Tips For Taking Blog Photos Without Professional Equipment

Going to be completely straight with you from the get-go, guys. I am not going to tell you exactly how I edit my photos, it’s how I make my money and you can’t expect someone to give away their editing secrets like that.

Now we’ve got past that, I will give you all of the tools you’ll ever need to develop your very own editing style. Yes, develop is the key word here. Funnily enough, loads of bloggers think you just develop the ability to take good shots over night.

This is far from the truth – It’s taken me two whole years of blogging to develop my photography style, and you should try and accept the fact that it’ll take a lot of practice, and playing around with editing, that will help you nail the whole blog photography thing.

Also a few things to note:

– I do use a tripod from time to time

– I never use a soft box or other lighting equipment

– All images on my blog/IG are taken AND edited on an iPhone 7

Here are my essential top tips for any blogging looking to take fa-bu-lous photography shots without spending a dime. 

1. Get a Blogging Spot Set Up

If you’re going to take blog photos in your home (especially if you only have a bedroom or you haven’t get decked out your pad in all things #marble or #rosegold) then definitely have a “Blogging Spot”. This space needs to be somewhere that you can realistically set up easily, rely on for good lighting, and can add blog props to to change it up. My Blogging Spot is on the end of my bed, under a skylight – which allows me to change up my sheets to fit the mood of the images and allows direct sunlight to surround the items in shot.

Compare the two images below, they are taken in exactly the same spot with exactly (ish) the same lighting. I use plain white, or slightly patterned sheets, as this allows me with a lot of playroom in terms of what colours I want to convey in the image which dictates the whole feel of the shot. A key element of creating a “theme” around an image is to play with textures, and have a colour scheme going on somewhere in the image.

2. Practice Your Angles

I get asked about my photography all the time, and I swear that no one ever listens to me when I say the key thing is to practice practice and practice your angles some more. The one thing that can take a photo from standard to magazine editorial is simply a good angle.

Something clean and clear is good for an overall flat lay, and perhaps adding depth and texture is better for lifestyle shots. Play around with your angles, your whole “look” and “feel” of the image and practice makes perfect.

3. Get a Grid on

Turn yer bloody grids on if your using your phone for photography! I’ve spoken about this so many times before in my previous photography tips posts, so I’ll keep this one short. The grids help you to utilise the rule of three and place important focus points of the shot onto the intersecting lines. Use them – trust me!

4. Don’t Take Too Many Shots

Nothing’s worse than going through your photos as you’re editing and realising you have 20-something shots that are a teeny, tiny little bit different – it can be panicking and a bit overwhelming. Make sure each shot you take is varied, giving you some wiggle room with the ones you feature on IG and blog posts. Take a wide variety of shots, even if you don’t use them all – it’s all practice. You might end up finding a new “wow” angle or a technique that makes you think twice about how you shoot your next set of photos. It’s all a learning curve!

5. Create A “Collection” of Images

I always take my images as what I call a collection/collective. It’s a bunch of shots that work really well together, with the same colour scheme (maybe subtle differences/pops of colour) and varied angles and textures. This allows the images to feel as one, and brings that vibe you’ve created throughout your blog post – right til the very end!

Have a peek at the collection of photos I took for Instagram below, there is a similar theme running though all the images – so they don’t ever look out of place or disjointed. 

6. Take Separate Photos for IG

I always take one set of images in vertical/horizontal arrangement, and then a whole different set in square for IG. Try it out at home, take a photo using a landscape arrangement and then switch to square. Suddenly the well-placed grid lines will shift and be out of place, and the image won’t look as well composed as it once was. 

7. Edit Carefully

I feel like everyone tends to over-edit when they’re not quite sure how to edit their photos. In all honesty, you do you. You just need some practice and you’ll eventually develop a method of your own, that just works for you. I use free apps to edit my images, and great ones to have a play with are Photoshop, Snapseed (my fave), Lightroom, Filterstorm Neue – but there are plenty to try out on the App Store.

I only play around with the “regular” settings like Brightness, Contrast, Highlight, Warmth, and Sharpness – Nothing fancy at all. These are the only settings I’ve changed if you compare the edited images below.

 I known you can selectively edit on some of these apps, and you can even create a depth of field on apps like Facetune. The key is to try not to over edit, or under edit – just practice toggling with the settings until you find your own rhythm of editing.

As my rhythm of editing goes, I always sharpen an image, and then apply edits like Brightness etc) and then add a filter – no Photoshop, no Facetune – it’s all pretty straightforward which keeps editing a breeze.

8. To Filter or Not To Filter

I always filter. Strictly. I’ve been using VSCO to add filters to my images for yeaaaaaaaaars. I usually choose one filer for a month or whatever, and stick to it for every image until the season changes a bit and then I want the feel/vibe of the images to change to fit the mood. I’ve been enjoying adding a big of Grain to my images to add a little more muddy, rawness to my shots! The shot below is before/after editing the settings and adding a filter to it. Filters are also amazing for enforcing a feel to an image, like a vintage vibe or a bright, happy image. 

So there it is, these are the tools I use to edit my blog photos everyday – Fingers crossed it’ll help some of you to develop your own way of editing photos and finding your own blog photography rhythm!

How do you take and edit your blog photos?


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  1. Pilar Gesino
    September 2, 2017 / 1:39 PM

    This tips are so helpful! Your tips are always so helpful, I really apprecaite them! I'm starting to understand a bit better how pictures work for blogs so I'll be following this tips!LovePiliTo Read with Tea

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 1:51 PM

      Hope they helped you out, lovely! x

  2. Kimberly van Menxel
    September 2, 2017 / 4:27 PM

    Love these tips! Especially your 5th tip about creating a collection of photos. Thanks for sharing!

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 1:52 PM

      Thanks for reading, Kim! x

  3. Elena Jackson
    September 3, 2017 / 3:02 AM

    These tips are amazing, it's very useful and I totally learned a couple of things that I didn't know. I will use it next time I take a photo, since yours are gorgeous!Elena Jacksoninfo@leggyleggy.com

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 1:53 PM

      Thank you, Elena! x

  4. Vicki Bruce
    September 3, 2017 / 12:20 PM

    So many great tips. I need to stop taking so many photos & also invest in a better tripod. You images are always beautiful and bright.

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 1:56 PM

      Thanks so much, Vicki! x

  5. Ana
    September 3, 2017 / 12:21 PM

    Thanks for all these tips! I find it hard sometimes to take perfect pictures but this was really helpful xxx

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 2:00 PM

      Thank you for reading, Ana! x

  6. Ramblingmads
    September 3, 2017 / 3:53 PM

    Thanks for this, I'm trying to improve my photos but I only have my phone and the occasional use of a tripod. I hadn't thought about the grid thing – going to try that.

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 2:00 PM

      It will make a difference! xo

  7. Melina
    September 5, 2017 / 12:53 AM

    These tips are super helpful! I do have a "fancy" camera, but I don't have a softbox, and I struggle with having super professional blogging photos. I think these tips really gave me more of an eye on what to look for, especially the grid tip! I never thought to turn mine on xxxMelina |

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 2:01 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Melina! xo

  8. La dame chat
    September 5, 2017 / 2:16 PM

    These tips are so helpful, I will definitely use my grid from now on!Michelle|

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 2:02 PM

      Thanks, Michelle! xo

  9. Natalie Redman
    September 5, 2017 / 9:28 PM

    Great post! Love it!

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      September 6, 2017 / 2:02 PM

      Thanks so much, Natalie! xo

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