve confirmed I’m saving for the right lens!

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    xx

  • This was so helpful to read! I’ll definitely be trying out some of these tips in my blog photos x

    http://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Nothing makes me happier than seeing a new photography post from you, Paula! I absolutely love your photos (styling, brightness, consistency) and I appreciate how clear, informative and helpful your photography posts are. I come back to them again and again in my quest to improve my own fledgling photography skills. :P

    I noticed you said you edit in Camera Raw. Does shooting in RAW work out better than JPEG?

    • Aww thanks so much Pat! That makes me really happy :)

      I shoot in RAW, but you can edit JPEGs in Camera Raw as well. RAW files are uncompressed and unprocessed and basically need to be edited because they look flat and sometimes dark. BUT, RAW files detain A LOT more information and details, therefore you can do a lot more when it comes to editing.

      • My pleasure, I’ve really learned quite a bit from your posts! :) Thanks so much for the thorough answer!

  • Great post. Thanks.
    http://www.yvesofstyle.com

  • I am waiting for the day I upgrade my lens as I am currently using the lens that comes in the kit!! I love using Photoshop to edit my photos though as I can really adjust the tints and brightness there :) Great helpful post
    Kathy x
    http://www.alongcamekathy.blogspot.co.nz

  • Oh thanks for this post Paula! Came at a great time for me as of course we spoken a few times about this between us :) I currently only use my 50mm f/1.4 STM for all my pics, and it’s been okay I guess but I think what’s really been my issue is just figuring out how to get the best bright photos without sacrificing quality. My main problem is when I upload them to instagram, I like to look at them on my desktop instagram page and see how they turn out to see whether they are really the quality I want them to be. As of late, they have dropped in quality immensely. From the app on our phones, I don’t think you can tell but if you’re on the desktop I feel like you can. I really don’t understand why? When I’m in iPhotos, it looks fine and at least to me looks good, but after I edit it on my phone (or even when I don’t edit it), it turns out looking really like hazy? I don’t know the right wording. It doesn’t look crisp as before. I don’t know why, because on some of my other pictures it turns out fine. It’s just the weirdest thing. Anyway, I thought I would ask you to see if you ever have this problem! I keep deleting some pics and re-uploading them sometimes because I see how low quality they are! :(

    xoxo
    http://www.hellohimawari.com

    • I think Instagram always drops the quality a little, I noticed this especially with pictures that have a lot of color in them. I don’t know if there really is a way around this. I know that when I edit my photos on my computer, they always look better than when I edit them on my phone and post them on my IG. I never looked at my IG profile on my desktop though, so I’m not sure what the quality is like. Maybe try editing on your computer, instead?

  • Really love how you quickly talked about all your tips :) everything was easy to understand and straight to the point. I dont know why I haven’t made a reflector yet since it DOES make a HUGE difference! Thanks for sharing your trickss

    Passion Blog | BCfactor.blogspot.com

  • Thank you! So happy you liked this post!

  • Anna Nadiradze

    hello you have vs very sexy now bottle is it fragrance or body lotion?

  • This article is so useful! Although I use Abode Lightroom to edit/brighten up my photos.

  • This article was amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. Question–were you self taught (photography) or…? How did you learn blog photography?
    http://www.joinmein.miami

    • Thank you! Yes, I am completely self-taught. Everything I’ve learned is outlined and explained in my posts under the Photography section. :)

  • Margaux White

    Thanks for these tips, I’m always on the lookout for bright pic taking/editing tips :)
    Margaux ∙ http://www.bonjourwhite.com

  • This is sooo helpful!! I love your blog!
    xox Tess | Sequins are the New Black

  • Christine C.

    Seriously your photography posts have been so helpful! I am in awe of your photography skills! Your posts are so easy to follow and your advice is amazing! I’ve been blogging for a while, but I am always wanting to up my photography game. Your photos are incredible!

  • A great post and gorgeous photographs, you do take some lovely photographs.

    Being a photography enthusiast myself I really enjoyed reading this post.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Laura xo
    http://www.shehearts.net

  • This is a great post thank you for making it so easy to understand and sharing your tips and equipment! When you use the Camera Raw filter are you shooting images in RAW format?

    • Thanks Alison. Yes I do shoot in RAW but you can still use Camera Raw if you shoot in JPEG you just need to convert your images to smart files.

  • Amazing tips, it is all about bright photography on blogs – I need to get myself a reflector! Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

  • thisgirlloveschic

    great tips! your photos are gorgeous

    This Girl Loves Chic xx

  • A great post thanks for sharing this.

    I LOVE photography in general and it’s something which really inspires me and do both on my blog and as a hobby also taking photos of landscapes and other things :)

    Lovely tips and photos!

    Laura xo
    http://www.shehearts.net

  • Amanda C

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve recently started my blog and I’m trying to get the best photos possible. I know everyone always say natural light is the best but the shadows always throw me off. The silver reflector is a good idea worth giving a shot. Thanks again!
    http://www.reallifewithamanda.com

  • These are really helpful tips! I use the same lens but my photos don’t look nearly as good as yours do haha. I’m going to be binge reading all your blog photography posts!