Photo – Lewys Mann
I totally know what it feels like to want better blog photos, so if you’re reading this, I’m totally with you on this one. With every blogger and her cat seeming to be able to afford the (ridiculously priced) Olympus PEN, it can be so easy to feel left out & not good enough. With a phone you can rarely do snazzy tricks like that beautifully blurred depth of field, and close macro shots, and that can be so frustrating. However, a lot of people really underestimate the power of the smartphone!
I always get people asking me what camera I use to shoot blog photos with, and other than the outfit shots, I simply use my iPhone 6. Nothaaang fancy here, guys. It did take me bloody ages, and playing around with a ton of editing apps, to find my A-Team. So I thought – Hey, I’ll save my readers the trouble and share all of my hints & tips to get even better smartphone blog photos.
1. ENABLE THE GRID OPTION
This is a simple one, but a good’un – and boy, will it up your photography game. I’m not entirely sure how you do this on an android phone, but on an iPhone it’s easy peasy. Head to Settings > Photos & Camera > Grid, and make sure it’s selected and green.
So what’s the big deal right? The grid setting allows you to make sure that you photos are level, lines are straight, and helps when you’re trying to use the rule of thirds to create some really aesthetically appealing content.
2. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIGHTING
If you can, shoot with natural lighting. I’m even tempted to say, only shoot if you have natural lighting, because I refuse to shoot in artificial light altogether! I have tried, believe me, and I just can’t get a good shot. When I first moved into my apartment I spent a day off, just sitting by my flatlay window (yes, I had a dedicated spot) and took random photos every hour. Then I looked back and spotted when the best lighting came through the window. Midday is usually a no-go because of the harsh light, and I found that 9-10am and 4-5pm were the best time to get tripper-happy with my phone.
3. NEVER UNDER-ESTIMATE BLOG PROPS
I rarely ever take photos with any props – whether it’s for instagram or for my blog, I have always got flowers, plates, trays, and jewellery on hand to snazz up my images. They’re also great for conveying a colour scheme – ie. red lipstick with red flowers, or a product with gold detailing and a gold necklace!
My big tip for when taking photos of a lot of products in one go is to spread out the products and get a full bird-eye view of the whole shot – the further away you are, the more even the photo will look.In this sort of situation, I like to use plates or trays under the products to add some dimension and texture to the images. Also, if you are in good lighting you’ll have no problems cropping it in for a better “flat lay” shot.
PS – Don’t be afraid to cut some of a product(s) out of the image!
4. TRANSFORM WITH AN EDITOR
This is probably the most important step of the lot – get a good editor. Some great ones that you can find on the iOS App Store are Snapseed, Photoshop …. – plus, these are all free to download and use! Editing your pics always comes down to personal preference and opinion, however I have a few tricks that make my images look brighter and bolder. In the majority of editing tools, you are able to select specific areas of an image to edit:
1) Increase the Brightness in the lighter areas of the images
2) Emphasis bright colours by using Contrast
3) Use the Saturation tool, it’s fab for when there’s unwanted colour in an image
4) Increase the Sharpness, but not too much!
5. ADD A UNIVERSAL FILTER
I always add a little bit of a filter on my photos, just to bring it all together. Most people think that filters are only for IG posts, but if you take your images on a phone it definitely levels up the whole look of your post. I feel like it brings together all of the images as a collection, even if the lighting is slightly different, or the photos were taken in different locations. I love using VSCO Cam for filters, and HB1 and HB2 are my ultimate go-to’s. I think I did pay something like 99p for them way back when, but it was definitely an investment as I use them all the time.
6. DOWNLOAD DROPBOX
Of course, if you have a Mac – AirDrop that shiiit. But alas I have not yet had the good fortune to have one of my own. If you don’t either, this one will save you so much time and effort – I pretty promise. If you install Dropbox on your phone and laptop, and sign into the same account on both, you’ll be able to upload your edited photos on your phone, and access them via your laptop. Oh, and vice versa – which is really handy if you shoot with a camera but don’t have a wifi enabled feature for example.
How do you edit your blog photos?